The Four Horned Chameleon is a stunning species with males having a large crest and sail fin present along with horns. They are a medium sized chameleons and must be kept in cool conditions.
The Four Horned Chameleon is a medium sized chameleon measuring 25-35cm (10-14"), males are larger compared to females.
Male Four Horned Chameleons are stunning, they have from one to six horns present and a large sail fin on their back and top part of the tail. It is difficult to describe the males colouration, they tend to have a yellow to green lower body with a orange, red or rich brown stripe present down the middle of the body. The crest and sail-fin can be a pale blue with white smudges, these can contain black, dark blue or turquoise spots. The head is usually green and yellow with spots of orange, red or blue.
Females have a less developed crest and sail-fin and tend to be less brightly coloured with shades of green.
This chameleon is native to Cameroon and Nigeria, Africa. They are found living among dense foliage within montane cloud forests.
The Four Horned Chameleon should be kept by owners who have experience with chameleons, these are not a beginner species.
House this species on their own in a minimum sized enclosure of 30x30x48inch net cage. If you can provide a very large custom made enclosure, you may be able to house a sexed pair or trio but this must be well planted to prevent stress.
Provide a substrate that will hold in moisture, this will help maintain the humidity levels that this species requires. There are a number of products available from Coco Fibre Earth Bricks, Coco Husk, Orchid Bark etc.
Four Horned Chameleons must be kept cool, too much heat will cause stress then death. In the wild, the day time temperature can range from 0C (32F) to just above 20C (68F). The ideal captive temperature is between 12-23C (55-75F), you do not want to let the temperature rise above 25C (77F) at any point. The best and easy way to maintain this it to have a low wattage spot light bulb connected to a dimming thermostat on during the day, turn all heating off at night and allow this to drop as low as possible.
Provide a UVB light, this is beneficial for the growth and development of the chameleon while in captivity. We recommend using a 5% UVB tube due to the forest habitat they live in.
The humidity levels are another important factor in keeping your Four Horned Chameleon healthy. You must aim to provide a humidity level of between 80-90%. During winter months, this can drop slightly however do not let this go below 50%, the chameleons can become dehydrate and die from kidney failure or respiratory disease. There are a number of products available to help with humidity levels such as rain systems and foggers.
The décor within the enclosure should have variable sized branches and be well planted. Live non-toxic plants look really nice and help with humidity levels, however you can use artificial plants to make a natural looking setup. The more plants you can provide the better this is for your chameleon, especially when first settling into its new home.
Four Horned Chameleons will eat a variety of live insects from commercial crickets, locusts, mealworms and wax worms. They will also take beetles (adult mealworms), spiders, flies and even snails along with other bugs. The use of a powder supplement will add extra vitamins and minerals to their diet. Feeding of youngsters should be daily, whereas adults can be feed every two to three days.
As with all chameleons, they require movement of water to drink. This can be from a waterfall or droplets of water running along plants. Setting up a rain system will not only help with humidity levels, this will provide running water for the chameleon to drink from. If you do not have one of these set up, you can use a hand held spray mister, spray this at least twice a day, morning and evening.
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Saturday 14 January 2017
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