Identification of wild Chameleon?


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Help with identification of wild Chameleon?

Hi all; I know very little about Chameleons (well practically nothing) but recently came across one in the wild in South Africa. Could anyone identify it for me? I've put a photo of it here

Curiously it was on the ground (my limited knowledge indicates that most live in trees although I think there is a terrestrial variety in South Africa) and also what on earth is it eating? I thought they ate flies and stuff.

Sorry for my ignorance but if any can help or point me to an online resource (or give me more info) I'd be grateful. If this is the wrong forum/site for such a question again apologies.

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Hey john,
I'm not going to be very much help at all when it comes to identifying that cham. Chris Anderson is a member on this board and I'm sure would be much more help than I. You can either PM him or get his email address off of He's the editor over there.
As for the health of that cham....I can tell you that it is not good. They do usually eat bugs, and its not unusual for them to eat caterpillars or worms. However, that to me does not look like either. I believe that is that animals tongue hanging out. Also, that does not look like a terrestrial chameleon. Unless its a female trying to lay eggs (which it doesn't look like to me) then its probably on its last legs, and sadly, nature seems to be taking its course.
Its a Chamaeleo (Chamaeleo) quilensis and as Noah indicated, that is its tongue. It looks like its been injured somehow and is not doing so well.

Thanks everyone. The injury/illness probably explains why it was sat in the middle of the track in the Kruger park.
yes, it does

with eyes closed and tongue out (and in the middle of a road) it likely is dead or damn close. Poor guy :(
I wondered about that, too

Hey Eric,

do you mean an egg from the cham? It does look like an egg but how would it come up thru it's digestive track?
Not through it's digestive tract, but THROUGH it as in forced out the end by great force.

I didn't want to get too graphic. I've seen reptiles with practically all their guts squished out of their mouths. They get run over by a car, ATV, or even stepped on. Especially if they've been run over from behind - like squeezing a tube of toothpaste as per the instructions: "squeeze tube from bottom". The rolling pin effect from a car tire will have a similar effect on an animal.

I've seen toads that hide under my tires at night. When I back out in the morning, it looks like someone stepped on a ketchup packet - pretty gross.

Sometimes, even nearly intact eggs are visible.
Wow, sounds like you've seen alot of reptile roadkill. I cant say I've seen more than a couple toads and an occasionaly box turtle.
I'll count myself lucky that I havn't seen any eggs coming up out the wrong end of an animal. Although it does look a bit far fetched in that perticular cham. It doesn't look to me like its been run over.
It does not look like it's been run over. Maybe stepped on? Impossible to tell. I've seen turtles with eggs coming out from where their legs were - depends on how they were run over. It's pretty gross, but even with such force, sometimes a few eggs remain intact. It looks like it died gravid and emaciated, suffocated with eggs, and something stepped on it or squished it slightly - not enough to smash the whole animal, but just enough to push some eggs out the path of least resistance.

It just occurred to me that I was seriously discussing the mechanisims of roadkill...
Eric Adrignola said:
I didn't want to get too graphic.

gee Eric, glad you didn't get too graphic! JK:p

I do understand what you are saying. The one in this thread didn't look squished, though, but who knows, it is a very sad sight nonetheless :(
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