The collared lizard gets its name from the black-and-white markings around its neck. Because some other Madagascar lizards have similar markings, they’re also occasionally called by the same name. So my guidebook prefers to head off any confusion by skipping the “collared” altogether and opting for the name Cuvier’s Madagascar swift.
Madagascar has many species of day geckos, so called because they’re diurnal (active during the day). We’ve seen several lived and peacock day geckos while in the rainforest, and here in Isalo we met a new one: the thick-tailed day gecko. I love its mottled coloring and the slight blue tinge to its tail.
Because we are no longer in the rainforest, we got to meet the Oustalet’s chameleon today. It prefers dry forest, but it’s adaptable nature makes it common in towns and gardens as well. The guidebooks say the Oustalet’s chameleon is not bright green. I think they have a different idea of what constitutes bright than I do.
The elephant-eared chameleon (Calumma brevicorne) is the second kind of chameleon I’ve gotten the chance to encounter here in Madagascar, but so far only at night. That’s because, to the human eye, chameleons are easier to spot at night. During the day, our eyes get tricked by chameleon’s ability to change their color to blend in with their surroundings. But at night …
My first chameleon sighting in Madagascar was this horn-nosed chameleon just a few yards from our room near Andisabe National Park. It can actually be a little easier to find chameleons at night, when they turn a pale color that looks almost white against the darkness. We were lucky to see this little guy next to a little creek right … Read more