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Fischer's chameleon
- Kinyongia fischeri

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If a «Fischer's chameleon» in a pet store or elsewhere, it is not uncommon for it to be another species of two-horned chameleon in the same genus.
Fischer's chameleon
Fischer's chameleon – Denise Chan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Origin / Distribution

The species is endemic to Tanzania.

The Fischer's chameleon (Kinyongia fischeri) split into several species 2008. Most of them are potentially or critically endangered. They are medium-sized chameleons that are characterized by having two nasal horns., and which are popular with private carers, especially in the United States, but rarely seen in European zoos. Usually, not a real Fischer's chameleon, but representatives of other species of the complex Kinyongia fischeri.

Characteristics / Appearance

The Fischer's chameleon reaches a total length of 26 – 33,5 cm., the females being much smaller than the males. The queue occupies between 15 and 20 cm.. The most prominent feature is the strongly laterally compressed and warty snout processes., that can measure up to 20 mm in males. In females they reach 8 mm is missing completely. A helmet is only vaguely present. The first third of the back bears a crest formed by a loose row of spiny scales..


The Fischer's chameleon It inhabits the edges of humid mountain forests and, possibly, in neighboring plantations and gardens, at an altitude of 800-1.700 m, with an annual rainfall of 800-2.000 mm, and with a dry season of 2-3 months.


The Fischer's chameleon prefers to eat beetles and grasshoppers, but also takes other invertebrates and small vertebrates. Mating females are light green with a red head.. 47-55 days after mating, the female lays between 10 and 21 eggs in a hole 15-20 depth cm. The young grow rapidly and can reach sexual maturity at 6 months. The most important predator of the fishing chameleon is the hummingbird (Dispholidus typus).

Threats to the species

State of conservation ⓘ

Status Near Threatened ⓘ (UICN)ⓘ

The Fischer's chameleon (Kinyongia fischeri) is listed as potentially threatened on the IUCN Red List since 2014 because the area of ​​the species is small and the habitat is fragmented. The habitat is gradually disappearing due to conversion of forests to farmland, logging and underuse of crops. The same goes for the Kinyongia boehmei, Kinyongia tavetana, Kinyongia matschiei, Kinyongia multituberculata and Kinyongia vosseleri, are classified as critically endangered. Kinyongia uluguruensis It is not considered in danger of extinction.

International trade is regulated by CITES Appendix II.

Among 2001 and 2015, Tanzania exported an annual average of about 3.700 animals. The main buyers were the United States, with a 53%, Germany, with a 13% (a few 470 animals per year) and japan, with a 10%. But, It was rarely the Kinyongia fischeri Properly said, but mainly from Kinyongia multituberculata, Kinyongia matschiei, Kinyongia vosseleri and possibly Kinyongia tavetana and Kinyongia boehmei. Exports of hatchlings from Europe and North America are insignificant

The "Fischer's chameleon" in captivity

The terrarium

The Fischer's chameleon should normally be kept alone. To support an adult individual, A well-ventilated and humid terrarium is recommended. 4 x 3 x 6 times (length x widht x hight) the length of the head and torso, that is to say, a few 60 x 45 x 90 cm for a large male. If they stay in pairs, you have to add a 20% of the ground surface.

The terrarium should be equipped with spotlights and UV lamps and have plenty of climbing branches and a water trough. It is recommended to plant the back and side walls with, for example, Ficus benjamina. A mixture of sand and peat is suitable as a substrate that should always be kept slightly moist..

The substrate for the terrarium Fischer's chameleon should be loose and absorbent. These may include, a mixture of sand and peat is suitable. If you have a female, it is important that the substrate is filled to a sufficient height. In this case, the substrate must have at least 20 centimeters high so that the chameleon can bury its eggs.

Air temperature should vary between 24-28°C during the day, locally up to more than 30°C and drop about 10°C at night. Relative humidity should be 50-70% during the day, with slightly higher night values.

Buy one "Fischer's chameleon"

If a “Fischer's chameleon” in a pet store or elsewhere, it is not uncommon for it to be another species of two-horned chameleon in the same genus. The gender Kinyongia includes now 18 species; Kinyongia fischeri It is one of the species that is least kept in captivity.. Often an apparent Fischer's chameleon hides close relatives like Kinyongia multituberculata, Kinyongia matschiei or Kinyongia boehmei.

The prices of Fischer's chameleon are usually correspondingly high due to this rarity. It is difficult to give a general amount because it depends on the seller, but you probably won't get a Fischer's chameleon for less than 100 EUR.

The fact that the real Fischer's chameleon is rarely offered is also due to its comparatively small area of ​​origin.

Videos "Fischer's chameleon"

Chameleon Showdown - Giant Monkey-tailed Fischer's Chameleons

Alternative names:

1. Fischer's chameleon, Fischer’s two-horned chameleon, Nguru blade-horned chameleon (English).
2. Caméléon nain de Fischer (French).
3. Fischer's Zweihornchamäleon (German).
4. Camaleão de Fischer (Portuguese).
5. "Camaleón de Fischer" (español).

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