There are about 200 distinct species of chameleons in the world, but only a few are regularly maintained as pets. Chameleons are unusual and gorgeous pets, but many of them require extra care and attention to be happy and healthy. It is strongly suggested that you find a captive-bred chameleon because native populations are dwindling due to pollution and habitat damage. They are easily bred, so there is no good reason to take one from its natural habitat.
1. Panther Chameleon
In the recent decade, the Panther Chameleon has grown in popularity as a pet chameleon. This is owing to its vibrant colors and distinct personality. Panthers reared in captivity are tough but have limited lifespans. They feature a plethora of color and pattern variants, ranging from brilliant blue to brilliantly multicolored, with males boasting the most color options. They will change colors dramatically when facing a rival male, while the female generally has softer colors when ready for breeding.
2. Veiled Chameleon
The Veiled Chameleon, often known as the Yemen Chameleon, is one of the most popular captive-bred chameleons. It derives its name from the distinctive cone-shaped projection on its head known as a casque. This, along with their vivid, colorful coloration, gives them a lovely, eye-catching look. They are one of the bigger chameleon species, and their calm behavior makes them ideal companions for a beginner.
3. Jackson’s Chameleon
The three brown horns on its head, which resemble a Triceratops, are the first thing you’ll notice about a Jackson’s Chameleon. Two horns protrude from the top of its skull, while the third comes from the nose. These horns are exclusively present on males.
They are normally a brilliant green color, but while courting or defending their area, they will shift to vivid yellows and blues, and they may even become black when in despair. They will puff up and hiss when provoked, but they make excellent pets because they don’t mind being handled. They have a powerful and lengthy tail that allows them to sustain their full bodyweight.
4. Senegal Chameleon
Another popular pet chameleon is the Senegal Chameleon. It originates from West Africa and requires special attention due to its fragility. Their short neck flap and striking neon green colour are their most noticeable traits. They are a plentiful and readily caught fish that is frequently taken in the wild. However, wild-caught species are frequently agitated and infested with parasites and should be avoided.
They require a high level of humidity in their container, which should preferably be screened to allow for air flow.
5. Pygmy Chameleon
Pygmy is a kind of dwarf. Chameleons are a little breed of chameleon that belongs to the class Rhampholeon and are native to Central East Africa. They are, as the name implies, the smallest species of chameleon, reaching a maximum length of roughly 8cm. There are around 19 distinct species of Pygmy, some of which are popular as pets.
They differ in color from many other species in that they do not have the brilliant and dramatic blues and oranges that others possess, but instead are more usually seen in various colors of brown and grey. Pygmies also have short, stumpy tails because they dwell largely on the ground and do not require curling tails to cling onto tree branches.
6. Two-Horned Chameleon
The Two-Horned Chameleon, commonly known as the Fischer’s Chameleon, is native to the rainforests of Kenya and Tanzania. They are distinguished by two horns on their snout, known as tubercles. They are simple to care for and have no specific needs; however, males will fight if kept together. They are a quiet and gentle species that prefers lush, verdant settings similar to their rainforest origins.
7. Carpet Chameleon
The Carpet Chameleon, also known as the Jeweled Chameleon, is native to Madagascar and is named from the patterns on an oriental carpet. When courting or threatened by a rival, their colors, like those of most other chameleons, shine out. They like being handled and are simple to care for, with no specific needs. They have a brief lifespan of no more than three years, while those kept in captivity tend to live longer.
8. Four-Horned Chameleon
The Four-Horned Chameleon, also known as the Cameroonian Bearded Chameleon, is distinguished not only by its four projecting horns, but also by its scaly “beard,” enormous crest, and sail fin. They are native to Cameroon in Central Africa and like damp, chilly environments.
They are extremely delicate and difficult to care for, necessitating high levels of humidity or being otherwise exceedingly susceptible.
9. Giant One-Horned Chameleon
The Giant One-Horned Chameleon, also known as the Meller’s Chameleon, is a stunning species and one of the world’s biggest. Because of its big size, single front horn, and vivid green and yellow colors, it is easily identified. Mellers experience a huge color shift when threatened: their green color darkens to almost black, and they can become covered in black blotches.
They are definitely not for first-time chameleon owners, as they are the pet that require special attention and a large amount of space.
10. Malagasy Giant Chameleon
The Malagasy Giant Chameleon, commonly known as the Oustalet’s Chameleon, is native to Madagascar and leads a sedentary lifestyle, moving only when absolutely required. Their most noticeable characteristics include a big ridge that runs from the back of their neck to their eyes and triangular spines that run from the back of their neck to their tail.
Because of their great size and space needs, they are better suited to experienced chameleon keepers. They are one of the world’s biggest chameleon species, reaching lengths of up to two feet.
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