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The veiled chameleon, also known as the yemen chameleon, is a chameleon species from Saudi Arabia and Yemen in the Middle East. They live among coastal mountain slopes and desert oasis'. These have complex needs that may not appeal to beginners, and are not a reptile you can cuddle! Some chameleons are friendly but most are known for hating being handled.
Often appearing in shades of green and teal, this chameleon does a great job at blending in to the foliage around it. These chameleons can come in morphs of green, yellow, black, blue and teal in different patterns on the chameleon's body. These patterns and colours change with the chameleon's mood. A very dark chameleon may be scared or stressed (or just basking), while a bright, patterned chameleon is a sign that it's happy or excited. They have a large cone-shaped casque on top of their head that aids the chameleon in drinking. Male chameleons can grow up to two feet when adult sized.
Male chameleons will grow much bigger than females, and have a much higher casque. Males have a small protrusion called a tarsal spur on each of their hind heels that females do not. Also, males will have a hemi-penal bulge at the base of their tail.
Heating, lighting and humidity
We recommend keeping your chameleon in a wooden vivarium so as to retain heat. The warmest point of your chameleon's enclpsure should be 37C (100F) and there should be a temperature gradient so the chameleon can choose to move to the cooler end if it wishes. A strong basking lamp, moonlight bukb or ceramic heater can achieve this. It is important that the heat is controlled with a thermostat to prevent the chameleon from getting too hot. Chameleons require a 6-10% UVB tube running most of the length of the enclosure. All lights should go off at night to ensure the chameleon has a full day-night cycle. An automatic misting system can be used, but misting your chameleon's enclosure twice a day is adequate.
A soil mix or woodchippings works well as substrate. Your chameleon will spend most of its time up in the branches so the type of substrate is not massively important, but it must be able to absorb moisture. A bio-active soil with a drainage layer can be used if you wish to have live plants in your enclosure. We recommend lining the bottom of your chameleon tank with pond liner to prevent the wooden base from rotting. Chameleons love to sleep in plants, fake or real, and live plants such as pothos can be a great addition to any chameleon enclosure. Make sure you have plenty of branches and vines reaching across your tank for your chameleon to climb on, and ensure that none of them are too close to the bulb so that your chameleon could touch it. A small fountain or dripping leaf feature can be added to aid your chameleon with hydration.
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