T. cristatus, an impromptu Q and A with Mario Jungmann PART 1


Chameleon Enthusiast
Mario Jungmann is a well known hobbyist, breeder and importer of chameleons. His personal collection spans dozens of montane species, and his hands-on experience makes him a wealth of information about some of the more rare chameleons available in captivity. Below is the first part of an impromptu Q&A I had with him about T. cristatus.

Native Habitat Information:
1. What is the native range of T. cristatus?

Equatorial Guinea (Mbini), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo. Type locality: Gaboon.

2. What kind of habitat do they live in?

They live in typical Afro-Montane forest from low-lands to up to 600m

3. What part of that habitat do they spend their time in (example canopy, low hanging trees, the ground)?

The are undergrowth species to the spend their day mostly between ground level and 2 meters.

4. What are the environmental conditions there?

Typical equatorial conditions so a steady/stable temperature that doesn’t vary much around the year. 21 to 28C during the day and around 18/20C at night. Equatorial Africa has heavy rain seasons so their environment has a high humidity all year round.

Species information:
1. How big are cristatus? Is there a size difference between males and females?

Trioceros cristatus is a middle sized chameleon that average around 26/28 cm in length. Makes are a bit smaller than the females and have a more prominent dorsal crest. Also males usually are more colorful.

2. What is unique about their physical appearance?

Their dorcal crest and blue edged triangle shaped heads. Also the have a shorter tail than most Trioceros species.

3. Are cristatus active chameleons like pardalis, or more sedentary like parsoni?

Not close the both in my humbled opnion. Trioceros is a secretive and high alert species that rely on their camouflage and mimicry. They can be very fast I they decide to be and even jump/hop and curl up and drop if threatened.

4. T. montium, a close neighbour of T. cristatus, are know for being shy, private chameleons. Is this true for cristatus?

They are secretive but inquisitive, that is the main difference with Trioceros montium. The are more visible and do not hide but stay still and wait for the possible threat to pass.

5. Are cristatus active chameleons, or more sedentary?

A more in between species. They are active during the early morning and at nightfall.
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