Tuesday 21 May
Big-nosed chameleon (Calumma nasutum)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Big-nosed chameleon fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Big-nosed chameleon description
One of the smallest of the arboreal chameleons (3), the big-nosed chameleon is named for the large, paddle-like appendage which projects from the nose region (2). This flexible appendage is larger and more square-shaped on males, and is believed to be used to recognise potential mates (2). Male big-nosed chameleons can also be distinguished by the more pronounced casque, a bony head crest (2). The skin of both sexes is usually a shade of brown, reddish-brown, tan, or light green (2) (3), with females not receptive to mating rapidly developing a striking display of whitish-blue to turquoise spots on top of the head and on the sides of the nasal appendage (2). Like other chameleons, this big-nosed species has a prehensile tail, fused toes, distinctive turret-like eyes and an impressively long tongue (4).
- Also known as
- Bignose chameleon, Leaf-nosed chameleon.
- Calumma nasuta, Camaeleon nasutus, Chamaeleo nasutus, Chamaeleo radamanus. Top
- An animal which lives or spends a large amount of time in trees.
- To have kept eggs warm so that development is possible.
- Capable of grasping.
- Primary forest
- Forest that has remained undisturbed for a long time and has reached a mature condition.
- Secondary forest
- Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.
CITES (July, 2007)
- Glaw, F. and Vences, M. (1994) A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. M. Vences and F. Glaw Verlags GbR, Germany.
- Bartlett, R.D. and Bartlett, P.P. (1995) Chameleons: Everything About Selection, Care, Nutrition, Diseases, Breeding, and Behavior. Barron’s Educational Series Inc, New York.
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptile and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Jenkins, R.K.B., Brady, L.D., Huston, K., Kauffmann, J.L.D., Rabearivony, J., Raveloson, G. and Rowcliffe, J.M. (1999) The population status of chameleons within Ranomfana National Park, Madagascar, and recommendations for future monitoring. Oryx, 33(1): 38 - 46.
Madagascar Wildlife Conservation (April, 2008)
Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots (April, 2008)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Big-nosed chameleon biology
Chameleons are generally solitary and move about on slender branches and twigs, gripping with their fused toes. The prehensile tail provides an additional ‘hand’ on this precarious walkway as they scan the surrounding area with their independently mobile eyes for small insect prey (4). When sleeping or resting, the big-nosed chameleon is said to position itself head downwards as it clings to a narrow twig or vine (3).
In captivity, female big-nosed chameleons have been recorded producing several clutches of two to six eggs each year (3). These eggs are incubated for about 90 days, at a temperature of around 23 degrees Celsius (2) (3).Top
Big-nosed chameleon range
Occurs in the humid regions of eastern and northern Madagascar (2).Top
Big-nosed chameleon habitatTop
Big-nosed chameleon status
Listed on Appendix II of CITES (1).Top
Big-nosed chameleon threats
Unlike many other chameleons, the big-nosed chameleon is believed to not be currently threatened by collection for the international pet trade (1); however, other reports indicate that the trade in this species is slowly starting to grow (3). While the big-nosed chamelone has a relatively large distribution, low densities of this species recorded in some areas indicate that certain populations may be at risk from any potential threats (5), such as the habitat destruction impacting many of Madagascar’s incredible reptiles (4).Top
Big-nosed chameleon conservation
The big-nosed chameleon is listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), so that any international trade in this species that does occur should be carefully monitored (1). There are currently no other known conservation measures in place specifically for the big-nosed chameleon, but the government of Madagascar, along with many local and international conservation organisations, are working to conserve the unique biodiversity of this remarkable island (6) (7).Top
Find out more
For further information on conservation in Madagascar see:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.