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Pet Reptile Care Sheets
Yemen Chameleon

Chameleons are some of the most intriguing of all reptiles and most have the ability to change colour almost instantly to either blend in with their environment or to show warning colours.

All of the chameleons have independently swivelling eyes which are mounted in protruding turrets, these animals can see both behind and in front of them at the same time!
Yemen Chameleon Reptile Care Sheet
Another common feature is their very long tongues which in most species is the same length as the chameleon itself, this tone is tipped with a muscular and stick tip which is uses to catch its prey of mostly insects.

The Yemen or Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) is a good chameleon to start with and is native to Saudi Arabia and the Yemen, hence its common name. Generally speaking it is quite large as far as chameleons go getting to around 2 feet in length including the tail.

Feeding

Yemenís eat crickets, locusts, waxworms, mealworms and virtually any other insects offered to them.

Crickets and locusts should form the primary base diet with other insects being offered for variety.

* Baby Yemenís grow extremely fast and need a continuous supply of live food, which is well supplemented.

Likewise females tend to lay very large clutches of eggs which place great demands on their calcium supply.

Female Yemenís begin egg formation process when they are less than one month old! Thus to sustain this and their remarkably massive growth it is important that both a vitamin and mineral supplement such as Naturerep Vitarep, and a standalone high saturation calcium/D3 supplement like Naturerep Calcimax are used.

Grown on Yemenís also eat a quantity of plant and fruit material such as dandelions, cabbage, bananas, cherries etc. thus making them true omnivores. Generally speaking chameleons do not drink from water bowls, however Yemenís are one of the few species that can be taught.

By setting up a drip system from a reservoir into a plastic leaf above a catch bowl, they will often drink from the catch bowl, after a time, even without the drip system on.

Spraying the terrarium daily with tepid water will also induce the chameleon to drink the resulting drips.

Although wild Yemenís occur in some areas of high coastal humidity, others exist in much drier environments. Normally only moderate humidity is required for this species in captivity. Misting the terrarium when the chameleon is shedding itís skin is normally a good idea. See our Foggers and Water Features here

Housing

Yemenís are amongst the most territorial of chameleon species. Whilst babies can be raised with males mixed together, it is not advised to keep sexually mature males housed together. When keeping pairs it is advisable to have a facility to split the cage, or have a spare cage available to segregate after mating. Yemenís reach sexual maturity at around 6 months of age under ideal conditions.

An all glass terrarium (eg: Pilbara Terrariums) of around 100x50x60cm or greater is suitable and should be fitted with a UVB 5.0% fluorescent tube (eg: Triton Reptile or Zoomed Reptisun 5.0), and a basking spot lamp of appropriate wattage (eg: Naturerep Hot Spot).

Yemenís love to bask under spot lamps. With a general ambient temperature of around 85F it is normal to achieve temperatures of around 95-100F directly under the basking lamp.

Make perching branches available at all levels and areas of the terrarium including under the lamp but not too close so they may burn themselves. Night-time temperatures are normally allowed to drop down into the low 70ís, but be sure to monitor temperatures using one or two Reptile Thermometers.

Good ventilation is important to chameleons, many chameleon keepers keep their chameleons in screen mesh cages outside during sunny periods so they can fully utilise the sunís natural light intensity and UVB.

However in the UK sunny periods are rare!, and hence the all glass terrariums are normally employed.

Be sure that your enclosure is not in front of a window where direct sunlight can hit the tank. This can cause overheating and kill your chameleons!

Please only take the information given in any of our caresheets as general advice. They may not provide an exact answer to your particular reptiles problem and are to act as a general guide and 'heads-up' to keeping reptiles.

We cannot be held responsible for any problems your reptile encounters following the reading of these pages.


Pet Reptile Care Sheets

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