Cuban False Chameleon

Name: Cuban False Chameleon
Scientific name: Chamaeleolis chamaeleonides
Range: Cuba
Habitat: Forests
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: snails
Diet in the zoo: reptilian diet
Location in the zoo:  Herpetarium

Physical description: 

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  • Height 10 in shoulder
  • Body length up to 2 ft  long
  • Weight 10-15 lbs
  • Color like a silverish color 
  • Tail is long and curls at the end
  • This animal does not have any ears 
  • It has a horn in the center.
  • Males and females are about the same.
General information: 

Closely related to Anoles, these lizards are found only on Cuba.  They are  named for their chameleon-like behavior -- very slow movements and independent eye motion.  They also have very long tongues.  They are unique in that they feed predominantly on snails and insects. 

Special anatomical, physiological 
or behavioral adaptations:

The behavior of Cuban Chameleons is related to the that of the true chameleons.  Although they share some features with the true chameleons, they have no color change ability at all.  In addition, they do not eat the same thing as the true Chameleons.  


Comments about the lions of the Fort Worth Zoo:

The Cuban False Chameleon is the only one they have from what I saw.  It is unique in that it looks and acts just like a true chameleon, but it does not change color at all.  That is why it has the name it has.  Fort Worth is the first U.S. zoo to reproduce this species in captivity.

Personal Observations: 

Like the Iguana I own.  It really just crawls around and likes to climb the branch a lot.  It really just sometimes stays in one spot all day like my Iguana also and just sits there.

Source Materials and Related Links:
  • Birmingham zoo
  • Thanks to for granting permission to use San Diego zoo photos for educational purposes
    Page author: Jamal Isom 

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