Elliot’s Chameleon – Profile, Care & Facts

Elliot’s Chameleon is a very charming species. Native to Eastern Africa, Elliot’s chameleon is scientifically known as Trioceros ellioti.

Male and females bear some features that make them desirable, other than their color and shape. Elliot’s Chameleon is a live-bearing reptile with typical care requirements similar to Montane Chameleons’.


Trioceros ellioti is a relatively small chameleon found naturally in Eastern African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan. This livebearing chameleon inhabits elevations ranging from 1200 to 1800 above sea level.

The chameleon has different common names such as Groove-throated Chameleon, Side-striped Chameleon, or Elliot’s Chameleon. However, these common names are not used often by many pet owners. Instead, many people refer to them using their scientific name, Trioceros ellioti.

Elliott’s Chameleons have variable colors. The colors range from green to gray and brown to orange. The variation in appearance is also a factor that makes Ellioti’s Chameleons inhabiting different locations look different from each other. Even within one location, there are a number of variations in physical attributes, especially the color.


Elliot’s Chameleon is well-known to have a mild personality, which means it can be held and even played with it This is due to the fact that the pet reptile isn’t as high strung as other larger chameleons. On the contrary, no chameleon species should be handled anyhow even when they seem not aggressive towards humans or each other.

But there are incidents of spontaneous violent responses from one chameleon to another during their interaction. That’s why it is advisable for each chameleon to have its own cage.

Some breeders go as far as keeping two females in one cage, particularly when the two pets are raised in the same environment. While this seems like a good idea, pet owners are discouraged from allowing more than one chameleon to occupy a single cage.

When provoked, the adult chameleon can act out in a dangerous way to their cage mates. Thankfully, baby chameleons are calm with each other although it’s wise to keep them apart at their early stages of development.

Elliot’s Chameleon Lifespan

Under good care, Ellioti’s Chameleon can have a lifespan ranging from 3 to 10 years. These reptiles can also grow to a length of approximately10 inches. Elliot’s Chameleon can reach maturity within 6 to 9 months if subjected to a proper diet and conducive environment.

Physically, females are larger than males while babies are usually fragile, so they should be handled with a lot of care.

General Care & Requirements

Trioceros ellioti can be obtained by pet owners as captive-born or wild-caught. Captive-born pet chameleons are the best option although they’re a little bit costly. This is because they’re raised in cages and they grow while getting used to humans.

In essence, they’re truly acclimated and familiar with captive conditions. Pet owners can also overlook the acclimation challenge to settle for the wild-caught ones. Here are general care and requirements for Ellioti’s Chameleon:

– Temperature

Elliot’s Chameleons can do well in both ambient and basking temperatures. The ambient temperature provides similar conditions experienced in the typical montane setup where Elliot’s Chameleons thrive best.

The most ideal ambient daytime temperature can range from low to mid-70s Fahrenheit while the nighttime ambient temperature can go as low as 60s or 50s in Fahrenheit. At higher nighttime ambient temperatures, Ellioti’s Chameleons won’t get quality sleep.

Lack of enough sleep will eventually affect their well-being in the long run. They will experience physical stress that could lead to compromised immunity. With their immune system compromised, Elliot’s Chameleon may suffer from opportunistic infections.

On the other hand, Elliott’s Chameleons need basking temperature in the morning hours since they are cold-blooded vertebrates. In their wild habitat, chameleons come out to enjoy the morning sun until their bodies acquire sufficient temperature for optimal hunting, moving around, and digestion among other physiological activities.

In captivity, Elliot’s Chameleons can obtain their basking temperature from basking bulbs. Halogen or incandescent bulbs on a basking branch can keep these pet reptiles warm in the morning hours.

The most ideal basking temperature, in this case, should be in the range of 88 Farhenheit although the exact optimal temperature for these pet reptiles isn’t a priority. Only a warm, gentle heat is necessary to help the chameleons acquire their morning temperature needs.

– Humidity

During the night Elliot’s Chameleons enjoy high humidity while low humidity works well for them during the day. For instance, the best nighttime humidity for these pet reptiles ranges from  75% to 100%. A drop of 30% to 50% humidity is recommended across the day so the chameleons can comfortably engage in a natural humidity cycle.

Pet owners are advised to control the humidity around their pet chameleons. For example, during high humidity, you must keep the air moving by opening the enclosed sides of the cages.

Also, you may use a computer fan or ceiling fan mounted carefully to the top of your pets’ cage. Another tip to make humidity better for your reptile pet is to ensure that the surfaces are dry during daytime hours.

– Cage Size

Elliot’s Chameleons are kept in cages while in captivity. They are small with little requirement for movement. This means they need small cages as well. The minimum cage size for a single specimen is 16x16x20 inches.

This cage size is suitable for experienced breeders and keepers with enough knowledge to create conducive cage conditions in confined spaces.

The second option is the roomy cage that measures 18x18x36 inches which is designed for pet owners who keep Chameleons for enjoyment reasons.

For maximum enjoyment, pet owners can acquire cages that measure 24 x 24 x 48 inches or settle for 36x18x36 inches.

– Lighting

The standard bright light is the most preferred source of light for Trioceros ellioti. The light is placed strategically inside the cage to enable them to explore their environment freely.

A quad High-Output T5 with up to four 6500K fluorescent bulbs are ideal to light up a 4 feet tall cage. The lights should be switched on in a 12-hour ON and a 12-hour OFF cycle.

This is to replicate the 12ON/12OFF conditions found in most Eastern Africa countries since they’re close to the equator.

The bright light will not only provide enough lighting conditions in the cage but will also promote the growth and development of plants to make the cage environment more vibrant and lively for your pet chameleons.

Food & Nutrition

A varied diet is the best way of proving Elliot’s Chameleons with essential nutrients. The diet caters to their nutrition requirements in order to prevent hunger strikes. In this sense, excellent stable feeders for your Elliot chameleon should comprise silkworms, well-fed worms, including roach nymphs.

Treats such as farm-raised flies, praying mantis, hornworms, superworms, and stick insects are also part of Ellioti’S Chameleons’ diet. Other diet includes various fruits and leafy green vegetables among others.

Commercially available dried gutload made up of crickets is also suitable to keep your pet reptiles healthy. Avoid foods such as broccoli, spinach, and soy because they can block calcium absorption pathways.

– Feeding

Elliot’s chameleon can feed on standard feeder insects for chameleons. The insect need to be of the appropriate size. These pets prefer a little smaller than normal food size.

Therefore, you can determine their proper feeder size by picking those with the size length that is equivalent to the chameleon’s width between its eyes. Sometimes this chameleon species prefer eating foods that are smaller than the standard size and that is perfectly normal for them.

Ensure you feed them as frequently as possible to keep them active and healthy.

– Supplements & Vitamins

The occasional dusting of the feeders with mineral and vitamin supplements is also another way to ensure that your pet reptiles are getting essential nutrients.

These supplements should be used sparingly depending on your chameleon species, age, and sex.

– Hydration

Stagnant sources of water such as water bowls should not be used to hydrate Elliot chameleon.

Standing water can be a source of fungal and bacteria buildup. Besides, chameleons don’t recognize standing water in containers as their source of hydration.

The most appropriate way to provide them with enough drinking water is to mist them a couple of times per day. The misting should last at least 5 minutes per session.

A drip system is another way you may provide your chameleons with drinking water. You can place the counter slightly above the cage to gradually drip some water onto the leaves in the enclosure for a few hours.

Make sure to punch a small hole in the bottom side of a clean jug or any container to make the dripping system as efficient as possible.


ellioti give birth to live young ones. As live-bearing species, the mother incubates her eggs until the appropriate breeding time.

The actual breeding process of these reptiles is always standard. What you need to do is to move the female to the male’s cage for mating.

The gestation period after the eggs have been fertilized takes three to four months. A single female Elliot’s Chameleon is capable of giving birth to up to 22 babies. However, the number depends largely on the female’s size.

Wrap Up

Thanks to the species hardiness and ease of husbandry, this reptile pet can thrive best in captivity, making it a great choice for pet reptile lovers.

All that the pet needs is appropriate care. Elliot’s Chameleon requires a proper diet, a good shelter, and medical attention to live happily.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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