Yemen Chameleons originate in Yemen in the Arabian peninsula.
Yemen Chameleons display bright green, yellow and blacks and can be identified by their large veil on top of their head. They are also known as veiled chameleons because of this. Yemen change colour like many other chameleons, they do this in response to mood, threat or as a way of attracting a mate.
Male and female Yemen chameleons grow veils, but the females is much smaller in comparison. Baby Yemens can be sexed via small white spurs which appear on the back legs of the male Yemen.
HOUSING YOUR CHAMELEON:
Yemen chameleons require an arboreal forest set up which can be created with mesh, glass, wood or a mixture of these materials. We house our chameleons in repti-breeze enclosures as these allow great airflow and a variety of backgrounds are available which keep humidity high. Glass is another option with paludariums on the market, some people prefer to mix a chameleon with some fish at the bottom of the tank and plenty of plants and wood to climb on. Wooden enclosures are also available with a glass front to allow for viewing. If you’re not sure where to start, ask us about our set up kits and we can help you choose the correct enclosure for your pet.
Yemen chameleons require heat and UVB light to recreate the environment they would have in the wild. Chameleons are diurnal meaning they are active during the day, sleeping at night. Therefore all lighting should be turned off at night, a red bulb can be used overnight in winter if required.
Yemen chameleons drink only moving water, they cannot see water if it is still in a water bowl so their terrarium must be misted several times a day to provide enough humidity and drinking water for your chameleon. Drippers and automatic misters are available along with a selection of substrates which are designed to hold humidity whilst creating the most natural looking environment.
Male chameleons should be housed separately and should not be in the line of sight to one another, use a screen to separate cages. Females can be kept together in a large enclosure which is often how breeding chameleons are kept, the male being added for breeding purposes.
HANDLING YOUR CHAMELEON:
Chameleons love to climb so it is their natural instinct to climb as high as they can. Gently place your hand underneath the back legs and tail of your chameleon, this will give it some support whilst keeping your hand directly out of its face.
Chameleons will climb when out and may even try to sit on your head.
Chameleons enjoy time outside in the peak summer but due to their heat and humidity requirements we recommend keeping handling down to 20-30 minutes at a time.
Some chameleons do hand feed which is something that owners very much enjoy, however ensure that this is done as a treat rather than every day otherwise you will find that your chameleon will not feed unless you offer it food by hand.
Genus, Species: Chamaeleo calyptratus
Adult Size: 10-24 Inches
Habitat: Mountainous forests
Lifespan: 4-8 years depending on sex/breeding
Diet: Insects dusted with calcium powder every other day
Ambient Temp (f): 72-80
Basking Temp (f): 85-95
Humidity (%): 50-60
Locality: Yemen Difficulty: 3
Breeding Age: 8 months-1 year
Social Structure: Live alone except breeding times
SEXING YOUR CHAMELEON:
Yemen chameleons are easy to sex and so you should already know the sex of your chameleon before you purchase. Male Yemen’s have a buldge at the bottom of their tail and white spurs are present on the heel of the back legs. These are quite easy to see, even in a Yemen chameleon who is only a few months old.
Both sexes require the same care generally, although on becoming fertile, some females will lay infertile eggs called ’slugs’ . This is nothing to worry about, it just shows that the female has reached sexual maturity. If your chameleon does this, it’s a good idea to add extra calcium and feed more often during this time.
Eyes– Eyes are fully open and clear of stuck shed. Eyes are clear and not cloudy. Cloudy eyes can be the sign of an eye infection. Always consult a vet, there are many additional products on the market to aid in recovery.
Skin– The skin is clear of shed and there are no cuts or scrapes on the chameleons skin or tail. Occasionally locusts or crickets can nip the skin of the chameleon. Always remove live food that is not eaten after the chameleons meal to prevent further bites and stress which can stop your chameleon eating.
Limbs– All the limbs are moving correctly and the chameleon is able to walk and move normally. Chameleons can suffer from a condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease). This occurs when chameleons do not have enough calcium D3 and causes their bones to grow abnormally, eventually restricting their movements. MBD cannot be reversed so always dust live food with calcium twice a week to avoid MBD occurring.
Dehydration– As chameleons require such humidity and spraying to keep drinking water available, it is easy for them to get dehydrated if they are not provided enough. Dehydration can be spotted easily by the eyes appearing sunken in. Spray your chameleon 2-4 times a day, more regularly on hotter days.