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Reptiles

The Lined Day Gecko

There are still many geckos on Madagascar whose species status is not completely clear. One of these species is Phelsuma lineata, the Lined Day Gecko. It is named after the black stripe that runs along the side of its body. Currently, four subspecies of the Lined Day Gecko are known, which are distributed all over Madagascar. They differ not only …

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The giant snakes of the red island: Madagascar boas

A bit scary at first sight, but actually always friendly-minded: Madagascar Ground Boas are the largest snakes in Madagascar. Especially large females on Nosy Mangabe reach up to 15 kilograms bodyweight! Nevertheless, Madagascar boas are completely harmless to humans. There are two species of Acrantophis: the Malagasy Ground Boa (Acrantophis madagascariensis) lives in the humid north of the island, while …

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Perfectly camouflaged giants: Uroplatus giganteus

Madagascar’s reptiles offer many a superlative. The smallest lizard in the world, the most colorful chameleons, the smallest iguana, the rarest tortoise – all that is missing is a record-breaking gecko. The Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus giganteus) fills exactly this gap. It measures up to 34.5 cm and is thus the second largest gecko in the world. The giants among …

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The Ground Gecko of the South: Paroedura picta

The hot south is the home of a small and very pretty gecko, the Madagascar Ground Gecko (Paroedura picta). It inhabits spiny and dry forests around Toliara (French: Tuléar) down to the bay of St. Augustin. The somewhat wetter valley along the river Onilahy is also populated. Even further south the species occurs as far as Berenty and Amboasary Sud …

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The Common Big-Eyed Snake

In Madagascar, no one needs to be afraid of snakes. One of the most common snakes in the west and south of the island is the Common Big-Eyed Snake (Mimophis mahfalensis). But it is also one of the most harmless snakes that only bites in the worst of times. If you simply watch it, you will discover exciting behaviours. The …

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Cuvier’s Madagascar Swift: Oplurus cuvieri

It actually isn’t really big, but at least clearly the biggest in its family: The big Cuvier’s Madagascar Swift (Oplurus cuvieri) measures a maximum of 38 cm from the nose to the tip of the tail. Alone the scaly tail constitutes good 20 cm of it. Cuvier’s Madagascar Swift belongs to the family of the Madagascar iguana, that there is …

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Pinocchio in the rainforest: Calumma gallus

Calumma gallus

With its long, colorful nose, this chameleon is probably one of the most interesting, albeit smaller, species among the long-tongued reptiles: Calumma gallus. Some call it the Pinocchio or Cyrano chameleon because of its characteristic long nose. But actually there is no “real” English name. The life of a Calumma gallus begins, as with so many reptiles, in the egg. …

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The gentle giants: Parson’s Chameleons

Calumma parsonii yellow lip aus Ranomafana

Two chameleon species have been fighting over the title of Madagascar’s largest chameleon for decades. So far the Parson’s Chameleon (Calumma parsonii parsonii) won, whose officially measured representatives with scarcely 70 cm of total length created few centimeters more than the in Madagascar omnipresent Giant Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti). Parson’s Chameleons belong to the most impressive reptiles of Madagascar. They live …

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Madagascar’s giant hognose snake

Leioheterodon madagascariensis auf Nosy Mangabe

The Madagascar giant hognose snake (Leioheterodon madagascariensis) probably belongs to Madagascar’s most common snakes. You can meet them almost everywhere on the island: Rainforests of the east coast are part of its home range as well as the hot and dry west oft Madagascar. They can even deal with widely devastated forests. Gardens, campgrounds and hut villages may also be …

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The real treasures of Madagascar

Astrochelys yniphora

An arched, golden shell, relatively long legs and alert, black, shining eyes: That is how the most precious tortoise on Earth looks like. It comes from Madagascar and is named ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) due to the large bony appendage on its breast shell. It serves males to turn over contrahents or females during mating season. And this is quite …

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