Veiled Chameleon
(Chamaeleo calyptratus)

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Invasive Status
Mildly Invasive Population increasing
Natural Range
  • Arabian Peninsula
Introduced Range
  • Hawaii
  • Florida
Pet trade

Predation of native species

Control Methods

Banning of trade

The veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) is a large chameleon, with males up to 61cm long, though females are half that size. 


Native RangeEdit

Veiled chameleons are native to the Arabian Peninsula. Their range extends from Asir Province in Saudi Arabia to Aden, Yemen. [1]

Introduced RangeEdit

The veiled chameleon is present in Hawaii on the island of Muai. It may also be present Kuai, although the only sighting there has not been confirmed. [2]

The veiled chameleon may be present in Florida, as over 100 animals were collected in Lee county over the course of a year around 2002. [1/3] It is now found on the southern tip and east of Lake Okeechobee. [4]

Pathways and IntroductionEdit

It is believed that the veiled chameleons were introduced to Hawaii, and continue to be spread by, reptile enthusiasts who keep the chameleons as pets. [2]

In Florida, the chameleons were introduced as a reptile dealer's outdoor cages were broken into, resulting in the escape of an unknown number of chameleons. Evidence suggets they succeeded in breeding and may have spread. [1]


Veiled chameleons may harm populations of native insects and even small birds.**/^ They may also compete with and eat native lizards. [3]

Control and Removal MethodsEdit

Whilst no removal methods are in place, the trade of veiled chameleons is illegal within Hawaii, with a $200 000 maximum penalty. [5]


1 "The Veiled Chameleon, Chamaeleo calyptratus: A new exotic species in Florida [pdf]

2 Hawaii Invasive Species Council

3 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

4 Everglades Cooperative Species Invasive Management Area

5 Hawaii Biodiversity Information Network