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Veiled chameleon

***** Location: Yemen
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Animal


Veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

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Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) are frequently referred to as the hardiest of the true chameleons. They are also one of the most colorful species of chameleons, making them ideal for beginners and experts alike. With proper care, they will not only survive, but thrive and breed in captivity.

Animals of both subspecies display a large, cranial fin or casque. Males of both subspecies have higher casques than those of their female counterparts. However, the casques of C. c. calyptratus males are considerably larger than those of male C. c. calcarifer. Adult male C. calyptratus can reach lengths of up to 24 inches, including tail. Females are smaller, averaging about 13 inches in total length.

Both subspecies of C. calyptratus survive in the climatically diverse area of the western coast of Yemen and the southwestern coast of Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has a low coastal plain bordered by the Red Sea. This plain rises sharply into mountain peaks with can reach altitudes of 12,000 feet. This extreme topography creates different climates. Moisture evaporating from the Red Sea is trapped by the mountains. As a result, the low plains along the coast are not only hot, but humid as well. As the moisture moves up into the mountains, it forms clouds which rain down on the western slopes.

Some areas here receive large amounts of rainfall. In Ibb, a town north of Ta'izz, the mountains receive as much as 80 inches of rain annually. This rainfall supports lush vegetation and an abundant insect population. Much of this rainfall does not reach the higher mountain regions, so the plateaus are much dryer. To the north, in Saudi Arabia, where the mountains are absent, the climate is quite arid.
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Worldwide use

North America

According to William Higginson, "Haiku World",
all lizards (including chameleons) are

kigo for summer

Things found on the way


a leaf in the wind
licks dew drops..
veiled lizard

Heike Gewi, Yemen, June 2008


.....spring rain
the chameleon busy
.....being green

© Ernest Berry , Picton, New Zealand, 2004

Related words

lizard 蜥蜴 (とかげ) tokage Japan, Kenya



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Ella Wagemakers said...

Interesting, that the word 'chameleon' is a kigo! My first poetry collection is called Sorrows of the Chameleon.

a quick
change of mind and colours
the chameleon


a quick
change of mood and colours
the chameleon

What never fails to intrigue me is its tongue and sense of direction. Perhaps not my favourite animal, but one I find most intriguing. I think it's one of nature's more creative inventions.

:>) Ella

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