- It is best to keep veiled chameleons individually in their own enclosures after they reach sexual maturity at around 8 to 10 months of age, to avoid potential stress and fighting.
- Veiled chameleons do best in screen-sided enclosures because of the increased airflow. Ideal size is 2 feet wide by 2 feet long by 4 feet tall.
- Enclosure should be furnished with medium-sized, vertical vines and foliage for the chameleons to hide in. Synthetic plants or non-toxic plants such as Ficus, Schefflera, Hibiscus and Pothos can be used; the live plants will provide cover and also help to maintain humidity inside the enclosure.
- Temperature, Humidity, & Lighting:
- Temperature: Prefer daytime temperatures between 75-85 degrees F; basking a basking spot of approximately 85 to 95 F
- Lighting: 12 hr cycle
- A misting system or drip watering system should be employed to provide hydration.
- Crickets that are as long as your chameleon’s head is wide. Should be gut-loaded and supplement your crickets with calcium (1x/week) and vitamins (2-3x/week).
- Being arboreal, veiled chameleons do not typically encounter standing water such as that found inside a water dish. As a result, they typically do not recognize dishes as a source of drinking water. They drink water from morning dew and rain that has fallen onto leaves, so it is important to mist your veiled chameleon enclosure with a spray bottle twice a day for approximately two minutes, including all the leaves and branches in the enclosure.
Notes on Enrichment & Training
- Check out the Reptelligence Facebook page and Reptelligence website for enrichment and training inspiration.
- Advancing Herpetological Husbandry July 2018 Quarterly Newsletter- Article Environmental Enrichment for Reptiles By Charlotte James
- On the AZA Ambassador Animal Network, one person stated that they had decent amount of success training and using individuals for in house presentations, if taken off ground they remained in the large portable habitat. They started their handling process by baiting them on their hand and feeding them there. This gradually led them to only feeding them while in hand. Over time they began to walk on to their hand on their own and eventually conditioned the animals to moving around the room.
Colony or Breeding Management
Notes species is housed or managed socially or for breeding purposes.
Dimorphism or practiced ways to individually mark species (such as those in colonies, like giant millipedes).
Tips on Presentation
- On the AZA Ambassador Animal Group, one person recommends doing on exhibit animal feeding demonstrations. They reported having success with guests.
Tips on Handling
- This species is known for being delicate and can have problems with over handling. On the AZA Ambassador Animal Group, one person reported success with handling when limited to 20 minutes max with experienced handlers.
Comments from the Rating System
Natural History Information
Range and Habitat
This species is native to the Arabian peninsula in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It lives in a variety of habitats – mountains, desert plains and river valleys. They are arboreal and live in bushes and trees in preferred habitats.
Adult male veiled chameleons may reach a total length of 2 feet, and females can attain approximately 18 inches, making the veiled chameleon one of the larger chameleon species seen in captivity. Hatchling veiled chameleons are approximately 3 to 4 inches in total length.
Male veiled chameleon can be expected to live six to eight years. Females, on the other hand, usually average four to six years.
Threats and Conservation Status
Did you know…
Cover Photo:CATHY KEIFER/SHUTTERSTOCK
Any Documents to attach, species spotlights, etc.
- Check out sample animal policies, handling sheets, and fact sheets on our Example Policies & Guidelines page
- View past issues of Program Animal SAG Newsletters
- Ambassador Animal SAG Newsletter Vol. 2, Issue 3: Temperature and Transport: Welfare Implications for Ambassador Ectotherms
- Choice, Control, and Training in Ectotherms, By Carrie Kish
- Stress Management in Reptiles and Frogs
- Reptile Lighting Information
- Check out the Advancing Herpetological Husbandry Facebook group. They have also published several newsletters (see Reptiles page for links).
- See: AAH -January 2018 Quarterly Newsletter Article: Temperature and Heat for Reptiles By Roman Muryn
Contributors and Citations