Chamaeleo ellioti — Montane Side-striped Chameleon
Also known as:
On our way back down the mountain after a gorilla-watching trek, I was delighted to discover a small chameleon in a passion flower plant in the cultivated grounds adjacent to the national park. Unfortunately, the combination of wind, bad lighting, and handheld camera did not produce a web-worthy photograph. Shortly thereafter, while the other gorilla fans lay around on the ground waiting for our jeeps to pick us up, I searched the nearby bushes and trees for additional chameleonic activity. I told a curious young man who was walking by what I was doing, and he pointed out some likely bushes and helped me look for awhile, but unsuccessfully. However, a short while later he came back triumphantly with this beautiful specimen that he had found nearby.
This chameleon and the first one I found both had the black gular (neck) folds distinctive of this species, so they were easy to identify. The second picture clearly shows a chameleon's amazing ability to look a different way with each eye.
- Rogner, M. 1997. Lizards
- Spawls, S., Howell, K., Hinkel, H., Menegon, M. 2018. A Field Guide to East African Reptiles, 2nd edition