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Vincent Mounier
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Coriolistic Anachronisms | Constantia Chameleons – 2012 Pilgrimage

Coriolistic Anachronisms


Constantia Chameleons – 2012 Pilgrimage

The green belt in Constantia is changing. Some areas are being cleared, others encouraged to flourish. Paths are drawn, bridges rebuilt. After an obviously wet spring, the belt looks lush and fresh, covered in flowers.

But the chameleon habitat seems threatened. Of course chameleons are probably spread out in multiple spots but the few low trees or bushes where I have been finding them year after year are now more isolated, the grass around them being mowed on a semi-regular basis. These chameleons seem to need high grass to commute back and forth to shelter and the trees whose foot has been cleared have been deserted.

A curious mind

Likewise, a different kind of tree with thin branches falling all the way to the grass and which had been a steady nursery (I always found young chameleons in there) is now cut off from the ground and empty. These are arboreal creatures and I feel sorry for them.

Maybe this is a normal natural variation. I was not able to find the one(s) that had been spotted last year in the garden. Time will tell. On the belt I found four, possibly five specimens, over a few visits. I would normally look for them in late afternoon when the sun’s heat is still pleasant, as they are ectotherms and rely on outside heat sources for comfort. But it wasn’t very sunny. I sympathized. I guess that makes me a Herpetologist. Oh well. I always wanted to be a Pilot. Life messes with one.

In any case, I was equipped with better glass this year and the pictures came out well. Light was very subdued but skin detail is amazing. Cute as ever.

And at the bottom I added another reptile picture (rescued from the pool) and a four-inch long arachnid (expelled from our living quarters), for balance.

Cape dwarf chameleon
Rain spider – Possibly Palystes castaneus
Slug eater – Duberria lutrix?


  • Dreamer

    Not being a great fan of spiders, specifically of that size, I concentrated on the lovely green specimens. Are they adoptable ? ;-)

    Comment logged on 2012-12-26
  • Marie

    I also object to the spider.

    The chameleon pictures are stunning, and the last one is riveting, with the curled tail…

    St Vincent of the Chameleons.

    Comment logged on 2012-12-26
  • dinahmow

    Huntsman! We had one that I swear could span an octave on the piano!
    And wouldn’t that curly-tailed chap make a stunning lapel pin!

    Comment logged on 2012-12-26
  • Vince

    Huntsman, exactly! And I stick to my spider shot despite global protest.

    Comment logged on 2012-12-26
  • dinahmow

    No protest from me -might have been had it been in my shirt! There is a spider like that on Miniscule -our TV addiction. Yes, we are sad people. Also on Youtube

    Comment logged on 2012-12-27
  • Rob Ashdown

    Stunning images, great writing. Loved them all, including the spider, beautiful arachnid. I want to ask what your new glass is but I keep asking these stupid tech questions (knowing that it isn’t about the glass). Love your blog, cheers, Rob.

    Comment logged on 2013-2-14
    • Vince

      Hi Rob,

      On the contrary, it’s all about the glass… ;-) Glass boosts one’s self-confidence (and often one’s ego too) and allows for a little more daringness. What can I see, I’m a hopeless materialist. It this case, nothing so rare, just the new Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM. Sweet toy.

      Comment logged on 2013-2-14
  • Tanja Glissmann

    Hallo Vince.
    I was so excited to stumble across your blog. I too am in love with these little green creatures. We moved to our new home two years ago and spotted our first chameleons soon after. We unfortunately had to erect electric fences around our property so I planted indigenous plants in one of our beds away from the wall and am pleased yo say we have managed to persuade some of theses sweet critters to come away from the fences. We now have 4-6 large chameleons and I recently (2 months ago) spotted 12 tiny babies. I cannot locate all of the babies any more but see around 6-7 at a time. If ever you want yo come and take some shots, you are welcome. I live in the Rondebosch/Newlands area.

    Comment logged on 2015-6-10

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