What Variations of Chameleons Are There and Which Make Good Pets?

There are over two hundred types of chameleons in the world, with variations in temperament and lifestyle. Some species of chameleons make better pets than others. Here are some of the most popular chameleon species that make good pets, including the beloved Nosy Boraha Chameleon:

Veiled Chameleon

Veiled chameleons are native to Yemen and Saudia Arabia. They are one of the most common varieties of chameleons to own as a pet. You can distinguish a veiled chameleon from other chameleons by their cone-shaped head. 

Veiled chameleons are one of the more straightforward varieties to own. These chameleons are calm and move slowly. A veiled chameleon will move around its enclosure to eat and for temperature regulation. Their lifespan is anywhere from five to eight years.

Panther Chameleon

Panther chameleons are named based on their nativity to Madagascar. Most panther chameleons are brightly colored and easy to look after. Here are three popular variants of panther chameleons: 

1. Nosy Boraha Chameleon

Nosy Boraha chameleons are from the island on Madagascar's east coast; the island is more commonly called St. Marie. These chameleons are usually light gray, green, or blue with dark gray banding and red speckling on their bodies. Their coloring is comparatively lighter than other panther chameleons.  

2. Nosy Be Chameleon

Nosy Be panther chameleons are from an island northwest of Madagascar. Their coloration is a bright cyan blue or vibrant green with darker bars of the same color. Most Nosy Be panther chameleons have yellow lips and speckling on their face and body.

3. Nosy Faly Chameleon 

Nosy Faly panther chameleons are from the island of Nosy Be in northeastern Madagascar. Their coloration is a turquoise green or muted cyan-blue with light bars. There is yellow around their eyes and the corners of their mouths. Nosy Faly panther chameleons also have some red speckling and dotted banding. 

Panther chameleons are enjoyable to own as pets because they are colorful and intelligent. Males live for about five to seven years, and females live two to three years after laying eggs. They eat insects like dubia roaches, hornworms, crickets, fruit flies, and more. Panther chameleons should be alone in their habitat because they are territorial. 

Flap-Necked Chameleon

Flap-necked chameleons are native to sub-Saharan Africa. Watching flap-necked chameleons eat is enjoyable because their tongue can quickly shoot out the same length of their body. They are another chameleon variety that makes a good pet.

Although their color doesn't change much, they come in shades of green. They usually live between five and eight years. These chameleons eat various insects, including waxworms, mealworms, and crickets.

Carpet Chameleon

Carpet chameleons are native to Madagascar. Males are a beautiful lime green color with dark, intricate markings. The females range in color patterns. You can find them in various colors like green, yellow, and white. You can also find them with orange and red coloring. 

This species of chameleon only lives to be two or three years old. Carpet chameleons are on the smaller side of pet chameleons; they grow between six to 10 inches. 

Jackson's Chameleon

Jackson's chameleon is native to East Africa. Their coloring is bright and light green. They are most recognizable by the three horns on their head, making them look like the Triceratops dinosaur.  

This chameleon variety is more challenging to care for than the previous three chameleon species. They eat insects like crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and grasshoppers. They will also snack on leafy green vegetables, fruits, alfalfa hay, and even oats. 

Common health concerns that make Jackson's chameleons challenging to care for include stress, respiratory infections, vitamin deficiencies, and other infections. Jackson's chameleons are susceptible to parasites ingested from poor food sources, like wild-caught insects. 

Oustalet's Chameleon

Oustalet's chameleons are native to Madagascar but can live in various habitats. These chameleons have a semi-circular crest on their head and tiny spines running down their spine. Coloring ranges from brown to blue to green.  

Oustalet's chameleons are relatively large; males can grow over 25 inches, and females can grow over 12 inches. Oustalet's chameleons live between three and seven years or more. 

If you are looking for a more challenging chameleon to care for because you are an experienced reptile owner, you might enjoy raising an Oustalet's chameleon. They can be more challenging to manage than other chameleon species, so they are not the best option for beginners. 

Chameleon Care

Chameleons make great pets for people who don't want to handle their reptiles. They are fun to watch, but most do not enjoy being held. You can interact with your chameleon in other ways, like hand-feeding it or customizing its enclosure.

It is essential for your chameleon's habitat to meet minimum size requirements, have temperature regulation, and provide sufficient humidity. Your chameleon will enjoy a habitat full of branches they can climb and hide in. 

Find Your Chameleon at Spectrum Chameleon

As the premiere chameleon breeder in California, you can find your next pet at Spectrum Chameleon. Spectrum Chameleon responsibly breeds reptiles, like chameleons, bearded dragons, and leopard geckos. We have reptile care guides so you can easily learn how to care for your chameleon. Contact us today to find the perfect pet for you!