How to Care for a Flapneck Chameleon

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Flapneck chameleons are a species of chameleon known for the flaps on the back of their heads. A flapneck chameleon will raise the flaps when it feels threatened. Flapnecks vary in color and can be found in shades of yellow, green and brown. They will have either white or black spots. Flapnecks grow up to 13 inches long and can live up to 10 years in captivity. Due to ease of care, flapnecks make good reptiles for beginners.

Things You'll Need

  • 30 gallon terrarium
  • Branches
  • Vines
  • Plants
  • Temperature gauge
  • Water dripper
  • Full spectrum fluorescent UVB light bulb
  • Insects
  • Vitamin powder
  • Basking lamp
  • Spray bottle

Set up a 30 gallon screened terrarium with reptile bark, climbing branches and vines and cover plants. Leave an area free of plants to allow for basking. Use full spectrum fluorescent UVB lighting. Place the lighting no further than 18 inches away. Put a temperature gauge inside the enclosure.

Provide a basking light focused at the plant-free area of the aquarium. Turn it on for 12 hours during the day. Turn it off at night.

Feed your chameleon as many crickets, moths and wax worms as it can eat each day. Feed it every few hours to promote a balanced metabolism. Coat the insects in vitamin powder that contains calcium and vitamin D3.

Hang a water dripper in the habitat so the chameleon will drink. Keep the dripper full at all times. Flapneck chameleons will not drink out of bowls.

Monitor the temperature frequently. The temperature should be kept between 75 F to 85 F during the day, 65 F to 75 F during the night and 90 F at the basking site.

Mist the enclosure every three days to maintain proper humidity and provide an additional water source.

Handle your flapneck chameleon no more than once a day, after it's had at least a week to acclimate to its new environment. Keep handling sessions to five minutes. Keep your chameleon away from other animals, including other chameleons.

Keep the habitat clean. Remove uneaten insects after each feeding. Replace bark and remove waste as needed. Completely clean out the terrarium once every 10 to 14 days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mist the enclosure more frequently if your chameleon develops sunken eyes.
  • Flapneck chameleons will bite if they feel stressed or threatened.

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