By Jonathon Pukila


Virginia Niva has owned chameleons for several years, and the employee of Thunder Pets has first-hand knowledge about keeping the animals as pets. “I had a veiled chameleon. They’re much different than most chameleons. They get much larger, they live higher up in the trees, and they mainly eat the same things, such as bugs,” she said.

Niva is also quite familiar with the pygmy chameleon which is also known by its Latin name rhampholeon. Pygmy chameleons are quite small—ranging in length from two-four inches. They generally live in moist, humid conditions, and eat crickets, fruit flies, and other tiny insects.  “They’re quite a bit different than your other chameleons because they’re more ground-dwelling. The other ones usually hang out in the trees,” says Niva. The pygmy chameleon is also a solitary creature, as it can easily be frightened and stressed. “He generally hides out under his little leaves,” Virginia added, pointing to the crouched chameleon in the corner of his terrarium.

The pygmy chameleon and other creatures are available for purchase at Thunder Pets, located at 735 Red River Road, 683-8859.