Carpet chameleons come from Madagascar and are also known as Jewelled chameleons because of their stunning colours. It is the female that sports the familiar eye pattern but the male can display lovely greens with shades of blue around the eyes and feet. Like many chameleons the colours are at their best when either displaying to a mate or rival but when the female is gravid the effect is most pronounced. Environment and mood play their part and a basking Carpet chameleon can exhibit combinations of deep reds, blues or black.
Like all chameleons Carpets require care and effort. It is assumed that the reader is familiar with basic chameleon care and understands the need for UV lighting, the correct way to provide water and heating. Natural sunlight cannot be equalled and is recommended for health and best colours.
It is a charming addition to the chameleon collection and will tame readily, allowing hand feeding and more interaction than the larger chameleons such as Panther and Veiled. They breed readily and the female produces batches of 10 to 25 eggs, which can take 6 to 10 months to hatch at 26c. A one month diapause of 15c is needed at 6 weeks.
A cage of 40cm x 40cm x 60cm is adequate if they are kept separately but should be larger if a pair is kept together. Pairs may be kept in one cage but males should not be kept together as they are territorial. If the female is gravid it is best to separate her from the male. The cage should be heavily planted to provide shade and allow for hiding places. Ficus are good plants for this.
Coming from various parts of Madagascar they are not restricted to one habitat or ecosystem. This means that they are fairly tolerant to temperature but the following are the optimum: day time between 25 oc and 30oc, dropping at night by 5 oc to 10 oc. Do not let the temperature fall below 12 oc or rise above 32 oc; although they will survive they may become stressed.
The diet should be varied but crickets are eagerly eaten and in quantity that belies their smaller size. Silkworms and grasshoppers make good additions.
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