FLAP-NECK CHAMELEON

Flap-Neck Chameleon to buy Swansea Neath Skewen

Caring for Your Flap Necked Chameleon

The Flap Necked Chameleon is native to Africa and often consists of a variety of colors – usually Yellow and Green. This reptile can grow up to 14 inches in length so when caring for your chameleon it’s important to have the space for a reasonable sized enclosure – at least a 40 gallon aquarium type enclosure will suffice as these reptiles don’t require a whole lot of room. As these reptiles originate in Africa you will often find these within the tropical rain forests and your typical grassland savannas.

These chameleons are popular and you will find these for sale within the pet trade fairly easy but please note these are wild caught reptiles so they should only be kept in captivity if you have experience caring for chameleon reptiles in the past. These reptiles don’t live long compared to others so proper care and time is needed to give them a healthy life of up to 5 years.

                                                          Enclosure

 

                                                                              Flap neck chameleons do very well in a screen cage that is 24” x 24” x 48” in size. You will                                                                                       need to mimic their environment when keeping these lizards in captivity so a hot humid                                                                                           aquarium type enclosure is needed and the space for plants and trees – trying to give them an environment that is the same as a rain forest is recommended. Never keep two adult chameleons in the same enclosure as they are very territorial – chameleons like an enclosure full of plants and bushes with small trees so they have the option to climb and hide when they see fit. Even though the width of the enclosure doesn’t have to be that big remember these reptiles love to climb so it should always be higher than it is wider. The flooring, if using living plans, should compose of a peat/sand mix which will give the plants rooting ability. Vents in the cage will allow fresh air to circulate through it. The top of the cage should be mesh, as this will allow lighting and heating to be suspended from the outside. Branches should be a sufficient distance from the mesh to prevent the chameleons from climbing on it and potentially burning themselves beneath the heat source.

Heating & Lighting

You will need to keep the enclosure temperature from around 70-90°F (21-32°C) with a basking area of 95°F (35°C). These reptiles like nothing more than lying on tree branches and taking in the heat and sunlight so trying to mimic these conditions are highly recommended. You will need to have a UVB light and basking light present outside of the enclosure so these reptiles can bask and adjust as they see fit. Provide full spectrum lighting for 12-14 hours a day. Relative humidity should be in the region of 50 - 60%.

Substrate

These chameleons do not need a substrate within their enclosure as you will often find them within trees anyway – putting any substrate within their enclosure can be unhealthy for them as they are likely to consume it.

Size

The Flap-neck is a good beginners species, and at 25-30cm is an easily manageable size.

Feeding Your Flap Necked Chameleon

In the wild chameleons are often found eating plants and other vegetation but are primarily insectivores so providing them with live insects is usually a good way to keep them fit and healthy. Crickets and small insects are common in a chameleons diet, these should be gut loaded with calcium and sprinkled with a good vitamin/mineral supplement prior to being fed. If underfed, flap-necks will quickly deteriorate and become very lethargic. Care should be taken to ensure all uneaten food is removed from the cage, as chameleons become very agitated if subjected to insects crawling over them all the time. The amount of food will depend on the age and size of your chameleon, you will need to feed it and see how many insects it can consume in one sitting and then vary its diet every couple of days. Chart below is a guidelines only.

  • Baby Chameleons 3 – 6 months old: 10 – 12 small crickets daily

  • Young Chameleons 6 – 12 months old: 10 – 12 medium crickets every other day

  • Adults Chameleons over 12 months of age: 5 – 7 small-medium crickets every other day

Water – You will not need to provide them with a water bowl as they can potentially drown and will never drink from it anyway. Instead you should use misting equipment or a dipper to provide water droplets on the end of leaves that they can drink from.

Hydration

As with all chameleons, flap-necks will not drink from static water sources. For this reason, the cage should be sprayed once a day. Care should be taken to avoid creating pools of stagnant water which can lead to the onset of fungal growth and be detrimental to the chameleons health. The installation of a dropper system which collects in a pool and is then pumped to a header tank and re-circulated will be beneficial. When misting the cage, gently spray each chameleon so as to ensure that it is drinking. Continue spraying until the individual stops drinking. Dehydration is one of the biggest killers of chameleons.

Breeding

Captive breeding is possible, though is not always guaranteed. As a stimuli, as mentioned above, a heavier spraying should take place between December and march. Also, removing the male for this interval and then reintroducing him to the female may make her more receptive.

A gravid female can usually be identified by the abnormally ‘lumpy’ appearance of her abdomen. When she is ready to lay, she will descend from the branches, dig a hole in the ground into which she will deposit between twenty and forty pure white eggs each measuring 1-1.5cm in length. Incubated artificially in damp peat or vermiculite at 28oC, the eggs will hatch in around 300 days. 

  • Classification

  • Suborder: Sauria

  • Family: Chamaeleonidae

  • Genus: Chamaeleo

  • Species: C. dilepis

  • Binomial Name: Chamaeleo dilepis

  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)

  • Quick Guide

  • Size: 10 - 14 Inches

  • Lifespan: 5 - 8 Years

  • Housing: 24'' x 24'' x 48'' (height)

  • Substrate: Not required

  • Lighting: UVB

  • Temperature: 70 - 90 ° F

  • Humidity: 65% - 75%

  • Food: Insects such as crickets, silkworms and superworms.

FLAT NECK CHAMELEON HABITAT