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How Are Chameleons Born

Are you curious about baby chameleons?

Are you interested in breeding chameleons?

If you are thinking about breeding chameleons, you might wonder:

How are chameleons born?

Chameleons are born either by emerging from an egg laid by their mother or in some species the babies are born in a live birth after developing inside of the mother.

Keep reading this article for everything you need to know about how chameleons are born.

how are chameleons born

The Two Ways Chameleons Are Born

There are two ways in which a chameleon will be born, depending on the species.

Chameleon babies will either come from an egg laid in a clutch by their mother or by a live birth following a gestation period inside their mother.

Here we will dive into those two types of birth.

Oviparous-Egg Laying

With egg-laying, or oviparous, chameleons, the mother will lay a clutch of between 20 and 200 eggs after digging a tunnel.

In captivity, owners set up laying bins filled with moist soil, so the female can dig and lay her eggs.

After a gestation period of between four and 12 months and even as long as 24 months, depending on the species, the eggs will hatch, and the young chameleons will begin to emerge.

The eggs a female chameleon will lay, do not have hard shells like you will see coming from a chicken.

Like most other reptiles, a chameleon’s eggs are soft, making it easier for the young to breakthrough.

As they hatch, the baby chameleons will dig and claw their way out of the pile of eggs around them to begin their life.

Ovoviviparous-Live Birth

There are some chameleons, like Jacobs’s chameleon, who will have a live birth, rather than laying eggs.

Embryos develop inside the mother, attached to a yolk sac where they will get everything they need to grow.

This development isn’t like humans, where a fetus will get nutrients through the umbilical cord.

When the baby is ready to be born, the female will climb around her enclosure, dropping the young as she travels.

In one gestation period, she can give birth to as many as 30 live babies.

They are covered in a membrane which sticks to leaves or branches in the enclosure.

After wriggling out of the sac, the newly born chameleons are already active, walking, and climbing around.

Quickly separate the mother from her young as she might see them as food.

Does the Mother Take Care Of Her Babies After They are Born?

Chameleons are not known for having a strong maternal instinct.

With egg-laying chameleons, because the eggs are deposited somewhere else, the mother does not stick around to wait for them to hatch.

She also doesn’t come back to take care of the hatchlings once they do make their appearance from their eggs.

Even the types of ovoviviparous chameleons who give birth to live babies do not look after their young following birth.

If your chameleon gives birth to live babies, be sure to remove them from the enclosure quickly, as larger chameleons are cannibalistic.

Taking Care Of Chameleons After They Are Born

From the minute these animals are born, they are independent creatures, moving and taking care of themselves from the start.

Once they start moving, the will begin to search out safety, and because they are soaking up the last of the nutrients from the yolk sac, they will not need to be fed for the first few days.

After this period, they will begin hunting for small prey, like hydei fruit flies or pinhead crickets.

If you are breeding chameleons, it is important to give them the proper nutrients so they can develop correctly and be healthy.

Feed your new chameleons live insects to teach them how to hunt like they would in the wild.

These young animals need frequent supplements and daily feedings.

As they grow into adulthood, you will be able to cut back on the feedings and supplements.

Cage Set Up For Baby Chameleons

When you have baby chameleons, you need to set up the proper environment.

If you have a large number of young chameleons, divide them into groups.

The size of the group will be dependent on their size and species.

Having smaller numbers of chameleons per cage will guarantee they do not have to fight or bully each other for food and other resources.

Starting with a smaller cage also helps the chameleons capture their food.

If the tank is too large, they will have a harder time finding and capturing the insects you add to their environment.

The smaller tank will also make it easier for you to control the humidity levels necessary for the hatchlings.

These young chameleons need to have high levels of humidity, or they, unfortunately, will desiccate.

Look into an automatic mister to help keep humidity levels high as misting will be necessary multiple times throughout the day.

Do not mist the chameleon’s body directly at any point during its life.

A quality full-spectrum UVA/UVB light is also required for proper care of these animals.

As your chameleons grow, you should divide them further and move them to larger enclosures.

Caring for baby chameleons is not an easy task and requires planning, attention, and care.

How Fast Do Chameleons Grow?

Chameleons in the wild, do not have a long life expectancy, living an average of three years.

In captivity, this increases exponentially, and chameleons can live as long as ten years.

Looking at veiled chameleons, a popular pet choice, hatchlings are approximately 3″ to 4″ inches and grow quickly.

By the time they are eight months old, they reach the same length as an adult, which is 8″ to 12″ inches for females and 12″ to 19″ inches for males.

After reaching adult length, they will gain weight until they are two years old.

With proper care, your chameleon can live between six and ten years, depending on the species.


Maybe you are interested in breeding chameleons, or perhaps you just want to learn more about these interesting creatures.

Chameleons are born either by hatching from an egg or in a live birth after developing inside their mother.

The type of birth is dependent on the species of the chameleon.

We hope you have a better understanding of how chameleons are born after reading this article.

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