Care Sheet For Jackson’s Chameleon

Among the most popular chameleons kept as pets today, Jackson’s Chameleons are a good choice for chameleon hobbyist beginners and more experienced reptile keepers. Jackson’s Chameleons were originally found in Africa, ranging from Kenya to Tanzania. While these animals are popular for their unique look, they can become easily stressed so they are better watched than handled. Jackson’s are sometimes called Three-Horned Chameleons because the male grows three horns on its head, like a mini Triceratops. Females generally lack the horns which makes sexing these animals very easy. Jackson’s Chameleons will reach an adult size of 8” to 12”. Life expectancy is approximately 8 to 10 years for males and 3 to 5 years for females.

Only one adult Jackson’s Chameleon should be housed in any enclosure. Males, in particular, will fight and could harm themselves. The recommended minimum size for a fully grown chameleon of this species is 18”x18”x36” but 18”x18”x48” is preferred. Jackson’s should be housed in a well ventilated enclosure. Chameleons are arboreal so provide enough branches and vines for a variety of basking spots and places to perch and eat. Branches and vines should be of varying widths and can be slightly larger than your Chameleon's grip. Natural options such as Ficus plants are popular since chameleons will eat the leaves and walk on plant branches. NOTE: Make sure your live plants are pesticide free!

Zoo Med Eco Carpet or paper towels are all that is needed for bedding and provide for easy maintenance. NOTE: Do not use wood chips of any kind as these can cause serious health problems if ingested.

Like all reptiles, Jackson’s Chameleons require a temperature gradient - Daytime temperatures of 75° to 83° Fahrenheit; basking spot of 84° to 87° F; and nighttime temperature of about 60° F. Chameleons should be kept 8” to 12” from heating and lighting bulbs. Temperatures can be established with the Big Apple Black Heat Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitter and should always be regulated with a thermostat, such as the BAH-500 or BAH-1000DC.

Jackson’s Chameleons require full spectrum UV light for optimal health. We highly recommend a SunForce UV Mercury Vapor Bulb. Chameleons should be kept 6” to 10” from heating and lighting bulbs. NOTE: You must change your UV bulb every 6 months in order to maintain proper UVA/UVB.

Jackson’s Chameleons must be kept fully hydrated for general health and for shedding. Gently mist the Chameleon’s entire tree and body with water a minimum of twice daily. Use a cool-misting system to maintain about 50% humidity. Provide a shower/misting for a half-hour minimum weekly.

Provide plenty of clean drinking water and maintain a humid enclosure of at least 50% humidity. Jackson’s Chameleons will lick water from leaves as well as drink from a fountain. Always offer water before feeding to allow proper lubrication of the mouth and tongue.

Gut-loaded insects such as crickets and mealworms are a good staple diet. Prepared chameleon foods, such as Zoo Med Can-o-Crickets, are popular as well. Feed daily about five to seven insects (more for younger chameleons). Insects should be larger than the space between the chameleon's eyes. NOTE: Always remove uneaten insects from your chameleon’s enclosure.

Gut-loading crickets is recommended versus providing supplements directly to your Jackson’s Chameleon. Zoo Med All-Natural Cricket Care offers complete gut load for you your crickets.

Cage Maintenance
Jackson’s Chameleons require minimal maintenance but you should wash down your cage floor with Quat TB Pet Area Cleaner, Deodorizer & Stain Remover or a mild detergent at least a couple times a week. If using paper towels, change all paper towels at least once a week.