Veiled Chameleon

Common Name: Veiled Chameleon
Scientific Name: Chamaeleo calyptratus
Distribution: Saudi Arabia, Yemen & surrounding areas.
Size: 8-18″
Life Span: Males: 6-8 yr, Females: 4-6 yr

Veiled Chameleons are among the most popular chameleon species kept as pets. This is a beautiful large species of chameleon that has fascinating behaviors. Chameleons require daily care and are considered higher maintenance than many other reptiles. Veiled Chameleons are a good choice for beginning chameleon hobbyists, yet are challenging for a beginning reptile keeper. Captive bred Veiled Chameleons are readily available and are always recommended over wild caught animals.


  • Zoo Med’s Reptibreeze® Open Air Screen Cages are the perfect match for Veiled Chameleons.
  • The Iguanarium® is an excellent choice for adult Veiled Chameleons.
  • Provide plenty of climbing branches and broad leaf plants to create cover and climbing opportunities.
  • Be sure that any live plants being used are non-toxic because Veiled Chameleons will occasionally eat plants.
  • Offer branches of varying sizes to help your growing chameleon develop a strong grip.


  • Daytime Terrarium Temperature: 72-80° F
  • Basking Spot: 85-90°F
  • Nighttime Temperature: Above 50°F
  • Zoo Med’s Basking Spot Lamp™, PowerSun® and Repti Halogen™ Lamps are great choices for heating chameleon enclosures.
  • Chameleons prefer a drop in temperature at night, we recommend a low wattage heat bulb such as a Nightlight Red or Nocturnal Infrared Heat Lamp.
  • UVB Lighting is essential for chameleons to process calcium in captivity.
  • Zoo Med’s ReptiSun® 5.0 or 10.0 Linear or Compact Fluorescent Lamps are a great choice for providing chameleons with UVB. The PowerSun® is an excellent way to provide both UVB and Heat all in one lamp!
  • Without UVB lighting chameleons will develop serious health problems such as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
  • UVB Lighting should be left on for 10-12 hours per day and turned off at night.


  • Cage carpeting such as Zoo Med’s Eco Carpet™ is the easiest substrate to maintain chameleons on.
  • It is strongly recommended that hatchling chameleons are not kept on any type of loose substrate. Eco Carpet™ is the safest and cleanest choice for young chameleons.
  • ReptiBark®, Forest Floor™, and Eco Earth® can be used as a nesting substrate for adults. Provide a nest box with at least 4″ of substrate in all enclosures that house adult females.


  • Veiled Chameleons are insectivorous animals and will require a varied diet of insects.
  • Insects such as crickets and mealworms are a good staple diet. We recommend “gut-loading” your feeder insects with Cricket Care™ prior to feeding your animals.
  • Zoo Med’s ReptiCalcium® and ReptiVite™ with Vitamin D should be added to food as directed. Calcium and multi-vitamins are critical to keeping your growing chameleon healthy and active.
  • Veiled Chameleons occasionally will eat leafy greens if offered.
  • Feed Daily and remove all uneaten insects from the enclosure after feedings.


  • Veiled Chameleons prefer to drink or lap water from leaves. This can be replicated in captivity by offering a drip system or a misting system.
  • Zoo Med offers several products that will allow you to provide your chameleon with water. The Big Dripper™ will allow you to drip water onto leaves from above the cage.
  • The ReptiRain® will provide a scheduled misting of your terrarium.
  • Always add ReptiSafe™ Water Conditioner to your tap water to remove Chlorine and Chloramines.

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