Malagasy giant chameleon

Malagasy giant chameleon
Female Furcifer oustaleti in the Anjajavy Forest
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Infraorder: Iguania
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Furcifer
Species: F. oustaleti
Binomial name
Furcifer oustaleti
(Mocquard, 1894)

The Malagasy giant chameleon or Oustalets's chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti ) is a very large species of chameleon which is endemic to Madagascar, but also has been introduced near Nairobi in Kenya (though its current status there is unclear).


F. oustaleti occurs in a wide range of habitats, even among degraded vegetation within villages, but is relatively rare in primary forest.


With a maximum total length (including tail) of 68.5 cm (27 in), F. oustaleti is considered the largest species of chameleon, but that claim is occasionally contested by the Parsons chameleon Calumma parsonii as the Parsons tends to be more heavily built but slightly shorter in length.


The diet of F. oustaleti includes, but is not limited to, invertebrates such as large insects. Prey is acquired with a long, muscular tongue.


Furcifer oustaleti walking in the Anjajavy Forest
Oustalet's Chameleon at the Peyrieras Reserve

The generic name, Furcifer, is derived from the Latin root furci meaning "forked" and refers to the shape of the animal's feet.[2]

The specific name, oustaleti, is a Latinized form of the last name of French biologist Jean-Frédéric Émile Oustalet, in whose honor the species is named.[3]


  1. Jenkins RKB, Andreone F, Andriamazava A, Anjeriniaina M, Brady L, Glaw F, Griffiths RA, Rabibisoa N, Rakotomalala D, Randrianantoandro JC, Randrianiriana J, Randrianizahana H, Ratsoavina F, Robsomanitrandrasana E (2011). "Furcifer oustaleti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
  2. Le Berre, François; Richard D. Bartlett (2009). The Chameleon Handbook. Barron's Educational Series. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7641-4142-3.
  3. Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Furcifer oustaleti, p. 198).

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