Perhaps you stumbled upon this article because you are curious about the chameleon lifespan. Do you also wonder if your pet chameleon’s lifespan differs from those in the wild? If you are planning on having a chameleon as a pet, the question about the lifespan of this animal may be the first that comes into your mind.
The lifespan of this pet reptile varies based on the species. However, in most situations, a chameleon that lives in captivity has a lifespan between three and ten years. In addition to the species, there are other factors which influence how long the chameleon can live. Keep reading to know more about the lifespan of these color-changing reptiles.
Chameleon Lifespan in Average
There are a bunch of reptiles that have extremely long lives. However, the chameleon is regrettably not one of them. Even if some of the chameleon species are carefully taken care of as pets, these reptiles generally have shorter lifespans.
The chameleon lifespan in captivity is typically much longer than those that live in the wild, often doubling or tripling their average lifespans. A pet chameleon is able to live for three to ten years on average, although this may vary depending on several factors that will be discussed later.
That is due to the increased risk of parasites or health conditions, as well as the fact that chameleons in the wild have to compete with many other predators while looking for their meal. While pet chameleons are not less prone to parasites or diseases, they still at least have the opportunity to obtain proper treatments.
In addition to the environment, the chameleon lifespan is also dependent on its size and each species has a different size in which influences its life spans. Below are the long-lived and short-lived chameleon species:
Long-lived chameleon species
Although specific data and reliable reports concerning wild reptiles and captive species are relatively hard to come by, it’s obvious that those with larger bodies are capable of living longer than the majority of the smaller chameleons.
Veiled, Oustalet’s, and Parson’s are all large-sized lizards that are widely known to thrive in the wild for approximately five or eight years. The chameleon lifespan of these specimens is comparable if they live in captivity.
Veiled chameleons have been reported to survive for at least a decade. Some scientists even believe that the Parson’s variant can live for up to two decades if they are being kept as a pet. The maturity rate of these large species also varies, which the Veiled ones are matured quickly and therefore can breed at the age of 4 or 5 months.
Short-lived chameleon species
The chameleon lifespan of those with smaller bodies is considerably short even compared to all specimens of vertebrates. The Carpet variant, a brightly colored variant native to Madagascar, only has a one-to-two-year lifespan if they live in the wild.
Even if the Carpet chameleons live in ideal environments, they are barely able to survive more than three years. The other variant of these reptiles, such as the Labord’s, lay their eggs underground for between eight and nine months before the eggs are hatching, starting to grow, and begin their reproduction in four to five months.
All of the Labord’s adults die soon after mating and laying their eggs. This implies that the remaining species that can only be found for that year are still underground and strive in their eggs.
Other Factors That Influence the Chameleon Lifespan
In addition to specimens, there are other factors that have to be considered when determining how long a chameleon has the capability to thrive. The following discussions will break down those influential factors to help you understand what might impact the chameleon lifespan and what needs to be done to increase it.
It is a critical variable that can influence the lifespan of this color-changing lizard. The female ones typically have a much shorter lifespan compared to their male counterparts. In captivity, the male chameleons (more importantly, the Veiled species) can thrive up to eight years.
Even so, the females are only capable of living for five years on average. Many scientists believe that this occurrence is closely related to female reproduction, as well as the energy they used throughout the reproduction process.
Female chameleons are at their most vulnerable state during the time they have to deposit their eggs, making them more susceptible to disease. If you kept a female chameleon as a pet, you need to make sure that she gets all the required vitamins and minerals, as well as enough water.
The chameleon lifespan can be increased as long as you give them a suitable habitat, a diverse and nutrient-dense food, and a stress-free environment. Try to create a habitat that is as natural as possible and make sure it’s large enough for adding ornaments that look similar to those in the wild.
You will also have to make the tank comes with adequate illumination as well as lots of vegetation for climbing and hiding. Giving your pet chameleon a safe haven free of predators and other animals they usually compete with is ideal to reduce stress and keep them healthy.
To keep your pet reptile well-fed and hydrated, provide various types of insects they used to eat and fresh water with vitamins you add to their food. Regular visits to a veterinarian will also assist you in keeping your pet healthy.
Do not ever leave your chameleon pet uncared for in poor habitats. It will make them have a shorter lifespan. Thus, it’s vital to keep them well-cared for so that they have a higher possibility of living a much longer life.
If you are planning to keep a chameleon as a pet, it’s always advised for you to conduct comprehensive research prior to doing so. The chameleon lifespan in captivity is, of course, much longer than those live in the wild. Yet again, species, gender, and the way you take care of them can impact the lifespan of this reptile.