Why Is My Chameleon Brown? (7 Interesting Facts)

Chameleons are scaly reptiles which belong to the lizard species. They can be characterized by their big large eyes, curved tails, and amusing ability to change their skin color. That said, you probably must’ve seen chameleons change their color in one instance or another.

One amusing fact is that chameleons can change their color to green, black, brown, many shades of yellow, and other color shades such as pink, orange, and turquoise; sometimes red. In a lay person’s language, chameleons change their skin color to blend in with their environment. 

This phenomenon is also known as camouflage. However, there’s more to it, and it is mostly not about camouflaging.

Why is my chameleon brown? Furthermore, factors such as light and temperature also determine how a chameleon will change colors. Your pet chameleon can also turn brown due to absorption of heat which a chameleon will usually require during winter, or in a cold environment. In other cases, turning brown can be an indication that this little fella is frightened or scared.

Why is my chameleon brown
Why is my chameleon brown?

Before digging into the actual question, let’s bust a myth. Not all chameleons produce a variety of colors. Some species of chameleons are confined only to a few colors like green, brown, and grey. 

Examples of such chameleons may include the wild species of chameleons.  On the other hand, other species of chameleons, such as veiled chameleons that can be petted, produce a wide range of colors. Panther chameleons are another example of chameleons that can be petted, and they too produce a wide range of colors, especially the ones revolving around red.

Considering what we’ve just learned about chameleons, why is my chameleon brown? It is in a chameleon’s nature to change colors. Several factors, such as a chameleon’s mood, state of health, and chemical alterations are all factors which play a significant role when it comes to how a chameleon will change its color.


Why Is My Chameleon Brown?

It is a characteristic feature of chameleons to change their skin colors based on their mood, health status, and chemical changes in their body. They also change color in response to light and temperature. 

Your pet chameleon might be brown as it might be trying to absorb as much heat as possible to keep itself warm in a cold environment. In some cases, it may be frightened or scared.

According to the above information, why is my chameleon brown, and do I have anything to be worried about? Not necessarily. Like we have learned from the above information, your chameleon may be brown due to its intake of light.

That said, if your chameleon suddenly changes brown and the sudden change in color is accompanied by symptoms such as sunken or swollen eyes, lethargy, meaning fatigue or extreme inactivity, lesions or bumps over the skin, difficulty in breathing, your chameleon’s eyes being unable to rotate anymore, decreased muscular activity or limpness, abnormal bowel movements, and mucus or abnormal secretions from the mouth and nose, this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

Considering that your chameleon being brown may be a sign of illness, when is the right time to reach out to a veterinary doctor? You might have to reach out to a veterinary doctor in cases where the health of your pet chameleon may be worsening.

You need to identify the signs and symptoms and judge your pet’s health status accordingly. If, even in the absence of stressors and the presence of a good and healthy environment, your pet chameleon keeps changing her skin colors to darker shades for a long time and persistently, this is the time when you should reach out for professional help.


Is It Okay If My Chameleon Is Brown?

Brown color, apart from indicating depression, can also be a sign of brumation in your chameleon. Neutral colors in female chameleons usually indicate when she is not in the mood – they turn brown or white if they are already gravid (carrying eggs). 

Furthermore, if your chameleon is dark colored-almost black, or pale (especially at night), it may be a sign that your chameleon is unwell. According to this information, why is my chameleon brown, and is it okay for her to take on this color?

Your chameleon turning brown can either be a natural occurrence, or a sign of illness in some instances.


Is Brown A Chameleon’s Natural Color?

We can certainly say that brown makes up a chameleon’s natural color, which is normally greenish-brown. That said, chameleons use camouflage, which is a chameleon’s ability to fit in its environment. However, chameleons generally rely on their natural state color, greenish-brown, to blend in.

Talking of whether brown is a chameleon’s natural color, why is my chameleon brown? Although brown on its own is not a chameleon’s natural color, it is the closest it can get. This is considering that a chameleon’s natural color is a blend of green and brown, to make it greenish brown.

That said, your chameleon can be brown for a number of reasons, one being absorption of light and sunlight to make up for the cold weather, and the other being for blending purposes.


Is It Normal For Chameleons To Be Brown?

Chameleons, more so veiled chameleons, will retain their darker shade of color, especially when they are basking. Dark colors better absorb that sun/light or bulb’s energy to warm up and digest food. Veiled chameleons will almost always be dark during the day unless they are placed in a very dense cage which is very high up.

Talking of whether or not it is normal for chameleons to be brown, why is my chameleon brown in the first place? There are two main reasons that your chameleon may turn brown.

First and foremost, your chameleon may take on the brown color to blend into his environment. Secondly, he may be taking in the much indeed warmth and light required during the cold season.


Does Brown Indicate Your Chameleon Is Healthy?

Your chameleon turning brown might be an indication of illness or a sign of brumation. On the other hand, neutral colors in female chameleons can be a sign that she isn’t in the mood for mating.

That said, Female chameleons turn brown or white in when they are carrying eggs. However, a dark, or almost black color may indicate that your chameleon is ill. Other chameleons also turn pale when sick, especially at night.

Talking of whether brown can be used as a measure of your chameleon’s health status, why is my chameleon brown, and is there any reason for me to be concerned? Your chameleon being brown can either be a good(normal), or bad sign.

On one hand, it may mean that your chameleon is just trying to blend in or is absorbing warmth and sunlight, and on the other hand it may mean your chameleon is unwell. It is therefore vital to know your pet chameleon well to know the exact cause why your chameleon turned brown.


Is My Chameleon Sick Because His Skin Color Has Changed To Brown?

Not necessarily. Changes in the health status of a chameleon is not usually decided based on the change in their skin color. Many other factors are also considered, such as abnormal bowel movements, sunken eyes, swollen eyes and changes in the integrity of their skin. 

You might want to check the other accompanying symptoms or signs as well. Talking of whether your chameleon has turned sick because of changing to brown, why is my chameleon brown in the first place? Your chameleon may turn brown to blend in with his environment or when he is absorbing light and sunlight.

However, if your chameleon turns brown and the sudden color change is accompanied by certain symptoms, this may mean that your chameleon has an underlying medical condition.


Does Being Brown Indicate Your Chameleon Has A Health Problem?

Your chameleon turning brown may be a sign of depression or brumation. On the other hand, your female chameleon sporting a neutral color is usually an indication that she is not in the mating mode.

Furthermore, female chameleons may turn white or brown if they are already carrying eggs. A sick chameleon will also either be dark-colored or almost black. Some are pale, especially at night.

Talking about whether being brown indicates your chameleon has a health issue, why is my chameleon brown? Your chameleon being brown doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be worried since it may mean she is just trying to take in some light or she is trying to blend in with her surroundings.


What Should I Do If My Chameleon Is Persistently Brown?

If this happens to be the case, look for other signs of sickness. You can also change your chameleon’s environment appropriately. Moreover, you can also keep your chameleon off the reflective surfaces and keep her hydrated. 

If the condition persists even after these steps, you might want to check in with a veterinary doctor for further assistance. Talking of what I should do if my chameleon is continuously brown, why is my chameleon brown in the first instance?

If your chameleon seems to be continuously brown, check if he has any symptoms accompanying this condition. If that is the case, your chameleon may have an underlying medical condition.

Why is my chameleon brown
Why is my chameleon brown? Why is my chameleon brown in twigs? Why is my chameleon brown in the morning?


Do Brown Chameleons Change Color?

In normal circumstances, a chameleon’s skin will be greenish brown. That said, when chameleons want to change colors, they will first examine their environment to see how best they can blend in.

They will then release hormones from their brains to instruct their body to make the change. Talking of whether brown chameleons change color, why is my chameleon brown? Your chameleon can be brown if she wants to blend in with her surroundings.

However, if your chameleon changes to brown and she is showing other health related symptoms, your chameleon may be ill and you should take her to a vet for further examination and treatment.


What Does It Mean When Your Chameleon Changes Color To Black Or Brown Even After Being Examined By A Vet? 

This can have a lot of meanings, such as your pet chameleon trying to absorb heat from its surroundings. In such cases, adjust the temperature of the room. You can install a thermometer for this too. 

Other meanings can be that there might be some stressors to your chameleon, such as loud surroundings, and crowding around the room. Try to work on and remove these stressors.

Talking of why a chameleon changes color to brown or black even after being examined by the vet, should I take my chameleon for regular health checkups? Just like “your next door pet” would require regular health checkups, if I may put it that way, chameleons are no different.

That said, it is also ideal for you to know how to read the signs your “scaly friend”  will usually communicate to you about his health, or otherwise, in his own little ways.


Why Do Chameleons Change Colors?

The fact is that a chameleon, irrespective of whether it is wild or territorial, will change its color based on its mood, temperature, and body language. The change in skin color is not limited to one factor but is multifactorial. 

That said, we cannot confine the reason behind a chameleon changing its color to one single reason. It may or may not be a combination of more than one reason.

Interesting science fact : Chameleons have this fascinating characteristic of changing colors due to these particular cells they have which are known as the chromatophores. These cells are highly sensitive to light and are a part of the chemical system of the chameleon.


How Do I Understand My Chameleon Changing Its Skin Color?

Understanding your pet chameleon can be complex at first, but it will not be an uphill task as soon as you get used to identifying his color. If your chameleon is displaying green, light green, sage green, or brown color, it’s probably because he is in a relaxed or normal state. 

We can also call it the rest state. It usually means that your chameleon is comfortable in his environment and he’s not frightened or afraid of anything around him. In short, your chameleon is happy and content.

On the other hand, if your chameleon is displaying darker colors like brown, dark brown, or black, it could mean that they might be basking. It also could be because of a certain fall in temperature, and he might be trying to absorb as much heat as he possibly can to make up for the drop in temperature.  

That said, it can be challenging differentiating responses from your chameleon, especially when he’s displaying colors that can mean a number of things. Dark colors can also imply that your chameleon is stressed out.


Is It Okay For My Chameleon To Be Brown All The Time?

Let’s get this straight now. Your pet chameleon may be brown because;-

  • It’s getting adjusted to the cold environment
  • It is basking
  • It is trying to digest food
  • It may be scared
  • It may be unadjusted to its surroundings
  • It may be angry, irritable, or agitated

Moreover, if your chameleon has turned brown, accompanied by other symptoms such as sunken eyes, appetite loss, and is showing fatigue in its activities, it can be a sign of dehydration.

The most important thing to identify and observe is the pattern of the change of the skin color of your chameleon. You have to observe if the pattern is persistent for many days or changes frequently in a single day. This will help you to understand the severity of your chameleon’s health, if any.

If the chameleon is persistently brown or is displaying a dark shade of color, it might indicate signs of sickness or extreme lethargy, especially if it has spots over the skin that you usually don’t see. These spots may be of a contrasting color.


How Do I Care For My Chameleon If She Has Lost Her Brown Color And Does This Signify Sickness?

If you’re noticing and worried about the abnormal and persistent changes in the skin color of your chameleon and you’re not quite sure what to do and how to care for your chameleon, here’s how you can take care of it.

Ensure that you’re not touching and holding your chameleon too much and too frequently. You should also ensure that you are not holding your chameleon too tight. 

This is because chameleons generally don’t like to be held much. They like to have their own space, and holding them too much might stress them out.

  • Ensure that there are enough hiding spots for the chameleon in its cage.
  • Look for any frequent light and dark disturbances in the room where your pet chameleon has been kept.
  • Do not keep your chameleon in a busy area where kids are running by who might try to touch the chameleon frequently or a lot of people walking around.
  • The room where the chameleon is kept shouldn’t be loud and crowded.


Look for potential signs or symptoms of sickness. You can achieve this by doing, or looking at some of the things mentioned below

  1. Check your chameleon’s bowel movements and any abnormalities in them.
  2. Look for signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes and dry skin in your chameleon.
  3. Look out for changes in food and nutritional habits which your chameleon may exhibit.
  4. Do not keep or expose your chameleon to mirrors or reflective surfaces as they can get frightened by their reflection. This will usually cause your chameleon to change colors to brown or black or darker shades as the chameleon shifts to a frightening stage.


Chameleon And The Change In Their Skin Colors

Let’s understand the varying of a chameleon’s skin colors and its attributing factors to understand the cause of specific colors and identify any normal or abnormal change.

Change in chameleon’s colorPotential attributing reasons
Black or dark colorsFall in temperature



Sensing attacks and defense against attacks


Threatening other chameleons

Light blue, Light green or white, and similar shades of light colorsRise in temperature
Pale green or light greenFemales – a mating signal to males 
Light brown, Dark green, Dark Brown, and yellowMating


Showing excitement

Pale brown, light green, beige, light brownHiding or camouflaging

State of relaxation or rest

Peaceful habitat

Vibrant and vivid colors such as red, yellow, blue, turquoise with or without stripesAttracting opposite sex chameleons for mating
Brown color with white stripesRejecting the mate


Final Verdict- Why Is My Chameleon Brown?

In conclusion, how can we best address and answer the question, why is my Chameleon brown? Well, we can establish that your chameleon will usually be brown for a number of reasons, some due to defense mechanisms, or just to blend into the environment.

Why is my chameleon brown
Why is my chameleon brown? why is my chameleon brown always? Why is my chameleon brown in trees? Why is my chameleon brown in summer?

However, your Chameleon being brown can sometimes indicate a developing underlying condition. In this case you ought to take your chameleon to a professional, more so a vet, to get him examined. That said, chameleons are easy to keep and maintain as pets and they can be lovable and fun pets to keep.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet chameleon a good and comfortable life!

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, food recommendation, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or for pet food related questions.

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