Species group: Chameleons
Other common names: Giant One-horned Chameleon
Scientific name: Trioceros melleri
The Meller's Chameleon is native to the savannahs and interior mountains of East Africa. It is the largest chameleon species which is not native to the island of Madagascar.
Appearance / health:
The Meller's Chameleon typically reaches 24 inches (61 cm) in length. The head is relatively small in relation to the rest of its body and the Meller's Chameleon has a more elongated shape in comparison to other chameleons of its genus. The basic coloration of the Meller's Chameleon is a deep forest green with white stripes. However, it changes it coloration when excited or stressed, and its dark green spots turn to black mottling as the chameleon gets more upset.
Chamaeleo melleri requires a day time temperature of 80-85°F (27-29°C). If possible, nighttime temperatures should be brought down to the low 60's F (~16°C) in order to simulate the chameleon's native environment.
The Meller's Chameleon is a carnivore, and in the wild eats insects, smaller lizards, spiders, worms, and caterpillars. In captivity they can be fed crickets, locusts, silkworms and cockroaches.
stunning chameleon, display animals
small appetites, constant misting, care requirements, handling, large arboreal setup, wild caught animals
bigger chameleon, live plants, UVB lighting, enormous tongue, multiple basking spots, pretty rare species
The Meller's Chameleon - My Fantastic Beast
At our first meeting this full-grown puffed-up hissing, growling creature was not happy. Perhaps because all of my experience was with smaller chameleons, he looked huge to me. And angry. He headed for the nearest curtain and perched at the top. I sat where I could see him and gave him some time to calm down. After about an hour I brought in the water bottle and began misting the air around him gently. He closed his eyes and I thought "oh no he's gonna stress out." But he decided to begin drinking and lapped for a really long time. He took several ounces. My new chami really needed to get into his enclosure so I decided to see if I could entice him down with some of my largest crickets. He soon started back down the curtain to the tray of food. We bonded that day. Within a week he was climbing up to my shoulder for walks outside in the sun and teaching me to wear thick clothing for these endeavors. Meller’s chameleons are quite strong and heavy and will leave toenail marks in your skin when holding on. He doesn’t trust anyone else but that’s okay with me. I love my fantastic beast! .
From valsup Sep 5 2018 3:51PM
Stunning but extremely sensitive and prone to stress
Meller's Chameleon are a pretty rare species and require quite an extensive enclosure, as they get pretty high for a chameleon - up to 2 foot in length!
The captive bred animals I've worked with have been easy to handle, but all the wild caught animals have been extremely prone to stress - which shows readily in their changing colours. This species is delicate and can actually die from stress and a large number of imported animals don't make it past the first month. They are territorial to the point where seeing any other animals at all, of any species (including people!) can set them off into stress colours.
Due to the sensitivity, it's not ideal to handle them. Some may tolerate it, but most will find it stressful. They'll need a very large arboreal setup, with multiple basking spots and UVB lighting and are very sensitive to temperatures, so make sure your temperatures are perfect in advance of putting a chameleon in the enclosure. I've seen them do well in mesh tanks for ventilation, with a large amount of live plants for increased air quality and humidity.
I'd very strongly recommend that if you want to invest in this species to find one captive bred. A stunning chameleon, but hard to handle or even observe closely due to their sensitivity..
From Athravan Jun 18 2015 4:26PM