Why are they colorful at night.

jacksonchamnew

Avid Member
My cheap pet shop cham puts on color at night. LOL Male veil. It is easy to find them in vegetation because they are so bright. Saw this also in video of wild Florida Chams.
 

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Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I believe they get lighter colours at night to retain heat. The chromatophore cells the use to change their pigment are relaxed so they have a much brighter colour then they would during the day even in times of high stress.
 

CasqueAbove

Avid Member
Point taken.

There are several (I think good; YMMV) reasons I sometimes answer a question with a search link.
It's evolved into a writing style thing with me. I just made a note to myself to try & find the write-up. 🤓
You do make valid points at times, it is just frustrating to click a link an it is just a search. Now a link to a specific page with thoughts and questions I fully support that.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
You do make valid points at times, it is just frustrating to click a link an it is just a search. Now a link to a specific page with thoughts and questions I fully support that.
It almost always starts that way. Sometimes it's just difficult to choose. Believe it or don't, my intent is to be more thorough & inclusive, and let the reader decide for themselves. Can't please all the people all the time.... :cautious:
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
You do make valid points at times, it is just frustrating to click a link an it is just a search. Now a link to a specific page with thoughts and questions I fully support that.
Hmm... I thought I was differentiating (I can see now, not well enough), e.g.:

toxic plants list (search; all lower case, often just search criteria)

Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List - aspca
(article title; copy/pasted—capitalization)

I can see the potential confusion. I'll try to differentiate better.

Klyde Vows to Endeavor to Persevere 😣 (not a link)

 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I always thought it was directly related to stress, heat regulation, even showing their dominance or feelings through their color display. When they sleep they do not do these things so their colors become lighter. They stop regulating temps and stop being concerned about warding others off when they sleep. So we get their lighter pj's instead.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I always thought it was directly related to stress, heat regulation, even showing their dominance or feelings through their color display. When they sleep they do not do these things so their colors become lighter. They stop regulating temps and stop being concerned about warding others off when they sleep. So we get their lighter pj's instead.
While it’s not regulating temps I think the lighter colours help them to retain heat longer at night. Light coloured objects lose heat slower then dark coloured objects.
 

Chase

Avid Member
I read this thread earlier while I was at work and waited until I got home so I could give a more technical answer.

According to The Biology of Chameleons- “Color change may occur because of multiple “triggers” that fall into three main categories: (1) in response to temperature; (2) as a reflexive response to light (via photoreceptors in skin); (3) as a function of physiological state (e.g., receptivity); and (4) as a response to sensory input (surroundings, presence of prey, predators, or conspecifics).”

The section continues by describing specific cases of higher altitude chameleons flattening their body and darkening just one side of their body to thermoregulate.

I’d guess the physiological reason behind it would be category 1 and category 2 in this specific case.

This article came out after The Biology of Chameleons was published, and was an interesting read. Here’s a link: https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms7368


Chase
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I’m going to have to measure temps and take pics but I have seen Lennon darker some nights when it’s warmer in the room and lighter when it’s colder.

I have a couple pics but don’t know what the temps were.
8B5D72EB-0713-4C17-89EC-4EDC4D473AE3.jpeg
B043872C-010E-44DE-BA7E-BF34441687C9.jpeg
 
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