The Panther Chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, is a species of chameleon that is a member of the Chamaeleonidae family. It lives throughout the island of Madagascar, varying in color throughout the different regions it is found. It lives mainly in tropical forest biome habitat.
Male Panther Chameleons can grow up to 20 inches in length (including the tail). However, they usually tend to be about 17-18 inches. Females are generally much smaller, about half the size. Male Panther Chameleons are also much more vibrantly colored than the females. The different color patterns of Panther Chameleons are commonly referred to as locales, which are named after the geographical location they are found. Female Panther Chameleons generally remain tan and brown no matter what region they are from, but there are slight differences in patterns and colors among the different color phases.
When carrying eggs, females turn dark brown or black and have orange striping to signify to males they have no intention of mating. The exact coloration and pattern of nursing females varies depending on the color phase of the chameleon. This is one method in which different phases might be distinguished from one another.
Female Panther Chameleons lay between 10 and 40 eggs per clutch, depending on the food and nutrient consumption during the period the eggs were being developed. Eggs take as little as 5 months or as long as 14 months to hatch. Sexual maturity will occur at 6 – 12 months depending on the rate of their growth during the early part of their life.