Also known as Trioceros jacksonii, the Jackson's chameleon or the Jackson's three-horned chameleon is noted to be the Species of the Chamaeleonidae family that thrives in the region of East Africa including Uganda where it is encountered on Uganda safari tours. However, it has been introduced to states of Florida and Hawaii.
Belonging to the Animalia Kingdom, the Chordata Phylum, the Vertebrata
Subphylum, the Reptilia Class, Squamata Order, Lacertilia Suborder,
Iguania Infraorder, Chamaeleonidae Family, Chamaeleoninae Subfamily,
Trioceros Genus and T. jacksonii Species, the Jackson’s Chameleon is an
impressive animal that was first described in 1896 by George Albert
Boulenger who was a Belgian – British zoologist. It derives its
scientific name Trioceros which means three from the range of three (3)
horns that are located on the male heads. Its specific name jacksonii
belongs to the Fredrick John Jackson the first governor of Kenya and
also a re-known explorer and an ornithologist. The Jackson’s Chameleon
features three (3) sub species including the T. j. jacksonii, T. j.
xantholophus and T. j. merumontanus
Regarding the description, the
three (3) horned chameleons are called so as a result of three brown
horns that are possessed by males. The one horn is on the nose called
the rostral horn, the other are above every superior orbital ridge after
the eyes and are called preocular horns. The females of the Jackson’s
Crocodiles do not feature horns. The coloring of the Jackson’s Chameleon
is always bright green where some individual members feature traces of
blue and yellow but it can be noted that like other chameleons, they
also alter colors quickly according to the mood, temperature and health.
The Jackson’s Chameleon are small to medium sized and the mature male
can stretch up to 38cm while females can stretch up to 25cm but the
typical length is usually 15 – 25cm. These Species feature a saw-tooth
shaped dorsal ridge and do not have gular crest. Sexual maturity among
these Species is attained at 5 months of age and their life span varies
but the males tend to thrive longer than the females.
diet, the Jackson’s Chameleon thrive majorly on small insects though
they also feed on centipedes, millipedes, isopods, spiders, small birds,
lizards along with snails that exist in their habitat as at times
explored on Uganda safaris.
It can also be noted the Jackson’s Chameleon is not all that
territorial like other Chameleon Species. The males tend to be dominant
over one another by displaying colors and posturing so as to maintain
rights but no the extent of the physical fights.
Reproduction, though most Chameleons are noted to be oviparous, the
Jackson’s Chameleon gives birth to a live offspring. They normally give
birth to 8 – 30 off springs following a gestation period of 5 – 6
months. The T. j. merumontanus Sub Species can give birth to 5 – 10 live