COLORS AND PATTERNS in female Yemen Chameleons


I repeatedly see misinterpreting the coloration of females...

Let us clarify

There is a distinction between the females who get gravid first time (primipara) and the ones second and further time (multipara).


Neutral colors: uniform green with two more or less distinct longitudinal white lines

Hunting colors: dull green with dark green/brown spots and lines

Receptive colors: none, simple green with or without darker pattern

Gravidity colors: green with orange/yellow markings

Gravidity colors endorsing distance: black with orange/yellow markings

Egg-laying colors: brown to black with orange/yellow markings

Postgravid colors: green with brown markings, markings may fade with time


Receptive colors: green with or without darker pattern often brown or orange sometimes with robin blue scales along the spine

Gravidity color and further: same as above

The colors are dependent from behavioral patterns, reaction on the environmental and social impulses and from neurohormonal state. Namely this makes the "receptive" coloration unidentifiable.

The ovulation is in chameleon provoked by the act of mating. It means, no hormonal level can signal it in advance, same with readiness to mate / receptivity.

This is why there is no real receptive pattern identifiable, merely in females already after some clutch(es), the robin blue coloration can be shortly present along the spine.

Disclaimer: due to artificial condition and due to inbreeding, the coloration in captivity may be more or less deviant

Author: Petr Nečas