Distribution of the local form Nosy Be:
The island Nosy Be (which means simply as much as “big island”) is located in northwestern Madagascar in Diana region. It has a size of approximately 312 km² and with 45.000 inhabitants, it is strongly populated. Most people of the largest city of the island, Andoany (French Hellville), live from fishing and tourism. Nosy Be is probably the most famous holiday location of Madagascar, there are especially a lot of Italians here. Unfortunately, the volcanic island has not only got more visitors but also became an island of sex tourism. That is why we visit it rarely today. Nosy Be has an own national park called Lokobe, many nice beaches and dominating secondary vegetation as well as Ylang-Ylang plantations at the rest of the island. Moreover, the islands Nosy Komba, Nosy Faly and Nosy Tanikely are easy to reach by boat. You can go to Nosy Be by airplane via airport Fascene or by boat from Ankify.
Appearance of the local form:
Due to its complete isolation in the Channel of Mozambique, this island has developed a local form of panther chameleons with high color fidelity. Males are turquoise-greenish or -blueish with blue stripes and red dots. The corner of the mouth is always yellow and the eyelids have red rays. Despite they all look very similar to each other, there are small variations among the panther chameleons here, for example, there are almost completely turquoise blue colored specimens without any stripes.
Gewicht = weight in grams, Kopf-Rumpf-Länge = snout-vent-length in cm, Weibchen = females, Männchen = males
Since 2015, we have been measuring the weights of chameleons found by us in Madagascar, as far as the animals (and our scales) participate. In the long term, we aim to obtain an average weight in relation to snout-vent-length (measured from the tip of the nose to the cloaca) for each species from as many measurements as possible. It is important to know that all weights were measured towards the end of the rainy season (= best food supply), so these should be maximum weights on Madagascar. Triangular symbols in females mean not pregnant, round symbols mean pregnant. In Furcifer pardalis, contrary to our original assumption, it has so far turned out that there are no serious differences in the ratio of SVL to weight between the individual local forms.
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.
Climate on the islands in front of Madagascar's north west coast is very warm all year long. Temperatures over 30°C are usual. In the night, temperatures hardly drop below 25°C, during rainy season they may drop much lower until 19°C.
Durin rainy season, it rains a lot and very often. From April to October, climate is mainly dry and sunny on the islands, but it still rains shortly on a regular base.
We have measured UVB data with a Solarmeter 6.5 in spring (end of March) at the peak of activity of chameleons in Madagascar. We always measured the values that a chameleon could maximally reach in its habitat.
The panther chameleons of Nosy Be inhabit two different kinds of landscape. One is the last rainforest of the island, Lokobe. It is located on a small mountain that is densely covered by trees. The ground is rocky and there are many little streams. Moss, ferns, and lianas are everywhere. The second habitat of Nosy Be’s panther chameleons is the absolute opposite: Open landscapes in secondary vegetation all around the island. Palms, shrubs and hotel gardens – they settle quasi everything.