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Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet
Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet
Frequently Asked Questions
If you like this website or webpage, please link it. I could use the help. Thanks.

Scientific classification: Chamaeleo calyptratus

Getting Expert Advice

Be aware that I am a pet owner, not an expert. Think of the chameleon portions of the website as being like a fan page for a favorite rock group written by someone who is not a musician, but owns the favorite group's records. If you are looking for expert advice, and you should be, then after reading what I have to offer, get yourself over to The Chameleon Forums.

Sexing

First and foremost, I cannot stress this enough, if you have a female veiled, she is GOING to lay eggs or die, regardless of whether she's around a male or not. You MUST, absolutely, have a 6 inch deep pan of sand (preferably playsand, not something used for building materials) available for her to lay eggs in or she WILL become eggbound and die. I know that you're not reading this anywhere else, neither did I, and neither was I told by the veterinarian after he took x-rays of that beautiful chameleon that you see me holding on my index page - and I found out too late. I managed to get sand available about 3-6 days after she should've laid them, and she did lay them, and then she couldn't walk, climb, or do anything but lay down and die in about six days. Get sand available for your female veiled. Do it. Do it now. Especially if she's gotten big and is hanging out near the bottom of her enclosure.

Male chameleons have a tarsal spur from the time that they are hatched:
Male veiled chameleon with tarsal spur.

Females are missing this spur:
Female veiled chameleon missing the tarsal spur.

Feeding

What to feed

Crickets primarily, supplemented with mealworms, superworms, waxworms, butterworms, etc. Butterworms should be fed regularly due to their high calcium content. Crickets should be "gut loaded" with very nutritious food prior to feeding: spinach, carrots, lime, and processed cricket food. Care should be taken to only serve insects which have a length that is less than the width of the chameleon's mouth to prevent choking. Adults should be offered greens (lettuce, spinach, etc.), but only as a supplement to their base cricket diet.

How often to feed

Every day. Superworms, mealworms, etc., can be fed by hand. Crickets should be set loose within the enclosure.

Necessary Supplements

A calcium supplement is essential. Powdered supplements (to be shaken with the crickets) are readily available from pet stores.

Water

Watering is the most inconvenient part of owning a veiled chameleon. Chameleons do not care for standing water. Water should be seen dripping, either from a dripper, or from ice cubes melting from the top screen of its enclosure and dripping onto plants, or at the least, sprayed onto the leaves of the plants twice per day using a spray bottle.

Enclosure

Chameleons require a full screen enclosure in order to facilitate continual fresh air. In addition, seeing their reflections in the glass of an aquarium type enclosure will stress the chameleon. The enclosure should be at least 3' x 3' at the base and at least 4' high - 6' high is preferable.

Lighting and heating

Veiled chameleons sleep at night and should have the lights out. During the day, bright lights should be placed on top of the enclosure to allow the chameleon to climb upward to find heat. During the day, the gradient of heat in the cage should be 80_F to 95_F, while at night 70_F to 85_F. The chameleon will seek its own level of comfort by choosing its height within the cage. Heat emmitters which do not produce light are readily available from pet stores for night time use. Because chameleons' primary heat sensors are on their backs, chameleons should not be given "heat rocks" or under substrate heating pads; the use of these items could result in your chameleon being badly burned.

Other Veiled Chameleon Care Sheets

Chameleon Creatures
Herp Index
King Snake dot com
Sundial Reptile
Lizard House (PDF) - Note: While most every other mention of spraying down plants on other care sheets say to take care not to spray the chameleon, this fellow says to spray the chameleon down thoroughly. He also mentions that his chameleon died a premature death.
Scales
A1 Reptiles
Martin's Reptiles

. Original Copyright, Aug 2003. All Rights Reserved.