Furcifer lateralis lateralis take their name from the striking lines running laterally along both sides of their bodies, they generally have 3 to 4 ocelli lying a long this line. Often referred to by their common name carpet chameleon as when displaying they can resemble the bright colours and patterns of an oriental carpet.
The carpet chameleon is one of the smallest true chameleon species.
They can be found throughout mid and southern Madagascar, laterails have a very diverse habitat and can be spotted anywhere from tropical rain forest, arid spiny forests to montane grassland. Often seen at ground
level, in and amongst shrubs and bushes, as well as in the canopy of tree tops.
This species can grow to lengths between 6-8 inches, females being slightly less. Males are recognised by an enlarged hemipenal tail base, and can display varying vivid colouration dependant on emotion. Females can add to a this array especially when receptive or gravid.
As with many true chameleons, company of their own will cause conflict unless coming together for mating and courtship. This must be taken into consideration when being kept in captivity.
They can be a shy timid species until established, so providing cover as well as basking areas are essential, but will become outgoing and tolerant once trust has been earned.
Furcifer lateralis lateralis are avid baskers, and will seek out the sun where ever possible.