Where Do Chameleons Live?

Chameleons are native to Africa and Eurasia, and most species live in trees. They live in a variety of different habitats, including grasslands, but many inhabit tropical forests. Half of all species of chameleons are from Madagascar.

Chameleons are adapted for life in the trees, although some species live in leaf litter along the forest floor or in the desert. They have unique paws that are able to tightly grip branches, and many have prehensile tails that provide a fifth gripping surface. Most species are from sub-Saharan Africa, but the natural habitat of the so-called common chameleon ranges as far north as Spain and as far west as the Middle East. Several species live in South Asia and the East Indies. Chameleons also reside as invasive species in Hawaii, California and Florida.