What is a Chameleon's Predator?

August 19, 2023
David Sunnyside

If you have a chameleon in captivity, feed it insects and vegetation that fit comfortably into its mouth. For example, a chameleon should not be fed any insect or plant that is larger than its head because it would have trouble swallowing it and digesting it. Feeding your chameleon foods that are too big may also cause a choking hazard.

Typically, a chameleon eats a variety of things including berries, leaves, flowers and insects such as grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, worms and snails. Some larger chameleon species even eat small birds. Chameleons have a long sticky tongue that they use to capture their prey. They shoot it out at lightning speed to catch their food, and it can reach a distance of up to two times their body length.

When a chameleon spots its predator, it displays different colors to warn the animal that it is there. It can also change its display to show off to other chameleons or attract potential mates. The color of a chameleon’s skin can also convey emotions such as fear or anger. A chameleon that is stressed or angry will display red or orange while a male that is ready to reproduce will display brown or gray.

Interestingly, researchers found that the chameleons displayed different colors in response to both birds and snakes. However, the chameleons displayed better background colour matching in their responses to birds compared with snakes. This could be because snakes have worse color discrimination, and as a result, the chameleons needed to camouflage themselves more closely to avoid detection by these predators.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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