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Common name
Jackson's chameleon (English), Dreihorn-Chamäleon (German)
Synonym
Chamaeleon jacksonii , Boulenger 1896: 376
Chamaeleo jacksonii , Bonetti 2002: 63
Trioceros jacksonii , Tilbury & Tolley 2009
Chamaeleo jacksonii jacksonii , Boulenger 1896
Chamaeleon jacksonii , var. vauerescecae Tornier 1904
Chamaeleo jacksonii jacksonii , Werner 1911: 26
Chamaeleo (Trioceros) jacksonii , Necas 1999: 165
Chamaeleo jacksonii merumontanus , Rand 1958
Chamaeleo jacksonii merumontanum , Van Hoof et al. 2006
Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus , Eason, Ferguson & Hebrard 1988
Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus , Van Hoof et al. 2006
Similar species
Summary
Chameleo jacksonii or Jackson's chameleon, is a generalist predator native to Kenya and Tanzania. It has been exported to various countries as a pet species. Jackson's chameleons were accidentally released on the island of Oahu in the 1970’s, and have since established populations on all of the main Hawaiian Islands; a recent study has determined that predation on various endemic invertebrate species is occurring, including a 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Oahu tree snail (Achatinella mustelina). The Jackson’s chameleon prefers wet tropical, high elevation habitat, also favored by native Hawaiian plants and animals.
Species Description
Three subspecies are recognised, Chamaeleo jacksonii jacksonii Boulenger 1896 (Mt. Kenya); C. jacksonii merumontanus Rand 1958 (Mt. Meru, Tanzania) and C. jacksonii xantholophus Eason, Ferguson & Hebrard 1988.

C. jacksonii xantholophus adult males are light emerald green with vaguely defined yellow along the throat, shoulders, flanks, and crest scales; the head is darker green or turquoise (Waring, 1997), and adults of the species have the ability to rapidly and dramatically change color in response to other chameleons and/or the presence of perceived threat from predators. Males have three brownish annulated horns, consisting of two preocular horns and one rostral (the latter being longest) (Waring, 1997). Adult females of the Mt. Kenya subspecies typically have no horns; their body color (and that of immature males) varies, ranging from gray to reddish-brown to dark olive, often having light blotches on the darker background color (Eason et al. 1988; in Waring, 1997), but again under stress can alter color pattern and brightness. Males normally attain a length of 25-30 cm (SVL = ~15 cm), females are commonly 5 cm shorter (Fergeson et al. 1991; in Waring, 1997). The tail accounts for about half of the animal's length; it is prehensile and often curled in a laterally-flattened coil as the chameleon is perched motionless, in an ambush posture. The limbs are long and adroit (Waring, 1997). Sets of toes are fused medially such that there are two claw-tipped, opposable paddle-like toes on each foot; these grip the arboreal substrate steadfastly (Waring, 1997). \r\n

A solitary lifestyle was typical of C. jacksonii at all ages at Makawao, on the Hawaiian island of Maui (Waring, 1997) with smaller individuals generally avoiding larger ones. McKeown (1995) noted that adult males will challenge one another to horn-to-horn pushing duels in territorial attempts to drive away competitors, with the weaker, or more submissive male ultimately retreating. Waring (1997) noted that individuals were often found in the same tree or shrub day after day, nevertheless, they remained apart. Immature and adults coexisted in the same plant, but rarely did they get within 0.5 m of each other (Waring, 1997). As with other species of chameleons, juveniles tend to occupy forest understory and grassy habitat, in what is possibly an ontogenetic habitat shift and an adaptive behaviour to avoid cannibalism by adults (Rotem et al. 2006).

Notes
While once claimed to be the sole supply source of Chameleo jacksonii to the USA market, the export of feral C. jacksonii from Hawaii to mainland America is now illegal (Carpenter et al. 2004). The USA is also the largest market for Chameleo spp. accounting for 69 % of all imports with additional supply from captive breeding and extraction from feral populations further supplying the internal market and not being recorded (Carpenter et al. 2004).
Uses
Chameleo spp. including C. jacksonii are popular in the global pet trade with 15, 148 C. jacksonii individuals transferred internationally between 1991 and 1996 (Carpenter et al. 2004). As of the date of publication of this profile, it is legal to buy and sell Jackson’s chameleons in the state of Hawaii.
Habitat Description
Chameleo jacksonii in the Hawaiian Islands are most abundant in wet, shady habitat between 100 m and 1000 m elevation (Holland et al. 2010) and where daytime temperatures range from 21-32 C° (70-90 F°), night time temperatures range from 10-20 C° (50-68 F°), and rainfall is moderate (McKeown 1995). On the Hawaiian island of Maui, C. jacksonii appeared to mainly utilize suburban and adjacent locations that have luxuriant conditions, usually occupying plants having a network of multiple branches. Nevertheless, they were sometimes found on isolated sparsely-foliated shrubs or trees as well (Waring, 1997). They have been observed on a variety of plants in the Makawao area of Maui, including avocado trees, silk oak, banana, Christmas berry, bottlebrush, guava, and papaya (Waring, 1997). They commonly positioned themselves >2 m above the ground; yet individuals in well-branched shrubs were seen 0.5 m above the ground (Waring, 1997). In their native habitat on Mt. Kenya, C. jacksonii inhabit moist, well-vegetated forests, not only in native arboreal canopies but also in fruit and coffee orchards as well as hedgerows (Ferguson et al. 1991; in Waring, 1997). The same pattern of habitat preference has been observed in the Hawaiian Islands (Holland, personal observation).
Reproduction
The species is ovoviviparous, after mating, the female internally retains the eggs and subsequently gives live birth after approximately three months, to 12-40 precocial, predatory young (Waring, 1997). Melrose (pers. comm.; in Waring, 1997) observed the birth of 13 young, each encased individually in a flexible sac; the infants freed themselves from the membranes. Postpartum parental care does not to occur (Waring, 1997; Holland, personal observation). Being a seasonal breeder in its native habitat, a female may produce broods every six months (Lin & Nelson 1981; in Waring, 1997), though in the tropical climate of Hawaii there does not appear to be any seasonality to their reproductive cycle (Holland, personal observation). At birth, the young are 52-55 mm long, with the tail accounting for 23-25 mm of the length, and the color is black, white and grey; they utilize their tongue to capture live prey from the day of birth (Waring, 1997). At the age of five months, juveniles reach a length of 8-10 cm (Schifter, 1975; in Waring, 1997). Juveniles attain sexual maturity at approximately two years (de Vosjoli, 1990; in Waring, 1997).
Nutrition
Chameleo jacksonii has a highly varied diet, and optimal foraging strategy seems to involve feeding on as many different types of prey as are available. Chameleons feed mainly on small invertebrates (e.g. insects, spiders, and snails) captured mainly with their rapidly extensible tongue, which can extend up to 1.5 body lengths (Waring, 1997). However they will also feed on vertebrates smaller than themselves, where prey size is evidently limited by gape size. When presented with large insects or snails, chameleons will tend to not use the tongue strike feeding strategy, but will instead directly approach and grab the prey with the mouth. The sticky tip of the tongue can reach the prey in 0.06 sec (Martin, 1992; in Waring, 1997). The foraging behaviour of C. jacksonii has been described as substantially different from the standard lizard foraging behavior, being somewhere between active predation and ambush or sit-and-wait predation (Hagey et al. 2010). The term \"cruise forager\" has been used to describe this behavior as follows: the chameleon is \"…a species that moves, stops, and merely scans the environment, then moves, stops, and scans, and so on’’ (Regal, 1983; in Hagey et al. 2010). In captivity (and presumably also in the wild), daily water must be available in a way that resembles rain or dew drops on leaves (Waring, 1997). Chameleons will ingest the shiny droplets dangling from the leaf tips though they will rarely drink from a pool of water (Waring, 1997).
Pathway
Chameleo spp. including C. jacksonii are popular in the global pet trade with 15, 148 C. jacksonii individuals transferred internationally between 1991 and 1996 (Carpenter et al., 2004), and still legally sold in the pet trade in the continental US as well as in the state of Hawaii.

Principal source: Holland, Brenden S., Steven L. Montgomery and Vincent Costello, 2010. A reptilian smoking gun: first record of invasive Jackson’s chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii) predation on native Hawaiian species.
Carpenter, Angus I.; J. Marcus Rowcliffe; Andrew R. Watkinson, 2004. The dynamics of the global trade in chameleons.
Waring, G. H. 1997. Preliminary study of the behavior and ecology of Jackson's chameleons of Maui, Hawaii. Report for USGS/BRD/PIERC Haleakala Field Station presented by Hawaii Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) project.

Compiler: IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)

Review: Dr. Brenden Holland, Assistant Researcher, Center for Conservation Research and Training, Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. USA

Publication date: 2010-05-27

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2018) Species profile: Chamaeleo jacksonii. Downloaded from http://www.iucngisd.org/gisd/species.php?sc=1575 on 14-11-2018.

General Impacts
Holland et al. (2010) have recently provided the first conclusive evidence of ecological impact using stomach content analysis, recovering the remains of various endemic and native Hawaiian invertebrate species including the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Oahu tree snail (Achatinella mustelina in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).
Management Info
Preventative measures: Chameleo jacksonii is classified by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife as ‘‘injurious wildlife’’, and export as well as inter-island transport has been prohibited since 1997 (Hawaii Administrative Rule Section 13-124-3; in Holland et al. 2010). Prior to the recent documentation of predation on native Hawaiian invertebrates, there had been a widespread notion that chameleons have not caused any deleterious environmental impacts (McKeown, 1996).
Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Chamaeleo jacksonii
ALIEN RANGE
NATIVE RANGE
  • kenya
  • tanzania, united republic of
Informations on Chamaeleo jacksonii has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Chamaeleo jacksonii in information
Status
Invasiveness
Arrival date
Occurrence
Source
Introduction
Species notes for this location
Location note
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Impact
Mechanism:
Outcome:
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Holland et al. (2010) have recently provided the first conclusive evidence of ecological impact using stomach content analysis, recovering the remains of various endemic and native Hawaiian invertebrate species including the 'Critically Endangered (CR)' Oahu tree snail (Achatinella mustelina in IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).
Red List assessed species 1: CR = 1;
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Locations
UNITED STATES
Mechanism
[1] Predation
Outcomes
[1] Environmental Ecosystem - Habitat
  • [1] Reduction in native biodiversity
Management information
Preventative measures: Chameleo jacksonii is classified by the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife as ‘‘injurious wildlife’’, and export as well as inter-island transport has been prohibited since 1997 (Hawaii Administrative Rule Section 13-124-3; in Holland et al. 2010). Prior to the recent documentation of predation on native Hawaiian invertebrates, there had been a widespread notion that chameleons have not caused any deleterious environmental impacts (McKeown, 1996).
Locations
UNITED STATES
Management Category
Prevention
Bibliography
11 references found for Chamaeleo jacksonii

Managment information
Carpenter, Angus I.; J. Marcus Rowcliffe; Andrew R. Watkinson, 2004. The dynamics of the global trade in chameleons. Biological Conservation 120 (2004) 291�301
Fred Kraus, F. and D. Preston., 2012. Diet of the invasive lizard Chamaeleo jacksonii (Squamata: Chamaelonidae) at a wet-forest site in Hawaii. Pacific Science 66(3):397-404. 2012
Kraus, Fred; Earl W. Campbell; Allen Allison and Thane Pratt, 1999. Eleutherodactylus Frog Introductions to Hawaii. Herpetological Review 30(1), 1999
Summary: Available from: http://www.hear.org/articles/pdfs/herp_review_frogs_1999v30n1.pdf [Accessed 27 May 2010]
General information
Holland, B. S., S. L. Montgomery and V. Costello, 2010. A reptilian smoking gun: first record of invasive Jackson�s chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii) predation on native Hawaiian species. Biodiversity and Conservation 19:1437�1441
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Chamaeleo jacksonii Boulenger, 1896
Keren-Rotem, T., A. Bouskila and E. Geffen. 2006 Ontogenetic habitat shift and risk of cannibalism in the common chameleon (Chameleo chameleon). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 59: 723-731.
McKeown, S. 1991. Jackson s chameleons in Hawaii are the recently described Mt. Kenya subspecies, Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society 26 (3):49.
McKeown, S. 1996. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians in the Hawaiian Islands. Diamond Head Publishing Inc, Los Osos, CA, USA.
Reptiles Database, 2010. Trioceros jacksonii Boulenger, 1896
Summary: Available from: http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species.php?genus=Trioceros&species=jacksonii [Accessed September 8 2010]
Contact
The following 1 contacts offer information an advice on Chamaeleo jacksonii
Holland,
Brenden
Organization:
Assistant Researcher, Center for Conservation Research and Training, Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Address:
3050 Maile Way, Gilmore 408 Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone:
(808) 956-6581
Fax:
(808) 956-2647