Yemen Chameleon Natural History
These lizards can vary in length from 12 inches to 24 inches (30 cm to 60 cm), with the females often being very much at the bottom end of this size scale. However they rarely look as big as they are as they carry their tail in the characteristic curled up manner.
Habitat and Distribution
This is a tree dwelling chameleon which ranges across Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Males have been recorded living up to 8 years however females rarely exceed 4 to 5 years, especially if they are breeding females.
These lizards are almost entirely insectivorous however will sometimes eat a small amount of plant matter.
Groups and Breeding
Generally these lizards are solitary with strictly one male per tree, however ocassionally there will be territorial disputes between males who fight over ownership of specific trees.
Females are sexually mature from 6 months and can lay anywhere from 20 to 80 eggs at a time, which they can do every 3 to 4 months. These eggs generally take between 150 and 190 days to hatch.
All chameleons are protected from the threat of collection for the pet trade, and this species’ main threat now comes from birds of prey for which they make easy targets.
This chameleon can change colour, but not to any colour it wants. It can only change its colours to various shades of yellow, brown, green, white and black, to allow it to blend to its surroundings to an extent. However its main use of this ability is in courtship and aggression displays, or as a by-product of stress.
The Yemen Chameleon During Your Day Out in Kent
The Yemen chameleon at Wingham Wildlife Park can be seen in our reptile house alongside a number of other reptiles such as reticulated pythons, a Chinese soft shell turtle, tokay geckos plus a variety of amphibians and invertebrates.