Behavior of veiled chameleons

A veiled chameleon Chamaeleo calyptratus is a pretty calm animal. It will not make any sudden moves and cannot walk that fast. Just to trick you though, they will walk much slower when they know they are being watched than when they believe they are alone. They can also climb pretty fast when they see a favorite prey insect within their reach.

Generally a veiled chameleon will spend its day basking in the heat of their heat lamb or UV lamb. It will look around for prey and walk within tongue-reach of prey when necessary.

Handling and aggression in veiled chameleons

An adult Yemen chameleon will often not like being handled. It will clearly show this by hissing, opening its mouth or inflating its body to appear larger. Some chameleons will even bite you or threaten to bite you. If you handle your chameleon often since a young age it will generally accept being handled more easily. A chameleon will not like being picked up in your hand and will respond better to you coaxing it onto your hand to move it.

Baby Yemen chameleons are much more docile. They can be handled without any problem. They will generally not behave aggressively and will not hiss or bite. Sometimes they will try to walk away from you when you try to pick them up or come close. It depends on the individual chameleon if it grows up to become docile or aggressive towards you.

By feeding your chameleon by hand and handling it carefully you increase the chance that it will grow up more docile and tame. This is also better for the chameleon, as it will be less stressed when it does need to be handled.

An adult female veiled chameleon showing with her colors and throat that she does not want to be approached.
An adult female veiled chameleon showing with her colors and throat that she does not want to be approached.