|Othello, my Jackson's chameleon male.|
When I began I did not like the look of male veileds and I did not have $250 to pay for a panther, so I wanted something else. I found Jackson's chameleons and thought they were perfect. They sold for under $100, were a pretty green, and had three horns like a Triceratops. I was completely sold! But people from forums told me to stick to a veiled, that I wasn't going to be able to handle this "difficult" species as a beginner. I bought one anyway and he did absolutely great. I understood that they needed everything a little cooler (so between the AC and his lower wattage basking bulb, I was fine), needed fewer supplements, and that they loved lots of water (nothing I couldn't provide with a water pump.) He did great for years until I gave him to a new home due to space concerns. I thought he was a very sweet individual and he made a fantastic first chameleon.
So when considering which species of chameleon to start off with, do lots of research and get lots of opinions. And then decide for yourself which is going to be the best match for what you want and for what you can provide.
*TIP: Choose ONLY captive bred chameleons over wild caught chameleons. They will be less likely to carry parasites, have problems acclimating to your home, and be overall more healthy.
A few good species to look into when choosing (in my opinion):
- Veiled chameleons
- Panther chameleons
- Jackson's chameleons
- Carpet chameleons
- Senegal chameleons
- Flapneck chameleons