Colours...

Amanda1801

New Member
Hey,

Quick question (well it will probably not be a quick answer!) but what causes chameleon colours?

I've been looking at photos of chams since I joined, with a particular love for veileds - but mine is so dull compared to everyone elses!

I've had 3 sheds with my guy, and he still remains brown or green colour - none of these vibrant colours or anything that everyone else has!

With his sheds, he's gradually getting brighter, but I was just wondering how much influence diet has on their colours? Mine was stupidly neglected when I got him, and his colours are def. improving with each shed, but I'm just wondering what impact his neglect has had on his colours?
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Necas mentioned in one of his books that chameleons raised around dark colors that might not appear in their native habitat (like reds) may actually cause them to have darker colors as adults than babies raised around a lot of green.

The color changing ability is caused by distribution of melanin (color pigment) in the scales. Based on their mood and environment the melanin can be widely distributed throughout the scale, causing one color, or very concentrated in one spot or at the surface of the scale, causing a different color. It varies their mood and environment. A constantly dark cham may indicate chronic stress, fear or illness. Whereas a light colored cham may mean contentment. And the super brightly colored chams may be breeding colors or a method of intimidation (when my veiled is the brightest). The brightist colors tend not to be resting colors, but are overrepresented in pictures because they're so much more impressive. :)

Genetics play a part in cham color as well. Yours may be a decendant of a less vibrant colored bloodline.
 

Amanda1801

New Member
Necas mentioned in one of his books that chameleons raised around dark colors that might not appear in their native habitat (like reds) may actually cause them to have darker colors as adults than babies raised around a lot of green.

The color changing ability is caused by distribution of melanin (color pigment) in the scales. Based on their mood and environment the melanin can be widely distributed throughout the scale, causing one color, or very concentrated in one spot or at the surface of the scale, causing a different color. It varies their mood and environment. A constantly dark cham may indicate chronic stress, fear or illness. Whereas a light colored cham may mean contentment. And the super brightly colored chams may be breeding colors or a method of intimidation (when my veiled is the brightest). The brightist colors tend not to be resting colors, but are overrepresented in pictures because they're so much more impressive. :)

Genetics play a part in cham color as well. Yours may be a decendant of a less vibrant colored bloodline.
melanophores will be the death of me before long! :p I was just wondering if diet played a role out of curiosity really - Colin is very boring brown and green lol
 

jojackson

New Member
Diet will play a role, since it effects health, but not as you may be thinking, like foods impregnated with color enhances for fish.
Constantly drab darker colors tells me something is wrong with its environmental conditions or long term arrangement.
This is the first port of call for me in investigating any issue with any species.
A few changes to its home conditions may make all the difference.
Please cut n paste the health/caging questionaire from the top of the health forum,
so we can better gain insight into whats up with your lizard. :)

Excellent info FerretInMyShoes ! :)
 

Amanda1801

New Member
Diet will play a role, since it effects health, but not as you may be thinking, like foods impregnated with color enhances for fish.
Constantly drab darker colors tells me something is wrong with its environmental conditions or long term arrangement.
This is the first port of call for me in investigating any issue with any species.
A few changes to its home conditions may make all the difference.
Please cut n paste the health/caging questionaire from the top of the health forum,
so we can better gain insight into whats up with your lizard. :)

Excellent info FerretInMyShoes ! :)
Everything is spot on with my guy :) he tends to be a browny green when hes relaxed - it's very obvious when hes fired up and angry, and his colours have become more vibrant compared to when I got him 3 months ago
 

melric

Established Member
If you post pics and fill out the questionaire you may get more answers. We need to know more factors involved with your little guy.
 

Amanda1801

New Member
If you post pics and fill out the questionaire you may get more answers. We need to know more factors involved with your little guy.
Everything is as it should be - I've posted the "how to ask for help thing several times" - im not concerned something is wrong, I was just interested to know if it could be a factor... heres some photos though - his colours are slowly getting more vibrant but hes still a boring brown lol

3 months ago... (yes I know his legs are messed up)
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._492628310613_514610613_6481974_1841843_n.jpg

About 6 weeks ago
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos...59276590_100000150017800_658891_1950836_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos...69278249_100000150017800_658766_7290286_n.jpg

Recently (slightly fired up)
http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hpho...07220155_100000150017800_822692_3324526_n.jpg

Relaxed:
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos...04961252_100000150017800_726363_3004914_n.jpg
 

Amanda1801

New Member
I would personally be making some improvements on it's cage, but its your call. :)
Also In some images your lizards limbs look suspiciously rubbery. :(

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos...69278249_100000150017800_658766_7290286_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._492628310613_514610613_6481974_1841843_n.jpg
Like i said - im aware his legs are messed up - he was a rescue - he has MBD and other health issues - and I have a several hundred pound vet bill to prove it! Also those recentish photos were when I got him - he has a huge screen enclosure and stuff now - like i said - everything is spot on for him now - hes a very happy little cham and is on his way to recovery

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos...68311289_100000150017800_724972_5154339_n.jpg <-- Thats what hes in now - and hes got an additional ficus since that photo was taken
 
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