Types of Chameleons

12 Types of Chameleons

Chameleons are fascinating reptiles known for their ability to change color and their distinctive, independently moving eyes. But did you know there are numerous species, each with its own unique charm? In this post, we’ll introduce you to 12 different types of chameleons, offering a glimpse into the diverse world of these remarkable creatures.

Specie Overview

Chameleons are among the world’s most fascinating lizards. Many chameleon species are so distinct that attempting to describe one to someone who has never seen one might lead them to believe you are lying!

The tongues of these lizards are as long as their bodies, and their eyes can rotate 360 degrees. Get ready to be amazed by the over 160 species of chameleons out there, with some even being the perfect exotic pet! Even better? Their incredible ability to change skin color at will.

Chameleons are unusual and attractive pets, but they require specific care and attention to stay happy and healthy. Finding a captive-bred chameleon is strongly advised, as native populations are dwindling due to pollution and habitat damage. There is no reason to remove one from its natural habitat because they are easily bred.

Chameleons should be kept in a well-ventilated area with a substrate of at least deep, such as a large terrarium or indoor aquarium. This substrate should be a non-porous material such as stone or ceramic. The substrate should not be too large as chameleons are very small, so they can be kept in small terrariums.

Chameleons are a popular choice for many pet owners, but the trade-in of chameleons is still unregulated. Many species are taken from the wild and sold for exorbitant prices, and there are still cases of captive-bred chameleons being sold in pet stores.

Types of Chameleons

There are many different species of chameleons, some of which are kept as pets. These are listed below :

1. Veiled Chameleon

Veiled Chameleons are, without question, one of the most popular species in the reptile trade and a fantastic pet for beginners

Always have a look at the undersides of your chameleons as this is where most of the coloration is. The greenish-yellow coloration on the body is a very desirable color.

Chameleons are highly intelligent and will use their beaks to bite scratch, and generally torment their human companions. However, they can be trained to be relatively docile pets.


They are active for the first hour after sunset and are inactive for the rest of the night. They tend to spend the day resting in a cave or crevice and only emerge to feed or forage for prey.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia are home to these lizards. Yemen Chameleons are another name for them. They are believed to be hardier and take less attention than most chameleons, making them the best choice for inexperienced or first-time reptile keepers. Veiled chameleons, on the other hand, are known to be feisty and/or shy, so don’t expect them to interact well.

2. Ambilobe Panther

Panther with Ambilobes The most common panther subspecies is the chameleon. These lizards have a rainbow of colors, from red and blue to white, yellow-green, and orange.

Their beautiful colors, ease of handling, and basic maintenance needs make them one of the most popular pet chameleons. Males are larger than females, reaching a maximum size of 8 inches. 

Panther Chameleons are the most common of the chameleon species. They are medium-sized chameleons, which means they have a fairly large body size. 

These lizards are not as popular as the other species because they are a little more difficult to breed. They require a higher temperature and more space than the other species. They are a bit of a mystery because of their rareness. 

3. Four-Horned Chameleon

The Four-Horned Chameleon is one of the most unusual and unique chameleon species. It has four horns on its head, and it’s hard to believe that it can still survive in the wild. This chameleon can be easily bred in captivity. 

This species of chameleon is not very popular, and it is very difficult to breed. The biggest problem with the four-horned chameleon is that it is challenging to keep healthy. It needs to be fed a diet of live insects and worms. 

This species of chameleon can be found in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The four-horned chameleon is an extremely hardy lizard and can be found in both the wild and the home. They are very active and have a high metabolism.

They are often found in areas with a large amount of vegetation, such as trees, shrubs, and bushes. Unlike other common types of chameleons in the trade, this one has a more subdued color scheme. They tend to have more natural red and yellow tones.

4. Cuban False Chameleon

The Cuban False Chameleon is not a true chameleon. Despite being in a different lizard family, the Cuban False has numerous qualities in common with Chameleons.

The Cuban False Chameleon is a member of the Anole family. The Anoles are native to the tropical regions of the Americas. The Cuban False Chameleon is native to Cuba, and it is also found in Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and the Cayman Islands.

5. Panther Chameleon

The Panther Chameleon is the most common of the Chameleon species. These lizards have a rainbow of colors, from red and blue to white, yellow-green, and orange. Their beautiful colors, ease of handling, and basic maintenance needs make them one of the most popular pet chameleons.

It is also one of the most expensive. It is found in tropical and subtropical areas. They are great lizards for beginners, and they are easy to care for. There is also a size difference between men and females. Males can grow to be up to 15 inches long, although females often stop growing at 13 inches.

6. Senegal Chameleon

Discover the captivating Senegal Chameleon, a true star among its vibrant, color-changing peers, taking the world by storm. They are the most commonly seen species of chameleon in the wild.

The chameleon can be found in the rainforests of West Africa. They are the most commonly seen species of chameleon in the wild. Most are green with slight striping and spots. Some may develop a grey or blue color.

Discover the intriguing Senegal Chameleon, a captivating lizard stretching to an impressive 15 inches. Marvel at the size difference between the males and females, with males growing up to 8 inches.

This medium-sized chameleon boasts a sleek, elongated body partnered with an exceptionally lengthy tail. It is a popular pet because it is very easy to care for. The Senegal Chameleon is a fast, agile, and intelligent lizard. They can run quickly and they are very active. 

7. Pygmy Chameleon

Pygmy chameleons are fantastic pet lizards that we always suggest. It’s easy to care for them, and their small size makes them a lot of pleasure to watch. Like all reptiles, they do need to be kept in a well-ventilated room, and they do need a substrate that is specially designed for them. The substrate must be able to drain and dry quickly.

Pygmy Chameleons are a little breed of chameleon that belongs to the class Rhampholeon and are native to Central East Africa. There are approximately 19 different species of Pygmy, several of which are popular as pets.

They differ in color from many other species in that they do not have the brilliant and dramatic blues and oranges that others possess, but instead are usually found in various hues of brown and grey.

In the wild, Pygmy chameleons are mainly found in the southern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo and are often found in groups in large, hollow trees.

They eat mostly insects, and they are also very good climbers, which means that they can often be found on the tops of trees. They also feed on the nectar of flowers, and some have been known to drink rainwater!

The Pygmy chameleon is a very docile and easy-to-care-for reptile and can be kept in a wide range of temperatures.

8. Jackson’s Chameleon

Meet the captivating Jackson’s chameleon a fan-favorite, gracing our world with its ubiquitous presence and spectacular color-changing skills. Its horns are its most distinguishing characteristic. Males have three horns on their faces.

When it comes to color, Jackson’s are very ‘simple’ in comparison to other varieties of chameleons. They are generally solid green, with darker brown or green markings, rather than a rainbow of colors.

Jackson’s Chameleons are fiercely protective of their habitat. To avoid violent behavior or fighting, they should be confined separately.

These lizards dislike being handled as well. if an animal is handled by the wrong person, it will quickly bite. Jackson’s Chameleons are excellent at camouflage and will hide in the most unexpected places.

9. Meller’s Chameleon

Meller’s Chameleons are a type of chameleon that is native to the East African Countries of Malawi, and Tanzania. The Meller’s chameleon is a remarkable creature, the largest of its kind in mainland Africa. With their bright yellow and green coloring, these regal lizards can reach up to impressive two-plus feet long. Its eyes, like those of all chameleons, can move independently.

While they are normally relatively gentle with people, routine handling can be distressing for them. They are pets who like to be observed rather than handled. 

Chameleons are not difficult to care for once they are properly set up. They do, however, want more attention and awareness than most other pets in order to be happy and healthy.

When these lizards are happy and healthy, their colors change to bright yellow and green. When attacked or anxious, the lizard’s color will fade or black blotches will appear.

10. Oustalet’s Chameleon

The Oustalet’s Chameleon is one of the largest species. The male can reach a maximum length of 26 inches (68.5 cm), while the female can reach a maximum length of 14 inches (30.5 cm). The weight ranges between 13 and 16 ounces (300-400 gr). The arboreal chameleon climbs using its long, opposable tail and its feet.

When it comes to chameleons, they’re actually quite affordable. This species of chameleon prefers humidity levels of 70% or higher. This inclination is hardly surprising given their origins in Madagascar’s wet woods. 

Their most noticeable characteristics include a big ridge that runs from the back of their neck to their eyes and triangular spikes that run from the back of their neck to their tail. 

They are challenging to raise. In general, chameleons are difficult to care for. Even by chameleon standards, these are challenging! Only experienced chameleon keepers should invest in raising an Oustalet’s.

11. Flap-Necked

Meet the remarkable Flapped-Neck Chameleon, a sizable creature adorned with an intriguing crest of tiny white triangular wonders on its throat and belly, making it a striking presence in the world of chameleons. The coloration ranges from pale yellow to green to brown. 

They prefer temperatures in the upper 70s and humidity levels that are relatively low. These lizards will remain healthy as long as they stay within acceptable boundaries.

This chameleon is native to South Africa’s tropical regions. Coloration varies greatly between subspecies. The majority, though, will have a vivid green base hue. Some subspecies are solid-colored, while others have distinct white and black patterns.

The Flapped-Necked Chameleon is a very active species. An enigmatic creature of the night, it takes refuge in its secret lair when daylight arrives.

With an uncannily keen sense of smell and a remarkable sixth sense of vibrations, this mysterious being remains ever vigilant. If you’re considering a Flap-Necked Chameleon, do your homework.

12. Parson’s Chameleons 

The Parson’s chameleon is the largest extant chameleon species. At maturity, this species approaches  55 to 60 cm in total length, with snout-vent lengths ranging from 25 to 35 cm. At maturity, this species can weigh up to 800 g. The enlarged nasal appendages of the Parson’s chameleon give it a Pinnochio-like look.

The Parson’s chameleon is distributed in southwestern Madagascar and south-eastern South Africa. The habitat of this species is a mixture of wooded areas, secondary forests, and rocky outcrops.

The Parson’s chameleon is known to feed on insects, including termites, ants, beetles, and butterflies. It is also known to eat small amounts of fruit and nectar.

It is primarily a diurnal species but may be crepuscular. Its diet consists of a variety of invertebrates, including insects, spiders, millipedes, earthworms, and centipedes. They are usually friendly, and they are easy to keep. 

The Parson’s chameleon is a very territorial species. Its preferred habitat is rocky areas. They do not like to be housed in large enclosures, but they will tolerate a large enough enclosure.

The eyes of the Parson’s chameleon stand out because of their brilliant orange color, which contrasts with their green skin. Because their bottom and upper eyelids are linked, they are easily distinguished. They can cost upwards of $1000. 


In conclusion, there are a lot of chameleons to choose from. Many of them are suitable for beginners, and many of them are suitable for more advanced keepers. The best chameleons are the ones that are friendly, interesting, and require little to no care

There’s a reason these lizards are so well-known. Their distinct appearance, calm demeanor, and ease of maintenance (most of the time) make them a no-brainer for both new and seasoned owners.

Depending on the species you choose to keep, they can be a large burden to care for, and they are a big commitment, Moreover, a good chameleon is not cheap, so it’s worth considering how much you can afford to spend on a lizard before you commit. 


What is the difference between a lizard and a chameleon?

Chameleons are little lizards, but many other lizards are enormous. Discover the unique features that set chameleons apart from other lizards their fascinating tails, intriguing eyes, and impressive tongues. Chameleons are recognized for their distinctive opposable tails, which they share with only a few other reptiles.

How much does a chameleon cost?

The cost of a chameleon depends on the species. A good, healthy chameleon will cost anywhere from $25 to $1000. The price depends on the species, the age, and the amount of care the chameleon requires.

 How long do chameleons live?

Most chameleon species live between averaging 5 to 10 years. Despite the fact that chameleons can survive for a decade or more, the term “can” has a significant implication. 

Do chameleons bite humans?

The common belief is that chameleons will bite only when provoked, but this is not true. In fact, some chameleons, like the green anole, are known to bite when they are annoyed or angry.

Chameleons can also bite humans if they feel threatened or if they are feeling insecure. The best way to keep chameleons from biting is to provide a secure, stable environment and to ensure that the lizard has enough to eat. 

How do I know if my chameleon is sick?

If your chameleon is ill, it may not eat or drink. Or If it is extremely ill, it may be unable to stand or even move. If you suspect your chameleon is ill, you should contact your veterinarian or local reptile care professional. 

What is the best type of chameleon for a beginner?

One of the main reasons why beginners have a hard time choosing a chameleon is because of the many species available. But,  chameleons are so easy to care for, they are also very easy to care for incorrectly.

This means that beginners may end up with an unhealthy chameleon that is a lot of trouble to care for. If you are looking for a chameleon that requires little care, this is the perfect species for you.

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