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Side Striped Chameleon

Side Striped Chameleon
Chamaeleo bitaeniatus

The Side Striped Chameleon ranges from East Africa including Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and northeastern Congo (Zaire).

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What does the Side Stripe Chameleon look like?

This small sized chameleon reaches an average size of 11-14cm (4.5-5.5 inches) but can grow to 16cm (6.5 inch). Colour can vary depending on the region they originate from. Usually shades of brown, grey and sometimes almost black even when unstressed. Two pale side stripes run from the eyes to the base of the tail. Three or four large horizontal black, white and grey blotches may be present in the middle of the flanks.

The Side Stripe Chameleon gives live birth from 6 up to 25 young. They can also produce two different broods in the oviducts. Females will eat their young so must be removed as soon as birth is complete.

Where are Side Stripe Chameleons from?

Found in open savannah, grassland and woodlands in North-Eastern Tanzania and Western Kenya.

How do you keep a Side Stripe Chameleon?

An easy species to keep that does not require high temperatures.

To house an adult pair, the Exo Terra Terrariums make an ideal enclosure, we use the largest size available which is 45x45x60. Provide a woodland type set-up with peat, coconut fibre or orchid bark as the substrate. Place a number of branches with artificial or live plants, if latter, check that these are not poisonous.

As this species requires a low temperature, we are currently trailing out using a 7 watt energy bulb as this gives off enough heat and also a small amount of the UV that they require. If you would like to use the correct reptile equipment the Exo Terra day bulbs are best. This need to be connected to a dimming thermostat and a basking area of 26-28C should be maintained, do not allow this to exceed 30C. Allow the temperature to drop down to your room temperature at night, ideally 10-18C, this species can withstand low temperatures. Provide a Daylight Terrarium Lamp Repti Glo 2.0 Lamp for the required UV.

Feed your Side Striped Chameleon a varied diet consisting of crickets, locusts, house flies, wax worms, and the occasional mealworm. Insects from the garden can be collected as long as no pesticides have been used. Feed young Chameleons twice a day and adults every two days. The live food needs dusting with a vitamin supplement, we use the Sand Fire Chameleon Dust, which is used on every feed. If using Nutrobal, newly born and growing Chameleons have every feed dusted and adults once a week. Like all Chameleons, they will not drink from standing water so running water should be provided, waterfalls are the perfect solution. You should also light spray the enclosure in the morning and evening.

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