Have you been cautioned about not adopting a chameleon without doubly being sure?
Pet breeders and store owners often take it upon themselves to reasonably caution their clients from choosing a chameleon, especially if they are novices and first-timers. If you have attempted to own one and have met a lot of discouragement, we do suggest you reconsider.
But if you have made up your mind that it is going to be a chameleon otherwise none, you instead go in for a veiled chameleon that is the largest one and the most suitable for beginners because they are easiest to handle.
Veiled Chameleon needs are vast
We will not blame the breeders for discouraging you. They mean well. Consider the fact that a pair of chameleons will cost you anywhere in the bracket of $100 to $500.
The initial equipment related to their enclosures, light and heat sources, water, food, and vet needs in addition to their ongoing care, may add a little burden on your budget. Even if you cannot take your eyes off that beautiful morph in the shop window, slow down a bit, talk to an experienced reptile owner and conduct basic research before you give them your name!
There are three most common varieties of chameleons
All of the above are popular for their exotic value. There was a time when chameleons could only be caught from the wild. These pets did so poorly that they hardly reached their average lifespan. With time, dedicated breeders started to produce very high quality of captive-bred chameleons that do exceedingly well with consistent care.
In the US and Europe, most of the chameleons that you will find for the pet trade are bred in captivity only.
The veiled chameleons are also called Yemen Chameleons
This is because they hail originally from Yemen, which is in the Middle East. They are also found in Saudi Arabia and have been introduced in a lot of countries where they have adapted very well with the local climatic conditions.
The price of the chameleons can vary depending on their age, sex, lineage, and morphs. The palate can range from green to black to turquoise to teal and all so beautifully irresistible.
Veiled Chameleon’s Size
Adult veiled chameleons grow up to a maximum of two feet. Female chameleons grow to a total length of one and a half feet only. Chameleons that are bred in captivity grow to be the longest. In the wild, they all grow to be lesser than two feet. Young hatchlings are only 3 to 4 inches in length. They are mostly purple at birth and can change to green while growing.
Veiled Chameleon Lifespan
Veiled chameleons that are well cared for and respected by their owners will live to a maximum of 8 years that is a male, and the female gracefully manages up to 6 years.
The reason why female chameleons do not live as long as their partners are because they lay a lot of unproductive or unfertilized clusters of eggs often. This exercise takes a toll on their health, and they wear out in the pressure of it.
Veiled chameleons change their colors for the following reasons
- To reveal their emotional status
- Bright colors will reveal that they are excited or in a good mood, and dull, staid colors mean that they are either too stressed or not in excellent health.
- To thermo-regulate
- To communicate between themselves
Chameleon trivia that you can fascinate your friends with
- Etymologically, the word ‘Chameleon’ is derived from two Greek words Chamai and Leon which combine to mean ‘Earth Lion’.
- They also belong to the lizard family that is revered by all reptile enthusiasts
- There are hundreds of morphs available, and some can vary in size from one inch to a whopping 30 inches!
- The veiled chameleons have a long, sticky tongue, which can be as long as one and half times the length of their bodies!!
Veiled Chameleon Care Guide
Chameleons are solitary creatures and extremely territorial. You must not experiment in keeping more than one in one terrarium or any other enclosure.
If you are planning to breed them, then make sure that they get along well. You must separate them at the first instance of aggression. The male can copulate only if the female cooperates.
The same rule applies to other pets. These reptiles crave a lot of privacy, and their enclosure will need to have an overwhelming amount of foliage for them to enjoy a lot of quiet time. While buying chameleons, you must make sure that you are buying an active and healthy pet.
Glass enclosures will not work because getting them in the right size is always troublesome. A cabinet with side screen works excellent because they will ensure proper ventilation too. Adult veiled chameleons must not be housed together. A 2 by 2 by 4 cabinets is just right for one make and a smaller one for a female.
Ensure there is a lot of foliage for it to hide and play, horizontal branches to rest, bask in the light, and negotiate the route. There is no need for the substrate on the floor because anything except paper will pose a risk of impaction if swallowed with food.
3. Lighting and heating
The veiled chameleon needs lighting at least 12 to 14 hours in a day from a light that is perched about 6 to 8 inches from the roof of this enclosure. It also needs a UVB light source to be able to ward away muscular degeneration as well as to synthesize calcium and Vitamin D3 in its body.
The best temperature for them is ambient at 80F. The enclosure must have a heated place and a place to cool down so that it can thermoregulate.
4. Veiled Chameleon’s Food and water
A staple diet of gut loaded live crickets is suitable for a start. Hatchlings, young veiled chameleons, and gravid females must be fed two times a day. Adult males may be fed every other day. Dust the insects additionally with manufactured supplementary powder to make sure your pets get adequate nourishment.
Veiled chameleons drink water that is dripping from leaves, so there is no need for water dishes. Instead, make sure to mist the enclosure with a mist spray two times in a day for straight two minutes.
Are you still confused if it is chameleon or not? Think again. You cannot change your mind as swiftly as they change color!!