Verrucosus Chameleon (Furcifer verrucosus)
A.K.A. Warty Chameleon
Description: Verruscosus Chameleons are sandy brown and grey in color but, like all chameleons, they can change color. Males can grow up to 22 inches long, while the much smaller females only get about half that size. Females also lack a complete dorsal crest, but have a short row of spikes on their head. They can live up to 12 years if taken care of properly.
Habitat and Tank Requirements: This species is native to Madagascar. Verruscosus Chameleons do well with moss, bark, soil, or reptile carpet as a substrate. Be sure to put enough plants, rocks, and wood in the tank for your chameleon to hide in and climb on. Chameleons love to climb. One adult Verruscosus Chameleon needs a 75-100 screen cage. A comfortable temperature for these chameleons is around 77-85º F during the day with a slight drop at night to 67-75º F. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures. In addition to UV light, these lizards need a basking area from 90-100º F. You can use either a ceramic heat emitter or a reptile basking light. They prefer a very humid habitat which can be maintained with humidifiers and misters.
Diet: Verruscosus Chameleons will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. These animals prefer live food. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Handling: Allow your chameleon time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress.