Armed with headlamps and flashlights, a team of researchers in northwestern Madagascar searched through the night for an elusive chameleon, Voeltzkow’s chameleon (Furcifer voeltzkowi), which hadn’t been spotted for more than 100 years. On the sixth day of their expedition, they found it. But the species wasn’t in the forest as they expected: it was in a large, uncultivated hotel garden. “It was a special mixture of great pleasure, excitement and relief,” expedition leader Frank Glaw, head of the Department of Vertebrates at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology (Zoologische Staatssammlung München), told Mongabay in an email. “And the good feeling of a happy end!” A male (right) and female (left) Voeltzkow’s chameleon. Image by Frank Glaw. In total, the team found three males and 15 females roosting on tree branches near the hotel. But this wasn’t the only discovery — they also noticed that the skin of the females could change into vibrant colors. “A female sleeping on a branch at night is not very colourful and relaxed females are largely green,” Glaw said. “But if a female encounters a conspecific male or gets excited when handled by humans they quickly get a very contrasting pattern including black, white and blue as predominant colours. The colour change is probably most intense if the females carry fertilized eggs in their body.” The expedition took place in 2018, but the team only recently published its findings in the German scientific journal Salamandra. In the paper, they compare the Voeltzkow’s chameleon to…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer