Veiled Chameleon

Biological Facts

This chameleon lives in a number of habitat types in its native range, including plateaus, mountains, and valleys. Like other chameleons, it is arboreal, living in trees and other large plants. It prefers warmer temperatures, generally between 75° to 95°F (24° to 35°C). The veiled chameleon is an omnivore. It favors insects, and it also eats plant matter, especially as a source of water. Coloration can be affected by several factors, including social status. In experimental conditions, young veiled chameleons reared in isolation are darker and duller in color that those raised with other individuals. Females change color across their reproductive cycles. Chameleons also change color when stressed.

In captivity

The veiled chameleon is the most common Chamaeleo species in the pet trade. It is easy to breed and prolific in its egg production. It tolerates a range of conditions and survives well in captivity

Invasive species

This chameleon is an introduced species in Hawaii, where it is invasive in the local ecosystem. There is a breeding population established on Maui. It can also be found in the wild in Florida, where escaped pets have established populations

Veiled Chameleon Housing

It is best to keep veiled chameleons individually in their own enclosures after they reach sexual maturity at around 8 to 10 months of age, to avoid potential stress and fighting. Veiled chameleons do best in screen-sided enclosures because of the increased airflow. Glass aquariums, on the other hand, are difficult to find in the appropriate sizes, and they create stagnant air that can lead to upper-respiratory infections in veiled chameleons. For adult veiled chameleons, bigger is better as far as their enclosures are concerned. The ideal cage for an adult male veiled chameleon would be a screened enclosure measuring about 2 feet wide by 2 feet long by 4 feet tall. Females can be kept in screened enclosures measuring about 18 inches long by 18 inches deep and 3 feet tall. If you are purchasing a baby or juvenile veiled chameleon, it is best to start with a small enclosure and then move up to a larger cage when the chameleon gets older. Babies and juveniles can be kept in smaller screened enclosures measuring 16 inches long by 16 inches deep and 30 inches tall until they are approximately 8 to 10 months old, at which point they will need to be moved into one of the larger enclosure mentioned previously.

Veiled Chameleon Food

Veiled chameleons can be fed a staple diet of crickets that are as long as your chameleon’s head is wide. Baby and juvenile veiled chameleons should be fed once or twice a day, with almost constant access to food. As they get older, you can feed them slightly less often. Adults can be fed every other day.  It is important to supplement your crickets with calcium and vitamins to help promote your veiled chameleon’s proper growth and health. This is especially important for breeding females and growing babies and juveniles. For babies and juveniles, dust their crickets with calcium two to three times a week and with vitamins once every two weeks. This dusting regimen can be decreased for adults. To make crickets more nutritious, which will ultimately benefit your veiled chameleon, gut-load them with nutritious foods such as collard greens, mustard greens, squash, orange and/or commercial cricket diets.

 


 

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