Veiled chameleons are tough lizards with long casques on the tops of their heads. The casque is found in both males and females and helps to direct water that falls over their heads into their mouths. Veiled chameleons have bands of green, yellow, and brown on their body that shift to different colors.
To avoid potential stress and conflict, maintain veiled chameleons individually in their own enclosures once they reach sexual maturity at roughly 8 to 10 months of age. Because of the improved ventilation, veiled chameleons thrive in screen-sided enclosures. Glass tanks, on the other hand, are difficult to locate in suitable sizes, and they produce stagnant air, which can lead to upper-respiratory diseases in veiled chameleons.
The tall casque on the head of a veiled chameleon aids in hydration by allowing water to flow down to the chameleon’s mouth. When it comes to cages for adult veiled chameleons, bigger is better. A screened habitat measuring about 2 feet wide by 2 feet long by 4 feet tall would be excellent for an adult male veiled chameleon.
A daily temperature of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit should be provided for veiled chameleons, along with a basking place of 85 to 95 degrees. Heating at night is unnecessary as long as your home does not fall below 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To obtain the basking spot temperature, it is ideal to use a basking or incandescent light in a reflector or a ceramic heat element.
A full spectrum ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light source is required for all chameleons. Keep the full spectrum UV lamp on for 10 to 12 hours every day, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the distance between the bulb and where your chameleon can climb (usually 6 to 12 inches). Keep in mind that these bulbs must be replaced every six months. When the temperatures are warm enough, chameleons benefit from spending time outside in natural sunlight (but beware of overheating so make sure shade is always available).
Veiled chameleons require a moderate quantity of dampness (around 50 percent). Misting the plants twice daily will assist to keep the humidity levels up, and a drip or misting system is also recommended. Chameleons rarely drink from water bowls, but they will lap up droplets of water off plants, therefore the misting/drip system also acts as a source of water. Install a drip irrigation system so that water droplets fall over the plants in the enclosure. Purchase a hygrometer to measure humidity.
These chameleons are territorial and should be kept separately. Handling is upsetting for them, thus they, like other chameleons, are best suited to being watched rather than handled as pets. They are insectivores . Live gut-loaded crickets, wax worms, butter worms, cockroaches, house flies, or small snails are the finest options. The idea is to feed a diverse diet of high-quality, nutrient-dense insects. Feed your chameleons no more than five to seven insects per feeding. Each insect should be no bigger than the distance between the chameleon’s eyes.
Veiled chameleons reach sexual maturity between the ages of 9 and 12 months. Chameleons can be bred at this age if they are healthy and have grown to a suitable size. When the female is introduced to the male’s enclosure, the male usually performs a wooing show and then breeds. Veiled chameleons are among the largest chameleons available for sale in the pet trade.
Senegal chameleons, like many reptiles, are prone to several different types of health issues.
- Respiratory infections: Usually a result of temperatures being too low in an enclosure or the chameleon being exposed to a draft or drastic change in temperature.
- Stress-related ailments: A lack of appetite and respiratory infections may be a cause of stress.
- Calcium deficiency: Low calcium levels can be due to a lack of UVB lighting or too little calcium in the diet.
- Vitamin A deficiency: Low vitamin A levels are usually the result of a poor diet.
- Stomatitis: Mouth rot
- Intestinal parasites: Worms and protozoans are common problems for chameleons.
- Metabolic bone disease: This is usually what happens when a chameleon can’t absorb calcium properly. This painful condition weakens the animal’s bones so that its legs appear wobbly. It also will have a poor appetite and may appear lethargic.
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