Exotic color pattern, bold bands around their bodies, and a little casque on its head sum up the description of the veiled chameleon. Chamaeleo calyptratus is the scientific name of these reptiles. That small casque is exactly what has earned them the title of 'veiled chameleon'. Although they make fairly easy pets, as they do not require much attention and are happy to be left on their own, they are probably not for beginners. As reptiles do not have the emotional range that mammals possess, they do not really recognize their owners, instead of relating them to positive or negative experiences. It could be a reason why they can get extremely stressed if they are held for a long time. They are the only types of chameleon that are known to include leaves of certain plants in their diet. They do this to store the water for the drier seasons. If you want to learn more interesting facts about veiled chameleon care, veiled chameleon animal facts, or other fun things to feed your curiosity, we suggest you keep reading on.
As evident by the name, the veiled chameleon is a species of chameleon found in Yemen. It is also an invasive species in Hawaii and the wilderness of Florida, where it is assumed, they built a population after escaping their captivity as pets.
What class of animal does a Veiled Chameleon belong to?
Like all other chameleons, veiled chameleons are reptiles. A veiled chameleon, Chamaeleo calyptratus being its scientific name, is a reptile too.
How many Veiled Chameleons are there in the world?
Although the numbers of veiled chameleons are decreasing due to excessive pet trade and habitat loss, they are not listed as species of concern as of now, so it is extremely difficult to say just how many veiled chameleons are there in the world.
Where does a Veiled Chameleon live?
They are known to live in Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, earning them the name of Yemen chameleons. But due to the exotic pet trade, they are also an invasive species in the wilderness of Florida and Hawaii, as well as Canada. Apart from being bred in captivity, escaped pets have built a colony in these parts of the world where large water bodies and different kinds of plants and trees are frequent. Their high tolerance for a wide range of temperatures has probably helped them in this case.
What is a Veiled Chameleon's habitat?
This animal is primarily arboreal in nature, which means that they prefer to live high up on the trees. They are also found near the forest floors, inhabiting small plants and shrubs. This animal is known to have a wider temperature range than most. This also helps them live high up on the mountains, as well as in the plants of river valleys and other water bodies, where the humidity is much more stable. Read on to learn more facts about the veiled chameleon habitat.
Who do Veiled Chameleons live with?
Veiled chameleons are solitary in nature, and they thrive in solitude. They are not known for living with other members of the species unless it is the mating season. Like other chameleons, they are also very territorial, which adds another reason behind their habit of avoiding their fellow veiled chameleons.
How long does a Veiled Chameleon live?
Veiled chameleons rarely live longer than a decade. The male members of the species can live up to eight years, while the females often do not live more than five years.
How do they reproduce?
Veiled chameleons are known to gain sexual maturity only four to five months after being born. The breeding season of these chameleons can occur up to three times a year. During this time, the females tend to change colors. They go from their normal light green to a vivid blackish green with yellow and bluish spots on their whole body within just 18 hours of mating. Females tend to lay eggs after 20-30 days of successful mating. The average clutch size of these chameleons can be anything from 35-85 eggs. The eggs tend to hatch within one week of one another, sometimes even as close as within two days.
What is their conservation status?
As for their conservation status, they are currently a species of Least Concern, even though in some places their numbers are significantly decreasing. To protect themselves from harm, they have started living in specific pockets, and if somehow these pockets were to get threatened, the whole species might get endangered.
Veiled Chameleon Fun Facts
What do Veiled Chameleons look like?
These chameleons are brightly colored with a casque, which is a small swelling on top of their heads. Even though it is small, it can grow up to two in tall. They are not born with the casque on their head though, rather it grows gradually over time. They have large, rounded eyes and can move their eyes independently up to 180° on each side. How fun is that! They are usually green in color, with bands of bold colors around their body. These bands can be anything from bright gold to blue mixed with orange, yellow, green, or black. These chameleons are also known to have long cones on their chest.
Males tend to be larger than the females in body and casque both after reaching maturity. They can grow up to 17-24 in long from head to tail. Males are usually pastel green in color as hatchlings and develop patterns of vivid colors, such as orange, yellow, black, green, and turquoise after reaching maturity. Males are also known to have thin bodies in comparison to females. The females of these species are smaller in body size, rarely growing more than 10-14 in, and are known to reach their full growth within a year after being born. The casque of the females is also smaller than the males. A grown female of this chameleon species is normally green in color with orange, white, tan, or yellow mixed in. A female chameleon of this species is also more heavy-bodied than the male counterparts.
How cute are they?
A veiled chameleon can be very cute with its exotic color pattern, brightly colored rings around the body, and the little casque on its head. The male chameleon can be very aggressive though, which might contradict its cute appearance completely.
How do they communicate?
These chameleons tend to change colors to communicate. They might also use body language and vibrations to communicate their moods. As they are very solitary in nature, they tend to shy away from extreme handling and use their body language like curling their tails and changing colors to show stress.
How big is a Veiled Chameleon?
On average, a veiled chameleon can grow anywhere from 10-24 in from head to the tip of the tail. The size of the body differs in males and females. The female chameleon rarely grows more than 10-14 in, while the male chameleon is usually measured somewhere between 17-24 in from head to tail. Interestingly, it is about the same height as that of a Black vulture.
How fast can a Veiled Chameleon move?
It is quite impossible to say how fast veiled chameleon can move, but, they are not known for being particularly fast. Interestingly, though, their tongues can move very fast, moving at a speed that can be compared to a car going 0-60 mph in just a fraction of a second.
How much does a Veiled Chameleon weigh?
Much like in their size, the weight of males and females also differ from each other with these chameleons. The males with their larger bodies tend to weigh around 0.18-0.37 lb, while the females weigh around 0.18-0.26 lb.
What are their male and female names of the species?
The male and female members of this chameleon family do not have gender-specific names. Like most other reptiles, the males are just called male chameleons, and the female is called a female chameleon.
What would you call a baby Veiled Chameleon?
A baby or a young veiled chameleon is generally called a hatchling. They tend to grow very fast, though, reaching sexual maturity in just four to five months after being born, if they are in good health with a balanced diet.
What do they eat?
Like all chameleons, they also primarily feed on insects. They have been noticed to have a preference for certain green insects, that are found around their natural habitat in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, which fall under the Arabian Peninsula. They also happen to be the only types of lizards, who are known to savor certain plants. They are known to eat the leaves of some of these plants to make up for the lack of water and humidity in the dry summer seasons.
Are they poisonous?
A chameleon, veiled or not is not poisonous. But they are extremely solitary creatures and do not deal well with being handled a lot. It can even cause them chronic stress, and as a measure of warning and protecting themselves, they can bite you. It will be extremely painful, but as they are not poisonous, they will not be life-threatening.
Would they make a good pet?
Although caring for veiled chameleons will not be as demanding as keeping some other kind of pet, dealing with them can be hard enough in its own right. They are naturally shy in their behavior. As they are solitary creatures, they tend to not deal well with extreme handling. It can even cause them to develop chronic stress. Not to mention that a care and diet plan for them is usually very specific in nature. This means it might not be possible for everyone to cater to it. Our suggestion would be to only go through the process of keeping them as pets if you have enough experience, and can provide them with a steady environment with moderate levels of humidity.
Did you know...
They are the only types of chameleons who savor the taste of plant matters.
Their eyes can move independently on each side for about 180°.
They have a high tolerance for a variety of temperature ranges.
Do Veiled Chameleons change color?
Just like other chameleons, veiled chameleons do change the color of their skin. They tend to increase or reduce the brightness of their vivid skin tone. When exposed to extremely stressful situations, their bright color can turn dull. In situations, where they were found to be happy or aggressive, though, the color was noticed to have gotten brighter, the more excited they became. Another thing they tend to do is curl their tails and stay in a fetal position if they feel threatened somehow.
Having your own Veiled Chameleon
Getting a pet veiled chameleon is fairly easy, as they only cost around $30-$100, but the cost of caring for them is another matter. You need to make sure their cage is well ventilated and decorated with plants and small branches. To feed them you should put gut-loaded insects, and leafy vegetables on their diet. For serving water try to rely on the moisture on the plants in their cage. Keep spraying them four to five times on a daily basis. Keep in mind that they are solitary creatures and should not be held a lot. It could make them extremely stressed and can negatively impact their health. Reptiles do not possess the same emotional range as a mammal, so they do not really recognize their owners. They tend to relate them to positive or negative experiences, so make sure that your pet lizard does not feel threatened and ends up biting you, and that is about it.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including sand lizard, or rattlesnake.
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