Parson’s chameleon is the largest species of all extant chameleons. This species exceeds 60 cm in total length at maturity, with snout-vent measures averaging 20 – 30 cm.
This species may weigh upwards of 700 g at maturity. Parson’s chameleon has a pinnochio-like appearance due to the larger nasal appendages. Their garish noses make them easy to identify as a species. Males have been known to have forked noses or very rarely, a pair of noses. Male coloration also is described as brighter or bolder than females.
These chameleon includes two subspecies: Calumma parsonii parsonii which has less noticeable colors, also has no dorsal crests and may reach up to 68 cm in length.
Parson’s chameleon has very noticeable eyes due to their bright orange color, contrasting from their green skin. These are very distinct, as their lower and upper eyelids are joined.
Although chameleons lack a visible ear, they are not thought to be deaf. Like most lizards, Parson’s chameleon is equipped with an exceptionally long tongue that can be rapidly extend to catch prey. A chameleon’s long tongue can be up to two times its body length. Parson’s chameleons are ectothermic, regulating their body temperature by remaining stationary for periods of time and prolonged basking in the sun.