Panther Chameleons

Cool Colors

Panther chameleon subtypes are named by their geographical location, otherwise known as locale (i.e. Nosey Be, Ambanja, Ambilobe). The subtypes vary in coloration. For example, Nosey Be chameleons are blue or turquoise and Ambanjas are green or blue with red or blue bars. Breeders also select for certain colors. My daughter has a designer Ambilobe panther named Jellybean. He is brightly colored displaying blue, red, yellow, orange, and green with blue bars on his body and red bars on his tail.

Panther Chameleon Color
LocaleTypical Male Color
Nosey Be, Ankify, Ambanja blue
Antsiranana, Sambava red, green, or orange
Maroantsetra, Tamatave primarily red

Despite the color the chameleon normally is, chameleons can change color based on light, temperature, and their mood and temperament. They do not change color to match their environment as a form of camouflage. Breeding males will display bright colors to females. They also display bright colors in the presence of other males. Females are not very colorful, and are usually brown or orange brown. They turn dark when scared, which is what happened many years ago when my cat took hold of my chameleon for a short time. All panther chameleons are born with dull brownish colors. As they grow older, the males will become more colorful up to about 18 months in age.

When physicists and biologists collaborated on their research, they discovered that color in a chameleon is created by both their pigment color and structural color. The video below explains the science of how chameleons change color.