Florida native chameleons

spawn

Member
It's come to my attention that several non-native chameleons now reside in Florida (when I say now, I don't mean it's recent, just that I recently learned it) including Veileds, Jacksons, and Oustaleti.

I'm just curious what - if anything - people know about these species. Specifically the oustaleti. How do they differ from the specimens that originate in Madagascar in terms of size, color, variation, morph, etc?

The reason I ask is because ideally I'd like Madagascar native, unless the Florida populations are thriving and doing well. Want to ensure good bloodlines.
 

Turningdoc

New Member
None are native. Most were brought in through Miami over the years and released by morons. Same w iguana, Tegu, boas, pythons...............
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Oh yes, the Oustalets are definitely breeding very well. Fish and Wildlife thought they weren't but this is probably the year that the most babies are popping up and they are doing very well, they seem healthy and robust. They haven't been here long enough to change in any regard, so they are no different from oustalets that you would get anywhere else.
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus were once reported in Florida but have been extirpated. Both Furcifer oustaleti and Chamaeleo capytratus are established in parts of Florida with strong breeding populations. Just because they are breeding, however, does not make them native, as the species is ultimately introduced.

I've worked with both Madagascar WC and Florida WC F. oustaleti and wouldn't say that I notice a significant difference between them in general. If you're looking to work with F. oustaleti though, why not either get CB or Florida WC animals and avoid taking them out of their native range? No need to contribute to their importation from Madagascar if you don't need to.

Chris
 

little leaf

Avid Member
Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus were once reported in Florida but have been extirpated. Both Furcifer oustaleti and Chamaeleo capytratus are established in parts of Florida with strong breeding populations. Just because they are breeding, however, does not make them native, as the species is ultimately introduced.

I've worked with both Madagascar WC and Florida WC F. oustaleti and wouldn't say that I notice a significant difference between them in general. If you're looking to work with F. oustaleti though, why not either get CB or Florida WC animals and avoid taking them out of their native range? No need to contribute to their importation from Madagascar if you don't need to.

Chris

awwwww - I was going to Fla in July, and was just going to ask if there were any Jax to hunt up( but it is good they are not running all over due to the fact they do not belong there to start with ) - I just wanted to see them, not so much catch them as I am staying on Marco Island , but wanted to "get away" from all the ppl, thought I would go cham hunting - is there anyplace to go see the "wild" chams?
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
According to the few people I know that catch veileds and oustalets for the pet trade, they seem to be down in the Homestead area with a couple patches around Naples. Essentially, what borders the Everglades. However, they seem reluctant to give more exact locations so that others don't flock there to catch chameleons themselves.

If you send an email to the South Florida Herpetological Society they will probably be willing to tell you where they usually have success sighting them. They do field trips all the time to go chameleon (and other reptile) sighting, so they must know something. So if you'll be in Marco Island you might be lucky enough to be relatively close to the Naples veileds.
 

little leaf

Avid Member
According to the few people I know that catch veileds and oustalets for the pet trade, they seem to be down in the Homestead area with a couple patches around Naples. Essentially, what borders the Everglades. However, they seem reluctant to give more exact locations so that others don't flock there to catch chameleons themselves.

If you send an email to the South Florida Herpetological Society they will probably be willing to tell you where they usually have success sighting them. They do field trips all the time to go chameleon (and other reptile) sighting, so they must know something. So if you'll be in Marco Island you might be lucky enough to be relatively close to the Naples veileds.

Thanks, I will do that- I don't know how much luck I will have ( 1/2 the time I can not even see my bright RED/Green panther right in front of my face when he is in the F/R - lol :p ) but I just thought it would be a fun field trip with my daughter for the day :)
 

Turningdoc

New Member
I'm lucky enough to live here (Naples). Herp societies here usually focus on anole, frog, and croc/gator sighting. Hunting in the Everglades will get you nothing but mosquitoes! My advice, use your time for another drink by the pool.
 
Oh yes, the Oustalets are definitely breeding very well. Fish and Wildlife thought they weren't but this is probably the year that the most babies are popping up and they are doing very well, they seem healthy and robust. They haven't been here long enough to change in any regard, so they are no different from oustalets that you would get anywhere else.


i cant say i agree with you that the fl oustalets are the same as the ones in Madagascar i have a fl wc oustalets and have worked with imported oustalets and the fl wc are more colorful and have less brown and are bigger i go every once in a while to the glades and catch them all the time and you can tell the difference
 

spawn

Member
Thanks for the info guys very interesting. How many chams from import/Florida have you worked with downsouth? Are you sure they weren't just individual circumstances?
 
could have been individual circumstances but the fl males are huge compared to the imports and the fl females have more color on them

Thanks for the info guys very interesting. How many chams from import/Florida have you worked with downsouth? Are you sure they weren't just individual circumstances?
 
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