Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Chordata > Class: Reptilia > Order: Squamata > Family: Chamaeleonidae > Genus: Chamaeleo > Species: Chamaeleo chamaeleon

European chameleon - Chamaeleo chamaeleon (Linnaeus, 1758)

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Quick facts

Threat status Europe Not Applicable (IUCN)
EU conservation status by biogeographical region Mediterranean - Poor
Protected by EU Habitats Directive and 3 other international agreements
Most preferred habitats
  • grassland
May also occur in
  • agricultural mosaics
  • cropland
  • heathland and shrub
  • sparsely vegetated land
  • urban
  • wetlands
  • woodland and forest
Natura 2000 species code 1235


The distribution map is currently disabled. A new map solution will soon become available. In the meantime, please consult other species distribution map providers listed in the Other resources panel below.

Threat and conservation status

IUCN Red List status of threatened species

The IUCN Red List threat status assesses the risk of extinction.

IUCN Red List Category
Not Evaluated
Near Threatened
Regionally Extinct
Not Applicable
Extinct in the Wild
Data Deficient
Least Concern
Critically Endangered

EU conservation status

Conservation status assesses every six years and for each biogeographical region the condition of habitats and species compared to the favourable status as described in the Habitats Directive. The map shows the 2013-2018 assessments as reported by EU Member State. Assessments are further detailed in the summary document available behind the link below.

Natura 2000 sites

Not available

Legal status

Legal text Annex Conditions More information
Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora - consolidated version 01/01/2007 (EU Habitats Directive)
Convention on the conservation of European wildlife and natural habitats (Bern Convention)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Commission regulation (EU) No 1320/2014, of 1 December 2014, amending Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein (EU regulation of trade of fauna and flora)

Common names and synonyms

Common Name Language Reference
Camaleao Portuguese Gasc J.P. and al.
Camaleón común Spanish Gasc J.P. and al.
Camaleonte Italian Gasc J.P. and al.
Caméléon commun French Gasc J.P. and al.
Europäisches Chamäleon German Gasc J.P. and al.
European chameleon English Gasc J.P. and al.
Synonym Author
Lacerta chamaeleon Linnaeus, 1758
Chamaeleo parisiensium Laurenti, 1768
Chamaeleon vulgaris Daudin, 1802
Cameleo siculus Grohmann, 1832
Chamaeleo cinereus Strauch, 1862
Chamaeleo saharicus Miller, 1887
Chamaeleon fasciatus Smith, 1866
Chameleon parisientium Bosca, 1880
Chamaeleon hispanicus Fitzinger, 1843
Chamaeleon rimulosus Gravenhorst, 1843
Chamaeleo carinatus Merrem, 1820

Other resources

Fauna Europaea Fauna Europaea
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Habitats Directive Art. 17-2006 summary
ITIS (Valid name) Interagency Taxonomic Information System
NCBI search National Center for Biotechnology Information
PESI (Accepted) Pan-European Species directories Infrastructure
Species+ Species+ by UNEP-WCMC
Wikipedia Wikipedia

External data

Reportnet deliveries

Files delivered through Reportnet with relevance to this species.

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100