Trioceros jacksonii (Jackson’s Chameleon)

How to Care for the Jackson's Chameleon

The Jackson’s Chameleon is an iconic chameleon. Its three horns have enthralled dinosaur enthusiasts. Originally from Kenyan and Tanzania, feral populations have sprung up in Hawaii and the US mainland. It is well represented in the pet trade and thus demands attention for proper care. It is a live bearer and it is common for keepers to be surprised by new born babies. While exciting, it is also a stressful time for new keepers. This profile starts with a basic care summary and follows with a full chameleon profile course which gives details for those who desire to know the Jackson’s Chameleon more deeply.

Multi-media Jackson's Chameleon Care Summary

I have multi-media resources available for Jackson’s Chameleon research. Included here is a single page Care Summary sheet. The advantage of a care summary is that all the information is presented at once in a simple manner. The disadvantage is that there is no way to simplify the husbandry of a chameleon without losing valuable information! So the companions to this care sheet are both a web page and a short audio summary of Jackson’s Chameleon Care. Scan the care summary and then either read or listen to the detailed description. Then the care summary will serve as a reminder. But you will always know where to reference the details!

Click the above audio player to listen to a short audio summary of Jackson’s Chameleon Care. (You can also find it on the Chameleon Academy Podcast through your podcast app).

care sheet Yellow-crested Jackson's Chameleon 022020

To download the Yellow-crested Jackson’s Chameleon Care Summary .pdf click on the above image.

Multi-media Jackson's Chameleon Care Summary

Jackson's Chameleon
Jackson's Chameleon Care

Here are the basics for how to care for a Jackson’s Chameleon. This is a detailed description of the items in the Jackson’s Chameleon Care Summary. If you want to know the “why” behind it all,  please reference the detailed modules that follow.


The full Jackson's Chameleon Profile Course is currently under construction. You are welcome to view the completed modules, but please return to see the completed course!

Full Detail Course Modules

Module 1

Jacksons Chameleon as a pet
Jackson's Chameleons as Pets

This module is a high level summary of what you need to know about keeping Jackson’s Chameleons as pets. If you are curious and just want the basics, this is the place for you. I’ll let you know what to expect if you bring a Jackson’s Chameleon into your home.

Module 2

captive born jacksons chameleon
Purchasing a Jackson's Chameleon

To truly know this chameleon we need to know where it came from and what conditions it evolved to thrive in. We will explore their populations from Kenya and Tanzania to Hawaii and the US mainland. We will explore their natural conditions to try and understand their needs.

Module 3

jackson's chameleon male
Natural History

To truly know this chameleon we need to know where it came from and what conditions it evolved to thrive in. We will explore their populations from Kenya and Tanzania to Hawaii and the US mainland. We will explore their natural conditions to try and understand their needs.


Module 4

Chameleon Cages
Jackson's Chameleon Enclosure Build Guide

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. This module shows a build guide and shopping list for optimal caging options for Jackson’s Chameleons.  There is a shopping list that makes it easy to get what you need.

Module 5

Jackson's Chameleon drinking
Jackson's Chameleon Lighting, Hydration, and Nutrition

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Light, water, and food are all components that intertwine to allow your Jackson’s Chameleon to grow and maintain a healthy life. In this module I show how to optimize those parameters to the best of our current knowledge.

Module 6

Jacksons chameleons
Keeping Jackson's Chameleons Together

Because of their mild disposition, Jackson’s Chameleons are often forced to live together with the well-meaning keeper not realizing the stress they are introducing. This page explains why chameleons are one chameleon to a cage.


Module 7

baby jacksons chameleon
Breeding Jackson's Chameleons & Baby Care

Jackson’s Chameleons are an enriching experience to breed – if you are prepared. Otherwise it is a nightmare. A healthy baby starts with a healthy mother so our breeding plan starts 12 months before babies are born. In this module we go over the nutrition of the mother, breeding, and then, finally, care of the babies until they are ready to go to their new home.

Module 8

Jackson's Chameleon baby
Surprise Jackson's Chameleon Babies!

Jackson’s Chameleons give live birth and it is common for me to be contacted in a panic. If you want to get straight directions as to what you should do if you are surprised by Jackson’s Chameleon babies, click here.

Module 9

TGI in Jackson's Chameleon
Jackson's Chameleon Medical

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. In this module we explore the medical conditions that affect our Jackson’s Chameleons with a special focus on Temporal Gland Infections (TGIs).


Module 10

Jackson's Chameleon
Jackson's Chameleons and Hawaii

UNDER CONSTRUCTION. In the early 70s a small import of Jackson’s Chameleons escaped on Hawaii. They proceeded to populate the island. In this module I present an update on the situation and answer the commonly asked question – can I bring them back with me?