Chamaeleo Calyptratus

Latin name: Chamaeleo Calyptratus
Dutch name: Yemen chameleon

The Calyptratus originates from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
It lives there in the oases and forests of the desert areas.

The Calyptratus is green changing colour with yellow and brown.
The males have a high helmet that can grow up to 8 cm high.
The males grow about 50 cm long and females about 40 cm.
The males have a trace on the hind legs, this is called the rudimentary toe, females don't have these traces.
Pregnant women or women who are not prepared to mate show a dark colour with bright spots.

The Calyptratus eats animal food.
It eats: crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, mori worms, dola's, woodlice, earthworms, waxmoth larvae, tebo's, curly flies, silkworms, pinky's (baby mice), etc.
Crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches are the main food, this can be alternated with the other food animals.
Try to feed as varied as possible.
Beware of waxmot larvae and tebo's, these are fat and should be seen as sweets, this is meant as an extra.
This also applies to pinky's (baby mice).
Beware of insects from nature, these can contain pesticides.

Vitamins and calcium:
It is important to feed the food animals well, as they contain little nutritional value, so they are well fed before you give them to the chameleon.
You must feed the food animals well with vitamins and calcium before giving them to the chameleon. For this I use vitaminsl and  calcium without 3D and I feed the crickets with Cricket Diet ( Pangea Insect Grub PIG)..

A chameleon cannot drink from a bowl of water, just like a dog.
A chameleon drinks by, for example, licking drops of the leaves.
That's why and also to increase the humidity in the terrarium you have to spray the terrarium about twice a day, the chameleon can lick the drops of the leaves.
There are several ways to water a chameleon:
- Spraying, at least 1x per day, preferably 2x per day
- Water dropper, the chameleon can drink so drop by drop
- Via a pipette
I strongly advise against the use of a waterfall in a chameleon terrarium! This is because a waterfall is a source of bacteria and the chameleon does not drink from it.

The Calyptratus needs a terrarium with the following minimum dimensions:
80 x 60 x 100 (width x depth x height).
Bigger is always better!
It is very important that there is good ventilation in the terrarium, therefore the terrarium should have double ventilation.
One ventilation strip at the front and one at the top, the top may also be made of gauze for even better ventilation.
The terrarium can be made of wood or glass.
Beware of draughts! This is disastrous for the chameleon.

Lighting and temperature:
The temperature in the terrarium should be around 30°C.
At the top it should be around 30°C and at the bottom a little cooler, around 25°C.
Beneath the heat spot it should be around 40°C.
There should be warmer and cooler spots so that the chameleon can choose where it feels most comfortable.
The night temperature should be around 15 to 20°C.
To reach these temperatures you can use heat lamps, these are available in many different types and wattages, which you need to experiment with, of course always before the chameleon inhabits the terrarium!
It is best to place the lights outside the terrarium to prevent the chameleon from burning itself on the lamps. A chameleon doesn't feel it when it burns itself and this can have all kinds of nasty consequences, so prevention is better than cure.
The Calyptratus also needs UV lighting. Preferably natural UV light but unfortunately this is almost impossible to achieve in our country, so it needs UV lighting in the terrarium.
The Panther Chameleon needs UVB to produce vitamin D3, which is needed to absorb calcium in the body.
There are different types of UV lamps:
- UV flood lamp
- UV energy saving lamp
Which one is best for you depends on your own preferences.
The Calyptratus needs a UV strength of 5.0.
The Calyptratus is a diurnal animal and needs a day and night rhythm.
The lights have to be on for about 12 hours a day, for this I use timers to keep this as constant as possible.

Floor covering and furnishing:
For example, you can use terrarium humus or unfertilised coco peat or a mix of unfertilised potting soil and playing sand as ground cover.
I strongly advise against beech chips, wood chips or bark!
This is because the chameleon can get them in during the shooting of the prey and this can have very serious consequences.
The terrarium must be provided with plants, the most commonly used plant is Ficus.
Furthermore there must be branches in different thicknesses, both horizontally and vertically.
Also place a branch under the heat and UV lamp so the chameleon can sunbathe, make sure there is a minimum distance so the chameleon can't burn itself.

Chameleons are solitary animals. Solitary means lonely / lonely.
They have no conspecifics (and no other animals) many.
Therefore it is best to keep chameleons solitary (separate).
Chameleons are very sensitive to stress.
Housing chameleons together can lead to stress and too much stress can lead to the death of a chameleon.
It is at all times very important to observe the chameleon well!

Think carefully before purchasing a Calyptratus.
Prepare yourself well, read carefully, make sure that the terrarium is ready before you buy it.
Keeping other reptiles successfully does not mean that you can also keep chameleons.
A chameleon is not a beginner's animal!
I advise you to buy a chameleon at a good grower and not at an animal/reptile shop!
A good grower can provide you with good tips and advice, in animals/reptile shops there is often too little knowledge available.
I also advise you to buy breeding animals and not to catch game!
It is best to buy a chameleon from 3 months of age or older.
When you only want one chameleon I prefer a man, men generally get older and men don't have eggs so you don't have to take that into account.

A healthy chameleon is active and alert and has a nice convex helmet and nice full eyes.
A healthy chameleon does not sleep during the day.
Sleeping with a nice curly tail is also a sign of health.
It is advisable to have a quarterly manure test by a specialised reptile doctor.
If the chameleon behaves differently than normal, it is also useful to have a dung test done.
This dung test tells a lot more than you would think, the reptile doctor can tell if the chameleon is healthy or if the chameleon is suffering from parasites.

The Calyptratus lays eggs.
The pregnancy lasts about 4 to 6 weeks.
The incubation period lasts about 6 to 7 months, depending on the temperature at which the eggs are hatched.