Socotran chameleon

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Socotran chameleon
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Chamaeleonidae
Genus: Chamaeleo
Species: C. monachus
Binomial name
Chamaeleo monachus
Gray, 1865
Socotra Island.PNG
Range of Socotran chameleon

The Socotran chameleon, Chamaeleo monachus, is a species of chameleon endemic to the island of Socotra.[1] When alarmed, it makes a hissing noise, and depending on its mood, it may change color.[1] It is endangered by overgrazing, and is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN Red List.[2] The Socotran chameleon lives in dense shrubland, along wadis, and sometimes in palm plantations.


Chamaeleo monachus was first scientifically described by John Edward Gray around 1865; however, he incorrectly identified Madagascar as the type locality. It was not until 1880, when Isaac Bayley Balfour led the first scientific expedition on Socotra, was the correct locality of the species identified.[3]