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probably borrowed from German Chromatophore, Chromatophor, from chromato-chromato- + -phore, -phor-phore
In use in German no later than 1841, as Chromatophoren (plural) in Rudolf Wagner's Icones Zootomicae: Handatlas zur zur vergleichenden Anatomie nach fremden und eigen Untersuchungen (Leipzig). In notes to the plates illustrating cephalopod anatomy, Wagner gives Farbzellen ("color" or "pigment cells") as the vernacular equivalent of Chromatophoren.