Cameroon Chameleon Field Science

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
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I wanted to share a special podcast interview I did and just released. I was able to speak with Walter Tapondjou who is a field researcher in his native Cameroon. He specializes in chameleons so his interests definitely click with this community. He is one of the few people to have taken pictures of the third subspecies of quadricornis that we rarely hear about. T. quadricornis eisentrauti lives in a small range on the Rumpi Hills. Here is the little guy:
Trioceros quadricornis eisentrauti juvenile 2 copy SQU.jpg Tqeisentrauti.jpg

So eisentrauti has the sail fins but no horns and the gular crest is made of plates instead of spikes. I thought you all may enjoy seeing and hearing more about this rarely seen chameleon!

If you are interested in hearing more about the Cameroon Chameleons you can check out my World Chameleon Species Tour blog here on the forums and listen to his interview on the Chameleon Breeder Podcast. But before you do that take a look at this map and keep this in mind while you are listening. This is of Cameroon in Africa. Do you notice the mountain range that starts in the Gulf of Guinea as islands and then "cuts" through the border of Cameroon and Nigeria? This is the Cameroon volcanic line and it is in these highlands that many of the species that Cameroon is famous for live.

Cameroon mountains 740x740.jpg

The green lowlands by the coast are where you are going to be finding the warmer environment species such as Rhampholeon spectrum, Trioceros cristatus, and Trioceros oweni. It is when you climb up in elevation into the mountains listed there that you start hitting T. montium, T. quadricornis, T. serratus, T. pfefferi, perreti, and wiedersheimi.

So if you haven't already, check out episode 104 of the Chameleon Breeder Podcast and we can talk about the Cameroon Chameleons. Although many of the species are closed to trade, there are many quadricornis in the community and we have some pockets of montium. Europe just got some R. spectrum and T. cristatus and There may be some T. cristatus and T. serratus coming to the US soon. So there are, and will be, a number of people working with these species!

You can listen to the episode on your podcast app or click the picture to listen online.
 Ep 104 Chameleon Forums Post.jpg

I'd love to hear what you think!
Bill
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
They are beautiful. I just got the newsletter about this podcast! May I ask with the sail fins are they ornamental or does it serve a particular purpose?
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
They are beautiful. I just got the newsletter about this podcast! May I ask with the sail fins are they ornamental or does it serve a particular purpose?

I believe they are completely ornamental. There is no defense, mobility, or thermoregulation properties of the sails that I know of. And I haven't heard of any studies that suggest otherwise. Though if anyone here has run across something that suggests another purpose for them I would very much like to see it!

Although I will say that it gives them a little extra gliding action. When they want to escape a predator they leap into space and roll into a tight disc shape and spin away into the brush. They figure they will take their chances with the fall than the certainty of being eaten. Not all do this. But A number of wild caught quads did this until they calmed down a bit. They usually stop doing this soon into the tenuous relationship and I have never seen a captive hatched individual do this. I do not think that the crests were developed specifically for this, but wouldn't that be a wild evolutionary twist? What if the more gliding action they got the better the chance that they escaped predators and survived? Fast forward 100s of thousands of years and we would be seeing some pretty wild sail fins!
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was thinking, Neccas posted about them a wild ago and he discuced with someone here that they may not being quadricornis, their gular Crest could Point out to be of bradypodium aswell as the other traids poiting out to be quadricornis. Has this species recently being described?
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I was thinking, Neccas posted about them a wild ago and he discuced with someone here that they may not being quadricornis, their gular Crest could Point out to be of bradypodium aswell as the other traids poiting out to be quadricornis. Has this species recently being described?

It hasn't been re-evaluated yet. eisentrauti could very well be reclassified as soon as taxonimists get back around to looking at the quad group.
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
So they jump and spin? Like a Chameleon Sonic the Hedgehog?
I admit to not knowing much about Sonic the Hedgehog, but it is jumping out into mid-air, rolling into a ball, but because of how they are shaped it is a disc. I do not think they purposefully spin, but it just kind of happens. Not like a buzz saw. Just like you would expect if you tossed a drink coaster into the air. It is just hard to do it without some spin happening. I tried to get it on video, but I really didn't like my quads leaping into space and they wouldn't do it once I got a nice soft landing spot for them.
 

Monties1982

Avid Member
I was thinking, Neccas posted about them a wild ago and he discuced with someone here that they may not being quadricornis, their gular Crest could Point out to be of bradypodium aswell as the other traids poiting out to be quadricornis. Has this species recently being described?
T. q. eisentrauti was originally classified as a seperate species, but they did a genetic survey several years ago of cristatus complex chameleons and found that T. q. eisentrauti was only as genetically distinct from T. q. quadricornis as T. q. gracilior is, so they reclassified it as a subspecies of T. quadricornis.
 
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