Trioceros goetzei nyikae
Status: Least Concern
Description: The Nyika Whistling Chameleon is typically brown or gray in color, with darker spots or stripes. It is a small to medium-sized chameleon, with males growing up to 16.5 cm in total length and females growing up to 12.7 cm in total length. It has a long prehensile tail that it uses to help it climb trees and other plants.
The nyika whistling chameleon is a species that can be found in grasslands very high up and most commonly on the nyika plateau in Tanzania. They can also be found in Zambia and Malawi. It is named after its distinctive whistling call, which it uses to communicate with other chameleons.
Length: up to 16.5cm
Ecology and Behaviour
The nyika whistling chameleon will normally make hissing noises when it feels threatened and it can spit out saliva as a way to deter predators.
The nyika whistling chameleon is a carnivore that eats a variety of invertebrates, although large individuals may take geckos and other chameleons. The species is itself commonly preyed on by snakes such as the boomslang and the twig snake.
The nyika whistling chameleon is viviparous, meaning newborns develop within the mothers womb and can walk immidietely after being born. Newborn animals of this species have been reported between December and March.
It is categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a, " Least Concern ".
Distribution and Habitat
The nyika whistling chameleon inhabits mountain plateau grasslands above 1,400 m on nyika plateau in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. It can be found perching on grasses and ferns.
Interaction with humans
Culturally, the chameleon is one of Zambian’s most feared and misunderstood reptiles. They are considered to be bad omens, especially if you see one crossing the road. They are also locally thought to be poisonous and if you are bitten by one you will then turn into different colours (They are not poisonous, nor their spit and you won't change colours ).
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