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Origin of the species name:
David Prötzel from the State Zoological Collection Munich (Germany) dedicated the species to his girlfriend Julia Forster.
Up to now, Calumma juliae is exclusively known from a very small forest area near Moramanga in the eastern highlands of Madagascar. It is rather a remnant of forest, which is already almost completely surrounded by rice and cornfields. Whether the species occurs in other forest remnants of the region is not yet known. However, one must currently assume that the distribution area of the species is not only minutely small but also highly threatened by deforestation.
Look and size:
Calumma juliae belongs to the small chameleons. The females are only 10 to 12 cm long including tail. Characteristic for Calumma juliae are small occipital lobes which are not separated from each other in the middle when viewed from above. The dorsal crest consists of 11 to 14 tubercles.
The females of this species are greyish-beige to reddish-brown in color and have a small, round nose extension with light green scales. Excited animals have light green patterns on the head. The eyelids have bright blue stripes arranged in a circle, in addition, a dark horizontal stripe can run from the nose to the occipital lobes. On the arms and legs, there are slightly larger scales, which are also colored light green, than on the body
Good to know:
Up to now, no male of Calumma juliae has ever been found – therefore it is not yet known what it looks like. It is also unclear whether males exist at all or whether this species – which would be very unusual for chameleons – is possibly capable of parthenogenesis, i.e. reproduction without males.
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.
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.
The following photos show parts of the habitat of Calumma juliae near Moramanga. The small chameleons live here mainly in dense undergrowth between trees with very thin branches.