It is always a special thrill to come across nature’s camouflage expert, locally known as the Flap Necked Chameleon. They are certainly one of our most unique reptiles when it comes to the way it goes about its daily life. As you’ll see from these images the chameleon is lime-green in colour, which indicates a relaxed and calm state. This little chap was not bothered with our presence which gave us good opportunity to study him a while longer. The Flap Necked Chameleon will present dark colours to indicate stress in any particular situation. On occasion, this aids the small reptile in warning off predators.
In Zululand, where I am from, the local Zulu men told me not to lock eyes with chameleons as they would shoot bolts of lightning from their mouths! That would have been a fatal encounter they said, as it would certainly have killed the person once the eyes were locked! I soon realised that this was not the case and that these stories were told by the elders to stop the children from playing and accidently hurting them.
So let me tell you the real story of the chameleon. They spot their food with two individually mono-directional eyes. This maximises their field of view to locate prey in trees. Prey includes a variety of invertebrates, although large individuals may take geckos and even other smaller chameleons!