About animals

How to feed a chameleon at home


Yemeni Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) - fairly large lizards, which belong to the class of reptiles. On average, the size of an adult chameleon is about 30 cm, but there are also adults reaching 50-60 cm. In general, chameleons are very moody in content, but the Yemeni chameleon is very hardy and easily adapts to life in captivity. In nature, the Yemeni chameleon lives in hot countries, such as: Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

Yemeni Chameleons subdivided into two subspecies. The first - Calcarifer - this species lives in the hottest coastal places in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. The comfortable habitat for this Yemeni chameleon is a hot and humid climate. The second - Calyptratus - inhabits a cooler climate in the north of the country. This species feels more comfortable in captivity in the terrarium of the house. The comfortable environment for this type of Yemeni chameleon is where it will be humid, the daytime temperature fluctuates around +30 C, and the night temperature around +20 C. It is this species that can reach a maximum of 60 cm. Also, compared to Calcarifer, Calyptratus is brighter and varied color.

Yemeni Chameleons in the past, they were extremely rare in captivity, as wild individuals survived very poorly in the terrariums of even the most experienced terrariums, but over time, Yemeni chameleons born and raised in captivity, which began to adapt well in terrarium conditions, were bred.

Yemeni Chameleons large lizards. Sexually mature males reach 45-60 cm, and adult sexually mature females are much smaller, about 35 cm. In addition to size, females of Yemeni chameleons are distinguished by an even more dense physique. On the head of the Yemeni chameleons there is a comb that grows up to 6 cm. There is a very common myth that the chameleon is able to 100% accept the color of the environment, for the sake of disguise. But again, this is a myth. In fact, the Yemeni chameleon really changes color, both sexes during stress, and females also during pregnancy. However, the chameleon is not able to completely merge with the environment. Yemeni chameleon can change color depending on the mood, as well as to communicate with other chameleons. It was also noted that individuals that grew in captivity and alone have a less bright color than those that grew in the group. Young Yemeni green chameleons. As they grow older they appear stripes.

The life expectancy of a Yemeni chameleon is not so high compared to other species of lizards, which live for 15-20 years. The male of the Yemeni chameleon on average survives to 6-8 years, and the females to 4-6 years. The difference in life expectancy in females is due to the fact that they carry eggs, even without being fertilized, which greatly depletes and wears out the body. Such a life span is possible only if well maintained.

Yemeni Chameleon Content has its own nuances. If you have brought several babies of the Yemeni chameleon, then you should know that after they reach puberty, namely 8-10 months, all Yemeni chameleons must be kept separately. Such precautions in order to avoid territorial fights and stresses. Two male Yemeni chameleons will never be able to get along in one terrarium, most likely, this content will lead to constant fights, stress and, as a result of the death of one of the males. A vertical terrarium is suitable for keeping Yemeni chameleons. An important aspect when choosing a terrarium for a chameleon is good ventilation. It is better if one wall of the terrarium is in the form of a ventilation net with small holes. The fact is that air congestion in the terrarium leads to respiratory diseases in Yemeni chameleons. As for the size of the terrarium, you should be guided by the rule "The more, the better." Do not forget that Yemeni chameleons, especially males, grow quite large. And for the lizard to feel good in the terrarium, space is needed so that it can move freely and not experience stress due to lack of territory. The optimal size of the terrarium for the content of one Yemeni chameleon is 100x80x40. There is one very common opinion that if an animal lives in a small room, then it does not grow. Guided by this opinion is a huge mistake. Lizard growth has nothing to do with the size of the terrarium. Each individual will grow according to its genetic predisposition. The only difference is that the individual in a small space will suffer daily from a lack of space, and as a result grow in stress and diseases that will inevitably shorten their life. Yemeni chameleon is a tree species, so install branches, plants and wall shelters in the terrarium so that the chameleon can hide in them and move around them. When setting the scenery, take care of the strength of all structures so that the chameleon does not get injured. And also, set them in such a way that the chameleon can climb up on them in order to warm up and relax. As ornamental plants in a terrarium with Yemeni chameleons, you can use artificial plants, as well as some non-toxic living plants, such as ficus, dracaena, hibiscus. But nevertheless, it is worth giving preference to fresh flowers, as they help maintain the necessary moisture balance in the terrarium. As soil, it is best to use a special reptile mat or a regular paper towel. During feeding, a Yemeni chameleon can accidentally swallow part of the soil, which will lead to serious health problems or even death. For the sake of safety, you should choose the soil especially carefully. If paper towels and a specialized rug do not suit you, pay attention to large pebbles. There is another secret to the happy life of a chameleon. To make the chameleon feel safer, he needs to be as high as possible, for this, do not put the terrarium with the chameleon on the floor, but rather, put it on a high stable surface.

Yemeni Chameleon Content not limited to choosing a terrarium. For the proper growth and development of the chameleon, it is necessary to install two types of lamps. The first is a lamp for heating. This lamp must be installed so that it shines on the upper branches in the terrarium so that the chameleon can climb them and warm themselves, relax. Thus, the chameleon will be able to regulate its temperature by moving around the terrarium. Heating in the form of thermal mats, thermal cords and thermal stones will not fit the terrarium with a Yemeni chameleon, since the chameleon does not rest on the ground and will not be able to take advantage of all these quirks. The second type is ultraviolet lamps. This is a very important stage in the arrangement of the terrarium. The fact is that ultraviolet is necessary for all living things in order to produce vitamin D3, without which calcium will not be absorbed in the body. I think it’s not worth explaining how important the role of calcium in the body is, everything is clear here. In reptiles without the necessary amount of absorbed calcium, rickets begin, which leads to problems with molting, bending of bones and, in the absence of treatment, to the death of the animal. In nature, a Yemeni chameleon has enough sunlight to produce the necessary amount of vitamin D3 and lead a happy and healthy life. But in our latitudes there is not enough ultraviolet light for these reptiles, let alone a terrarium, in which it is simply absent. To do this, install a UV lamp in the terrarium so that the rays fall directly into the terrarium, in no case through glass (the glass does not pass ultraviolet light). In the instructions for ultraviolet lamps there is a description of the required% for your pet, as well as the life of the lamps. Even at the end of its service life, an ultraviolet lamp can continue to shine with the same intensity, but it will no longer give the necessary ultraviolet, becoming completely useless thanks to these properties. Do not forget to change the lamps in the terrarium at the end of the service life indicated on the package. Usually, for Yemeni chameleons, 4-5% ultraviolet lamps are needed. Both lamps should simulate daylight hours, so you should leave them on during the day for 12 hours. For convenience, you can use special timers in the socket, which at certain times will turn on and off the lamps. So you can be calm and not worry that you will forget to turn on the light in the terrarium at a certain time. In the terrarium, the total temperature during the day should be 27-30 C, and in the place of heating about 35 C. In order not to overheat the terrarium, it is better to connect the heating lamp through a temperature regulator, which will help ensure the desired temperature in the place of heating. And also, install a special electronic thermometer in the terrarium to monitor and maintain the required temperature in the terrarium. At night, the Yemeni chameleon will have enough normal room temperature, the only condition is that it should not fall below 17 C.

Yemeni Chameleon does not recognize any drinkers. Since in nature they live on trees and drink mainly dew and raindrops, it is necessary to create similar conditions in the terrarium. For this, it is necessary to spray the terrarium two to three times a day from the spray gun. It is necessary to spray the walls of the terrarium, the decor and leaves of plants, so that the chameleon itself licks droplets from them and quenches thirst. To maintain the necessary humidity, there are also special systems that periodically let fog or drops of water into the terrarium. In a terrarium with a Yemeni chameleon, moderate humidity is needed, about 55%. To maintain the required humidity level, you will need to install a hygrometer in the terrarium.

Feeding the Yemeni Chameleons pretty simple. Basically, the Yemeni chameleon's diet consists of insects, such as crickets, locusts, flies, grasshoppers, cockroaches and earthworms. There are only two of the most important conditions for choosing insects. First, you should choose an insect to feed the chameleon, respectively, its size. The insect should not be greater than the distance between the eyes of the chameleon so that it does not choke. And second, you cannot feed reptiles with insects caught in the yard. The city has poor ecology and a lot of waste and chemicals that settle on insects and can cause serious harm to the health of reptiles. Young chameleons should eat 1-2 times a day, it is better if access to food is constant. As they grow older, the frequency of feeding is reduced. An adult Yemeni chameleon is fed once every two days. In addition to insects, you should give the Yemeni chameleon plant nutrition. For example, juicy fruits (especially they like ripe pears, apples, peaches) and vegetables (zucchini, peppers), dandelion leaves. Plant food is best given with tweezers or suspended in a terrarium. And insects should be put in a special feeder or given with tweezers. When feeding it is very important to give Yemeni chameleons fortified supplements and calcium. So that the chameleon grows healthy and does not suffer from a lack of vitamins. For this, there are specialized feed additives. The most common supplements are sold in powder form. Using it is very simple, you just need to add it to a jar of insects and shake it a bit so that the powder sticks to them, after that feed the reptile in the usual way. The basis of such fortified supplements is calcium. Nowadays, calcium supplements along with vitamin D3 are also often found, which undoubtedly facilitates the care of animals and helps calcium to be better absorbed in the body. The range of additives is currently becoming wider; liquid fortified additives have also appeared, in the form of a spray or drops in water. As for calcium for Yemeni chameleons, it is best to choose a spray or calcium powder. Since the chameleon does not accept drinking bowls, it will not work to give vitamins in this way, and if you spray water with calcium on the terrarium, the walls of the terrarium will be constantly in white and you will have to clean them every day. Therefore, it is best to add calcium and vitamin D3 to the Yemeni chameleon's diet with food, either in powder form or by spraying insects from a spray.

Calcium for Yemeni Chameleon extremely necessary. In order for the animal to grow and develop correctly, it is necessary to give specialized additives to the chameleon with each meal. Fortunately, it is not difficult to do this, and there are places to buy such additives. Calcium must be added both when feeding insects and when feeding plant foods. Calcium is especially important for pregnant females. During each pregnancy, the female experiences a tremendous strain on the body, and a decent supply of calcium is expelled from the female's body to form eggs and the embryo. In reptile babies, there are times when calcium is not absorbed. Such problems are unlikely to be solved and the baby will die within a few months. But if, for example, vitamin D3 is not produced with ultraviolet, then you just need to give it a little more than an ordinary chameleon with food using specialized reptile supplements.

Yemeni Chameleons very bizarre and interesting animals. They are able to change color in case of danger, and females also in case of pregnancy. The chameleon eats with the help of its long tongue, with which it is able to shoot accurately, grab the insect and send it straight to the mouth. The length of the tongue of a chameleon is on average 1.5-2 times longer than its body. The speed of such a shot with the tongue of the chameleon is incredibly fast. A chameleon is able to grab its prey in 0.07 seconds. The tip of the tongue itself has an accumulation of muscles, which allows the chameleon to grab the prey with its tongue, like a suction cup. And the most interesting thing is that the Yemeni chameleon is able to watch simultaneously in two directions. Their eyes are able to move separately from each other, rotate and focus on different objects, which gives the chameleon the opportunity to see what is happening around 360 degrees. When prey is detected, both eyes can focus at one point. Chameleons have very good eyesight for reptiles. A chameleon is able to see a small insect from a distance of 5-10 m. Chameleons do not have external or middle ears, so they hear very hard. However, they are not deaf at all. A chameleon is able to detect sound at a frequency of 200-600 Hz.

Yemeni Chameleon not a simple lizard. To maintain it, you will need some experience and knowledge, and you also need to take care of the proper equipment of the terrarium to maintain the necessary climate. However, subject to all the rules of keeping Yemeni chameleons and the right diet, this bizarre animal can live 4-6 years and delight you with its interesting appearance and funny behavior.

What do chameleons eat in nature

It should be borne in mind that a chameleon by nature is a predator. It feeds mainly on crawling and flying insects. Not indifferent to their larvae.

The only condition for choosing a victim is the lack of poison in insects.. A chameleon may prefer spiders, flies or dragonflies.

Reference! Selectivity is inherent in choice from birth. Therefore, it is not difficult to distinguish poisonous insects from non-toxic ones.

Cases when a predator wants to feast on a wasp or a bee are minimized. He will not look in their direction even in the event of extreme hunger, since it can die from poison.

Chameleons are not indifferent to small lizards, small rodents and birds (this applies only to large individuals). We can conclude that they feed on all the non-toxic that they can catch and eat.

Vegetation complements the diet, which lizards also do not neglect.

Animal feed

The most ideal food option for chameleons:

You can find them without difficulty in any large pet store. There will be no problems in self-cultivation.

Reference! The reptile eats up to ten insects a day, everything will depend on its appetite. The optimal dosage is easy to determine by watching a couple of days for your pet.

Buying up to ten crickets or cockroaches per day can be expensive. therefore better grow them yourself. But there are nuances:

  • house crickets rarely get sick
  • adapt well to changing conditions, multiply rapidly,
  • no need for additional heating and other content requirements,
  • some species jump well.

Two spotted

You can grow a two-spotted cricket. it the largest and fastest growing species.

Two-spotted cricket is not such a harmless insect. is he can bite a chameleon by the tongue, which sometimes even leads to the death of a reptile.

For breeding, be prepared to ensure the temperature regime (33 degrees or more). Otherwise, the cricket will fall ill.


Banana Cricket - optimal type of feed. They do not have a hard chitinous cover; these insects are rather large.

But they poorly resist various diseases, they also tend to cannibalism.


If you do not want problems in breeding, it is better to feed the chameleons with cockroaches. It is about marble, Turkmen or Argentine..

Important! Cockroaches have much less protein than crickets. Therefore, the diet will have to be reviewed.

The following arguments can be made in favor of their breeding:

  • live long
  • practically do not get sick,
  • omnivores
  • just breed and maintain,
  • practically not prone to cannibalism.

Vegetable feed

Animal feed is protein.

Important! To get the required percentage of moisture and get enough vitamins, you need vegetation.

  • leaves,
  • berries and fruits
  • vegetables (exceptionally soft).

Vitamins and Minerals

In the wild, chameleons feed on different types of insects, so a balance of vitamins and minerals is maintained. But at home, even if you use animal and vegetable feed, he will lack nutrients.

If you care about reptile health, buy vitamins for it.. They can be bought at any pet store, in consultation with the seller. It will help you choose the right complex, depending on the type of your pet.


In the wild, chameleons do not drink water from ponds, but lick the dew from the leaves. That's why it is important to give them only purified water.

Attention! You can’t give juices! Sugar and its additives can be harmful.

It is best to place a drip drinker. It should have a dispenser that controls the rate of fall of clean water. Place it in the reptile's dwelling, and put a container below, water will flow there.


There is nothing complicated about feeding. You can do it hands or tweezers. This is the best option. So you can understand how much food your pet needs.

Advice! Hold the tweezers so that the tongue of the chameleon does not touch it.

It is recommended that you purchase special tweezers for feeding reptiles, which is sold at the pet store.

In the trough

You can use a feeder and put insects there. So that they do not run away, grease the bottom with Vaseline. Place the feeder in a place where reptiles would be convenient to eat.

If the insect died, then it must be removed.

Subject to these recommendations, the chameleon will live a long time!

Content of Yemeni Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

Recently, it has become fashionable to start a chameleon's pet, most often it is the Yemeni chameleon Chamaeleo calyptratus, they are quite unpretentious and not expensive.
Most new owners buy everything that they are told in the store, which is logical, but alas, money now rules, and most sellers do not even know how to care for these creations. Forgive me, store owners and people involved in selling exotics, but they would only have to sell. You will not return the animal under warranty and do not make claims, because everything happens in words, but the death of a beloved weirdo is still an unpleasant event for you, and for children in general a tragedy. So, to avoid such situations, I will describe a couple of points of the basic tenets, so to speak. Only chur, I write essentially such crap as habitat, tail length and paw span, you will not find here, as they say - "to help Google." And this post is intended only for beginners purchasing the first chameleon. In general, let's start:

Choosing a chameleon:
1. We take only the male - males are brighter, bigger and most importantly they live alone longer. Females need mating and get very sick without this process until death.
2.One Terrarium - One Chameleon keeping several males in one terrarium is unacceptable - only one will remain. The content of the female and male is unacceptable - they are planted only at the time of mating, and then for a couple of hours.
3.Age not less than a month old, and preferably two - chameleons bred in captivity are rather frail and some even at birth are doomed to death (at the genetic level), mainly this period takes two months of life. Also, by purchasing a grown chameleon, you facilitate the process of selecting a feed object (more on this below).
4. We look at the skin - the skin of small chameleons is very unusual and is somewhat similar to plasticine, latex, cyber skin, in general, I do not know how to explain it, but it is cool. Skin with wrinkles and so-called “skukozhenny” sign of a lack of moisture, drying out. The tone should be even and when the color changes, the entire cover should change, no dark pigments that are clearly expressed on the body with different colors are not allowed. those. if the Hamik is getting dark, his whole body is getting dark, if he is getting lighter, he is getting whole. These pigments are still similar to moles, but these are sores.
5. Pay attention to the shape of the limbs, helmet (ridge) and spine - the lines should be straight and so to speak correct, chameleons at an early age are very susceptible to rickets, especially if the overexposure is incorrect in stores before sale. Rickets is expressed by swollen limbs, bending and bending of the bones (if there is even a slight suspicion that something is wrong with the baby, it is better not to take it).
6. Pay attention to the eyes - chameleons never close their eyes during daylight hours, you can often see how a chameleon sits with one eye closed, or completely closed - this is not good. The eyes are another weak point of the chameleons. They must be clear, mobile and vibrant.
7. We look at the mouth and nose - there should not be snot, it is immediately noticeable when the baby has a cold. we check the mouth by simply poking the boor in the face (but certainly not touching), it will begin to hiss and open its mouth, look quickly inside and should see a nice pink color, without strange darkening, the saliva should be transparent and, as it were, not viscous.

Choose a terrarium:
The most basic are two factors -
1. The optimal living space is a 40x40x80cm terrarium. (height 80cm.)
2. Terrarim must have flow ventilation and is equipped inside with a lamp for ultraviolet lamps or above a grid, but not above the glass; ultraviolet does not pass through the glass.
All other factors are aimed only at facilitating the cleaning and maintenance of the terrarium, so to speak, you pay for your comfort and aesthetics, and to a hamman like a drum, to be honest.

Chameleon Equipment:
1. boors must drinkand they only drink moving water, the focus with the bowl will not go away and there should be humidity inside the terrarium (do not bother with percentages) it just needs to be slightly wetter than in the apartment.
this can be solved in two ways: 1. Regularly spray with a spray bottle in the morning and in the evening, the lint dripping drops licks, the remaining drops evaporate and maintain moisture. 2. Install a waterfall, you can buy a branded one at a pet store, or buy any decorative waterfall suitable for the size and access to running water in a souvenir shop (with the last three conditions: it should not have a chemical smell, the paint should not easily leave marks on your finger or be wiped off with a fingernail and the waterfall should not blink, glow or emit fog.
2.Ultraviolet - an ultraviolet lamp is vital for chameleons, nothing can be invented here, only branded lamps for mid-range terrariums (5.0) I can say from personal experience that a lamp can be installed inside the terrarium without any covers and protections, in five years none of mine the chameleons did not receive a burn. I remind you that UV rays do not pass through the glass!
3. Branches and creepers - you need to arrange branches throughout the terrarium so that they have access to a waterfall, a lamp (hamiks like to bask under a lamp), and a feeder. The diameter of the branches should be the size of the girth of the chameleon's paws - small thin, thicker for adults. To understand what diameter you need, just put the baby on a pencil and see what kind of grip he has, if the paws do not close, then you need to be thinner, and vice versa. I think the branches do not need to explain where to look, since we do not live in the desert.
4.Heating - boors love heat but not heat, here without fanaticism. The optimum temperature is 27-28 degrees, in ordinary apartments where the average temperature is 24-25 degrees, additional heating is not needed, just a lamp: either one UV lamp or an additional incandescent lamp (not very powerful enough 40-60W) that we buy in a regular department store households goods.
5.Feeder - the thing is optional but convenient, I get around the cut-off bottom of the plastic opaque bottle, ashtrays, coffee cups, or any other opaque containers with smooth walls inside (their task is not to allow the feed to get out) are still well suited and the feeder should have enough weight to sit on she’s a weirdo, didn’t knock her over.
6.Rug - no soil, pebbles and other loose fillers, a chameleon, by its curiosity or stupidity, can eat this and there may be disastrous consequences. The rug can be laid out of a piece of linoleum, artificial trafa, or any material that does not absorb moisture (so that it does not begin to bloom and mold) and that it does not have a sharp chemical smell (a pungent smell is a toxin - poison).
7. Scenery - again, there are two ways: either we buy a bush of artificial greenery in a pet shop for a couple of hundred, or we go to the market where artificial flowers are sold, and we choose what our heart desires, the main thing is that the leaves should not be made of fabric, but of plastic, well and of course without a specific smell. Greenery in the terrarium is needed as a shelter for chameleons, because they don’t like to sit in open places and will hide in leaflets with pleasure. Without greens, the chameleon will often be stressed and depressed.

1. No worms. In no case, under any circumstances, do we feed the larvae of the worms of our chameleon. Zofobus, the tormentor is not for the chameleon (yes they will eat worms with pleasure, but they adversely affect the liver of the lizard).
2. The chameleon eats only live food - stories about feeding dry crickets are just noodles on your ears and an attempt to shove dead insects into the "burdock" that you are still.
3. We feed only live insects bred in captivity - no cockroaches and insects caught in the kitchen or the street. You can find a list of feed cockroaches on the form.
4. Be sure to give vitamin and calcium to the chameleons along with cockroaches - the standard pair is “reptile cal” and “reptile life” we mix in a ratio of 2: 1 (where 2 is calcium and 1 vitamin) it is better to mix in some container where you will cockroaches or crickets to be planted before feeding, insects in a panic will rush about this capacity, thereby being covered with a useful layer of vitamins - bon appetit.
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Well, that’s probably all I wanted to write about the first steps of caring for a chameleon. I repeat that this material is prepared exclusively for beginners and the optimal recipe is described out of many possible - therefore, I will not argue with anyone, prove anything or measure experience, as they say, IMHO and I will gladly help everyone with any advice, as far as their own knowledge.

Last edited by DIXgigant on 04/13/2014 at 01:55.