2TypesThere are many different types of chameleons.By current classification there are more than 160 different species of chameleons in the world these are just a few:Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)Flap-necked Chameleon/Graceful Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)Four-horned Chameleon (Chamaeleo quadricornis)Cameroon Sail-finned Chameleon (Chamaeleo montium)Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis)Jacksons Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksoni xantholo-phus)Leaf Chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris)
4Common ChameleonThe most common Chameleon available for purchase seems to be the Veiled ChameleonFun Fact:Veiled Chameleon’s are also known as the Yemen chameleon
5Veiled Chameleon’s as Pets Life Span:approximately 5 years in captivity.Size:Males can reach inches in total, while females tend to be quite a bit smaller at inches.Temperament:Territorial and aggressive to other chameleons, and should be housed individually, docile towards people, however, handling tends to be stressful.Appearance:The veiled chameleon has a large, tall helmet-like structure on the top of their head that is present in both males and females, though larger in males. Their bodies are banded in shades of green, yellow and brown.
6Sexing Veiled Chameleons are some of the easiest sex Males have a calcar or heel spur that females do not have. This spur exists even in hatchling veiled chameleons, and is a reliable indicator of sex in this species
7Males Male veil’s have a much higher casque than female Often display different color patterns too.Malesbright, canary yellow stripeswith green stripes running vertically across their bodiesdots of various colors within the stripesthe most commonly colored dot is blue
8FemalesFemales are generally an overall soft green color, without large yellow stripes
9Color ChangesVeiled chameleons, when startled or threatened may darken in color and "play possum”Color changes can also be rapid, as when reacting to a threat, or gradual.Chameleons change color for many different reasons:Health statusPerception of a threat or incursion into its territoryPresence of a mateStatus of its sheddingAgeSexSeasonTemperatureLightOther environmental factors
10ReproductionChameleon’s reach sexual maturity within four to five months, at 8 to 12 inches longMale veiled chameleons will display to females by laterally compressing their bodies, rocking back and forth, curling and uncurling their tails, and displaying extremely bright colorThe females indicate sexual readiness by displaying robin-egg blue dots on their bodymay be all over the body, or only in a small areaObserving the females behavior when introduced to a male is also important in regards to breeding…
11Are they ready? If the female is ready and receptive: she will "ignore" the male after she catches sight of him and will begin to crawl away slowly, retaining her colorationIf she is not receptive:she will let both you and the male know by hissing loudly, gaping, rocking back and forth on a branch, and drastically changing her color to black with yellow and green stripes or spotsOther color variations have been noticedNote the blue-ish dots all over her body
12EggsEgg laying occurs between 20 and 30 days after mating, with clutch sizes ranging from 35 to 85 eggs!!(some have even been reported to have up to 100)Eggs appear white and oval with tough-skin and are buried in warm sandGravid veiled chameleons will take on a "baseball"-like appearance in their abdomen as the date of oviposition draws closer.Some even look like they could explode!
13On day 15, move the female into an egg laying chamber Fun Fact: Wild Veileds generally do not produce more than 30 eggs at a timeOn day 15, move the female into an egg laying chamberFemales will refuse food before egg laying, but you can feed a willing female by placing an opaque feeding dish in with herIt is important that the insects cannot escape from the dishOnce the eggs have been laid, she will pack the sand down on top, leaving no trace of her activitiesExample of size
14After laying her eggs the female should be removed from the chamber and placed in another where she will not encounter stressMake sure she drinks plenty of water as she will be exhausted and dehydrated after egg layingAfter taking care of the female, dig up her eggs and incubate them
15IncubationBe extremely careful not to rotate or change the position of the eggs when removing them to the incubation containerThis is essential because each egg contains an air pocket. Each embryo is oriented in the egg and if the air pocket moves, the embryo may suffocateVeiled Chameleon eggs shouldbe incubated at 75° to 80°F[24° to 27°C](differs from species to species)It is very easy to incubatethe eggs with too much humidity(usually above 85%)
16Babies Not all chameleons will hatch at the same time. Veiled chameleon eggs can take from 4 to 9 months to hatchFor first four months check the eggs once a weekHumidity, temperature, rotting eggsThe first days up to two weeks are the most criticalNot all chameleons will hatch at the same time. Typically, Veiled chameleons in a single batch of eggs will hatch within a week of each other, often within two days
170-4 weeksThe size and weight of the branches is important for baby chameleonsMisting with water 3 times a day is also essentialFeed wet cricket food/gut load to help with hydration
185 weeks to 4 monthsFeed :pin head or fly sized crickets, small wax worms and termite larvaDO NOT let food exceed the width of its headDry and wet gut insects can also be fed to help with hydration as well as remember to mist with waterDust insects with calcium powder twice weekly
19AdultFeed:Crickets, king mealworms, grasshoppers, roaches, wax worms and silk wormsBlossoms and leaves from dandelions, hibiscus, ficus, romaine and escaroleDust insects with calcium powder twice weekly for ovulating females
20HousingSeveral babies can be housed temporarily in a 15 gallon terrariumMinimum cage size should be2 x 2 x 3 feet for and adult pairSemi-arid (Having low precipitation but able to support grassland and scrubby vegetation. Steppes have semiarid climates) setup is ideal
21A wired cage is best for air exchange Potted plants such as ficus provide visual barriers and add humidityMist leaves and branches once or twice dailyNot only does this aid the plants in the terrarium but it is how the Chameleon will get its water, by drinking from the droplets on the leaves
22SubstrateUsing paper towels or newspaper to line the cage makes cleaning easiestPotted plants can be placed on a plain paper substrate for easier cleaning as wellDO NOT use wood chips or any other substrate that could be accidentally ingested and cause blockages.
23Cage Furnishings Lots of sturdy non-toxic plants and branches Ficus trees are often used in chameleon housing, but require some caution as the sap can be irritatingOther plants include pothos, hibiscus, and dracaena.Artificial plants and vines may also be addedA good selection of branches (of different diameters) should be providedMake sure the branches and perches are sturdy and secure
24Lighting Chameleons need an ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light source Keep the UV light on for hours per dayReplace every 6 monthsAlso benefit from spending time outdoors in natural sunlight just make sure shade is available and the weather is warm enough
25Humidity and Hydration Veiled chameleons need a moderate humidity level (50%)Misting the plants twice daily will help with humidity levels, and a drip or misting system is also recommended
26Common Illness Metabolic Bone Disease: Treatment: This is one of the most important diseases to pay attention toIt occurs when your Chameleon is not receiving enough calcium and Vitamin D for their bones to grow properly.Treatment:Provide full-spectrum lighting, gut loading the feeder insects with healthy foods, and dusting the insects with a calcium/multi- vitamin powder.
27Vitamin A Deficiency: Treatment: This results in eye problems, respiratory problems, neurological dysfunction and difficulty shedding.Treatment:Give a solution orally (usually by the veterinarian)dusting with multi-vitamin powder (2 times a week),gut load insects green leafy vegetables, carrots and sweet potato.
28Egg bound Female Chameleons commonly get egg bound as well Can be caused by:Lack of suitable site to lay her eggsStressPoor nutritionHormonal problemsMedical management can includeIncreasing humidity and temperatureAdministering calcium gluconate injectionsFluid therapyProviding a suitable substrate for egg layingThe other option is surgical removal of the eggs
29Most radiographs can be taken without chemical restraint Normal Views are dorsal/ventral and lateral
30Parasites Ticks and Mites are common ectoparasites Nematodes, cestodes, coccidian, flagellates and amoebae are all intestinal parasites of chameleonsClinical signs of parasitism may include:general un-thriftinessweight loss or poor weight gainanorexiaRegurgitationvomiting and abnormal stoolsMay be found in multiple areas of the body and subcutaneouslyAppear as raised areas under the skin are often mistaken for abscesses.They MUST be surgically removed by a veterinarian.
31Clinical ProcedureIM injections should be given in the front limbs (if needed to be given)If administered in the hind legs the renal portal system delivers the agent to the kidneys and is quickly filtered outThe most common technique used for collecting blood samples from chameleons is ventral tail venipuncture and jugular venipunctureShould use a tuberculin syringe with gauge needleTotal blood volume taken should be about 5-8% of the total body weight and should be collected in a green top tube
32Administering oral meds in reptiles is difficult Restrain head (restraint is key)Gently pry open the mouthChameleons receive SQ fluids between lateral scales
33Anesthesia No fasting is required Because they are ectotherms they can be slower to induce, difficult to maintain and slower to recoverInjectable drugs go IV or IO to reduce the risk of hitting organsInhalants are usually isoflurane and sevoflurane
34Fun Fact: TongueTheir tongues can be anywhere from 1 to 11/2 times the body length of the Chameleon and can rocket in and out with blinding speedA 51/2" tongue reaches full extension in 1/16th of a second, which is fast enough to snatch a fly in midair.
35Fun Facts: EyesChameleon's eyes are the most distinctive among the reptiles.It has scaly lids shaped like a cone, with only a small, round opening in the middle for the pupilThe chameleon can rotate and focus its eyes separately to look at two different objects at the same time!When the chameleon sees prey, both eyes can focus in the same direction to get a clearer view.
37Book Referances Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates Retrieved on 2/25-3/6Exotic Animal Care and ManagementVicki Judah and Kathy NuttallCopyright 2008 Thomson Delmar LearningReptiles, Amphibians and InvertebratesAn Identification and Care GuidePatricia P. Bartlett, Billy Griswold DVM and R.D. BartlettCopyright 2001 Barrons Educational Series