Flap-Necked Chameleon

Also known as African Flap-necked Chameleon or Flap-neck Chameleon

Flap-Necked Chameleon

The Flap-Necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo Dilepis) is native to Southern Africa. They can live 5 - 8 Years and grow to 10 - 13 Inches. Their conservation statis is Least Concern (LC).

The Basics for Flap-Necked Chameleons

  • Housing
  • 24'' x 18'' x 36'' (height)
  • Substrate
  • Not required
  • Lighting
  • Full Spectrum Lighting
  • Temperature
  • 75 - 95 ° F
  • Humidity
  • 50% - 65%
  • Food
  • Crickets

The Flap-Necked Chameleon is native to Africa and often consists of a variety of colors, usually yellow and green. They’re a widely available species of lizard that make for wonderful pets. A large portion of them are actually caught in the wild of Africa and then exported to the US, Canada, and the UK, although it is entirely possible to find one for sale at your local pet store or a nearby breeder.

Flap-Necked Chameleon Care Sheet

Flap-necked chameleons can grow up to 13 inches in length so when caring for your chameleon it’s important to have a reasonably sized enclosure and a habitat to best matches its natural environment, which is warm and humid. They enjoy climbing and spend most their lives atop trees in thickets, forests, and savannahs.


The suggested enclosure size is 24″ x 18″ x 36″. An aquarium can be suitable but most opt for a well-ventilated terrarium, mainly because it provides, as mentioned above, ventilation but it also helps retain humidity better than a screen cage. A cage this size can hold up to two flap-necked chameleons but males should be housed separately due to their aggressive nature.

Logs, branches, vines, and vegetation should be added to their enclosure to help retain humidity, provide vertical climbing space and also provide hides along the way. Chameleons like to climb but also feel safe behind a leafy cover. A screen lid should be placed over the top of their enclosure to help with the circulation of fresh air but be mindful that they have no way to reach and climb on the screen as that will put them in close contact with the lighting and heating source.

Heating & Lighting

You will need to keep the enclosure temperature between 75 – 90 ° F during day-time hours. A basking area towards the very top of their cage should have a temperature of 95 ° F. At night the temperature should drop slightly to a temperature between 65 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Flap-necked chameleons need a day and night cycle of 12 hours each. Many even suggest doing 14 hours of light and 10 hours of dark. With that being said, a full-spectrum light is needed to provide optimum health for your pet. Place the light above the cage and use a temperature reader to ensure the enclosure has a range of heat from the basking area (at the top) at 95 ° F and dropping down to 75 ° F at the bottom of the cage.


Substrate for flap-necked chameleons isn’t required. However, if you use live plants within their enclosure you will need a substrate suitable for growing. I suggest a mixture of peat moss, sand, and soil.


Flap-necked chameleons thrive in a humid environment. A recommended level between 50% – 65% is optimum. This can be achieved by misting their cage a couple times each day. It also provides them with drinking water, as little droplets of water will form on the vegetation.

Food & Water

Chameleons are primarily insectivores, which means their main diet consists of insects like crickets. I also recommend gut loading the crickets or dusting them with vitamin & mineral supplements. Dusting the crickets 3 – 4 timer per week will help keep them in good health.

Feed your flap-necked chameleon 3 – 4 crickets each day. Some adults may eat between 6 – 9 crickets daily but it largely depends on the size of the individual pet. These lizards typically won’t over-eat. If too many crickets are placed in their enclosure and they’re not hungry, in most cases, they just won’t eat them. Leftover crickets should be removed from the cage after each feeding.

It can be difficult to tell if your flap-neck chameleon is under fed but pay careful attention to their behavior, especially in the first few months after obtaining one. If they become slow and lethargic, it probably means they’re not getting enough food. If this happens, give your chameleon a few more crickets.

Flap-necked chameleons won’t drink for a water bowl or dish. Because of this, you should mist daily. It will keep their enclosure at the required humidity and provide droplets of water for your pet. Dehydration is a large problem for pet chameleons and because of this, many owners will mist their chameleon. Its suggested that you continue misting them unless they stop drinking water. Another suggestion is to provide a dropper system which drips water throughout the day.



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