Calumma furcifer

CITES quotas
no legal export possible

First description:

(Vaillant & Grandidier, 1880)

Origin of the species name:

The French zoologists Léon Louis Vaillant and Guillaume Grandidier worked together in the French Zoological Society on various publications. They named this chameleon species after the Latin furca for “fork”. It denotes the characteristic nasal process of the males of Calumma furcifer.

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Calumma furcifer

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Vohidrazana: -18.955649, 48.552532


Calumma furcifer occurs in the east of the central highlands. You can find these animals about 25 km east of Andasibe national park in Voidrazana. In this area, the primary forest is almost completely burned, and only some small areas with forest-like secondary vegetation have regrown. The chameleons live in slope regions near rivers that are difficult to access, probably since these terrains remained as of the last shelter due to its less attractive usability for firewood and grazing cattle. This residual habitat is massively threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture and will probably completely disappear in the next years. This chameleon is almost impossible to find yet.

Appearance and size:

Males of Calumma furcifer have a small furcated nose appendage that their species name is dedicated to. With a total length of 15 cm, they belong to the smaller or mid-sized chameleons. Their scales are grass green with an indistinct pale white lateral stripe that has two distinct white spots. The casque is flat and almost directly blends into the back. They have only a dorsal ridge with spines that have rather much distance to each other and do not continue on the tail.


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 pictures show the habitat of Calumma furcifer. The area almost completely consists of secondary vegetation now, and the animals survive in bushes, shrubs and thin trees on hardly accessible hills. There has been no primary forest here anymore for decades, everything is bare around these hills.

Hereinafter you can find some 360° pictures from regions close to Voidrazana. You can move inside these pictures via mouse click in all directions. If you click on the Theta logo, a new window with an enlarged view will open. You will also have the opportunity to look at the pictures in full screen mode. Enjoy!

Regenwald im Schutzgebiet Maromizaha, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, östliches Hochland, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Regenwald im Schutzgebiet Maromizaha, Region Alaotra-Mangoro, östliches Hochland, Madagaskar, April 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA