Why Are Female Chameleons Cheaper? [Price Chart]

We don’t know how many pets you’ve had the chance to own so far. But even if you’ve bought just one in your life, you already know there are tons of reasons that can make the price of a pet vary significantly. Well, Chameleons are no different and the male ones being expensive compared to female ones are proof of so. 

But why are female chameleons cheaper? The reason is that a female usually lays eggs throughout her life. This means the owner needs to give some extra attention to her care. Also, they’re prone to deal with potential health risks more than the male ones, as laying eggs put extra pressure on their health.

Now the question is are there anything else that can actually have an impact on their price? And how much does the price vary in different shops? Well, the answers are waiting for you below.

Why Do Female Chameleons Cost Less Than Males? 

Clearly, the female chameleons being cheaper makes male ones the expensive lizard between the two. If you’re asking why they’re on the top of the price chart, then we’d say it’s their ability to produce nicer colors compared to the female ones that have done the trick. Usually, the Panther Chameleons got a better reputation on that part.

Yes, females change their color as well but they’re generally more subtle and it’s mostly related to the lizard’s reproductive cycle. Another common reason for them being ‘less’ on the popularity is their frequency of laying eggs which leads to certain health conditions. After all, the whole process puts extra strain on female bodies.

There’s one more reason that usually makes the male chameleon comparatively expensive and that is their long lifespan. When it comes to female chameleons, they survive only for 5-7 years. On the contrary, male chameleons with proper care can last for 8-10 years. 

Male Vs. Female Chameleon Price

You already know that you’ll have to shed some extra bucks if you’re planning to own a male chameleon rather than a female. But the question is, do all the shops keep up with the same price?

Well, no! Depending on the species, age, and gender they too vary a lot. To let you have a clear picture of the pricing, we’ve made a comparison chart on the price of different shops that you might find helpful while deciding which species and gender to grab. 

ShopChameleon TypePrice of MalePrice of Female
LLLReptileBaby Veiled Chameleons$44.99$34.99
LLLReptileSmall Veiled Chameleons$79.99$64.99 
LLLReptileMedium Female Veiled Chameleons$119.99$79.99 
LLLReptileMedium Jacksons Chameleons$99.99$79.99 
LLLReptileRainbow Jacksons Chameleons$99.99$79.99 
Chromatic ChameleonsAmbilobe Panther Chameleon$485$435
Chromatic ChameleonsNosy Be Panther Chameleon$485$385
FL ChamsIharana Panther Chameleon$350$300
FL ChamsAmbilobe Panther Chameleon$450$300
CB ReptileBaby Ambilobe Panther Chameleon $449.95$429.95
CB ReptileVeiled Chameleon$279$229

The thing with chameleon stores is that not too many of them are selling all the same species. After all, not all the species are available at the same time in all the stores. So, if you’re asking for a summary of how much the major species cost on average, then here’s the picture – 

Veiled Chameleon

If you’re asking for the most popular and cheapest breed at the same time, then we’d say go for the Veiled Chameleon. Among the captive-bred, this one is the best breed for beginners. That’s because, compared to the wild-caught, they’re much healthier and friendly. Plus, they seem to deal with stress better. 

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When you’re planning to get a baby veiled chameleon, the initial buying cost can be around $35. For Juveniles, it’s around $60 and the adults are available at a budget of $75. But if it’s the rare ones you’re looking for, then for babies you need to shed cash around $55, for a juvenile, it’s around $80, and around $100 when it’s an adult.

Panther Chameleon

If there’s any breed that comes in second in the race of popularity, then it’s the Panther Chameleon. They’re healthy and are also easy to take care of. As docile lizards, they don’t make their owner chase them.

This is also the most expensive breed out there that can cost you something like $250 at least and that’s for a baby only. Some of the stores can ask for $350 on the same segment. To be honest, we can’t call this price unfair after looking at the kind of color this reptile can produce.  For adults and juveniles, the price can be like $350 to $550.

Jacksons Chameleon

Compared to the veiled chameleons, the Jacksons are not that much different, at least from the price and caring perspective. This popular species can live up to 5 years (female) and 10 years (male). The best part is they grow into significantly larger reptiles with a size of 10 inches. Like the veiled, they’re also a great choice for beginners.

Jackson babies come at a price of around $50. But for juveniles and adults, you’ll have to spend around $120. By the way, don’t get surprised if you see the price is going higher on the basis of the coloration and locale. 

Additional Aspects That Influence Chameleon’s Price

Local vs Online

If you’re looking for other additional aspects that can leave some impact over the pricing of the lizard, then count the type of seller in. For obvious reasons, local reptile stores and breeders will cost a lot less than the amount you’d see in online shops. The same goes for some of the experienced breeders as well.

Captive-bred vs Wild-caught

Usually, the rise in price takes place as the transport fees kick in. Where the chameleon is coming from can also influence the price. If it’s a captive-bred, then the price will be comparatively cheaper. Plus, they’re the best choice for beginners. 

They might come at a slightly higher price when it’s a wild-caught one. But there’s still a possibility of a rise in the price. After all, there are restrictions to a certain level about taking the lizards out of their natural habitat. 

But how much difference is there between the price of those two? Well, for example, if you’re asking for the wild-caught Ambilobe, that’s going to cost you like $500. On the other hand, the captive-bred ones won’t make you shed more the $300 to $400. 

The price of the wild-caught species is higher as there are factors like their collection, relocation cost, and transportation costs involved in the process. Otherwise, they could’ve been a bit cheaper. So, looking at the price and healthiness, we’d say going with the captive-bred lizards will be far better. 

On top of that, due to the lack of that ‘wildness’ in their nature, they often turn into better pets compared to the wild ones. When it comes to handling, they’ve shown signs of much tolerance. And if you’d ask for the best part apart from them being healthy, then we’d say you won’t have to drop thick bucks for the restrictions and export fees.


Guess what? Bloodline too can influence the price of a chameleon. Not only in chameleons, but this can happen in the case of buying pet snakes and other lizards as well. 

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If the bloodline is unique or uncommon, you can bet the price curve will surely go up. This is why the breeders record the bloodlines in the first place, whether it’s a male or female. The determinants of the bloodlines are the reptile’s size, color, and the size of their ornamentations. 

Looking at the variety in crest and color, panther chameleons mostly seem to be subject to the bloodline. The variation you see in their crest size and color pattern is usually dependent on the bloodline.

Which One is the Most Expensive Female Chameleon?

You already know that female ones are the cheaper gender when it comes to getting a chameleon. Depending on their size, physical attributes, and species, these lizards can have a significant variation on their price tags.

But which one of them is the most expensive one? Well, whether you’re asking for male or female, Panther Chameleon is the most expensive species here. And yes, we’re talking about the initial purchase price only. 

So how much will you have to shed for owning a Furcifer pardalis or Panther Chameleon? The number here is quite big as it fluctuates within a range of $300 to $500 and sometimes it can go higher. 

Clearly, it’s their rarity as a reptile that has gifted them an expensive price tag. But being rare isn’t the only reason for their high price. They’re also more colorful compared to most of the lizards you’d ever see out there. 

Surprisingly, Panther Chameleons, while being native to Madagascar, are able to change their colors into a variety of stunning hues. Additionally, as they’re calm, you won’t have to pursue them or search the area around the enclosure for them.

Can Adoption Save You Cost in Getting a Chameleon? 

What if you plan to adopt a chameleon rather than just going for an adoption? Will it save you some cash? Well, the answer is yes. There tons of govt. programs and organizations that are for relocating the lizards. One of the renowned names here is the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program of FWC

But what about the adoption cost? Well, if you’re lucky enough, you might get one for free. If you somehow manage to track someone who’s trying get rid of their chameleon, they might hand it over for free. Some of the owners even let their lizard go as they don’t have enough time to take care of the cham. 

And call yourself luckier if you found an unwanted lizard in the first place. But you’ll have to take it to the vet for a proper checkup before you take it in. So, there’s a chance of you dropping some bucks there. 

Obviously, not everyone is lucky enough to get their own chameleon for free. For them, adoption costs kick in and it can vary within the range of $30 to $100. If you’re asking for the most common price, then we’d say it’s usually $50. 

But the real challenge is finding a lizard that is waiting for adoption. So, to increase the chance of getting one, you can just come in touch with a reptile and lizard adoption service. 

If you manage to find one, don’t forget to ask them if they’ve got a cage and also required equipment to take in with the lizard. After all, doing this can cut down your initial cost to a huge extent. 

Like any other pet, owning a chameleon involves tons of expenses, regardless of gender. Actually, if you’re thinking about how much cash you might have to let go in the process, then it’s around $750 to $1500 every year.

See also  How Much Does A Panther Chameleon Cost? [Store, Price List]

There are lots of other things you need to bring in for giving a lizard the perfect place to live. For example, there are supplements, electricity, plants, and water or misting setup. Not only these but you’ll have to take care of other stuff like food, health care, and environment maintenance. 

Health Care

If you really want to call any cost simply ‘unpredictable’ we’d say take the name of health care first. When it comes to chameleons, this cost can go from $250 to $400 in a year. 

The good news is, that you might not have to see a vet every year for major health issues. But the sad part is, some years can be brutal on the lizard and you might have to run to the vet more than once. 

Usually, the first cost that pops up while maintaining the health of a lizard is the cost of checkups. Generally, it requires an annual budget of $30 to $75. But if you can slip into deals or subscription packages, you can take the cost down to a certain extent. 

By the way, how much you’d have to spend will depend on the vet you’re seeing as well. For obvious reasons, specialists with unique knowledge might charge a bit higher than regular vets. 

Another major health issue that usually pops up in chameleons is parasites, which can possibly make you lose $20 to $150 annually. The outer ones can be found with a visual inspection. 

But if it’s about the internal parasites, then you probably need to go for fecal floats/fecal tests. Depending on the type of parasite and the extent of its existence, the treatment procedure will vary and so will the cost. But the amount shouldn’t exceed $150 in a year. And yes, this amount covers both treatment and tests.


Now comes the emergencies. As an owner of sensitive health, a chameleon might have to deal with different types of emergencies including eye infections and abrasive damage triggered by sharp things. Depending on the situation and complication, the cost of an emergency can go between $200 to $300. 

By the way, don’t forget about insurance as it’s one of the best ways of controlling the veterinary costs of your lizard. As the popularity of lizards like chameleons are on the rise, different insurance companies have decided to cover these pets as well. 

The cost of insurance is basically dependent on the kind of coverage and policy you’re going for. But that shouldn’t go beyond $100 to $150 annually. 


Hold on a second! Are you forgetting about the food? Well, when it comes to food, chameleons love cricket. As you can’t keep the insects for long, you might have to go for a frequent buy.

But spending $3 for getting a tub with 250 crickets should keep your lizard well-fed for 10 days at least. You can’t keep them for more than this because they might outgrow and become too big for the reptile to eat.  For the whole year, you’ll have to invest like $100 to $150 on cricket. For supplements, stick to an annual budget of $30 to $50.

Environmental maintenance

But what about environmental maintenance? This one is even costlier than the food. On average, you might have to spend $300 to $500 every year on this alone. This cost will cover the heating source as the lizards need additional heat to survive and keep their health on a good track. 

For the survival of the chameleon, you also need to put in live plants that will help the lizard to take some rest. These plants also work as hiding spots when the cham gets stressed. The maintenance cost will include this as well. 

Don’t forget to count the electricity cost within this amount as you’ll have to run several electric equipment to give the lizard a good place to live. 

Final Words

As you’ve come this far, we guess you’ve already got a clear idea about why are female chameleons cheaper compared to male ones. After all, they live less, lay eggs, and are more prone to health issues. So, as the males are quite opposite, asking for a higher price for them is nothing unusual. 

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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