Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) - Wiki
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[Photo] A young adult male veiled chameleon, Chamaeleo calyptratus with a characteristically masculine casque. Foot spurs are present, though not clearly visible in this photograph. Author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Geoff Date: 15 June 2004. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C_Calyptratus_male.jpg
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The Veiled Chameleon
), is a large species of chameleon
found in the mountain regions of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It is also sometimes referred to as the Yemen Chameleon
The male veiled chameleon
is green in color and, depending on mood, this green will range from a bright lime green to a red olive drab. The green base color is marked with stripes and spots of yellow, brown, and blue. Non breeding females and juvenile chameleon
s are generally a uniform green color with some white markings. Breeding and gravid females are a very dark green with blue and yellow spots. The prominence of these markings is dependent on several factors including health, mood, and temperature of the lizard.
This species is sexually dimorphic, meaning it is possible to tell the gender of an individual by looking at physical traits. Aside from the previously mentioned color differences, adult male veiled chameleon
s are large animals. It is possible for them to reach an over all length of 24 inches (60 cm). Most specimens usually reach between 14 to 18 inches (35-45 cm). Females are smaller with the average overall length being just under 12 inches (30 cm). Males and females both have a decorative growth called a "casque" on their heads. The casque of a male chameleon
is much taller than the female's. Males also have a spur on each hind leg that the females do not have.
Like most chameleon
s, veiled chameleon
s are specialized tree dwellers. They have a flattened body meant to mimic a leaf and feet specially designed for grasping limbs and branches. They have a prehensile tail that acts as a fifth appendage and aids in climbing. Their eyes work independently of one another allowing the chameleon
to look in front of and behind itself at the same time. They have a long sticky tongue that they use to capture their insect prey. Veiled chameleon
s are ambush predators and are capable of lying still for very long periods of time waiting for an unsuspecting locust
to wander by.
s are omnivores. While their main diet consists of insects, they will occasionally consume the leaves and blossoms of various plants. This is especially true in times of drought when water is scarce. Like all chameleon
s, veiled chameleon
s prefer to drink water that is in drops. They do not always recognize standing water and may dehydrate if that is their only source.
Female veiled chameleon
s can produce up to 3 clutches of eggs a year. Each clutch may contain 20-70 eggs. The eggs usually take 6-9 months to hatch. All the eggs in the same clutch will hatch simultaneously, as long as they are incubated together. Female veiled chameleon
s will produce multiple clutches of eggs, with one male encounter and produce infertile eggs when there is no male, similar to chicken
s are often kept in captivity due to the fact that they are relatively hardy when compared to other chameleon
species often offered for sale.
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