Flap Necked Chameleon

The Flap Necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis) is native to Sub-Saharan regions south of the Sahara Desert in Africa.. Chamaeleo dilepis is a lizard (reptile) member of the Chamaeleonidae family. Flap-necked Chameleons are also known as "Flap Neck Chameleons."

Caring for Your Flap Necked Chameleon

The Flap Necked Chameleon is native to Africa and often consists of a variety of colors – usually Yellow and Green. This reptile can grow up to 14 inches in length so when caring for your chameleon it’s important to have the space for a reasonable sized enclosure – at least a 40 gallon aquarium type enclosure will suffice as these reptiles don’t require a whole lot of room. As these reptiles originate in Africa you will often find these within the tropical rain forests and your typical grassland savannas.

These chameleons are popular and you will find these for sale within the pet trade fairly easy but please note these are wild caught reptiles so they should only be kept in captivity if you have experience caring for chameleon reptiles in the past. These reptiles don’t live long compared to others so proper care and time is needed to give them a healthy life of up to 5 years.


Screen Cage for Flap Necked ChameleonFlap neck chameleons do very well in a screen cage that is 24” x 24” x 48” in size. You will need to mimic their environment when keeping these lizards in captivity so a hot humid aquarium type enclosure is needed and the space for plants and trees – trying to give them an environment that is the same as a rain forest is recommended. Never keep two chameleons in the same enclosure as they are very territorial – chameleons like an enclosure full of plants and bushes with small trees so they have the option to climb and hide when they see fit. Even though the width of the enclosure doesn’t have to be that big remember these reptiles love to climb so it should always be higher than it is wider.

Heating & Lighting

You will need to keep the enclosure temperature from around 70 – 90 F for normal temperature and basking requirements – these reptiles like nothing more than lying on tree branches and taking in the heat and sunlight so trying to mimic these conditions are highly recommended. You will need to have a UVB light and basking light present outside of the enclosure so these reptiles can bask and adjust as they see fit.


These chameleons do not need a substrate within their enclosure as you will often find them within trees anyway – putting any substrate within their enclosure can be unhealthy for them as they are likely to consume it.

Feeding Your Flap Necked Chameleon

In the wild chameleons are often found eating plants and other vegetation but are primarily insectivores so providing them with live insects is usually a good way to keep them fit and healthy. Crickets and small insects are common in a chameleons diet but you can give them a variety of food as and when you see fit to keep their diet different and gives you the chance to find out what they personally prefer. The amount of food will depend on the age and size of your chameleon, you will need to feed it and see how many insects it can consume in one sitting and then vary its diet every couple of days.

  • Baby Chameleons 3 – 6 months old: 10 – 12 small crickets daily
  • Young Chameleons 6 – 12 months old: 10 – 12 medium crickets every other day
  • Adults Chameleons over 12 months of age: 5 – 7 small-medium crickets every other day

Water – You will not need to provide them with a water bowl as they can potentially drown and will never drink from it anyway. Instead you should use misting equipment or a dipper to provide water droplets on the end of leaves that they can drink from.

Flap Necked Chameleon Reproduction

Female chameleons do not require a male chameleon to mate and will still lay 3 clutches of eggs through out the year. When the eggs are laid you will need to remove them from the enclosure and incubate them at a temperature of 80F for 7-12 months until they hatch.

  • Classification

  • Suborder: Sauria
  • Family: Chamaeleonidae
  • Genus: Chamaeleo
  • Species: C. dilepis
  • Binomial Name: Chamaeleo dilepis
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC)
  • Quick Guide

  • Size: 10 - 14 Inches
  • Lifespan: 5 - 8 Years
  • Housing: 24'' x 24'' x 48'' (height)
  • Substrate: Not required
  • Lighting: UVB
  • Temperature: 70 - 90 ° F
  • Humidity: 65% - 75%
  • Food: Insects such as crickets, silkworms and superworms.