New to Chameleon Keeping -- best starter species?


New Member
Hello, all! I've just recently become interested in owning an old-world chameleon of some sort. My question is.. which species would be the best choice for a first-time chameleon keeper?

I'm not new to herp keeping.. I've kept dozens of frogs, turtles, toads, anoles, and an iguana, along with various others.

I've researched several species of chameleons, but I figure I should ask a forum with experience in chameleon keeping and listen to your advice more than textbook information in regards to what to start out with.

Thanks for your help!
i would recommend a veiled chameleon. they are a good beginner, but are not easy. you must do a good amount of research to know all the needs to this animal. they require lots of care. just do alot of research before buying
I'm sure these type of questions have been asked and asked around here.

What species would need the smallest space requirements? I don't really have the space for a huge cage.
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From the information i have gleaned from searching this forum it appears that the two most recommended "starter chams" are the panther and the veiled. Both require about a 2'x2'x3' MINIMUM size enclosure, and of course the actual recommendations are to err on the even larger size for the healthiest cham. I have seen a lot of people use 3'x3'x4'tall as their minimum suggestions on this forum. The panther is said to be slightly hardier but a more expensive cham. However, be sure to take into consideration the upfront and ongoing cost of keeping your cham healthy. it is also an eye opener to search around on the health forum site here:eek:. i too have quite a diverse group of reptiles but these chams appear to have needs quite unique and conditions entirely preventable but highly costly to treat and in some cases the folks here are more knowledgable than the herp vets out there. good luck, please use the search mode and you will get a lot of past helpful resources and information. the AdCham website also offers species descriptions. CCIC also is a great cham community. It seems the smaller you go the less hardy the cham will be. a lot of cham lovers have specific breeders they like as well as ones to stay away from...have fun, they are truly miraculous works of art:D
Veileds and panthers are the easiest...just as others have said already...and they are the most readily available. If you are just going to start off with one...I would get a male....they live longer and you don't have to deal with egglaying problems.

Here are some sites with good information that you might like to read...
i disagree,i really dont class yemen chameleons as a starter chameleon,but they are very easy to keep and will breed in very bad conditions so not really much of a challenge.
Panthers are great,the humidity is a bit more of an concern with these but if you can provide the correct conditons they are a lot more rewarding.

I really feel that carpet chameleons are the ideal beginners chameleons,stunning colours,nice adult size not too big for first time keepers,Very easy to keep,and they eat like pigs:)
whatever one you end up getting. one thing to remember.. DO NOT get lazy on GUTLOADING. i did in the beginning and now my cham is trying to recover from mild mbd... mine is also a veiled.
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