Chameleon Laying Eggs


If you have a veiled chameleon, panther chameleon, graceful chameleon, or senegal chameleon, your chameleon will definitely lay eggs. These types of chameleons will usually lay eggs yearly with or without a male. You should always be prepared and well educated on what to do when your chameleon becomes egg bound. If you wait too long, things can start to become very difficult for your chameleon. There have even been scenarios where gravid female chameleons have died due to being egg bound for so long. So here’s a little guide to help you.


How do you Know if Your Chameleon is Gravid (Has Eggs)?

Your chameleon will be fatter than usual and weigh more than usual. If you have a female chameleon, it might be wise to buy a small scale which you can pick up at your local grocery store. You should weigh your chameleon every two weeks to see if she is losing or gaining weight to maintain proper health. There will come a point in time where your chameleon will keep a stable weight and then all of a sudden weigh a little bit more and more as the days go by. This is when your chameleon is becoming egg bound. Once your realize that your female chameleon has gained weight, you should start preparing your lay box.

Chameleon Laying Box

This is where your chameleon will lay her eggs. The size of your lay box should be nothing smaller than 12x12x12. A good size lay box

is approximately 14x14x14 or 16x16x16. Chameleons will usually dig all the way to the bottom of the lay box to drop their eggs, so if you pick one that is too deep, you will cause your chameleon to exert more energy than she has too.


Now, some people will tell you multiple ways of creating the lay substrate, but what I like to use is play sand and water. It’s cheap and does the job. There’s no real mix ratio that can be said. Just mix the water and sand until it is nice and moist. It should be moist enough for your fingers to dig a hole to the bottom, without the sand collapsing on you.



As soon as you put your lay box into the enclosure, you are going to want to surround the enclosure with something so that your chameleon can have her privacy. Usually poster boards, trash bags, or wrapping paper will do the trick. If you are an owner like me and would like to peak into the enclosure from time to time to see how she is doing, poke a hole in whatever your using so you can spy on her without her seeing you. Some chameleons will abandon their hole if they catch you looking, so make sure to be sneaky about it.

Chameleon Lay Box
Chameleon Lay Box, photo by Billy

Once she if flipped with her head sticking out of the hole, she will start to lay her eggs as the picture below shows. Notice, her head is full of sand. Do not worry about that right now. After she is done with laying her eggs and buries them, you can mist her heavily to remove all the sand off her face.

Chameleon Laying Eggs
Chameleon Laying Eggs, photo by Billy

Once she is done laying her eggs, she will start to bury them. It’s almost like a reverse dig. She will retrace all her marks, as if nothing ever happened as the below pictures shows. I usually remove my chameleon out of her enclosure at this point to give her a nice mist to shower and hydrate her.

Chameleon Buried Eggs
Chameleon Buried Eggs, photo by Billy

Once she is all done, you are going to want to hydrate your chameleon ASAP! She will be very tired and weak at this point and will need to hydrate and eat. My chameleon drank more than I could ever imagine after she laid her eggs, so don’t be alarmed if your chameleon drinks for a long period of time. Also, you are going to want to feed your chameleon very nutritional feeders (silkworms, phoenix worms, crickets, and etc) dusted with calcium for the next 3 – 4 days. Liquid calcium is also very good to use at this time, if you can get your hands on some. If you have it, one drop a day for 4 days will be enough.

Digging out the Chameleon Eggs

This is the fun part! Just start digging, using your fingers. Do not use anything else except for your fingers and a paintbrush. Don’t be scared digging thinking the eggs are at the top, they are towards the bottom, so dig away!. Once you see little white balls, you hit the jackpot. Now it’s time to remove them so they can go in the incubation container(s). Be careful removing them, you don’t want to toss and turn them. Try to place them in the incubation container the same way you found them.

Digging up Chameleon Eggs
Digging up Chameleon Eggs, photo by Billy

Chameleon Eggs
Chameleon Eggs, photo by Billy


How to Incubate Chameleon Eggs

If your chameleons eggs are fertile, you are going to want to incubate them. Prepare your chameleon incubation containers before anything, so you can easily transfer the eggs. To setup your incubation containers, you will need some sort of incubation media. Personally, I prefer Repashy SuperHatch, but others may suggest something different like perilite or vermiculite. Use what works for you.


When you decide on which incubation media you want to use, you are going to want to put about two inches of that media into your containers which you will then add water too. I use sandwich containers and Chinese food containers. I find that these work GREAT! In regards to the lids, you are going to want to make about 2 – 3 small holes around the top of the lid to allow for some air flow. Make sure they are tiny holes (not to big). Pick two sides of the container lid and insert 1 to 2 holes. The holes should be the size of the end of pen tip.


Chameleon Incubation Containers
Chameleon Incubation Containers, photo by Billy

The amount of water that you are going to want to add to your media is A LOT! Yup, go ahead and soak it. I like to fill up the containers until the rocks are submerged under water. Then what I do is poor all the water out until no drops fall out. This way, all my media is nice and moist. But make sure to really drain the rocks. If you leave excess water in the containers, your eggs will most likely drown.

Chameleon Egg Incubation Media
Chameleon Egg Incubation Media, photo by Billy

Draining Incubation Media
Draining Incubation Media, photo by Billy


Then bring your eggs and containers together so you can start making the transfer.


Once you have the containers and eggs together, start transferring your eggs to the containers. Simply, make a little indent into the media and place each egg in a separate indent. When doing this, make sure to clean most of the sand off the eggs using a paintbrush or something before placing your eggs.

Chameleon Eggs Incubating
Chameleon Eggs Incubating, photo by Billy


Once you are done,  place your lids on the containers and place them somewhere dark with temperatures ranging anywhere from 72 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Chameleon Eggs Hatching

In about 7 – 9 months later, your chameleon eggs will start to hatch. A job well done! Make sure to be prepared! Have separate housings ready, multiple food supplies ready, and lighting prepared. If you wait until the last minute, you will be spending much more money than you have to in carrying for these guys.

Baby Chameleon
Baby Chameleon, photo by Billy


  1. Instead of using the little rocks can i put them on top of something else .. i got this stuff called ECO EARTH its compressed coconut fiber expandable substrate?

    • I have never used eco earth before to incubate eggs. But I know it’s very hard to get the right moisture level with that type of substrate. It will also stain the eggs.

      Maybe you can get your hands on some perlite?

    • My chameleon just started digging in her plant when u got home and she kicked dirt everywhere. I got a smaller container with moist dirt for her to lay her eggs and I had to lift her up and put her on the new container and then she went to the bottom of the cage and into the corner so I put her back onto the container and she walked away. But now she is on the bottom of her cage “digging” in an empty container that is for her crickets should I be worried she won’t lay her eggs since the container is empty?

    • Hello Arianna,
      Sorry I am late with the reply. Please update the status of your chameleon so that I can help.

  2. I was told I was buying a Male but now know We have a Female, What do I do if I do not want to Incubate the eggs? She has not been around any Males so will there be babies? Not trying to be so Ignorant but I guess I am ! Thanks !

  3. She’s been breathing with her mouth open she has plenty calcium but has not been eatin for the past 3 days .. she does not have m.b.d she has laid 3 infertile clutches before and this one is her first fertilized clutch. She has a huge tank plethora of moisture she gets sprayed bout 5 times a day and wants to climb around her enclosure but ever time I let her run around her cage she falls and stays on the floor for quite a while.. scared she might be egg bound but not sure ..

    • Hey Rick,
      How often do you duster her food? And which calcium do you use?

      Calcium without D3
      Calcium with D3

      Do you have a bucket for her to lay her eggs? Or does she normally dig and lay them in a plant pot that you already have in the tank?

      Falling is not a very good sign for her health. Please go into more detail about her enclosure and diet. What kind of lighting are you using. How often do you switch out bulbs? What diet do you feed? What do you dust the feeders with? Etc…. the more details, the more we can help you.

  4. Well I dust her crickets with reptiles calcium with d3 she usually eats bout 5 to 8 every morning when I get home I feed her 2 super worms I give her calcium every 3 days I use a zoo med5.0 uvb and an in fared heat lamp .. I mist her bout 6 times a day. She just started actin like this 2 days ago .. this morning I fed her 2 dusted crickets and couple bites of apple . She doesn’t have any broken bones that I kno of she looks ready to lay her eggs but is not showing signs of digging . She has layed eggs before and she usually climbs down to the bottom of the cage to let me kno she ready.. this is her first fertile clutch and I wanna say she is about a year an 2 months old .. I have not changed her u va light in 3 months.. so maybe it could be that but she is loaded with eggs I’ve never seen her so full of eggs x_x like I can see the shape and every thing… before she started actin like this I fed her some melon an papaya .now I have to feed her by hand she opens her mouth and eats when I put the food in her mouth..if you need a picture I can send you one through via text or email

    • 5.0 uvb is okay.. next bulb, get the reptisun 5.0. Much better. These bulbs need to be replaced every 6 months, so you’re fine with that. Do you dust with calcium D3 everyday? That could be a problem. You’re only supposed to use that about 4 times a month.

      Everything seems okay. My only concern is the amount of clutches she has laid over time. How old was she when she laid her first clutch?

  5. An other the note a cold front just came in and she was close to the window I moved her to an isolated closet where the temp is 79 an her Baskin light is bout 85 to 90° she drinks when I give it to her she eats when I give it to her .. her last clutches were bout 50 to 60 and I read fertile eggs are bigger maybe she is not used to that

    • Fertile eggs are a bit bigger, but not by much. I dont think this makes a difference. My Cham has laid both types.

  6. Well my Cham died after she laid her eggs … I think they might be fertile .. my male chameleon has gotten a hold of her twice last month .. on an other note one of the eggs she laid is a bit green for some reason..she laid bout 67 eggs . One came out broke .. so I’m guessing she died from infection of the egg.. I’m so sad.. but now I just want at least one of her eggs to my self how ever this is my first fertile clutch .. I have 2 separate bends inside is water and the eggs are in a separate bend full of perlite inside the bend wit water.. but the only perlite I can find was miracle grow it has no soil in it it’s just perlite but I’m still kinda scared cause of what I heard about miracle grow an how it makes plants grow faster think it will have any effect

    • Hey Rick,
      I am very sorry for your loss. Sounds terrible. Hopefully you can get a little girl out of this bunch for yourself to keep. I would be very cautious using miracle grow. I don’t think that’s safe for the eggs. You can leave them where they were buried until you get something more safe.

  7. So I read that miracle gro perlite is a success to use.. it’s hard to find any kind of perlite or vermiculite with out the branded name miracle gro on it in my city .. although I am still kinda iffy on using it.. my other option was miracle gro organic soil with fertilizer. What a decision I kno.. I also mixed up some coconut soil and perlite an placed 2 in that .. I have kinda the idea of what to do but don’t kno fully lol however I am doin alot of research every night to make sure I can do this right.. any tips you can give me or advice?

    • Do not use anything with fertilizer in it. When placing eggs, make sure to place half in the substrate, with the other half exposed to the air. Place container somewhere dark where there is no light or mold will grow.

    • If you read that miracle grow was safe to use from a reputable website, then use that. I just thought anything with ‘miracle grow’ had some sort of fertilizer.

    • They were infertile, so they would shrivel up and look gross anyways. Can you order off Amazon? Or ebay? To get the proper substrate… or no

    • I’d say a week especially if it’s just that mossy stuff. Keep hydrating the mossy stuff. It might dry out quickly

    • Hey Alejandra,
      What do you mean by retained clutch? Like eggs that she may not have laid? Or another clutch of eggs that she may produce?

  8. Okay so my eggs have not molded I’ve had them for bout 2 months no veins or anything yet but I do notice alot of my eggs have a slight red dot inside the egg don’t kno what it is but I’m hoping they are still doing good .. any opinions? This is my first time incubating them

    • Hey Rick,
      Sounds like you are doing good. I remember the red dots on mine when I had my eggs incubating. This is the beginning of the creation inside the eggs. Soon they will get nice and plump and you will start to see the veins.

    • Hello Arturo,
      Can you give me a little more information on the actions of your veiled chameleon. Do you see her hanging around the bottom of the cage, digging, etc…?

  9. She’s I’m the bottom where I left her box with sand but she’s been their all day(no digging or moving much). And I noticed something sticking out of her “butt” looks like its getting dry, doesn’t seem she wants to move or do much really.

    • This does not seem like normal behavior. Can you tell me how old she is, what she eats, what you dust the feeders with, the lighting in the enclosure, when you replace bulbs, temperatures, humidity levels, maybe a picture of the setup. All this extta information can help me try to help you see what the problem is.

  10. I have a female veiled. She has been laying around her viv on branches for about a week and a half. I thought she may have some constipation issues, so I put her in a warm water bath,. She was not crazy about it, but handled it okay. Today, she is still laying around. I have taken her to the vet and Dr said she seemed healthy. I did not have money for xrays and decided to keep an eye on her. Since she is still laying around, I fixed up a laying bin……its a trash can with moist play sand……it has vines and branches as well and a reptisun 5.0 bulb suspended above it. I left her be for about 2 hours and went back to put her in her cage for the night. She was lying on her side in the sand, motionless. She was still bright green and when I picked her up, she got darker and let me know she was not happy. I have no idea what is going on. Any suggestions would be helpful.


    • Hey Christine,
      Sorry to hear that your chameleon isnt doing too well. Can you tell me a little more about her setup and care? What kind of lighting you use, what you feed, what you dust the feeders with and how often, etc.. the more info the btter.

  11. thanks for getting back to me Billy. The viv she’s in is 3ft tall by 2ft by 2ft. She has lots of vines and branches, and a spider plant. The substrate is paper towels and there is a box of potting soil that takes up about half of the bottom of her viv. She has a reptirain misting system that goes off for about 30 seconds every 2 hours. I use the reptisun light 150w for light, heat and uvb and it is suspended above her cage about 10 in above her basking spot. I just replaced the bulb in December. Her regular diet is crickets, gutloaded with various fruits and veg along with a cricket block and calcium fortified gel water. Sometimes she gets mealworms or waxworms in place of crickets. All food is dusted with calcium spray and about once a month w calcium w d3. About once a week with vitamin powder. She is eating and drinking well, very well. She has no problems moving around the cage when she wants to and her color stays a beautiful green. She seems quite happy other than the laying around on branches.

    Hope this helps
    Thanks again,

    • What kind of UVB are you using? When was the last time you replaced it? Everything seems good and it seems that you read up on the care of chameleons. I don’t really see a problem with the setup or care from what you described. Has she ever laid eggs? Look fatter than usual? Did vet say anything about her being egg bound?

    • Hey Kayla,
      Chameleons have to be my most favorite lizard to own as a pet. Very cool animal. One thing is to make sure that you have some sort of dripper for them to drink. They don’t recognize stI’ll water and won’t drink out of a bowl. Also, make sure to replace the UVB light every 6 months, since this is about the time the bulb expires. Chameleons are known for dying early if no UVB is present. Last, try not to handle your Cham often. Thy get stressed very easily and do not like being handled much.

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

  12. Need help very sick veiled. She just layed eggs she’s not moving took to vet he said might have blockage. The vet said nothing about eggs now today there’s eggs in the cage. Her legs are swollen . Don’t no what to do.

  13. Hi all, its me again. My little girl started digging test tunnels about two weeks ago. She has finally decided on a place to lay her eggs, I believe. I think this because the last hole she dug, she backed into it and actually fell asleep head out overnight. I thought I was going to have eggs the next day, but no. She had a hard time coming out of the hole, she was worn out, but out she came, moved to a branch, drank a LOT of water, and has not gone back down in the hole in the last 24 hours that I know of. She is now not really eating very well either. Is it just a waiting game from this point on? I had no idea it could take this long before she laid. This is her first clutch.

    Any thoughts or advise is helpful.


    • Hey Christine,
      My chameleon did the same thing yours did. If you want, when she is digging, try covering up the cage with cardboard or something so that she has privacy. If she sees you peaking she could stop the process. Mine fell asleep in hole also when she dug. I woke up and she was back at it, laid her eggs, and filled the whole with sand.

      Make sure that you hydrate her and dust her food with calcium for the next week. Just plain calcium, not with D3.

      Are you sure she didn’t lay the eggs already?

    • Bailey,
      If you are talking about substrate for your Cham to dig, I would use regular play sand. But make sure it’s not packed tightly into the laying bin. You want it to be moist and lossely packed. Just enough that a hole can be made, but not with a lot of effort from your cham. This is a very stressful task for your chameleon.

  14. So I’ve had my eggs since beginning of november. The veins in my eggs are finally starting to show through the egg but i was curious how long does it usually take for eggs to start hatching? I read from couple other forums and here that it takes bout 5 months not that I’m impatient but just wanna make sure I’m doing everything correctly. I have my eggs in vermiculite mix with coconut soil and they seem to be doing great. I’m not gonna lie tho I moved around a lot in texas an brought the eggs back in forth in the car an they rolled over alot in the first month but now they are showing veins and I guess that’s a good sign..? Also I have a couple eggs that are bright yellow and some eggs are huge and bright red when candle

    • Hey Rick,

      This might sound crazy, but eggs will normally take about 8-9 months from when they are laid to hatch. When my cham laid eggs, they started hatching right around the 8 month mark. I would just leave the eggs as is. Should be okay, just try not to move them anymore. When you start seeing shrinking and sinking eggs, then that means they went bad. But from what you describe, everything seems okay.

  15. Our 10-month-old veiled laid her first clutch of 71 eggs about a week ago. She’s eating and drinking like a champ (actually hungry all the time), seems fine behavior-wise but over the last several days she’s “dropped” 4 additional eggs randomly in her cage. Should I be concerned that she has retained additional eggs?? Could she be eggbound? She’s not digging as far as I can tell or acting like she did when she laid the clutch. Concerned and don’t want to miss the signs of a health decline if she has retained more eggs. Any insights or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • Hello Laura,
      71 eggs is a lot! Congrats on experiencing something very cool. It is uncommon for chameleons to hold additional eggs, but it does happen. Why don’t you try putting the same container with the same substrate you used in the enclosure the first time to see if your chameleon will lay some more eggs? If she wants to deposit more, she will. As for eating and drinking, that’s very good she is back on track. Don’t forget to dust your crickets and other insects with calcium. Creating the eggs absorbs a lot of her calcium, so you want to make sure you replenish the calcium she used up. Dusting them with regular calcium without D3 every day for first week to two weeks, and every other day afterwards will be good. Make sure to keep a close eye on her. How is her grip? Does she hold herself upright without a problem? Other than having a few more eggs, everything you described sounds like she is healthy. Just make sure to dust your feeders and to feed her a good amount for the next few weeks. Digging and depositing eggs takes up a lot of energy.

  16. Thank you so much for the response. We are definitely giving her feeders a calcium dusting and have provided her with substrate in case she wants/needs to dig or lay again. Her grip, strength, etc. seem pretty good. Maybe slightly less active than usual but to be expected after all the energy used laying so many eggs as you say! We’ll continue to keep a close watch and see how she does. Fingers crossed. Thanks again. 🙂

    • No problem. I love chameleons. One of my favorite reptiles to keep. Just keep doing what you are doing. Everything seems good. Keep me updated on her health and any new events that may occur.

  17. Hi. I have a female panther chameleon that laid eggs in may. I am just curious on how to tell if they are fertile or not at this point. The eggs are alot bigger then when she first laid them but when I candle them I’m not sure what to look for at this point. Anything helps. Thanks.

    • Hey Amy,
      If you look at your eggs, you will know if they are fertile if they do not start shrinking or sinking in. Fertile eggs will keep their round shape. And after about 5-6 months, you can start seeing veins through the egg shells by candle lighting them. This is when you take a flash light and put it underneath the egg. It will light up the whole egg and you can start seeing things like veins. But make sure to put the egg back exactly how you got it. Do not turn it.

  18. Hello, I’ve had a female that I believed to be Gracie for some time. I’ve tried all different pay boxes…left her alone for privacy etc…nothing. But I’ve left a bucket of damp play sand in her enclosure like your pictures for some time and finally today when i popped into her room she had a big hole dug like in your picture on the side of the bucket,but she was not in it…she was back up on her vine……

    Is there a reason she’d leave the hope without having the eggs? Did she possibly have the eggs and only refill the hole part way

    Any help would be great.

    • Hello Roddy,
      Is the hole covered again? Could it be that she dropped the eggs into the hole and covered the hole back up? Take the bucket out and check. You can always put the bucket back. If there was only a few inches of sand, it could have been that she did not feel comfortable laying the eggs. Please update us on how she is doing.

    • Hey there! Thanks for the response, well it looks like it was a test hole,because over the next few days she dug another hole (I have a camera on her and she was out of sight for 2 days basically. I got back in there and fed and watered her (she has an auto mister but Ifeel she drinks more when I go in there with the hand held mister). I waited a day or two, because I get after all that work I didn’t want to just rip her eggs away and dig….found 43 eggs. My fear is that was too many and it was too taxing. Going to adjust her temp slightly cooler and scale back her crickets.

    • Hello Roddy,
      The development of eggs took a lot of calcium away from her, so make sure to dust the feeders with calcium (without D3) almost everyday for the next two weeks. Hydrate her daily, and make sure you keep an eye on her. 43 eggs is a lot! Don’t forget to mist her directly to make sure you get all he substrate off her nose and eyes from the digging. Keep us updated on her health.

  19. I’m glad you responded, brings up a few questions.

    I had been dusting them w calcium W D3…seems like opinions on this are somewhat mixed, but with all your other good info I will trust you on it! I haven’t done her harm have I?

    Also I mist her directly daily. It’s a difficult situation because it kind of stresses her (well some days, other days she seems to enjoy it, I worry it’s the water temp and try to make it room temp to even a little warm as to not screw with her body temp). But if I go a few days without direct misting while worrying about her stress level she starts showing signs of dehydration and gulps water next time I do it directly. Any opinion on this?

    Should I leave her bucket in there? It sure what to do on that? I’ve removed eggs of course.

    She seems to be rebounding rather well, still tries to kill me (rescued her from pet store that kept her MUCH too long and she was way too big for her little aquarium cage and had never been handled..they gave her to me for $20 and I took her with no chameleon or reptile experience because they had said if they didn’t sell her they’d “get rid of her” she’s a spitfire and makes me worry that trip to the vet is enough stress to kill her…) poop is a little lacking and oily, thoughts?

    Proud of her and so glad I was able to get her through it. I love her very much and don’t want to be the cause of any suffering.

    • To answer your first question, to much calcim with D3 can be harmful (was even mentioned by my exotic vet I go to). It is suggested to only dust the feeders wit this type of calcium 2-4 times a month (once a week will suffice). If you have been dusting more, I would cut back to the appropriate amount.

      With the misting, my chameleons hated it as well. They needed it though. It helped with shedding, hydration, and humidity levels. It’s good that you hydrate her. Can you explain how you hydrate her? I use a pipette and drip it slowly in front of my chams and they would drink right from it. You definitely hydrate them better and a lot more this way.

      I would say it’s safe to remove the bucket now. If you see her towards the bottom of the enclosure again, just add it back with fresh substrate.

      You can’t beat $20! What a steal. Great thing you rescued her. How often and how much do you feed her? If you don’t mind, try sharing a picture of her on the forums so that we can see her. If she has anything like MBD or any other problems, we can point it out. I am scared being at the pet store without the proper care might have played a toll on her.

  20. Hiya. We ‘inherited’ a pair of veiled chameleons two months ago and the female has just laid her first clutch of eggs (45 in total). When she came back up out of the laying tin, she wanted to come out of the vivarium so I sprayed her to wash all the soil off and she drank loads. But, she hasn’t wanted anything to eat yet. We removed all the eggs to incubate them, but when I put her back in the vivarium, she went straight back down into the corner where the laying tin was and started digging again – she is still doing it now 1/2 hour later – does this mean she has more to lay or should I remove the laying tin all together?

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