Baby veiled chameleon feeding

Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet – Reptiles by Mack

June 3, 2017 Featured, Lizards No Comments

Scientific Name: Chameleo calyptratus
Native to: Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia.
Maximum Length: 6-12 inches long
Life Span: Up to 5+ years with proper care

Veiled Chameleons are one of the most popular chameleon species in the reptile pet world. Veiled Chameleons are able to look in any direction without turning their heads or shifting their body because each eye can swivel nearly 180 degrees. Their eyes can also point in two different directions at the same time. Veiled Chameleons are sensitive animals and are not a pet that tolerates handling well.

Care tips:
Enclosure: Provide a spacious screened enclosure for your Veiled Chameleon. An adult male needs more room to explore and should be housed in a cage that is 36 inches long by 36 inches wide by 48 inches tall. Females and young males can be kept in smaller enclosures. A longer enclosure will allow you to provide a warm end and a cooler end for your animal’s well-being. The more room you provide for your Veiled Chameleon the better. Do not house more than one chameleon together. Chameleons are very territorial and stress easily.

Substrate: No specific substrate is needed but coconut fiber or potting soil with no added chemicals or perlit work well.

Habitat: Provide branches and plants (live or fake) for the Veiled Chameleon to climb on. Create a dense area of non-toxic plants on one side for hiding and on the other side create a more open exposed area of branches for basking.

Temperature and Lighting: Keep the enclosure 100° F on the warmer end and 70° F at the cool end. Use a UVB-emitting bulb and/or a ceramic heater as primary heat source. Provide 10-12 hours of UVB rays and a ceramic heater for a basking area all day and night.

Food and Water: Feed baby Veiled Chameleons a once or twice a day and adults every other day. Veiled Chameleons eat a variety of live insects, including crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. Dust the insects with a vitamin and calcium supplement mixture once or twice a week. Also feed your Veiled Chameleon some collard greens. They will also eat Pothos ivy and ficus leaves. Veiled Chameleons prefer to eat insects that are small. It is better to offer them multiple meals of small crickets/small mealworms than to feed them one meal of large insects. They will not usually drink from water bowls, so it is best to mist their enclosure once or twice a day to allow the chameleon to drink moisture off the leaves and branches.

To download or print this care sheet – Click link: Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet

Tags: Chameleons, Lizards, Veiled Chameleons

7 Care Tips & Facts You Need to Know

Chameleons are some of the most iconic reptiles in the world.

This family of lizards is famous for their beautiful colors and ability to change hue.

Bearded Dragon: Care Guide & Sp...

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Bearded Dragon: Care Guide & Species Profile

Despite their popularity there is a lot of misinformation on how to care for a baby chameleon. Babies stress easily, are not domesticated and have specific diet and housing requirements.

Caring for a baby chameleon is difficult and not recommended for beginners.

If you are looking to adopt this species then read this article first to learn how to take care of them.

Table of Contents

  • What Is A Baby Chameleon Called?
  • Do Baby Chameleons Make Good Pets?
  • How Much Does A Baby Chameleon Cost?
  • Do Baby Chameleons Bite?
  • How To Feed Baby Chameleon
  • How Fast Do Baby Chameleons Grow?
  • How To Care For A Baby Chameleon
    • Enclosure Set Up
    • Plants and Branches
    • Temperate and Lighting
  • Why Do Baby Chameleons Die?
  • Summary

What Is A Baby Chameleon Called?

When a Chameleon is first born they are called hatchlings. They are only considered hatchlings for the first 24 to 48 hours as they hatch from their egg.

After their first 48 hours they are simply called “Chameleons” and not baby Chameleons!

The term Chameleon does not refer to a specific species but is an umbrella term for a family of lizards.

Chamaeleonidae are a unique group of arboreal lizards that live in tropical and warm climates.

There are more than 100 subspecies worldwide that fall under this umbrella term. Some of the most popular species are the colorful panther chameleon and the vibrantly colored green veiled species.

Do Baby Chameleons Make Good Pets?

Chameleons are popular pet reptiles. They have beautiful colors and unique physical characteristics such as their ornate crests and prehensile tails.

Even though adults are fascinating pets, Baby Chameleons are not recommended for inexperienced keepers.

Taking care of this species takes a lot of work – especially when compared to other lizard species such as leopard geckos, skinks and bearded dragons.

They need very specific amounts of vitamin A, D and UV light. In order to provide them with the correct amount of each vitamin you will need to feed them a pre-formed vitamin.

You will also need to make sure you are feeding them a correct diet. Food in captivity is often less nutrient dense than in the wild that can lead to nutritional metabolic bone disease.

Finally, you will need to provide your lizard with a proper UV lighting fixture and habitat. They are extremely sensitive to nutritional or environmental changes and stress very easily.

If you decide to buy a Baby Chameleon it is not uncommon for them to die during shipping. This is due to the stress they undergo during transit.

You should also avoid handling him as much as possible. This species is not domesticated and does not like to be handled.

Repeatedly touching young Chameleons will likely lead to premature death.

How Much Does A Baby Chameleon Cost?

There are over 100 subspecies of Chameleon. The price of a baby Chameleon depends on their subspecies. Many species can be purchased for $30 to $100. However rare individuals such as the Veiled species can cost $400.

Males are generally hardier and have more vibrant colors. This makes them more expensive than females.

Here is a list of some species sold in the United States and their price range:

SpeciesPrice (USD)
Elliot’s$30 to $90
Dwarf Fisher’s$30 to $90
Jackson’s$30 to $100
Panther$200 to $400
Veiled$200 to $500

Panther Chameleons are expensive because they can only be purchased captive bred. Panthers are from Madagascar and their importation to the USA has been banned since the 1970s.

They are also capable of drastic color changes. This is because of the photonic crystals on their skin. Males can change their color from dark green to bright orange.

The most expensive Chameleon is the veiled species. Their unique appearance and ability to change the brightness of their skin makes them a popular pet.

Baby veiled species can change how bright their skin appears based on their mood. Bright colors represent happiness or anger. Darker colors can indicate stress.

Do Baby Chameleons Bite?

Chameleons can be aggressive and territorial.

If you handle a scared Chameleon you risk him biting you. Larger species like the panther species have a very strong bite.

They will extend their legs and puff out their throat if they perceive you as a threat. They will also become bright in color and hiss at you as a warning. At this point you should walk away from your pet and allow them to relax.

Remember Chameleons are not domesticated pets.

They are not comfortable being handled by humans.

Baby Chameleons should be handled as infrequently as possible. This will help to avoid aggression and health problems.

When approaching a baby you should never make sudden movements. Quick movements seem predatorial to a baby.

If possible it is best to avoid handling altogether.

How To Feed Baby Chameleon

In the wild Baby chameleons eat a variety of insects.

Their diet can include crickets, mealworms, roaches, flies, spiders and more.

Baby chameleons should eat 10 to 20 crickets, roaches or worms every day. These insects should be gut loaded and smaller than the size of your lizard’s head.

Make sure you feed a variety of insects. Do not just feed crickets or worms. Try to include non-toxic butterflies and grasshoppers. You can also feed hawk moths, fruit flies and ants.

Store purchased insects are suitable provided they are prepared properly and gut loaded. In order to gut load the insects feed them fresh fruit and vegetables such as dandelion leaves and potted hibiscus plants.

Once you have prepared the insects use prongs or tweezers to grab them and place them in the enclosure. Your Baby chameleon is a hunter in the wild. They will instinctually know what to do once they see food.

Make sure to feed the gut loaded insects within 24 hours to your lizard.

Once each week dust the insects with a calcium supplement. This supplement should have no vitamin D and little to no phosphorus.

Twice a month feed a multivitamin containing Vitamin A and a low amount of vitamin D3. It is important to provide just the right amount of these vitamins. Too much of a certain vitamin can lead to health issues.

Finally, you need to provide a fresh water source.

In the wild Chameleons obtain their water from droplets on plant leaves or other surfaces. To mimic this you should mist their enclosure. The frequency of misting depends on their species:

  • You should spray a Panther chameleon’s enclosure two to four times a day. You can also build a water drip system with a plastic cup.
  • For a veiled you should provide a continual one-minute spray once in the evening when the lights are off.

How Fast Do Baby Chameleons Grow?

Monitoring the growth of your baby chameleon is very important.

Growth is a good indicator of proper husbandry.

If a Chameleon is given the proper diet then you can expect a baby to grow one to two inches per month.

Many owners track a young chameleon’s growth each month to make sure they are developing properly. If your Chameleon suddenly stops growing, or starts to lose weight, it can be a sign of stress or improper husbandry.

Below is a growth chart for a baby veiled chameleon. Panther chameleons follow the same growth rate, but are generally larger as adults:

48 hours2 inches
2 weeks3 inches
1 month5 inches
3 months7 inches
8 months9 to 14 inches
12 months17 to 24 inches (male)
10 to 14 inches (female)

How To Care For A Baby Chameleon

In order to properly take care of a baby chameleon you must set up a proper enclosure and lighting.

The specific setup can vary between species but their requirements are generally the same.

Enclosure Set Up

Chameleons should have a tall plastic-coated wire mesh enclosure placed at eye level.

Baby Chameleons should not be able to see their reflection as this can lead to stress. This means you should not use a glass enclosure.

They are also susceptible to UV ray damage. Because of this you should not place their enclosure near a window or skylight.

Young Chameleons should be housed in an enclosure at least 16 x 16 x 30 inches.

After six months they should be transferred to an adult-sized 60-gallon enclosure.

Plants and Branches

Chameleons are specifically adapted for arboreal habitats. In order to make their habitat suitable to live in you must provide them with décor to climb. To do this you can place vines and branches in their enclosure.

In addition to branches you will need to plant plants in their enclosure too. Bonsai trees, Ivy, Ferns and Orchids are good choices.

Plants will help them feel safe. Providing real plants has been shown to decrease their stress level.

Fake plants can be used, but they should be boiled in hot water for at least 15 minutes to kill possible bacteria.

Regardless of whether you decide to use real or fake plants, they will need to be tall standing and placed throughout the length of the enclosure.

Temperate and Lighting

Baby Chameleons should live in an enclosure that is between 75 to 85°F with 40% to 60% humidity. This temperate can be achieved with proper lighting.

Panther chameleons should be given a 40-watt UVB bulb for 50 hours a week.

Veiled chameleons should have a ceramic reflector dome with a UVA bulb placed six inches above the highest basking perch. The bulb should reach 90 to 95°F during the day.

If the enclosure is still too cold you can also add a 50W ceramic heat emitter.


Chameleons spend most of their time up high in their enclosure.

Because of this, unless you plan to use real plants, it is unnecessary to place any substrate at the bottom of their tank.

If you do decide to use real plants in the enclosure then use topsoil without added fertilizer. Harsh chemicals from pesticides and unnatural fertilizer can harm your baby chameleon.

You can also use reptile carpet; however, the loops can snag on the claws of your chameleon.

Why Do Baby Chameleons Die?

Many Baby Chameleons die in captivity because of stress or poor husbandry.

Babies are not as adaptable to change as other pet lizards. It can be very difficult for first time keepers to provide suitable husbandry to this species.

Continual stress due to improper nutrition, humidity, temperature, hygiene, lighting and disease is extremely common.

A mistake beginners make is thinking that Chameleons are a good pet for children. They are not! Another common mistake is assuming this species likes to be handled. They do not!

Beginners will need to work very hard to provide a proper habitat and diet for this pet.

Feeding store bought insects will not be enough.

You need to provide a variety of insects that are gut loaded. Their diet must also be supplemented as Baby Chameleons need vitamins A and D, calcium and phosphorus.

Without these essential nutrients your Chameleon is at risk of a variety of health problems. Low levels of vitamin A can lead to stunted growth, blindness and reproduction difficulty.


In order to keep a baby Chameleon healthy you need to do your research beforehand. Research will help you provide proper husbandry and increase the likelihood of keeping a healthy Chameleon.

At a minimum make sure you:

  • Provide vitamin A and D3 supplements twice a month.
  • Dust their insects with calcium powder once a week.
  • Provide a tall mesh enclosure at least 16 x 16 x 30 inches (filled with climbing plants).
  • Place their enclosure at eye level.
  • Do not handle them.

The amount of effort required to take care of and keep this lizard healthy is a lot. These beautiful reptiles are not suited to everyone.

If you do decide that this species is right for you make sure you buy from a reputable breeder.

Let us know if you have kept a baby chameleon in the comments below.

How to feed a chameleon? Feeding process

Absolutely all chameleons are predators. Under natural conditions, their diet consists of various living creatures that they can catch with their weapon - the tongue. Small chameleons are content with insects, large ones also diversify their diet with rodents, lizards and even small birds. It is clear that these exotics will not be able to eat food from the master's table. Therefore, you will have to take care that the diet of your little dinosaur is close to natural.

Animal food in the diet of a chameleon

Nutritionally optimal food for chameleons is crickets (Banana, Brownie, Two-spotted). They are bought at pet stores or grown on their own. Depending on your pet's appetite, 3 to 10 insects may be needed per day.

Equally useful for chameleons and locusts. An adult chameleon usually needs one insect per day.

Another delicacy for reptiles is feed cockroaches (Marble, Turkmen, American, Argentinean). But they are inferior in nutritional value to crickets and locusts.

Meal worms, wax moth larvae, and Zophobos are offered to reptiles in small quantities. Although these insects are usually very fond of chameleons, frequent feeding of them can lead to liver failure of the animal. This food is very fatty, they should not pamper the ward more often than 3-4 times a month.

In addition to the above, flies, spiders, grasshoppers, cockchafers, dragonflies, stick insects, etc. can be included in the chameleon's diet from time to time.

Don't feed your chameleon only crickets or locusts, for example. It is necessary to provide the pet with a diet of at least 2-3 types of insects.

Under natural conditions, chameleons eat insects, the nutritional value of which is significantly higher than the food that we buy in pet stores or breed ourselves. Therefore, do not forget to enrich the livestock offered to the pet with vitamins and mineral supplements.

Never offer reptile bees or wasps. Most likely, the animal will simply ignore such "food". The fact is that chameleons from birth can distinguish poisonous insects from those suitable for food. But if the reptile nevertheless dares to try such a treat, it will almost certainly be stung on the tongue, which will end in failure.

Adult chameleons of large species (Parsoni, Yemeni, Panther) will not refuse newborn mice. But keep in mind that such a delicacy in large quantities harms the animal's digestive system and liver - you can give it no more than twice a month.

Do chameleons eat plant foods?

Many species of chameleons, in addition to animal food, do not refuse vegetable food. In the wild, it can be berries, fruits, tender leaves of plants.

Each chameleon may have a preference for plant foods. At home, try offering your pet tangerines, oranges, cherries, grapes, apples, watermelons, melons, bananas, dandelions, lettuce, etc. Despite the fastidiousness of chameleons, something will please your pet.

For some species, such as the Yemeni chameleon common in terrarium collections, plant foods are a must in the diet.

Plant food is offered with tweezers or by hand. Fruit should be cut into small pieces. You can fix fruit slices and berries on the branches of terrarium plants.

Now let's talk more about the process of feeding the chameleon.

An adult reptile takes food once every 2 days, young individuals - 2 times a day. It is better to feed the chameleon at the same time.

Spray the walls of the terrarium and the chameleon itself with clean, warm water from a spray bottle. Usually these animals do not drink from drinkers. In nature, the reptile licks moisture droplets from the leaves of plants. At home, the chameleon gets the moisture it needs by licking off droplets that, after spraying, will remain on the walls of the terrarium and terrarium plants. A chameleon should drink at least twice a day - animals are prone to dehydration.

Chameleon feeding process

There are several options for feeding a chameleon. The easiest is to launch crickets or other insects into the terrarium. But this method has its drawbacks. Insects can simply leave the terrarium and scatter throughout the house. If crickets hide in all sorts of cracks inside the terrarium and then die, there will be an unpleasant smell. And sorting through the entire dwelling of a chameleon in search of insects is quite troublesome. Therefore, it is better and more practical to use a feeder.

So, to feed the chameleon, you will need: tweezers, a container (a plastic jar or a glass), a jar of vitamins, any large container, live crickets. For one feeding, an adult chameleon, not suffering from a lack of appetite, can eat up to ten crickets. Therefore, it is better to buy a batch of insects for your pet right away and keep them in a large plastic container with holes for air access.

Take a large, clean jar and place 3 to 10 crickets in it (depending on your child's appetite). Pour Reptocal or Reptolife powdered vitamins there, designed specifically for reptiles. Shake the jar so that vitamin dust settles on the wings and legs of insects. Next, take a fairly tall plastic jar or cup (you need to pick up the container so that the chameleon reaches the very bottom with its tongue), place the cricket there and offer the pet. The feeder can be attached under the reptile's favorite branch in such a way that the chameleon can see the prey well and can get it without any problems.

Chameleons can be easily trained to take food from their hands or tweezers. In general, hand feeding is a quick way to gain a pet's trust. Care must be taken when feeding with tweezers. Hold the cricket with tweezers so that the reptile can easily remove the insect without snagging the tweezers. It happens that the animal, along with the food, swallows the tip of the tweezers and breaks its teeth. If the lizard has stuck to the tweezers, do not make sudden movements, the tongue should come off by itself. The use of metal tweezers is not recommended. It is better to purchase special tweezers with soft pads on the tips at the pet store.

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animal and plant foods, vitamins

Pets can be more than just fluffy cats, friendly dogs, and talkative parrots. Some people keep at home an exotic reptile - a chameleon. This unusual pet requires special conditions of detention, proper care and special nutrition, which has a certain value for the reptile organism.

In the article we will consider the nutritional features of chameleons, what food they can and cannot be given, in what quantity, and the peculiarity of the drinking regimen.

Chameleon Diet in the Wild

In their natural habitat, chameleons feed on various insects, chicks, small lizards and other mammals.

The main part of the daily diet is insects - spiders, crickets, worms, flies, caterpillars, etc. Smart animals do not eat stinging and poisonous insects. Even if the reptile is very hungry, it will not hunt a potentially dangerous prey.

Tree fruits and green leaves make up a small part of the diet.

Feeding chameleons at home

Exotic lizards living at home require a special diet. Reptiles cannot eat the usual foods that are typical for the human table. Despite the fact that vegetables and fruits still make up a certain part of the menu, the priority food for a chameleon is food of animal origin.

Food of animal origin

Animal products for the chameleon are insects. The most useful food is crickets and locusts.

What other insects can be fed to the chameleon:

  • food cockroaches;
  • grasshoppers;
  • flies;
  • spiders;
  • May beetles;
  • dragonflies;
  • Zophobos, wax moth larvae and mealworms can be given 3-4 times a month (frequent feeding of these insects can cause liver failure).

Large species of chameleons can be fed to small mice. Such a treat should not be given to a pet more than 2 times a month.

Herbal food and vitamin supplements

Pet lizards can be fed plant food - green leaves, vegetables, fruits of some species.

What can be given to a chameleon:

  • green lettuce leaves;
  • dandelions;
  • grapes;
  • cherries;
  • bananas;
  • melons and watermelons;
  • tangerines, oranges;
  • kiwi;
  • apples.

For pet reptiles, special mineral and vitamin supplements are created to ensure a complete diet and maintain physical health.

Useful vitamins for chameleons:

  1. Calcium is an extremely important element for the body of reptiles. It strengthens bones and improves dental health. With its deficiency, metabolic bone disease (rickets) develops.
  2. Phosphorus is a useful component that regulates the correct balance of vitamins and minerals in the body. It must be consumed in the correct ratio with calcium.
  3. Vitamin D3 - strengthens the immune system, maintains normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the body of the lizard.
  4. Vitamin A - ensures the normal functioning of the visual organs, maintains healthy bones and immunity.

Even the most beneficial vitamins and minerals in excess can cause serious health problems. An excess of phosphorus contributes to the development of heart and kidney failure. High levels of vitamin A lead to nervous system disorders and liver problems. Vitamin D3 in large quantities negatively affects the condition of muscles and nerves.

The best solution is to buy special food with the right ratio of useful microelements.

Methods of feeding

Fruit is served to domestic lizards in small pieces from tweezers or from hands. You can also hang the product on the branches of terrarium plants.

Be as gentle as possible when feeding with tweezers. The lizard can snatch food sharply and damage its teeth. To eliminate this, purchase special tweezers with soft tips for feeding the chameleon.

Feed and vitamin and mineral supplements can be placed in the feeder in the terrarium. It is better to choose dishes made of plastic or glass. To prevent live insects from getting out of the feeder, grease the sides of the dishes with oil.

How often to feed the chameleon

Young lizards are fed daily, 2 times a day. Adult chameleons eat once every two days. It is advisable to feed the pet according to the regimen, serve food at the same time.

Features of the drinking regime

In their natural habitat, chameleons get water from raindrops or dew on plants. To provide a domestic lizard with drinking water, it is recommended to spray water on the plants in the terrarium from a spray bottle. You need to do this up to 4 times a day, but you should control the level of humidity in the terrarium. The optimal indicator is 60-90%.

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