Local form Ampitabe

Furcifer pardalis Lokalform Lac Ampitabe
Furcifer pardalis Lokalform Lac Ampitabe
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Ampitabe -18.595030, 49.216733 Palmarium Hotel Ankanin/\'Nofy, Vohibinany, Toamasina, Madagaskar (Directions)

Distribution of the local form Ampitabe:

Lake Ampitabe is located about 90 km south of Toamasina (Tamatave), only about 200 m away from the Indian Ocean on the eastcoast of Madagascar. At the edge of the lake are some hotels (e.g. the Akanin’ny Nofy), the surrounding area is almost completely privately owned. You can only reach it by boat via Canal des Pangalanes, there is no overland route leading to the lake. The secondary vegetation around the lake has neither huge plantations nor countless rice fields, so the habitat for panther chameleons has been remaining widely untouched for years. In addition, a local reforestation project ensures that cleared areas are replanted. Usually, panther chameleons avoid to move very close to the lake but prefer living at least several meters deep in the forest.

Appearance of the local form:

The male panther chameleons from lake Ampitabe are orange-red colored, some specimen are deeply red with white stripes. Younger animals still show a certain amount of green. We assume that the red color may intensify with advancing age. It is unclear whether this local form originally had exactly these colors around lake Ampitabe. There are rumors that the former owner of some of the hotels collected animals from other areas and brought them here just for tourists.

Weight table

Gewichtstabelle Furcifer pardalis 2018

Since 2015, we have been measuring the weights of most chameleons that we found in Madagascar, of course only if practicable with calm animals (and working scales). Over the long term, we want to get an average weight in proportion to the snout-vent-length (measured from the tip of the nose to the cloaca) from a large number of measurements for each Madagascan chameleon species. It is important to know that weights were all measured at the end of the rainy season when the chameleons have been having the highest food supply of the year. So our table may show the maximum weights of chameleons in Madagascar. Triangular symbols in females mean not pregnant, spherical symbols mean pregnant. Despite our earlier assumptions, it has turned out that in Furcifer pardalis, there seem to be no significant differences in SVL-weight-ratio between the different local forms.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature 26 26 26 25 24 22 21 21 22 23 25 26
Minimum temperature 22 23 21 19 17 17 17 17 18 19 21 22
Maximum temperature 30 30 30 29 28 26 25 27 26 27 29 30
Rain days 20 19 20 15 14 13 16 15 13 13 15 19

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 climate at Lake Ampitabe and in Manambato is warm all year round, and the nearby Indian Ocean usually brings a light breeze. This makes it a popular place for travelers to relax - it never gets cold here. During the day temperatures can easily exceed 30°C, in the dry season from April to October they are slightly lower.

At night the temperatures cool down a bit. But the night temperature never goes far below 20°C. During the whole year, there is a moderate amount of rainfall, so that the rain forest remains continuously green.

2015 UVI Lac Ampitabe
Tageszeit = day time, Sonne = sun, Halbschatten = half shade, Schatten = shade

We have measured UVB data with a Solarmeter 6.5 in spring (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 lake Ampitabe available yet.


The habitat close to lake Ampitabe consists of lowland rainforest with slender, young trees and a soft, elastic foliage layer on the ground. Some fruit trees such as mangos or lychees can be found at the edge of the forest. Panther chameleons mainly settle the areas inside the rainforest but can deal with a Ravenala to climb at sometimes, too. We’ve not found panther chameleons very close to the shore here.

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

Regenwald im Reservat Akanin’ny Nofy, Region Atsinanana, Ostküste, Madagaskar, März 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Regenwald im Reservat Akanin’ny Nofy, Region Atsinanana, Ostküste, Madagaskar, März 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Regenwald im Reservat Akanin’ny Nofy, Region Atsinanana, Ostküste, Madagaskar, März 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Regenwald im Reservat Akanin’ny Nofy, Region Atsinanana, Ostküste, Madagaskar, März 2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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