Do you too feel like animals are tough to breed? Well, what will you say about the chameleons then? After all, they’re the among toughest reptiles when you’re planning to start with breeding. Don’t worry, things can gradually be eased up once you get the grip of the process. But do you have any idea about the fact that how many babies a chameleon can have?
The likelihood that a chameleon will have offspring depends on two main factors. One – the species and two – the surrounding environment. Depending on those, she may incubate anywhere from 8 to 30 eggs at a time. After being dropped down in the warm earth, the hatching process might take anything from a few months to an entire year.
But can you actually push the breeding efficiency to the desired level? If yes, then how? On top of that, what kind of changes in the number of eggs can take place if there’s a variation in the species or the environment? Well, we’re here to get you those answers.
You’re probably guessing already that the chameleons only lay eggs, which later on turn into pretty baby chameleons. Well, things are not pretty much that straightforward. Interestingly, some species of chameleons, such as the Jackson’s chameleon, give birth to their young alive, which sets them apart from the majority of other reptiles.
After a gestation period of 4 to 6 months, a single female of this species can deliver anywhere from 8 to 30 offspring all at once. Even though the young are born alive rather than developing inside of an egg, they first develop as an egg.
Instead of placing their eggs in a nest, the mothers of these creatures carry the unshelled eggs inside their bodies, where they undergo the process of incubation. The San Diego Zoo says other cham species lay eggs with an incubation time that can range anywhere from four months to twenty-four months – depending on the species, of course.
The number of eggs a female chameleon will lay can be roughly estimated based on her body size. There are 2 to 4 egg clutches produced by smaller chameleon species, whereas bigger chameleons produce between 80 and 100 eggs at once.
Chameleons reach maturity between the ages of 1 and 2 years old, regardless of the species. The chameleon native to Madagascar is the sole exception to this rule with the title of having the lowest life span in the entire globe.
In November, their eggs begin to hatch; in January, the young ones become adults, and when it’s February, the adults begin to lay eggs. After a lifetime of only three months, the whole adult population dies out. By the way, if you’re feeling like you need to know more about this, check out this blog of ours.
As we said before, breeding chameleons isn’t easy. And if you’re thinking that making a female mate with a male will be enough, then you’re on the ‘totally wrong’ side of thought. There are a bunch of other things too that you need to grab in order to let the reptile have the perfect spot to lay her eggs.
Within ten to fifteen days after mating, the female cham will make her way to a nesting box in order to lay her eggs. We say you better go for something that comes with at least three chambers, as that will make laying her eggs easier than ever.
Additionally, having a handle would be great as that will make it simpler to transfer the box. After all, you might need to put it next to any heater or to another location where the eggs are required to be kept at the appropriate temperature and humidity.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own nesting box if you’re not planning to shed any extra bucks. In that case, try keeping it medium in size, and you can use a plastic container to serve the purpose.
To let the female chameleon dig a tiny hole in your nesting box, you need to put some soil or sand in there where she can lay her eggs. It’s been seen that play sand is the most popular choice among owners when it comes to serving this purpose. However, a mixture of soil or sand should also be enough to do the trick.
FYI, no chemicals or toxicity exist in play sand, which has made it safe not only for pets but also for children. Again, you can also use any kind of sand or soil mixture as long as it’s harmless. Just keep in mind that the chameleon will have an easier time digging through looser sand and dirt.
The eggs of chameleons can withstand a lot of abuse. Yeah, we know that’s quite the opposite of a chameleon’s actual nature once they come out of the egg. It’s okay if you’re not planning to handle the eggs on your own. In such cases, the mother reptile will simply slip them under the soil for incubation.
But we can totally understand if you’re not into letting nature handle it all. In that case, a perfect egg incubator will help you out with getting healthy babies. We know you can guess how but still, let us clarify.
It’ll hold the humidity and temperature to the right level, just like you need for those babies to hatch. And the best part? This increases the probability that more eggs will hatch within 9 months to a year after they are placed.
The eggs require a consistent temperature in their surrounding environment. After all, keeping them at the right temperature is the key to their hatching. But how to be sure about the numbers on that part? Well, simply getting a thermometer will do the trick.
Like the temperature itself, humidity also plays a vital role in this game, and Hygrometers are what keep tabs on the air’s relative humidity. Eggs require a humid environment because their protective membranes might get damaged by exposure to dry air.
We can understand if you want to keep the investment to a minimum. In such a case, you can save a few bucks by opting for a thermometer/hygrometer combo rather than buying two separate instruments.
Once those tiny color shifters pop out of their shell, the first thing you’re going to find challenging is taking care of them. Let’s admit it, all babies are tough to handle, and baby chameleons are nothing different. There are a bunch of things you need to figure out first while taking care of these little creatures.
The one thing we love about the baby chameleons is they’re not as territorial as the adults. This means if you’re planning on cohabitation, that’s not going to be a problem at all.
But the maximum number of baby chameleons that should be kept in one space is between five and eight. When they are between 3 and 6 months old, you should be maintaining them in groups. But make sure that the group size is no larger than three to five.
Once they have reached their adult size, you will need to transfer each reptile to its own individual enclosure. The thing is, even individuals of the opposite sex are unable to share space like adult chameleons.
Due to its origin in a tropical setting, the reptile has a significant requirement for UVB. They benefit from greater calcium and mineral absorption, thanks to the vitamin D that they acquire.
Because of this, it becomes easy for them to maintain physically healthy bodies. So, make sure that you’re getting a dedicated UVB lamp which should be on for the whole duration of 24 hours.
Chameleon hatchlings have the same temperature requirements as their adult counterparts. The only thing you need to be worried about is the fluctuations in temperature.
Keep in mind that adult chameleons can survive a power outage and other incidents that lowers the temperature. But when it comes to newborns, too much of such incidents can be harmful.
The chameleon is native to hot, humid climates in the tropics. To thrive, chameleons need a constant relative humidity of at least 50%. Though 50% humidity is enough for hatchling chameleons, greater levels are preferable. So it’s better and safer to maintain a level closer to 75%.
There’s no way to roll your eyes from humidity, as respiratory infections are the biggest problem that can pop up with low humidity, and we bet you won’t want that for your chameleons.
If you’re going to check into chameleon owners, you’re probably going to see most of their reptiles are veiled chameleons. After all, they’re the easiest to take care of. And guess what? they’re easy to breed as well.
The number of eggs laid by veiled chameleon females can range anywhere from 12 to 80. The average clutch size for a veiled in the wild is between 12 and 20 eggs. For obvious reasons, producing so many eggs is incredibly exhausting, and it appears that it directly adds to the early mortality of the females.
In general, females that lay enormous clutches do not survive past a few of their own clutches. At this time, the eggs need to be unearthed and artificially nurtured in a different environment. Because the female will be worn out, she should be placed in a calm area with appropriate circumstances.
If you’re asking for the most unique-looking reptile, the first name that will pop up in our head is Panther chameleon. Like their look, their birth pattern is also different than most of the other reptiles.
A single female of this species can give birth to anywhere from 8 to 30 of her young all at once during a gestation period that lasts between 4 and 6 months. Even though the young are born alive rather than forming inside of an egg, they still begin their lives as an egg and go through all of the stages of development.
When it comes to breeding, panther chameleons are nothing different on the birth pattern. After all, not all chameleons are Jackson’s. The number of eggs that are laid in a clutch can range anywhere from 10 to 40, with 20 being the typical number.
All you have to do is put the eggs in a container that can’t be opened and cover them with wet vermiculite. To get the vermiculite to that level of moisture, don’t forget to soak it in water and ring it out later on so that only a few drops of water can come out.
The majority of breeders raise their young chameleons in groups. Up to the age of roughly 3 months, this is often effective. Around the age of 3 months, a baby’s need to protect their territory kicks into high gear.
This is when you might begin to observe aggressive behavior in them, including gaping and biting. However, the violent conduct is nothing new for them as it has been there since they were born.
Babies are seen climbing all over one other and jostling for position as they compete for nourishment. Infants have been observed to cuddle up and fall asleep on top of one another. But that doesn’t stop them from bullying or being bullied. So, the best or most effective method for rearing young chameleons is raising them separately.
It’s clear that chameleons can make a whole bunch of babies in one shot, though it lands a negative impact on their health. But with the right technique and care, breeding can be fun too. Just make sure that while breeding, you’re not pushing it too much, where you might land far from your desired result.