ANIMAL: Veiled Chameleon Chamaeleo calyptratus Type of Animal: Chameleon Habitat: Tree areas, bush areas, shrub areas, shrubland, plateaus, mountains/mountainous areas, valleys, dry forest, desert, semi-desert Location(s): Native to SW Saudi Arabia & W Yemen. Introduced in Florida & Hawaii. Appearance: Large chameleon, like many chameleons-able to change colors affected by temp/mood/light. Males larger than females. Both sexes have cone/casque on head w/ males having larger cone/casque. Females green w/ white/orange/yellow/tan mottling. Males brighter w/ yellow/blue banding & some mottling. Young hatch pastel green. Food/Diet: Insects, insect larvae, worms, spiders, greens, berries, fruit, vegetables, leaves Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding from zoos, breeders, & aquariums Lifestyle: Solitary Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Hatchling Group: Solitary Weight: Male: 3-6 oz Female: 3-4 oz Young: 1 oz Gestation: 1-8 months Life Span: Males: 3-8 years Females: 2-5 years Body Length: Male: 1.41-2 ft Female: 0.83-1.17 ft Tail Length: 2.7-3 in, same for both sexes Main predators of adults are predatory birds, snakes, larger lizards, & carnivorous/omnivorous mammals. Many lizards, birds, & mammals prey on young. Both sexes highly territorial & sometimes fight to the death. Females have shorter lives due to strain of egg laying. Introduced populations derive from escaped/released pets. Also called Yemen, casque-headed, and/or cone-headed chameleons. Sexually mature at 4-5 months old. Invasive in Hawaii (especially Maui) & Florida due to preying on native invertebrates, competition w/ native lizards, & reproductive capacity. Females lay 12-95 eggs per clutch & can breed up to 4 times a year. These chameleons can make decent pets for intermediate reptile keepers. Some even tolerate small amounts of handling but they’re better as a sit-and-observe pet rather than being handled. Grasping feet & prehensile tail allow them to hold fast to plants. Males display for females during courtship. Fun Fact(s): Tongue can be twice as long as body-great for catching invertebrates. Eyes very similar to binoculars & have optical zoom. Hydrate themselves by drinking dew off leaves. Name chameleon in Latin means earth lion. Eyes can move independently of each other. Have amazing eyesight, being able to see small insects from 30 ft away. Like many chameleons, they don’t like to be handled often. Most popular chameleon in pet trade.
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