Why own a chameleon? When asked this question some may say it‘s the chameleon’s unique looking eyes, which move independently and are covered almost entirely by skin. Others may say it’s the chameleon’s pincer-like, prehensile appendages, and slow-moving gait. Certainly, the projectile tongue, with which they can capture insects from a distance (up to double their body length in some species), has been reason enough to keep these unique creatures. Although they do not enjoy being handled or restrained, which can cause considerable stress, chameleons are an amazing pet to keep. Beginners may want to first try species that are “hardier” than others. Some examples of popular captive-bred species may be the Veiled or Panther Chameleons.
Many species of chameleons prefer to be kept singly with the exception of breeding. Generally, males of most species should not be kept together. Some species may be kept in pairs or trios (one male to two females) if the enclosure is large enough.
The life expectancy of a chameleon can be anywhere from five to nine years depending on the species you choose.
There are approximately 135 species of chameleons with half of them coming from Madagascar. Some species are found in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. It is no wonder that your chameleon’s habitat will largely depend on the species you keep. For example, the Panther chameleon is a tropical rain forest tree-dweller from Madagascar that reaches 16 to 24 inches in length. With this information, we can surmise that the Panther will require a roomy enclosure with relatively high levels of humidity, and many climbing and hiding areas. Conversely, the Veiled chameleon is found in arid areas of Africa’s woodlands, where there are dense foliage and low levels of humidity. While he will need lots of areas to climb and hide, the Veiled chameleon will not require the higher humidity that the Panther chameleon does. Research your chameleon’s natural habitat with your pet counselor.
To provide a happy healthy atmosphere for your chameleon, Petland recommends the following necessary accessories. We have listed them as your new pet‘s four basic needs: Nutritional, Environmental, Behavioral and Maintenance. When these needs are met, along with a loving environment provided by you, your chameleon can live a long and happy life.
- Relative Humidity
- Ceramic Base Spotlight
- Food Sources
- Vitamin Supplementation
- Watering Spray Bottle
- A Book About Chameleons