Although you can't tell the age of an adult chameleon, there are ways to estimate the ages of babies and juveniles. Different species vary in color and size. The ages of babies and juveniles are estimated by observing their sizes and colorations. Chameleons show no physical changes after reaching 2 years old.
Consult a Reptile Veterinarian
Any time you adopt or purchase a new pet, a veterinarian checkup is recommended. Take your chameleon to visit a qualified reptile veterinarian for an initial well visit. A reptile veterinarian is familiar with the size and color differences of the various species, and may be able to determine the age of baby and juvenile chameleons.
Consult a Reputable Breeder
A reputable chameleon breeder who's familiar with your chameleon species may be able to estimate your juvenile pet's age. Most reputable breeders will not sell juvenile chameleons less than 6 weeks old. Pet stores and home breeders may not be as cautious. A good breeder observes the young chameleons as they mature and is familiar with age-related sizes and colors.
Estimate His Age by His Size
Estimate a juvenile chameleon's age using his size as a gauge. Veiled chameleon hatchlings are 2 to 3 inches long, from nose to tail tip. By 8 months old, they've reach adult length. Females measure 8 to 12 inches long, including their tails, and males are 12 to 19 inches long. They continue gaining weight until they're 2 years old. Jackson's chameleon neonates are 3 to 5 inches long, from nose to vent. At 6 to 8 months old, Jackson's females are 7 to 8 inches long, and males are 8 to 10 inches long.
Estimate His Age by His Colors
Veiled chameleon hatchlings are pale green. Their colors gradually develop as they mature, usually by 4 months old. Males become dark green, with blue, brown and gold markings. Mature females show white, yellow, and blue patterns on their green skin. Jackson's hatchlings are brown, developing their green coloration at 4 to 5 months old. Knowing when a species develops colors can be helpful when estimating your chameleon's age.
Karen Mihaylo has been a writer since 2009. She has been a professional dog groomer since 1982 and is certified in canine massage therapy. Mihaylo holds an associate degree in human services from Delaware Technical and Community College.