Recently a customer sent in a photo asking us to identify a ‘lizard’ they found dead in their garden. First introduced to Hawaii in 1972, the Jackson’s Chameleon has established populations on all of the Hawaiian Islands with high concentrations in the Koolau range on Oahu.
Introduced to Hawaii through the pet trade, ‘chameleon hunters’ continue to supply local pet stores. This species of chameleon is particularly well-suited to captivity and can live up to 10 years in a healthy habitat.
About The Jackson’s Chameleon
Not considered a Hawaii Invasive Species of significance, the Jackson’s Chameleon feeds largely on insects and bugs. Solitary and territorial by nature, they change skin color based on surroundings, emotion and health. Masters of disguise, they can be extremely difficult to spot in the wild.
The Jackson’s Chameleon have independently focusing eyes that can rotate 360 degrees. If you’ve ever watched one in the wild, you know they can focus on their movement with one eye, while watching you with the other. Their tongues have specially equipped suction cup tips for catching prey. They also have lasso long tongues, over 1.5 times the length of their bodies.