Trioceros cristatus

Trioceros cristatus

Banner image courtesy of Christian Kaul

Trioceros cristatus Natural History


Trioceros cristatus is often called the Crested Chameleon. T. cristatus is a rarely imported species. Though, they are not necessarily difficult to breed. It is a popular species for those who know it exists! It is a lowland species that is report the be found from 0 up to 900 meters above sea level. It has a wide range in Western Africa, but we see them imported usually from Cameroon.

Trioceros cristatus range

Captive Husbandry

Jurgen Van Overbeke is a chameleon breeder in Belgium who has extensive experience with a wide range of chameleon species. He offers his insight into breeding and keeping Trioceros johnstoni.

“Trioceros cristatus is also known as the Crested Chameleon. It is from the Republic of Cameroon and is a rainforest species. Both the male and female have a high crest. The male is reddish orange while the female is green. The male will get a beautiful line of blue dots on their helmet.

T. cristatus requires a well planted terrarium. Like Parson’s Chameleons, they sit in the same place for long periods of time. In a departure from what we are used to, T. cristatus tends to hunt near the ground. Gives them lots and lots of real plants to make them feel at home!

T. cristatus is a lowland species that likes temperatures between 75 and 80F. You can give a basking spot, but they seem to rarely use it. As they are a lowland species, a dramatic nighttime temperature drop is not necessary. They are big drinkers so it is important to give them fogging at night for at least a few hours and run a dripper during the morning and later afternoon. They are not picky eaters. This is an egg layer and incubation at room temperatures can go 10-11 months. The babies can be quite large and can be sexed at 2 months old.

Jurgen Van Overbeke
male trioceros cristatus chameleon
female trioceros cristatus chameleon
trioceros cristatus chameleon baby

The following are profile studies compiled by Christian Kaul

Male Cristatus summary
Female Cristatus study