Caring for your Carpet Chameleons
Furcifer lateralis Share/Bookmark

Carpet Chameleon Description

Latin Name: Furcifer lateralis
Adult Size: 12cm to 15cm snout-to-vent length (SVL).
Average Life Span: 1.5 years in the wild, 3 years in captivity.
Native Distribution: Madagascar.
Physical Description: Males are light green with a mid-body white stripe. Females are dark brown to black with a mid-body yellow stripe and numerous white to multi-coloured spots, hence the name, Carpet Chameleon.
Temperament: A peaceful diurnal insectivore.
Status in the Wild: CITES II.

Carpet Chameleon Habitat

Native Habitat: Found in tropical rainforests, prairies and cities, where they live in bushes or trees. This chameleon has adapted to living around humans.
Ambient Temperature: 22C to 28C.
Basking Temperature: A basking spot should be provided.
Humidity Range: 60% to 100%.
Lighting: Full spectrum fluorescent.
Terrarium Size: Given a sufficient space with visual obstructions, adults may be kept together in pairs.
Terrarium Decor: Tropical rainforest motif.
Terrarium Substrate: Moist earth, sphagnum moss or oak leaves.
Terrarium Containment: Carpet Chameleons can easily climb branches but not smooth surfaces. A top is only necessary to contain food items.

Carpet Chameleon Husbandry

Hygiene: Carpet Chameleons will not drink from standing water so daily misting, or a dripping / splashing water source is necessary, e.g. waterfall. Clean terrarium as needed.
Feeding: Carpet Chameleons eat mostly small insects and grubs. The most popular foods for captive chameleons are crickets and flies.
Handling: Handling is tolerated but quite stressful for chameleons.
Terrarium Compatibility: Compatible with other insectivorous tropical frogs and lizards.

Carpet Chameleon Breeding

Maturity: Sexual maturity is reached by 4 months of age.
Sexing: Sexually dimorphic - males are light green, females are dark brown to black. See sexing Carpet Chameleons photograph.
Conditioning: Carpet Chameleons may hibernate for 1 to 3 months during the winter. After hibernation, keep adults well fed with a variety of vitamin / mineral enriched foods.
Cycling: A female that is ready to mate will not try to attack the male; instead, she will slowly walk away with the male in persuit. Copulation lasts from 10 to 20 minutes.
Sex Ratio: Best bred in M/F pairs.
Egg Laying: After choosing a suitable egg laying spot, the female dig a hole in the soil approximately 10cm deep where she will lay between 4 and 23 eggs, which she will then cover with dirt.

Carpet Chameleon Care of Eggs / Young

Incubation Temperature: Carpet Chameleon eggs should be artificially incubated in slightly moist vermiculite. A cool phase is needed during egg incubation: 25C for the first 45 days, 15C for 40 days, then 28C until hatching (around 100 days following the end of the cool phase).
Incubation / Gestation Time: Gestation lasts 30 to 50 days.
Size at Birth: 3cm SVL.
Hatchling Sex Ratio: 50% male - 50% female, with the above incubation procedure.
Feeding: Young may be fed vitamin / mineral dusted pinhead crickets and fruit flies.
Housing: Young may be raised communally.

Carpet Chameleon Ailments

Metabolic Bone Disease: Supplement feeding with vitamin / mineral dusted crickets. Exposure to UVA and UVB light is beneficial.

Disclaimer: Any course of treatment should be preceded by a thorough examination from a qualified professional. All remedies for ailments given above are for reference purposes only.

Carpet Chameleon References

Carpet Chameleon Links

Kammerflage Kreations
Chameleons Information Network