Chameleons come in a number of different breeds: both species and subspecies. Since it would take an entire book to go through all of the subspecies, we will focus on taking a detailed look at the breeds that are a popular choice as pets.
This chameleon is characterized by vibrant colors so it's often considered one ofthe most aesthetically pleasing breed. In fact, some people even consider it tobe the most eye-catching lizard in the entire animal kingdom. Males can be around 20 inches in size while females are a bit smaller.
In addition to its size, male Panther Chameleons are identified by their vivid color in comparison to females. Females will also lose their color when laying eggs to show males that she is not interested in mating. Panther chameleons live for an average of 10 years but females will only live two to three years after laying eggs.
This breed of chameleon possesses a very distinct difference between males and females, making it easy to identify its gender. Males are much larger and have a distinguishable horn that extends from their forehead. Females are much smaller but contrary to popular belief, they also have horns. However, a female's horn is only about an eighth of the size of the males. Fischer chameleons are tough and thrive in high temperatures and humidity.
High Casqued Chameleon
High Casqued chameleons can be found in a variety of different colors. It often displays a dark color when basking since these darker colors offer optimum light absorption. Like most breeds, males are noticeably larger than females. Males have a single horn extending from thier forehead, a serrated back, and tiny spikes that run along their neck. Females do not share any of these features.
Males will express their desire to mate by sporting brilliant colors in an effort to compete with other males. High Casqued chameleons can also extend their tongues to the same length as their body!
The Jackson's chameleon only grows to around 12 inches and has a varying lifespan. It will reach its sexual maturity at around the five month point. Although most Jackson's chameleons are bright green, there are instances where blue and even yellow lizards of this breed have been documented. As with all chameleons, they change color depending on mood.
One of the largest chameleons in existence is the Meller's chameleon. It can reach 24 inches! Females are distinguished by their small dorsal crests. Depending on its mood, this chameleon can be found in brown, black, yellow, or dark green. This breed is quit popular due to its long lifespan of 12 years.
Namaqua Desert Chameleon
Namaqua chameleons are very tough and can survive very harsh conditions like those found in the desert. They tend to vary in color depending on if it's day or night. They are very quick to catch prey due to their instincts driving them to survive in the desert. Namaqua chameleons are fast crawlers since they can spread their toes wide apart.
This is the second largest breed of chameleon and males can reach up to 27 inches (females measure in at 19 inches)! A female can lay 50 eggs every two years. Parson's chameleons love running water and live up to sever years.
Pygmy chameleons are small, only reaching three inches in length. Unlike most chameleons, Pygmy chameleons do change color to match their environment. When they are not hiding, Pygmy chameleons will transform into a darker color, resembling a dry leaf. They do this in order to blend in while sleeping. Pygmy chameleons will also change colors based on their emotions, including green, orange, brown, and black. Finally, its tongue is longer than its body so it can easily catch smaller insects.
Veiled chameleons are among the most popular pets. They can change color depending on their surroundings and mood. Its natural color is green but it can match lime green or red environments. Males are distinguished by the spurs running along their legs. Male Veiled chameleons can reach a length of 24 inches while females are only about half that size. During mating, the males will exhibit compelling colors in order to attract the opposite sex.
A chameleon's ability to change color is what draws a lot of people to choosing them as pets. However, be sure to remember that all breeds of chameleons are solitary. They love their space. Providing an environment that matches their natural environment is essential if you want it to thrive.