Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Chameleon Check

September 18th, 2011

In the category of “odd regional habits” I’ve taken to giving the driveway a quick glance to make sure it’s clear of chameleons before backing the car out. I think we’ve only ever run over one in the driveway, but one was more than enough.

Photo by Ron Nagata

These are Jackson’s chameleons. Like most everything else commonly seen in Hawaii, they’re not native to the islands, but were brought in as pets and then escaped or were released. They started showing up in our neighborhood maybe fifteen years ago and they’re quite common now.

Male Jackson's chamelon; photo by Ron Nagataq

Usually they’re in the shrubbery or up in the trees, but now and then they come down and stagger across the driveway with a rather comical gait. Once, we even found a confused looking individual clinging to the back tire of the car.

Female Jackson's chameleon

The males are like mini-Triceratops, with three horns. Females are horns-free. They’re fascinating animals to watch, with their prehensile tales and their long sticky tongues. They’re mostly green as adults, but they’ll sometimes turn a darker color when feeling stressed. The babies are a brown color, like the little one in the photo below:

Baby Jackson's chameleon

They get to be four to six inches long, not counting the tail. That’s big for us. Our other reptiles are little skinks, geckos, and anoles, all quite small.

Posted on: Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 2:35 pm
Categories: Maui.
Tags: ,

One Response to “Chameleon Check”

  1. Glen Says:

    I luv ’em! Hmmm, so _that’s_ where some of your exotic ideas come from! 🙂