Calumma marojezense

CITES quotas
2011-13 no specimens, 2014-21 each 300 specimens for legal export

First description:

(Brygoo, Blanc & Domergue, 1970)

Origin of the species name:

The zoologists Édouard-Raoul Brygoo, Charles Pierre Blanc and Charles Antoine Domergue of the Institut Pasteur in Antananarivo, Madagascar, named the species after its place of origin Marojejy. Originally they thought it was a subspecies called Calumma gastrotaenia marojezense. When the chameleons were raised to own species in 1997 by Wolfgang Böhme, head of the herpetology department of the Museum Alexander König in Bonn (Germany), the name marojezense was simply kept.

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Calumma marojezense

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Marojejy: -14.446649, 49.671936
Anjanaharibe-Sud: -14.725745, 49.468689
Anandrivola: -15.681799, 49.627991


Calumma marojezense settles the mountain cloud forests of Marojejy at elevations of 750 to 1300 meters. Their habitat is dense rainforest. If you are lucky, you can find these animals in Marojejy national park nearby Camp Marojejya (Camp 2). In spring, the young chameleons are relatively easy to see sleeping on low branches.

Appearance and size:

Calumma marojezense belongs to gastrotaenia group. With a total length of maximally 14 cm, it is one of the smaller chameleons. Coloration is bright to dark green with wave-shaped dark stripes. Younger specimens have white accents on the belly. Along the belly, there run two small, parallel, white lines. Males of Calumma marojezense have a small, white lateral stripe. The following picture shows a juvenile.

Good to know:

We were somewhat puzzled to hear this species being listed on CITES export quotas. This fact is very special because Calumma marojezense exclusively occurs inside protected national parks and nowhere else. Catching animals there is highly illegal.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature 26 26 26 25 25 23 23 22 23 24 25 26
Minimum temperature 24 24 23 23 22 21 20 19 20 21 22 24
Maximum temperature 30 29 29 29 28 27 25 25 25 27 28 30
Rain days 28 23 27 22 24 21 20 18 23 22 16 25

Marojejy mainly consists of rainforest that extends over the eponymic sacred mountain at elevations of 800 to maximally 2100 m above sea level. In the highest areas, climate is cool and vegetation sparse, but most chameleons live in the warmer dense rainforest below.

In Marojejy, there is few difference between rainy and dry season. Humidity is always very, very high. In rainy season, precipitation is more intense with rainfalls that may last for days and sometimes are accompagnied by heavy storms. In dry season, temperatures are a little lower, but it never becomes really cold. And it stills rains almost daily. It really cannot become dry in Marojejy during "dry" season. Humidity is the main key factor of this rainforest.

2014 UVI Marojejy 2015 UVI Marojejy

Tageszeit = day time, Sonne = sun, Halbschatten = half shade, Schatten = shade

We have measured UVB data with a Solarmeter 6.5 in spring (end of March until beginning of 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 Marojejy available yet.


The following pictures show the habitat of Calumma marojezense around Camp Marojejya in Marojejy. This pristine rainforest consists of tree giants. The ground is covered by slippery, mossy, round stones and very lush undergrowth. Ferns, lianas, and moss dominate the scene. You can find these chameleons in high shrubs and bushes, but also on small trees.

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