Graceful Chameleon

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Species group:

Other common names: Slender Chameleon

Scientific name: Chamaeleo gracilis

The basics:
The Graceful Chameleon is native to the tropical rainforests of Central and eastern West Africa. They live amongst the leaves of trees and bushes and can be found basking on the larger leaves. The Graceful Chameleon population is large and geographically widespread, and the species is not on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List for Endangered Species.

Though not a common pet, the Graceful Chameleon is captured in large numbers in the wild and when available in specialist pet stores they are often quite cheap. They are insectivorous and if not stressed will eat a range of insects, invertebrates and mealworms.

Appearance / health:
Chamaeleo gracilis is medium sized, with the females growing up to 15 inches (37cm), though more typically they are about 10 inches in length. Like all chameleons they change color when stressed or when their emotion changes. But the base color is green with a darker lateral line. However, base colors can vary dramatically.

Behavior / temperament:
Graceful chameleons have a reputation for being aggressive and need to be housed singly out of sight of any other chameleons. They also do not appreciate being handled and get stressed readily. As a result they are typically considered a high-maintenance pet. However, if you are lucky enough to get them as hatchlings they become used to being handled and are very docile.

The Graceful Chameleon requires a large space and if kept in a tank this needs to be at least 50 gallons in volume and containing plenty of branches, vines and leaves for them to clamber on. Substratum should be a mix of sand and moss or sand and fibrous matter, which needs to be changed often. A better option is a large wire cage which allows for full ventilation.

Graceful Chameleons require a temperature of at least 72ºF (which can be lowered at night) and they are best if provided with a spotlamp trained on some of the leaves so that they can sit there and bask. They also require at least 10 hours of UVB exposure for optimal health, so an UV lamp is essential. Being rainforest animals Graceful Chameleons do not readily drink standing water and a drip water system should be fitted in their enclosure. The enclosure should be well supplied with wood, branches, twigs and vines (which can be artificial) for them to climb on and hide within.

They are relatively east to feed and will eat insects, woodlice and mealworms. It is recommended that their food is dusted with vitamins before being introduced. Crickets should be gut-loaded with calcium supplements to aid in their health.

When ready to breed the female Graceful Chameleon tends to show yellow spots on her flank. She will usually lay two clutches of up to 20 eggs in a year (in the presence or absence of a male). If there has been no contact with a male the eggs will be infertile. Fertilized eggs need an incubation temperature of 72ºC and usually hatch 6 months after laying. The young should be allowed to feed on their eggs until sated before moving. These are typically 1 1/2 inches long.

Written by Dyfed Lloyd Evans


hilarious way, lovely temperament, big bulging eyes, charming little walk, long tongues


health, intestinal parasites, strict temperature


peculiar jerky walk, coconut fibre substratum

Helpful Graceful Chameleon Review

Graceful Chameleon

From thegunslinger Jul 23 2015 9:39PM


Graceful Chameleon Health Tip

Graceful Chameleon

From DLlE Sep 2 2012 2:44PM


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