5 little-known secrets of the Reunion Island chameleon that you need to know

Holidays in Reunion are full of surprises. Between the sumptuous landscapes and the discovery of unique wildlife, you will never cease to be amazed.

For example, do you know the chameleon from Reunion Island? This unique species surprises many with its unique qualities!

If you don’t know it yet, you’re in the right place: Latitude 21, your luxury hotel in Saint-Gilles-les-Bains , reveals 5 incredible secrets about the chameleon of Reunion Island.

1 – A unique species in the world


First of all, did you know that Reunion Island is the only place in the world where you can observe Furcifer pardalis, a particularly colorful species of chameleon?

This Reunion Island chameleon sports bright colors and intricate patterns, and adapts perfectly to the island’s lush environment, making it a wonder to observe for any nature lover.

During your hikes in the different cirques, you will have to be very observant to be able to hope to see it through the branches of the trees. Fortunately, it is an animal very present in the natural spaces of Reunion.

Indeed, the Reunion Island chameleon thrives in varied habitats, from dense forests to local gardens, taking advantage of the island’s tropical climate.

This not only allows it to benefit from a wide range of natural hiding places but also from an abundance of food, essential factors for its survival and proliferation.

▶ Also read: Reunion, biodiversity hotspot in the Indian Ocean


2 – The chameleon of Reunion Island, an unrivaled camouflage talent


Additionally, the chameleon is famous for its ability to change color, but did you know that this ability is primarily used for communication rather than camouflage?

Color changes can indicate different moods or serve to impress a rival or potential partner.

A surprising social function for an animal often perceived as a master of disguise.

To go even further, the colors of the Reunion Island chameleon can also serve as a warning in the event of a threat .

By switching to brighter hues, they can deter predators or warn others of impending danger, a survival strategy that adds to their incredible defense repertoire.


3 – Exceptional vision


Reunionese chameleons have eyes that can move independently of each other, allowing them to look in two different directions simultaneously.

This particularity gives them a 360 degree visual field. Imagine seeing everything around you without even turning your head: this is the daily life of these fascinating reptiles.

This unique ability makes them formidable hunters . Their vision allows them to detect movements at a distance, which is essential for hunting or hiding.

They can thus spot prey or predator well before they are in the immediate vicinity.


4 – A formidable predator


The Reunion Island chameleon captures its prey – mainly insects – with its tongue , which can quickly extend to an impressive length, sometimes up to twice the length of its body.

This sticky and fast tongue is a real hunting weapon, allowing it to seize insects in the blink of an eye.

In addition to their incredible tongue, chameleons can adapt their diet based on what their environment has available .

This flexibility helps them survive in sometimes changing conditions and contributes to their success as a species.


5 – A colorful reproduction


Finally, the reproduction process of the chameleon on Reunion Island is fascinating.

After fertilization, the female may change color to signal that she is no longer available for mating.

She then lays eggs which are buried and hatch several months later, depending on climatic conditions.

Young chameleons are independent from birth and display a color palette that evolves as they grow .

The life cycle of the chameleon, from egg to adult, is a spectacle of nature.

Young chameleons grow quickly, reaching adult size in less than a year, and continue to change color throughout their lives, making them constantly evolving creatures.


Book an unforgettable stay at Latitude 21 to meet the chameleon of Reunion Island


Are you passionate about the chameleon of Reunion Island? Book an unforgettable stay at Latitude 21, to observe it as much as you want!

We look forward to welcoming you and helping you explore the wonders of the island.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information on the nature excursions that we recommend to meet the Reunion chameleon and many other treasures of our beautiful island.

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