My new chameleon is very dark gray all the time

Glen Kotlar

New Member
Dear Friends of the forum,

I got my 5 1/2 month blue bar ambelobe few days ago. So far he has been eating with a good apetite and roaming the enclosure. But what concernes me is that for the majority of the time he is turning really dark gray even almost black while sitting on a branch.
Can anyone please tell me why he turns really dark from his natural bright colors? Does it have something to do with hydration or lighting?


Established Member
If he is under his heat lamp, they turn dark to obsorb heat faster. If he is just hanging out and dark, he may need some more time to settle in. I wouldn't worry if he is eating and drinking


New Member
Hey Glen,
as far as I know they turn black if they are cold or stressed. Dark colors absorb heat whereas light colors reflect heat. If he can see himself in the reflection of the glass of your terrarium walls he might turn black because he thinks he is seeing another male threatening him. In this case you might want to light up the room the terrarium is in so that the reflection is reduced. They also can turn darker if scared f.e. by human traffic or noises.

Best wishes

Glen Kotlar

New Member
Yes, we are in the upper 90s by the dome, and in upper 70s lower 80s at the bottom of the 2x2x4 enclosure. I have two live plants in the enclosure and plenty of artificial cover. Nevertheless he never hangs out at the top. He is always resting somewhere in the middle of the cage. I wounder if the UVB rays are reaching him??? Please take a look at the attached photo and tell me what you think. At the bottom of the enclosure I have a warm air humidifier running 24 hours a day.
Thank you!


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