Chameleons are cold-blooded creatures, which means they require the sun to help them regulate their body temperature. For that reason, you may wonder what’s the temperature you should set for your chameleon.
So, what temperature do chameleons need? The temperature that chameleons need will depend on the species. On average, the basking temperature should be between 85 °F and 90 °F, while the ambient cage temperature is between 75 °F and 82 °F.
What Temperature Do Panther Chameleons Need?
Panther chameleons are from Madagascar. This country is located in the tropical region, where it’s mostly hot and humid all year round.
For that reason, they need a temperature that’s warmer than most other species of chameleon.
A panther chameleon needs temperatures of:
- Ambient – 75 °F – 82 °F
- Basking Spot – 87 °F – 90 °F
For baby panther chameleon, make sure to set the temperature of the basking spot to be around 85 °F. At this age, they do not know how to properly regulate their temperature.
What Temperature Do Jackson Chameleons Need?
Jackson chameleons are found in East Africa, mostly in forested areas in the mountains. The temperature in this region is much cooler than those of the panther and veiled chameleons’ habitats.
Therefore, to ensure Jackson chameleons have the correct temperature, they should be provided with cooler temperatures in captivity.
Jackson chameleon should have the temperature of:
- Ambient – 75 °F – 82 °F
- Basking Spot – 85 °F – 88 °F
Since Jackson chameleons require a cooler temperature, babies and juveniles should have a basking spot temperature between 82 °F and 85 °F.
What Temperature Do Veiled Chameleons Need?
Veiled chameleons originate from the country of Yemen. They are mostly populated around the forested area, but some can be found dwelling in the desert area.
Temperatures in Yemen are usually in the 90s and most of the year will be dry. Therefore, the temperature for veiled chameleons in captivity should be similar.
A veiled chameleon will need a temperature of:
- Ambient – 75 °F – 82 °F
- Basking Spot – 85 °F – 90 °F
For baby veiled chameleons, you should keep the basking temperature to be around 85 °F. At this age, they are had not learned how to regulate their body temperature yet.
What Temperature Do Chameleons Need At Night?
In their natural habitat, the temperature will drop during the night. This is natural, and the chameleons are able to tolerate a drop in temperature.
For veiled chameleons, they are able to survive when the temperature drops to the point where there is a light frost. This means they can tolerate a temperature drop to about 40 °F.
As for other species of chameleons like the panther and Jackson, they won’t be able to tolerate a drop in temperature like the veiled chameleon. At night, try to not let the temperature drop below 60 °F.
During the night, a drop in temperature is needed to help their metabolism. While they are sleeping, their metabolism will slow down, which will help their body recover.
How To Maintain Optimum Temperature For Chameleon?
Chameleons need the correct temperature to stay healthy and strong. If the temperature is too cold or too hot, they will start to develop health issues.
To maintain optimal temperature, it will depend on the basking light setup. The light should be the correct wattage and at the correct distance.
For the basking light, the bulb should be around 50 watts. You can get those that are lesser or higher wattage. However, you’ll need to adjust the distance of the lamp.
For the baking lamp, they should be placed on top of the cage. There should not be anything obstructing the beneath the lamp as well.
The correct temperature will depend on the distance of the lamp from the basking spot. Between 6 and 8 inches is the correct distance.
Since the temperature tends to fluctuate throughout the day, it’s a good idea to have a thermometer on hand. This way, you can check to make sure the temperature in their cage is within range.
What If The Chameleon’s Temperatures Are Wrong?
The temperature will typically fluctuate throughout the day due to the season and the weather. Chameleons are able to adjust to small changes in temperature. However, if the temperature changes a lot, it could cause them to have health issues.
Besides using a thermometer or other temperature gauge to measure the temperature in the cage, you can look at your chameleon for signs that they are too cold or hot.
A chameleon that is too cold, will display dark color most of the time. Dark colors help them absorb more heat.
On the other hand, a chameleon that is too hot will display bright color and keep its mouth open. By doing this, it helps them cool off.
The temperature for your chameleon will depend largely on their species and age. Most of the time, chameleons are able to tolerate temperature that’s not within their range. However, prolonged exposure to temperatures outside their range will lead to health issues. To prevent any health issues and keep your chameleon healthy, it’s best to keep the temperature inside their cage within range at all times.
Donovan got his first pet chameleon at the age of 7. Ever since then, he cared and raised over 10 different species of chameleons. Beside raising chameleons, he enjoys gardening and the outdoors.