If you’re going to divide the animal world on the basis of the birth process, you’ll get only two categories there. The first one is giving live birth, like humans and the second one is laying eggs. When it comes to reptiles, they usually fall into the second category, for obvious reasons. But what about chameleons? Do they lay eggs too?
Chameleons do lay eggs. But not all of them. The young ones of a female Jackson’s chameleon are carried inside the mother. She does have eggs; however, they aren’t living infants. Once the eggs are done with hatching, the female Jackson’s gives birth to the babies.
But what is their frequency of laying eggs? After all, it’s heard that female chameleons often lay eggs and the whole process has a bad impact on the reptile’s health. Well, there’s more to this story.
You’re probably thinking – how complicated the reproductive process of a chameleon can be, right? After all, they’re just some regular reptiles too. Well, things are way more complicated here than they may first appear. A chameleon’s egg-laying cycles can be affected by a wide variety of variables.
For example. in order to successfully lay eggs, chameleons require adequate nutrition and water. On top of that, environmental elements, such as temperature, also play a vital role in this game.
Laying occurs once every three to six months for the typical chameleon. The sad part is a female chameleon dissipates a lot of energy in laying eggs. But having a large number of offspring has been proven beneficial for the survival of the species in the wild.
However, producing eggs is sometimes unnecessary and pointless in captivity. If you’re not trying to breed chameleons, it’s best to keep the female’s egg-laying cycles as spread apart as possible.
By the way, you won’t be able to stop them from laying eggs no matter what you do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce the temperature or feed them less, which will ultimately demotivate them in egg-laying.
Hold on a sec! We’re not saying you should ignore your chameleon completely. Yes, feeding her less surely will lower the frequency. But if you’d go too far, like keeping her starved for more than 3 days, it might do more damage to her than those eggs would have. Otherwise, your favorite lizard might not be able to see too many days ahead with you.
Well, even if you’re chameleon is laying unfertilized eggs, it’s completely okay, and there’s nothing to worry about. Unfertilized or not, chameleons can still lay eggs, and they simply can’t help it. The interesting fact about chameleons is, they’ll lay eggs regardless of whether a successful mating has taken place or not.
That’s not all! Eggs of chameleons grow in a predictable pattern. The eggs can be fertilized if the chameleon mates with a compatible male throughout this time. Even if they don’t, the chameleon eggs will be laid. Clearly, fertilization has a rather brief window of opportunity, and not going for mating prevents the eggs from being fertilized.
Unless you purposefully breed your chameleons, chances are they won’t be able to reproduce successfully in captivity. So, if you’re not in the mood to see your reptile multiply, you can just sit back and relax when your female chameleon laying eggs, especially when there is no male around.
When it comes to reproduction, every species got its own unique way and chameleons fall into that list too. Some chameleons attain sexual maturity quicker than others, even within the same species.
You’d see that some of the chameleons start laying eggs at just six months of age and some don’t even start doing the same till they reach the age of two years. Altering the food schedule and cage conditions, according to some breeders, can stop these color shifters from producing eggs.
But to which extent this quest over the chameleons will be successful differs greatly. Interestingly, there are certain species only that get benefitted from it. But when it comes to others, that’s definitely not the case.
If you really feel like you’re one of those concerned chameleon owners who care for their pet, you should know when your reptile is pregnant and when it’s not. After all, being aware of your chameleon’s gestation period is crucial and so is meeting its unique demands during that time.
By the way, you not being informed about the chameleon’s pregnancy might lead to complications when they try to deposit eggs. But that doesn’t mean you can instantly find out if you’re chameleon is roaming with eggs or what. All you can do is look out for symptoms like –
During pregnancy, a chameleon’s body shape changes, becoming notably more plump and spherical, after a period of time of course. Early pregnancy symptoms will be mild. But later on, they will become more obvious.
If you usually spend a good amount of time with your reptile and keep track of its weight, we bet it’ll be hard for the change to skip your eyes. So, it’s clear that a chameleon’s weight what can be used as a reliable indicator of pregnancy. Or in another way, if you’re asking for a way to track your lizard’s gravid state, checking its weight once every 2 weeks is a fantastic method to do so.
The pregnancy of a chameleon may appear in a variety of ways – one of them is a desire to dig and scrape the dirt or ground. You’ll see this kind of behavior just before a female chameleon lays her eggs in the soil.
You can help her out in getting ready to lay eggs by placing the container or just a simple, used bin filled with dirt or sand. But remember, one foot should be the minimum depth of the soil or sand. Otherwise, there won’t be enough soil for them to cover up the eggs later on.
If you find the chameleon eating more than normal, there’s a chance that she can be pregnant. Once you’re confirmed, ensure that she is eating well during pregnancy.
Don’t forget to add a variety of foods to her diet. It’s true that Crickets are chameleons’ prime meal. But it might sound surprising that they lack the nutrients a pregnant chameleon needs. So, additional nutrients will be helpful for them to keep their health on point.
Do you know when a chameleon act in the most aggressive way? Male ones go for the aggressive mode when there’s another male chameleon intruding in their territory. In such kind of situation, they think of nothing but go for a conflict with the other reptile. Sometimes they even mistake their own reflection as another chameleon.
But that’s definitely not the case for female chameleons. It’s quite possible that she’s pregnant if she’s acting aggressively toward the male chams. A pregnant chameleon usually prefers her own company during that time. Besides, she should not be around any other chameleons at this period of time, especially the male ones.
Stopping your chameleon from getting pregnant is next to impossible. So, what you can do is take the best care of the reptile, so that it can stay healthy and live longer. But how are going to do that? Well, you can surely try the following things.
Pregnant chameleons, according to many veterinarians and breeders, should be isolated in a bucket of dirt measuring 1′ deep and 9″ broad. Some of the keepers prefer sand, some go for the sand-and-soil mixture, and the remaining ones prefer to have the laying box outside the cage.
The earth should be just wet to the point where it clumps, allowing the female to excavate a safe tunnel to nest the eggs. It’s better to put a screen over the bucket before you place it in a warm and darker area of your breeding facility.
Some of the chameleon breeders also advise placing a plant within the cage as that’ll help to create an atmosphere more familiar to the reptile’s natural home. After a few days, the chameleon starts resting on the ground, and you’d see its tunnel covered as well.
During this time, you’ll notice that the lizard is looking significantly thinner than before. Afterward, you can simply put her back in the cage right away.
Yes, it’s true that crickets are considered the staple food for chameleons. After all, that’s what they get the most in their native place. On top of that, Crickets are high in nutritional value too, especially calcium.
But guess what? These color shifters like a bit of variety in their diet too. Actually, lots of the chameleon caretakers prefer adding cockroaches, houseflies, silkworms, super worms, stick bugs, and hornworms to their diet. In case you’re confused about whether you should feed them worms or not, feel free to click here and get your answers.
By the way, as pesticides are toxic to chameleons, make sure that the insects are pesticide-free before you add them to their diet. If the lizard’s appetite is down, you should ensure that it gets the nutrients it needs. Dusting all of the insects it eats with vitamin supplements will do the trick. We’d suggest trying something like the Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3.
Well, with the right initiative, it’s possible to save your chameleon from post-pregnancy impact. The interesting part is, you won’t have to do too much to pull this off. All you need to go for is –
Many chameleon keepers wait until their pets reach adulthood before attempting to breed them. The more robust your chameleon is when it first begins to reproduce, the less of an impact egg-laying and pregnancy will have on her health in the long run.
It has been shown that some chameleon breeders don’t even breed their reptiles. Your chameleons have a better chance of living long, healthy lives when you’re breeding them only to keep their species alive.
Expert breeders have found that if you wait three years before breeding your female chameleon, she will have a far higher success rate. At this rate, she should survive for at least another seven years.
Some of the chameleon keepers have discovered strategies to reduce their chameleons’ egg production. It seems, making the reptile more comfortable along with keeping it stress-free has a positive impact on increasing its lifespan.
It has been seen, even in zoos, that female chameleons live longer and produce fewer eggs when their food is carefully managed. Besides, the correct care during pregnancy works amazingly well in increasing a female chameleon’s lifespan to as much as 6 or 7 years if it’s a veiled one.
While most chameleon species produce eggs, only a very few of them produce “live young”. Interestingly, there are species that deposit as few as two eggs and others that are capable of laying as many as two hundred.
But no matter what, you’ll have to take some additional measures to ensure the health of your chameleon when it’s pregnant. They require a suitable sleeping place, which must be supplied. Otherwise, once it becomes egg-bound, the hassles will double up and leave a deadly impact on your reptile.