Newbie with questions


New Member
Hello all. I am a beginner to herps and I am looking into getting one sometime in May or June. I've been thinking about getting a Crested Gecko for awhile now but it seems I've taken an interest in Chameleons. As I said before, I am a beginner to herps. I am looking into getting a Veiled Chameleon because the caresheet I read say they are great for beginners.

I also have a question about handling. I do not mind not being able to handle a Chameleon but is it true that handling them can shorten their life? If they can be handled, how often can you handle them and for how long at a time. Again, I don't mind not being able to handle a Chameleon.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums. Handling your chameleon will not shorten his life unless you are handling him by force and stressing him out. Some chameleons don't mind being handled, some don't like it, some actually like it. My chameleons and my daughters chameleons love to ride around on your head or shoulder. Chameleons are like people each have a different personality and likes and dislikes.

I keep veileds and have three Luie, Camille and their daughter Elly. Below is my blog for new keepers. Check it out. It will tell you all that you need for a new veiled with links to pictures of of each item and where you can buy. Do plenty of research and have your set up working and tested BEFORE you buy your chameleon.


New Member
Thank you so much :) . If I do decide to get one, it won't be until late May or June. I'll keep reading the caresheet and doing more research. Thanks again :)


Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum!~
Very smart of you to learn before you get one!

Here is some information to get you started...
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. Temperatures needed can vary with the species.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...

(If the three links that have the word "archive" in them don't work, you need to go to the WayBackMachine to update them.)
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