Scientists have rediscovered an elusive chameleon in Madagascar that was last seen over a century ago. The Voeltzkow’s chameleon is a unique species that have a lifespan of just a few months during the rainy season in northwestern Madagascar. Until the spring of 2018, this species had not been spotted since 1913.
The female chameleon had never been documented before and the study notes that their colouration is “highly variable and can be extremely colourful.” The researchers say that when stressed, the dark green stripes on the females change to black, a violet stripe appears and runs from their cheek to the basis of the tail, and white and black speckles appear on parts of their tail and head. Alternatively, the males largely remain green throughout their lives.
A male Voeltzkow’s chameleon. Credit: