Graceful Chameleon (Chamaeleo gracilis)
Description: Graceful Chameleons are olive green with white or black spots but, like all chameleons, they can change color. Their heads extend backwards into a “casque,” giving them a flat, helmeted appearance. Males can be identified by the yellow-orange skin between the scales of the throat pouch. They inflate this pouch during threat displays. These chameleons grow up to a foot long and can live up to 8-10 years if taken care of properly. Habitat and Tank Requirements: This species is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. Graceful Chameleons do well with moss, bark, soil, or reptile carpet as a substrate. Be sure to put enough plants, rocks, and wood in the tank for your lizard to hide in and climb on. These lizards love to climb. One adult Graceful Chameleon needs a 30 gallon screen cage. A comfortable temperature for these lizards is around 78-85º F during the day with a slight drop at night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. A small heat pad is recommended for basking. Graceful Chameleons need extremely humid climates, which is one of the reasons they can be difficult to keep. They prefer humidity between 95-100%, which can be maintained with humidifiers and misters. Diet: Graceful Chameleons will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. These animals prefer live food. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening. Handling: Allow your lizard time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.