Calumma emelinae

Calumma emelinae, male, 2018
Calumma emelinae, male, 2018
Calumma emelinae, female, 2018
Calumma emelinae, female, 2018
Calumma emelinae juvenile, Moramanga, 2020
Calumma emelinae female, Moramanga, 2020
Calumma emelinae, male, 2018
Calumma emelinae, male, 2018
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First description:

Prötzel, Scherz, Ratsoavina, Vences & Glaw, 2020

Origin of the species name:

David Prötzel, Mark D. Scherz and Frank Glaw from the State Zoological Collection Munich (Germany), Fanomezana M. Ratsoavina from the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) as well as Miguel Vences from the Zoological Institute of the TU Braunschweig (Germany) named the species at the request of the Indonesian Wewin Tjiasmanto after its mother, Emelina Widjojo. Tjiasmanto had taken on the sponsorship of a chameleon species through the BIOPAT project. The respective sponsor pays from 2600 € upwards for a sponsorship. The money is used exclusively to support scientific research projects. In return, the sponsor is allowed to give a newly discovered plant or animal species of a name of his or her choice.

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Calumma emelinae

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Makira Massif: -15.423038, 49.540787
Andasibe: -18.938763, 48.432541
Vohidrazana: -19.003579, 48.509445
Ambodisakoa: -17.306527, 48.641624
Moramanga: -18.947100, 48.230400
Vohimana: -18.897679, 48.485584


Calumma emelinae is known from various remnants of rainforest on the east coast of Madagascar, which are more than 750 m above sea level. The previous sites are located between Anosibe an’Ala in the central-east and Lake Alaotra, one of the most important rice-growing areas. So far we have always found the species in a small forest near Moramanga and very frequently in Andasibe and Vohimana. In fact, after reviewing our photos of the last years, Calumma emelinae occurs in the most famous national park of Madagascar, Andasibe-Mantadia, by far more often than Calumma nasutum, which was confused with this species for a long time until now. Another population of Calumma emelinae lives in the region of the Makira Plateau in northern Madagascar. Since it is largely inaccessible to travelers, there are hardly any photographs of it so far.

Look and size:

Juvenile of Calumma emelinae on a finger

Calumma emelinae does not grow very large. With only 8.3 to 10.3 cm from nose to tail tip, this species is already fully grown. Both sexes have a round nose appendage, which is smaller in females than in males. The rostral scale directly under the nose is not integrated into the rostral appendage itself in Calumma emelinae. In males, the casque is very low (only 0.5-1.1 mm), and the dorsal crest varies in the number of spines. The females do not wear a dorsal crest. The males of Calumma emelinae are prettier in color than the females: The females are grey-white with light green spots, which makes especially arms, legs and head look very green. The rostral appendage of females may have some light blue scales.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature 23 24 23 23 22 19 19 19 20 21 22 23
Minimum temperature20 20 20 19 18 15 15 15 15 16 18 19
Maximum temperature 27 27 27 27 25 23 23 23 24 25 26 27
Rain days 27 24 19 17 18 21 20 15 16 20 25

We have collected the data given above over several years with thermometers and hygrometers at the finding places of the chameleons. "Average temperature" means that values of a whole month have been calculated to one average value per month. For example all measured minimum temperature values of February have been calculated to one average minimum temperature for February. In plain language, this means single peak values of a day may be a little higher or lower than the average minimum and maximum temperatures. It is possible that a location has an average maximum temperature of 29°C, but one day during that month it had 33°C or even 35°C there.

The region around Andasibe with the belonging forests Mantadia and Analamazaotra is located in Madagascar's eastern highlands at elevations between 900 and 1250 m above sea level. Thus temperatures sometimes reach temperatures above 25°C, but thermometers rarely climbs above 30°C or only in sunny places. At night, temperatures always drop to 10° to 15°C.

Humidity in Andasibe's rainforest is high all year long. During rainy season, it rains intensively every day, sometimes rain even lasts for days. But also dry season does not differ much besides the fact of cooler temperatures. It still rains at least every other day, in most years more often. Rain, humidity and temperature drop at night are the key features of the region around Andasibe.

2014 UVI Andasibe 2016 UVI Andasibe
Tageszeit = day time, Sonne = sun, Halbschatten = half shade, Schatten = shade

We have measured UVB data with a Solarmeter 6.5 in spring (March, April) at the peak of activity of chameleons in Madagascar. We always measured the values that a chameleon could maximally reach in its habitat.

Unfortunately, we have no ground temperatures for the region of Andasibe available yet.


The following photos show sections of Calumma emelinae habitat during the rainy season near Moramanga. This is a tiny fragment of the rainforest, almost entirely adjacent to secondary vegetation and very much threatened by deforestation. However, the chameleons live only within the intact forest and are not found outside on the edges of rice fields or the like. Calumma emelinae hides very well in dense bushes and likes to live high up in the trees. The remaining photos show sections of the species’ habitat in the Analamazaotra rainforest.

Below you will find some 360° images from Analamazaotra. With the mouse, you can rotate in all directions. If you click on the Theta logo, the images will open in an enlarged view in a separate window. There is also the possibility to run the pictures in full-screen mode. Have fun watching!

Regenwald im Nationalpark Andasibe-Mantadia, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


Regenwald im Nationalpark Andasibe-Mantadia, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA


Regenwald im Nationalpark Andasibe-Mantadia, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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