Veiled Chameleon is always Brown when In cage

Billythechameleon

New Member
Hello, I recently purchased my first chameleon his name is billy and he is a veiled male. It is about 4-5 months old According to Pet store guy who seemed like he didn’t know. He is usually a beautiful green color but when he’s basking or walking around his enclosure he is a always a dark brown color. He also gets puffed up while basking. Is this normal? When he is sleeping and his lights are off he is green as well. When he’s out and about he is green and skinny Temp usually around 72 degrees basking spot about 85-90 degrees has a 100 watt heat bulb and a 5 watt uvb bulb. Cage is 16x16x30 (medium reptibreeze)
 

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SmallToes

Member
Welcome to the forums!! :)

Chameleons turn darker colors to better absorb heat! That's what your boy is up to.

They also require specific UVB fixtures, be sure yours follows these guidelines.
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SmallToes

Member
Personally your temps seem fine to me although I am not the most qualified to give feedback on that. If you could provide the best info you can from the following questions other members will be more capable of helping!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
85-90*F is a big margin. What are you using to measure the temp? I would get a good quality thermometer from a hardware store and double check the temps.

At his age, most veiled have a muddy coloration right before they start developing their adult coloration. Bright green while out of the cage could indicate he is stressed. Dull colors while in the cage are relaxed.
 
Here is an example of relaxed vs stressed/angry vs sleeping colors in my adult 3yr old male.

View attachment 249146 View attachment 249147 View attachment 249148
I'm not the OP but I have a similar situation happening. Mine is about 5 months and displays the same color patterns mentioned and pictured by OP. I also can see my temps are correct but wonder as a new keeper if he is wanting more heat. I haven't read before that it is a stage they go through as they develop adult colors.
Thanks @Graves923 this is really helpful and makes me excited for that coloration phase, too!
 

Jack135

Member
I'm not the OP but I have a similar situation happening. Mine is about 5 months and displays the same color patterns mentioned and pictured by OP. I also can see my temps are correct but wonder as a new keeper if he is wanting more heat. I haven't read before that it is a stage they go through as they develop adult colors.
Thanks @Graves923 this is really helpful and makes me excited for that coloration phase, too!
Yeah so is mine 5 months too I have heard that champs go through a ‘browning phase’ at 5 to 8 months so I gues this is probably it as there is obviously an age pattern. Apperently after a few sheds the the brighter adult colours should come through.
 
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