Jackson’s Chameleon

Jackson’s Chameleon  Trioceros jacksonii

Type of Animal:

Forests, woodlands, wooded/forested suburbs, wet shady areas, mountain thickets

SC Kenya & N Tanzania. Invasive in Florida & Hawaii.

Males have distinct 3 horns (2 above eyes, 1 on nose), sometimes called 3 horned chameleon, females lack horns or have nubs but sometimes have single horn or even 3 (smaller than male horns), bright green w/ some traces of blue & yellow, can change color like all chameleons, can even turn black when distressed, babies born brown, yellow, dark, dusty, or light crest, look like mini triceratops.

Crickets, grasshoppers, planthoppers, katydids, caterpillars, beetles, dragonflies, insect larvae, worms, roaches, flies, snails, fruit, vegetables, millipedes, isopods, centipedes, spiders, smaller lizards, small birds

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos & breeders


Additional Info:


Male-1.9 oz
Female-1.5 oz
Young-1 oz

5-9 months 

Life Span:
Females 4-5 years, males 8 years

Body Length:
Male-8-10 in
Female-7-8 in
Young-4 in

Tail Length:
Male-4 in
Female-3 in

Main predators are snakes, birds, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals.

Males use horns to joust w/ other males & these fights tend to be highly ritualized.

Sexually mature at as young as 4-5 months but usually don’t start breeding until 9 months.

Unlike many chameleons, this species is ovoviviparous (embryos develop inside mom’s body until ready to hatch), giving birth to 8-35 “live” young.

Can be decent pets for intermediate reptile keepers. Some even tolerate small amounts of handling but they’re better as a sit-and-observe pet rather than being handled.

They live in trees (arboreal).

Females often have 2 litters per year, w/ larger one in June & smaller one in December.

Named after British explorer/ornithologist/colonial politician Frederick John Jackson.

Fun Fact(s):
Eyes can move independently of each other & swivel up to 180 degrees.

Eyes very similar to binoculars & have optical zoom.

Can change color in as little as 20 seconds.

Name chameleon in Latin means earth lion.

Can pull body weight up just by using prehensile tail.

Tongue can be more than a foot long, perfect for snagging prey from afar.

Only takes 70 milliseconds for tongue to propel itself & come to full extension.

Hydrate themselves by drinking dew off leaves.

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