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What Chameleons Cost to Purchase

An Ambilobe panther chameleon male.
Most popular type of panther. 
I get asked this quite a bit, how much does a chameleon usually go for and why do the prices vary so much? The answers are fairly easy, so I will do my best to list the average going rate for the most common species.

Cost depends on roughly four factors:  Species, Gender, Age, and Status (WC or CB)

Panther Chameleon (Furcifur pardalis)
In panther chameleons, their locality (the sub-type of panther they are, which corresponds to their colors) is a factor as well. But this is the only species this applies to, really. There are more locales but they are much less available. The rarer the locale, the more expensive they'll be to buy.

  • Locale (CB)
    • Ambilobe: Starting at $200 for baby male. Average price is $250-300. 
    • Ambanja: Same as above. $250-300. 
    • Nosy Be: Same as above. $250-300. 
    • Sambava: Same as above. $250-300.
    • Nosy Faly: Starting at $400 for baby male. Average is $400-600. 
    • Nosy Mitsio: Same as above. $400-600. 
    • Tamatave: Same as above. $400-600. 
  • Gender: Females are generally $25-50 cheaper than males because they don't have the highly desirable colors. 
  • Age: A baby (2-3 months old) will usually be $50 to several hundred dollars cheaper than an adult. This is because their adult coloration is not yet developed, and once it is the animal is worth a lot more as a breeder. 
  • Status: CB will typically be more expensive than WC, with the exception being WC adults. WC adults may go for about as much as CB adults, because their colors are known and they offer new bloodlines for breeding projects. 
Adult female veiled chameleon.
Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)

  • Gender: Males are usually a little more expensive than females, anywhere from $10-100 more. 
  • Age: A baby (2-3 months old) will usually start from $20-40, while an adult may sell from $70-150, depending on how nice the adult coloration is. 
  • Status: CB will usually be more than WC. Even Florida WC veiled adults will typically not sell for more than CB individuals.
An adult Jackson's chameleon male.
Jackson's Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus)
  • Gender: Males are a little more expensive than females, typically $10-30 more.
  • Age: A baby (2-3 months old) will usually start at $20-50, with adults not usually selling for more than $90. 
  • Status: CB sell for just a little bit more, but no real significant difference. Most adult Jackson's come WC from Hawaii, where they are a pest. 

5 comments:

  1. Hey, I really love your blog and was wondering if you could help me. I am looking to get a panther chameleon but it looks like it will be out of my price range. I also like the Jackson's chameleons but heard some where that they can be rough with their horns. Is that true? I love the veiled but in scared it will be aggressive. I read your blog on how to tame the chameleons. What chameleons would you recommed that I could find as baby's at a reptile expo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey. I've never heard the horn thing about Jackson's, they do have horns but they only use them to joust with each other. Jackson's can be really gentle, shy chameleons but the problem is finding them captive bred, since they are cheaply imported from Africa and Hawaii. But if you can find a healthy one they can be great first chameleons. They need slightly cooler temps and more water, but that's not a difficult difference.

      Veileds definitely tend to have more of an attitude, but there are more and more local, small-time breeders that take a lot of care to hand-rear babies so they are used to people so that might be a good bet. The trick is finding the reputable ones online somewhere and getting in touch.

      If you are open to getting a chameleon shipped I highly recommend the Chameleon Company for affordable panthers. They start at $150 for a male and Jim has been doing this for like 20 years. He doesn't update the website often but if you email him he replies very quickly with info and photos.

      Good luck!

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  2. Males cost more, is this due to a cosmetic issue or?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, because everyone wants a big, colorful, impressive male! And since females of most chameleon species tend to be more bland in color and less ornate, they sell for less money. This is in stark contrast to other reptiles, where females are worth a lot more because of their value as a breeding female. But a lot of other reptiles are not sexually dymorphic, so there is no external reason to prefer the look of one over the other.

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