Häutungsprobleme Furcifer balteatus Ranomafana
Häutung Calumma globifer 2018 in Mandraka
Häutung Calumma oshaughnessyi in Ranomafana 2018
Häutung Calumma parsonii cristifer in Andasibe 2018
Häutung Furcifer verrucosus in Ifaty
Häutung Calumma linotum im Montagne dambre
Brookesia micra, Nosy Hara, 2019

The shedding process

Before a chameleon begins to shed, you can already see changes in skin appearance. Due to certain enzymes, the inner part of the outer epidermis (upper skin) becomes detached. The new space between the “old” and the “new” epidermis is filled with lymphatic fluid. At that juncture, you can see the chameleon’s skin become milky or opaque. After some days, the old upper skin burst open and completely dissolves. In the beginning, the whole chameleon is covered in shreds, but by and by these fall down. Also, hemipenes shed every time, this is why you often find residues in the shape of small, yellowish stripes.

During a normal shedding, a chameleon does not need help! Simply leave the animal alone and wait.

Behavioural changes

Häutungsrest der Hemipenes

The shedding residue of hemipenes

Some specimen stop eating shortly before or while shedding. Some others change behavior, e.g. become more aggressive. While shedding, many chameleons try to strip off the old skin at branches or e.g. rub their eyes to get away the disturbing skin shreds. Although rarely watched, there are some individuals who eat their old skin.

Duration of shedding

Chameleons grow their whole life long, which means they shed all their life again and again. Young chameleons shed more often and only need a few hours to shed their complete bodies. The older the chameleon becomes, the slower it sheds. A shedding in an old chameleon may sometimes take a whole week but occur only once or twice a year. In adult animals, it is normal that only parts of the body shed. Sometimes the head sheds, sometimes the tail, then a leg only.

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