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How Big Chameleons Get




Chameleons are 4 inches long when they hatch and grow between 15 and 20 inches long nose to tail for adult male chameleons. Adult females are shorter at around 10 to 18 inches.

Baby Chameleon Size

Maybe that should be how small are baby chameleons? Either way, baby chameleons are adorably tiny and cute.

When they hatch they are around 4 inches long from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail and there are no differences in size between a male and a female at this stage of their lives.

These sizes apply to baby veiled chameleons, Jackson’s chameleons and panther chameleons. In what seems like a blink of an eye though, they get big because they really do grow up very fast.

Adult Chameleon Size

  • Veiled Chameleons grow to a large size and are in fact one of the larger known species of chameleon. There are size differences between the sexes too, as adult male veiled chameleons are around 20 inches long from nose to tail and adult females are a little shorter at around 18 inches long.
  • Panther Chameleons also grow to a large size, but not quite as large as the veiled chameleon. Like the veiled chameleon, there are size differences between the sexes, with male panther chameleons growing to a maximum size of 18 inches and females no longer than 14 inches.
  • Jackson’s Chameleons are the smallest of the 3 most common species kept as pets. Again there are differences between the sexes with males growing up to around 15 inches long and females average to a length of around 10 inches.

Although there is not that much difference in length between male and female adult chameleons, there is a noticeable difference in size appearance between the two.

Adult males will appear a lot larger than females because they are generally broader. The casque on top of a veiled chameleon’s head also grows much bigger than a female’s casque.

Female Jackson’s chameleons also tend to have fewer and shorter horns than their male counterparts, with some females having no horns at all, but this depends on the subspecies of Jackson’s chameleon also.

Speed of growth

Chameleons grow extremely quickly. When they’re babies they can grow what seems like an inch a week and in reality, it’s not far off that.

You’ll notice that baby chameleons have absolutely ravenous appetites and continue with an appetite of that size for about a year.

You’ll have to feed them often to keep up with their growing demands.

By the time they’re a year old chameleons are more or less the full size they’re going to be. Another six months and they’ll be at the full sizes mentioned above.

The timing as to when they’re fully grown will be species-dependent but expect most chameleons to be their fully grown size by 18 months old.

Should a big chameleon worry you?

Chameleons are kind of mysterious and exotic looking at first glance, so having concerns about a large looking lizard you don’t know much about is reasonable. You don’t know if they’ll bite you or hurt you in some other way. Chameleons, particularly veiled chameleons, can be aggressive, but this is more a defense mechanism than attack.

A chameleon’s defensive posturing can appear very intimidating if you’re not prepared for it. Chameleons, like most pets, can bite you, but I really wouldn’t let this possibility put you off because you have more chance of being bitten by a dog or a rabbit than a chameleon and these pets are much more commonly kept than chameleons.


Yes, chameleons can grow to a pretty large size, but you shouldn’t let this put you off buying one. Personally, I think having a big sized chameleon is pretty cool and something to embrace.

Their size does mean they require a large cage, but not one so large that it won’t sit nicely in the corner of the room without being too imposing. In fact, it will look beautiful if you set it up with lots of beautiful plants.

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