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Mating in Chameleons

Chameleons won’t allow any other chameleons to be in their territory. Particularly male chameleons start to change to bright colors and show their aggression towards the other chameleon. The chameleon will accept defeat by lowering the head, changing to dull color, and backing off.

Only during the mating season will the male chameleon tolerate another female chameleon and vice versa.

How to identify if the male is ready to mate

Some chameleons will be ready in 9 months, and a few will be ready in 2 years. Don’t force them to mate before 12 months. Give it a try when they are a year old; if it doesn’t work, wait and try it months later.

If the male chameleon is ready to mate, it will change to a bright color, while the female chameleon will be a more subdued color. During the mating season, their color will remain consistent.

We can easily tell whether the male is ready or not, but it is hard to tell for females. Females don’t have a wide range of colors and mostly remain in a subdued color like green or brown. When they are ready to mate, they will gradually change their color and become brighter than usual.  

You have to be sure whether the male is ready to mate or not. When you attempt to mating and the female turns black, it means the female denies the male. Always note color changes during the mating season.

Horn Jackson Chameleon

When do chameleons mate?

Chameleons mate in early spring. This is because they have just completed their brumation period, and they are cold in the winter season.

Brumating is something all cold-blooded reptiles do in winter, which means they are lazy and less active. In this state, they will eat less than usual, and they will return to their average intake level when the winter ends.

After that, when there is a change in temperature during the early spring, they will be active and ready for breeding.

How do chameleons mate?

You have to place the female chameleon in the male chameleon’s cage or the other way around. Most people prefer to keep the female chameleon in the male chameleon’s cage because the male chameleon will show his dominance by breeding her.

Once you put your female chameleon in the cage, the male will walk towards the female. The female may walk towards the male or start to run away or hiss to show her disinterest. In this case, you have to remove the female chameleon.

The male won’t mate without the female’s willingness. When the female signals her willingness, the male will mount the female chameleon and insert one of the two hemi-peni into her.

Mating can repeatedly happen for three days, and after that, the female will start to show disinterest by turning dark brown and forcing the male away.

You have to remove the female from the male chameleon’s cage when they start to show their disinterest, or else male and female will be aggressive towards each other.

What to do after breeding?

You have to take care of the female because, after 20-30 days, the female starts to lay eggs. During the gestation period, you have to take extra care of the females.

In the wild, the male chameleon will look for another female chameleon to mate with. You can arrange a mate for the male chameleon with a different female chameleon if you are a breeder.

A pregnant chameleon will start to change her eating habits. It may be less or more. You might also see a little bulge in the abdomen area. She will change into a stunning color which indicates that she is pregnant.

Can a female chameleon lay eggs without mating?

No, female chameleons cannot lay fertilized eggs without mating. But they will save the sperm and lay a second set of eggs using the saved sperm. The fertilized eggs which are laid using the saved sperm are weaker than other eggs.

Does every chameleon lay eggs?

Jackson’s chameleons don’t lay eggs. Instead, they have live births. The female chameleon carries 8-30 babies and gives birth after six months.

Final Thoughts

Don’t breed female chameleons too often. It is not good for your female chameleons since they become weak during every pregnancy and reduce their life span. Breed your chameleons after 3 to 4 years. Pregnancy is one of the reasons why female chameleons have a shorter life span than male chameleons.

Pregnancy is an important phase for female chameleons, where they become protective and stressed. If you are attentive and take care of her properly, your chameleon and the babies will live healthy lives.