The Chameleon and the Dragon

The Chameleon and the Bearded Dragon: Can They Coexist?

Chameleons and bearded dragons should not live together in the same enclosure because they have different needs when it comes to temperature, diet, and behavior. While they can live in the same family home, it’s unlikely they will ever interact and be friendly with each other.

Chameleons and bearded dragons have different environmental needs, and they are both calm, docile reptiles. They have different diets, with chameleons being insectivores and bearded dragons being omnivores. 

Additionally, chameleons tend to change their colors to blend with their surroundings, whereas bearded dragons use their body movements to communicate with others, including what they are feeling.

If you have a bearded dragon and you are thinking of adding a chameleon to the same room, there are a few things you need to consider first. A bearded dragon that’s used to rocks, caves, and minimal plants wouldn’t feel at home in the natural habitat of a chameleon and vice versa.

Differences between Chameleons and Bearded Dragons

Physical Characteristics

Chameleons and bearded dragons are vastly different in physical characteristics. Chameleons are known for their distinctively long tongues, prehensile tails, and ability to change colors. Their size can range from just a few inches to over two feet in length, depending on the species.

This makes them a highly unique pet that requires specific care. On the other hand, bearded dragons are known for their docile nature, friendly demeanor, and impressive appearance.

They have broad triangular heads with rows of spikes or scales that resemble a beard. Their size can range from 12 to 24 inches in length on average.

Habitat Requirements

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Charlotte

The habitat requirements of chameleons and bearded dragons differ significantly as well. Chameleons require a terrarium with high humidity levels that mimic their natural rainforest environment. They need access to UVB lighting to synthesize vitamin D3, which is essential for proper bone growth and health.

Bearded dragons require a much drier environment with lower humidity levels and ample heat sources. They need access to basking spots where they can absorb heat from direct sunlight or artificial light sources such as heat lamps or ceramic heaters.

Diet and Feeding Habits

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Choo Yut Shing

Chameleons primarily eat insects such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, roaches, silkworms and occasionally small amounts of vegetables like collard greens or kale. Some species may also eat small rodents or birds in the wild but this is not recommended for captive chameleons.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous animals that enjoy both plant material like fruits & vegetables along with live insects like crickets & dubia roaches. Their diets should consist of approximately 80% plant matter and 20% insects.

They need a varied diet that includes leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and protein sources like crickets or dubia roaches. Chameleons and bearded dragons have distinct differences in their physical characteristics, habitat requirements, and dietary needs.

These differences must be taken into consideration before attempting to house them together. Proper research and preparation are necessary to ensure both pets can thrive in the same environment without causing harm or stress to one another.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Chameleons and Bearded Dragons Together

bearded dragon
Credit: Tone_R

Before deciding to house chameleons and bearded dragons together, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of doing so. While there are some potential benefits to cohabitation, there are also significant risks that must be taken into account.

Advantages: Shared Living Space, Potential for Socialization

The most obvious advantage of keeping chameleons and bearded dragons together is the ability to share their living space. This can be especially beneficial for owners who have limited space or resources for multiple enclosures.

Co-housing also provides the opportunity for socialization between the two species. While it is important to monitor them closely during any interactions, chameleons and bearded dragons may engage in mutual exploration or even basking together under a heat lamp.

In addition, some owners report that co-housing their pets leads to more active and interesting behavior than when they are kept alone. The presence of another reptile can stimulate natural behaviors like hunting or territorial defense that might not otherwise occur in captivity.

Disadvantages: Risk of Stress or Injury, Differences in Dietary Needs

The main disadvantage of keeping chameleons and bearded dragons together is the risk of stress or injury. These two species have different temperaments and a potential power dynamic when housed together that could create a stressful environment for one or both animals.

For example, a larger or more assertive dragon may bully or injure a smaller chameleon. In addition, differences in dietary needs pose a major challenge when housing these two species together.

Bearded dragons require more protein than chameleons do but also need fruits and vegetables in their diet while chameleons require insects only as their source of protein. It is possible to provide a varied diet for both species in a shared enclosure, but it requires careful planning and monitoring to ensure that each animal is getting the nutrients they need.

Given the potential risks involved, it is important for owners to weigh the potential pros and cons of co-housing chameleons and bearded dragons carefully before deciding to do so. Proper research and preparation are essential in order to provide a safe and healthy environment for both animals.

Factors to consider before attempting to house them together

Before deciding to house chameleons and bearded dragons together, there are several important factors that must be taken into consideration. The first of which is compatibility based on species and gender.

While it is possible for chameleons and bearded dragons to coexist peacefully, it is important to choose compatible species as well as ensure that there are both male and female individuals present. Attempting to house two males or females of either species together can result in territorial aggression, stress, or even injuries.

The second factor that must be considered is the size of the enclosure needed for both chameleons and bearded dragons to live comfortably. These reptiles require ample space to move around, climb, bask, and hide.

To avoid overcrowding or territorial disputes, a large enclosure with multiple hiding spots should be provided for each individual. It is essential to ensure that appropriate food sources are readily available for both species.

While chameleons primarily feed on insects such as crickets or mealworms, bearded dragons require a more varied diet consisting of insects and vegetables. Ensuring that both species have access to appropriate food sources will not only promote their overall health but also reduce the likelihood of competition or aggression over food resources.

Compatibility based on species and gender

When considering housing chameleons with bearded dragons, it is important first to research the different types of species within each group thoroughly. Some chameleon species may require specific environmental conditions such as higher humidity levels than others which may not suit a specific type of beardie adequately.

In general terms but dependent on the size of your tank (which we will cover later), one should make sure that no more than two beardies are housed together at a time.

When housing multiple beardies, it is important to note that males will often be territorial and can become aggressive towards each other, so any group should be made up of one male and one or more females.

The same goes for chameleons; It is essential to avoid overcrowding in their habitat and make sure there are both males and females present as they can also become territorial.

Size of enclosure needed

The size of the enclosure required for a chameleon or bearded dragon depends on several factors such as age, species, gender, and overall health condition. A good rule of thumb is that the minimum size for 1-2 beardies would be at least a 75-gallon tank but bigger if you have more individuals – also consider the height as they love to climb!

For chameleons specifically, vertical cages are necessary due to their arboreal nature – a minimum height of 24 inches with an adequate amount of horizontal space. It’s crucial for both species to have enough room to move around freely while providing plenty of hiding spots and climbing opportunities.

Bearded dragons require basking areas where temperatures should be between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit while ambient temperatures should remain in the mid-80s during the day and drop slightly at night. Chameleons need basking areas between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with night-time drops no lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Availability of appropriate food sources

To keep both your bearded dragons and chameleons healthy, it’s essential not only to provide access to the right types but also ensure that there is enough food available. Bearded dragons enjoy eating crickets or mealworms supplemented with greens such as kale or collard greens. They may occasionally eat fruit but shouldn’t make up more than 10% of their diet.

In contrast, chameleons require a strictly insect-based diet. They enjoy crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and other insects but may also enjoy eating silkworms or hornworms.

The best way to ensure that both species receive the right amount of food is to either feed them separately or only introduce the next portion of food once all individuals have finished eating. This will promote healthy digestion and reduce the likelihood of competition or aggression over food resources within your shared habitat.

Tips for successfully housing chameleons and bearded dragons together

Gradual introduction process: Introducing Chameleons and Bearded Dragons

If you have decided to house your chameleon and bearded dragon together, it is important to introduce them gradually. When introducing two different species, it is important to allow them time to adjust to each other’s presence.

Start by placing the two animals in separate enclosures that are close enough for them to see each other. This will allow them to become familiar with each other’s appearance and scent.

After a few days, you can move the animals closer together until they are sharing the same enclosure. During the introduction process, make sure you closely monitor their behavior.

If one of the animals seems stressed or aggressive towards the other animal, separate them immediately. Also, make sure that neither animal is monopolizing all of the food or water resources in the enclosure.

Providing adequate hiding spots and climbing opportunities: Creating a Habitat for Chameleons and Bearded Dragons

When housing chameleons and bearded dragons together, it is important to provide plenty of hiding spots and climbing opportunities within their enclosure. Both chameleons and bearded dragons like to climb on branches and rocks, so providing plenty of vertical space will help reduce stress in both animals.

Hiding spots are also important because it provides both animals with a place where they can retreat if they feel stressed or threatened. Hiding spots can include leafy plants or artificial caves placed in various locations around their habitat.

Monitoring behavior closely: Studying Your Chameleon’s Body Language

As previously mentioned, monitoring behavior is critical when introducing two different species into one environment. It’s essential not only during this phase but also throughout their cohabitation time.

Chameleons communicate through body language and color changes; understanding your chameleon’s behavior is essential to prevent any potential conflicts. You should be aware of what things are making your chameleon happy or stressed by carefully studying its body language.

If you notice one animal showing signs of stress or aggression towards the other, separate them immediately. Keep a close watch on their interactions even after they have been living together for an extended period to identify any unusual behavior that may be indicative of stress or aggression.

By following these tips, you can create a comfortable and safe living environment for both chameleons and bearded dragons in the same enclosure. Proper research and preparation are crucial when attempting to house two different species together, so make sure you understand their unique requirements before attempting this endeavor.


After exploring the various considerations involved in housing chameleons and bearded dragons together, it is clear that this is a complex undertaking that requires a great deal of research and preparation.

While there are potential benefits to keeping these two species together, including shared living space and potential socialization, the risks and challenges must be carefully weighed. It is essential to ensure that both species’ needs are met in terms of habitat requirements, diet, and behavior.

Firstly, proper research is key when considering housing chameleons and bearded dragons together. It’s important to understand the differences between the two species in terms of their physical characteristics, habitat requirements, and feeding habits.

Only when you have a thorough understanding of these factors can you hope to provide an appropriate living environment for both animals. Moreover, preparation plays an essential role in successfully housing chameleons and bearded dragons together.