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veiled chameleon

veiled chameleon

Chamaeleo calyptratus (Chamaeleonidae)

The large and showy veiled chameleon is considered a priority target because of their adaptability. They are able to tolerate living in areas that vary from low elevation dry to very wet montane (up to 12,000 feet elevation), and their large size which allows them to prey upon native Hawaiian birds and native Hawaiian insects. Hawaii State laws restrict the import, transport and possession of exotic reptiles and amphibians including snakes, lizards, frogs and toads. Without an authorization, it's a violation! The chameleons most likely became introduced to Maui as escaped pets.

Veiled chameleons can grow up to about 18-24 inches long, may be strikingly colored and spotted or banded. Instead of horns (like the Jackson Chameleon [Chamaeleo jacksonii] which are also found in Maui) both sexes have a large casque (a bony shark fin-like shield on their head). The chameleon's colors are very variable and can change from white to black, gray, brown, green, blue, orange, red, and yellow.

Veiled chameleons lay eggs (unlike the Jackson's Chameleon, which bears live young) in cavities which the female digs in the ground. Each female can lay 30-95 eggs which take about 200 days (six months) to hatch. They can lay clutches of eggs three times per year. Veiled chameleons can live for four to eight years.

Veiled chameleons are arboreal (tree-living) lizards. They feed primarily on insects, but will also dine on leaves, flowers and buds, small mammals and birds.

veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
veiled chameleon
(Chamaeleo calyptratus)

More information on veiled chameleon:

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This page was created on 24 March 2004 by EMS, and was last updated on 06 Febuary 2007 by LF. The source material for the content of this page was provided to HEAR by MISC. Valid HTML 4.01!