UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Top 5 Small Chameleon Breeds As Pets

You know that dogs, cats, and other pets are prevalent, but have you heard about chameleons as a pet? Well, they are iconic reptiles that bring joy, and that’s why they are very popular.

If you are thinking about picking up small chameleon breeds, then you are in the right place where we’ll help you make the best choice. Chameleons are one of the best reptile pets any class of herpetologist can get, no wonder that they are good and so popular.

However, it is not easy to decide which is perfect for you with a different type of species you can select from. And that is why one type of chameleon might attract you more than another one.

Here in this article, we have compiled a list of the top 5 small chameleon breeds that are most popular. You can compare their characteristics, price, size, and other features.

What are small chameleon breeds?

Chameleons are slow-moving and very colorful lizards that usually live in trees. Approximately or more than 200 species of chameleons belong to the family Chamaeleonidae. The home to pygmy chameleons is the subfamily Brookesiinae.

The size of small  Chameleons is 3 inches to 10 inches. And Chameleons are one of the unique, most entertaining, and interesting lizards in the world. And those are:

  • Cuban False
  • Pygmy
  • Bearded Pygmy
  • Usambara Pitted Pygmy
  • Carpet

Small Chameleon breeds share different features like vivid colors, unique hunting techniques, and prehensile tails.

Well, not actually, yet they can rotate their eyes with each eye having a field of 180 degrees.  It means chameleons can see 360 degrees if they want to.

Top 5 Small Chameleon Breeds

If you are seeking an interesting lizard to take care of, believe us, Chameleons can become great pets. There are many chances that small chameleon breeds will suit you. Below we have created a table of the top 5 small pet chameleon breeds as well their price and other features.

Cuban False6 inches to 7 inches Gray or tan$150
Pygmy3 inches to 5 inches Gray or tan$50
Bearded Pygmy3 inches to 5 inches Brown, tan or green$50
Usambara Pitted Pygmy3 inches to 5 inches Tan or gray$50
Carpet7 inches to 8 inches Combo of black and yellow, red, orange, green, blue, or purple. $200
Size, appearance and price comparison chart of small chameleon breeds for pets

Cuban False

Cuban False small chameleon breeds
Cuban False chameleon breed

The scientific name of Cuban false is Anolis barbatus. It is one of the most popular species of chameleon that originated in Western Cuba. This is one of 6 species known as “false chameleons” and are also known as their own genus Chamaeleolis and the Xiphosurus’ Cuban clade.

Adults Cuban false have an average snout-vent, which has a length of 6 inches to 7 inches. 

The Cuban False Chameleon breed can make a good pet. This type of lizard is highly recommended and very unique looking. You can say they are a big species of Anole, having a shy and calm temperament.

Due to their high humidity needs, they are considered an intermediate species. The Cuban false lizards require UV lighting that makes their care a bit more complex.

If you have the wild Cuban False Chameleon, then they need snails or a variety of insects. But it is challenging to feed snails because they are not available in most pet stores.

Remember not to feed your lizard any wild snails from the garden. You can contact a reputable retailer and assure that it is safe and clean for your pet.

The average cost of buying a Cuban False is $150. 


Pygmy chameleon breed
Pygmy chameleon breed

Pygmy chameleons are one of the adorable pet reptiles you can ever get. There are many types of pygmy chameleons with different characteristics. They belong to the woodlands of East Africa and the natural habitat of the forests.

It is clear by its name that these reptiles are very small in size. And this length includes the tail. They are very small in size, generally 3 inches to 5 inches. 

Pygmy chameleon is popular among reptile devotees to be a sweet, friendly, and easy-going pet. But, this special kind of chameleon is best suited to intermediate reptile owners.

Pygmy is a low-maintenance chameleon, and care of these reptiles is not very difficult. But still, you should have a level of knowledge to protect them. Pygmy chameleons are friendly lizards and are forest floor dwellers, staying comfortable in their natural environment.

Remember, the food you are giving to your pygmy chameleon must be lower than the width of its head. They are insectivores, and you can serve them fruit flies, baby silkworms, or small crickets. 

You can buy a pygmy chameleon for $50 or more. 

Bearded Pygmy

The scientific name of the Bearded Pygmy Chameleon is Rieppeleon brevicaudatus. This species can be found in the Uluguru Mountains and the Eastern Usambara in the Eastern Arc region of Tanzania.

Bearded Pygmy Chameleon is a small ground-dwelling lizard. They are generally 3 inches to 5 inches in size. Their babies are barely your fingertip size.

Bearded Pygmy Chameleon stays active during the daytime. They hunt for insects to eat within the shrubs and leaf litter of the forest floor.

Similarly, other wild chameleons, bearded pygmy, are vulnerable to the rigors of travel brought on by lack of dehydration, food, the demands of gut flora or parasites, and temperature extremes. This species has constant motion eyes.

Bearded Pygmy Chameleon enjoys any food item that is small enough to digest. They preferred the prey size of the head between the eyes. This breed infrequently eats as compared to different chameleon species.

You can buy a Bearded pygmy chameleon for $50 or more. 

Usambara Pitted Pygmy

A Usambara Pitted Pygmy Chameleon is also known as Rhampholeon temporalis. It is one more small species of Pygmy Chameleon.

The size of a Usambara Pitted Pygmy Chameleon is 3 inches to 4 inches. They are small in size but still recommended only for experienced reptile keepers.

This breed shares characteristics with different members of its genus. They have a shade of brown, gray, or tan. Also, they have a pattern, which resembles a dead leaf. Usually, Usambara Pitted Pygmies have diagonal stripes over the sides of their body.

This Chameleon species has bird beaks like flattened lips and long tails that help them look different from other Pygmy species.

This has specific high humidity needs, which can be really challenging for first-timekeepers.

As compared to pet chameleons, they are cheap and can be purchased for approx $50.

Carpet chameleons

Carpet Chameleons
Carpet Chameleons

Furcifer lateralis is a scientific name of the carpet chameleon. It is also called the white-lined chameleon. Carpet chameleons are the plentiful and most common species of chameleon found on Madagascar, off the coast of Africa.

Their size is 7 inches to 8 inches, and they are popular for their tiny look

A few carpet chameleons are more tolerant than others. However, they prefer very little handling over hands.

Chameleon owners have to spend time and money on this pet. Their hidden price includes possible treatment, parasite checks, possible blood work, follow-up fecal checks, and tests for bacterial infections.

Carpet chameleons are good with medium-sized flies, crickets, and other insects. They need at least 5 to 6 insects on every meal. 

You can buy Carpet chameleons for more than $200. It is an expensive but also rare and most suitable pet. 


Do Iguanas Change Color?

Iguanas Color Change To Brown, Orange, And Yellow

Tips to take care of small chameleon 

Chameleons are wonderful creatures. However, they are not good choices for everyone because their care needs are specific. With their quality to change colors, they are also fascinating pets. 

Many chameleons suffer from vitamin A or calcium deficiencies, generally the result of a bad diet. Also, they are prone to stomatitis or mouth rot.

Have a look at the top 5 tips to take care of your chameleons.

  • Wash your hands properly before holding your chameleon.
  • Select a well-ventilated screened or terrarium enclosure, which should be at least 16 inches x 16 inches x 30 inches.
  • The habitat must consist of an automatic mister, drip system, or fogger.
  • Feed your chameleon wax worms or crickets daily. Offer the food as much as your chameleon can have on an everyday basis. Take out all leftovers.
  • Use precautions while handling chameleon pets because they can scratch or bite when they are stressed.


Remember, all animals can have bacterial, viral, parasitic, and fungal diseases that are really contagious to humans. So, it would be best if you thoroughly washed your hands after coming in contact with Chameleon.

You might have got enough knowledge about the best Chameleon breeds. Now you can choose one easily. 

Well, with many options, you must compare and check their prices with different sellers. 

Here you have read about the top 5 small Chameleon breeds as pets. Which one do you like the most? Please tell us your views in the comment section!

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.