Brightly colored red, green, and blue chameleon on a stick

How Big Do Chameleons Get?

On average, chameleons can get between 10 and 27 inches in length, depending on many factors: species, gender, diet, and environment.

Chameleons are part of the iguania suborder of lizards. However, that’s about where the similarity stops with their iguana cousins.

Chameleons are a very large family of reptiles, consisting of 202 different species of chameleon. The largest chameleon, the Parson’s Chameleon, is from Madagascar and can grow up to 27 inches in length. The smallest chameleon, on the other hand, is the Nano-Chameleon (Brookesia nana) and grows to a mere 0.5-1 inch in length.

How Big Do Chameleons Get: The 4 Most Popular Pet Chameleon Species

How Big Do Veiled Chameleons Get?

Veiled Chameleons are the most popular pet chameleon species. Hailing from the Middle East, Veiled Chameleons are valued for their impressive crest and their vibrant color-changing abilities.

On average, Veiled Chameleons live 6-8 years, sometimes more. With proper care and a varied insectivorous diet, you can expect your Veiled Chameleon to grow up to 24” and weigh between 8-10.9 oz. 

How Big Do Panther Chameleons Get?

Another popular pet chameleon species, Panther Chameleons originate from the northern regions of the island of Madagascar, east of South Africa. Although they don’t have the crest of the Veiled Chameleon, Panther Chameleons boast some of the most vibrant colors in the chameleon world.

The average lifespan of a Panther Chameleon in captivity ranges from 3-6 years or more. They can grow to between 10”-18” and may weigh as much as 6 oz.

Panther chameleon

How Big Do Jackson Chameleons Get?

Jackson Chameleons are the third group in the top-three most popular pet chameleon species. Jackson Chameleons originate from the African continent itself, but can now be found in the wilds of Florida, Hawaii, and even California thanks to escaping captivity.

Jackson’s Chameleons’ most notable feature is the three horns on its head. They are a bright green color with some darker green patches that help them camouflage within their arboreal homes, but can change colors to communicate with other chameleons or to help regulate their body temperature.

The average Jackson’s Chameleon will grow to be about 15” within a year of hatching, and can weigh up to 5.3 oz.

How Big Do Pygmy Chameleons Get?

Also hailing from the African continent, the Pygmy Chameleon is native to Southern Africa. Once thought to be the smallest species of chameleon, the Pygmy Chameleon’s diminutive size has now been superseded by the tiny Nano-Chameleon.

A full-grown adult Pygmy chameleon typically grows to be roughly 3 in. and weighs less than an ounce. They are the smallest pet chameleon species available to date, and typically only live a year or two.

How Big Do Chameleons Get: A Growth Chart for Popular Pet Chameleon Species

Species

Age

Size

Weight

Veiled Chameleon

Hatchling

3”-4”

Less than 1/10 oz.

6 Months

12”-18”

4.5-6 oz.

1 Year

18”-24”

8.8-10.5 oz.

Panther Chameleon

Hatchling

2”-4”

Less than 1/10 oz.

6 Months

8”-14”

2.75-4 oz.

1 Year

10”-18”

5-6.3 oz.

Jackson’s Chameleon

Hatchling

2”-4”

Less than 1/10 oz.

6 Months

3”-7”

0.6-0.7 oz.

1 Year

6”-15”

3-5.3 oz.

Pygmy Chameleon

Hatchling

Less than 1”

Less than 1/10 oz.

6 Months

1.5”-2.5”

0.3-0.6 oz.

1 Year

2”-3”

0.4-0.7 oz.


Of course, the above only covers four of the 202 known chameleon species in the world. And while these are the most popular species kept as pet chameleons today, there are a handful of other chameleon species commonly kept as pets.

How Big Do Chameleons Get: A Size Chart for Other Adult Chameleon Species

Species

Length

Weight

Meller Chameleon

24”-30”

10-18 oz.

Four-Horned Chameleon

9”-13”

3.5-5.5 oz.

Oustalet’s Chameleon

20”-27”

14-17 oz.

Carpet Chameleon

13”-22”

3-5 oz.

Senegal Chameleon

6”-9”

1-1.2 oz.

Fischer’s Chameleon

8”-9.5”

0.9-1 oz.

Flap-Necked Chameleon

12”-14”

3.6-5.5 oz.

Takeaway: How big do chameleons get? It depends in large part on the species of chameleon you’re interested in. Chameleons are a large suborder of iguania, with over 200 known species. They range in size from the tiny 0.9” Nano-Chameleon to the impressive 27” Parson’s Chameleon.

Your chameleon needs a wide variety of highly-nutritious, gut-loaded insects as the main staple of its diet. The Dubia roaches offered by Dragon’s Diet are a great start to keeping your chameleon well-nourished, happy, and living its best life.

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