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Madagascar: Images of Dry Tropical Habitat

Click on a thumbnail for a larger image. The thumbnails are arranged into 3 categories: Animals and People and Landscapes on this page, and Plants on another page.


1. 2. 3. 4.
1. The chameleon Furcifer pardalis from the north.
2. Female Furcifer labordi, a small chameleon from the dry southern west coast.
3. Chalarodon madagascariensis, an Iguana Family lizard common in some dry areas.
4. Big green millipede from northern dry forest.
5. 6. 7. 8.
5. Crab spider on the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes madagascariensis in a seep in the dry southeast. Crab spiders often perch on flowers waiting to make meals of pollinating insects. This spider seems to be waiting to steal a meal from the pitcher plant.
6. Tenrec in hollow Alluaudia tree in southeast.
7. Giant terrestrial planarian from southeastern dry forest crawling on moist ground just after a rain.
8. Furcifer oustaleti, a common chameleon in northern dry areas.
9. 10. 11. 12.
9. Furcifer verrucosus is common in parts of the south. It bears striking white, black, green, and turqoise spots when alarmed.
10.- 12. Phelsuma geckos are a perfect example of how Madagascar is different from other parts of the world. In most places, lizards in the gecko family are active at night. Phelsuma geckos are active in the day. Geckos from other areas for the most part have colors that blend in well with their surroundings. Phelsuma geckos are often blazingly bright colors, such as 10. and 11., Phelsuma madagascariensis, photographed in the far north.
12. is Phelsuma mutabilis. It can change color very quickly. When I found this one in the southeast, it was bright green and turquoise. After it saw me, it quickly lost these bright colors (gecko is to the very left of the picture, head facing down).
13. 14. 15. 16.
13. Madagascar is wonderful for its lack of snakes poisonous enough to be dangerous to people. This is Mimophis mahafalensis from the southeast (thanks to Chris Raxworthy for the ID!).
14. Acrantophis dumerilii, a boa from the dry south.
15. A Leioheterodon geayi eating a Chalarodon lizard in the Mikea Forest.
16. Dromicodryas bernieri in the Mikea Forest.
17. A "pill millipede" from the southeast. These short, fat millipedes act just like sowbugs: when alarmed, they curl up in tight balls! 17.
18. 19. 20.
18. Hissing cockroaches are common in dry forests throughout the island. This one was in the west and measured over 7 cm long.
19. A terrestrial, dry forest-dwelling crab found 100 kilometers from the coast in northern Madagascar!
20. Acrantophis madagascariensis, a boa photographed in the north.

People and landscapes

1. 2. 3.
1. Remanonzo, a local guide who helped me collect Moringa in southeastern Madagascar. He is shown here with one wife and their 10 children.
2. View of the capital, Antananarivo, from the Missouri Botanical Garden office there.
3. View of the Itremo region of central southern Madagascar. This area is characterized by dry quartz outcrops with many endemic plants and deep canyons that shelter relict fragments of once-larger forests. The person in the photo is A. Davis, a yodeling champion from Turkey.

Please get in touch! molson@ibiologia.unam.mx
©1999 Mark E Olson