Why Does My Chameleon Have Black Spots

Why Does My Chameleon Have Black Spots

Have you noticed that your chameleons have black spots? Is this something you should be worried about? Here, I’ll cover everything you need to know.

When chameleons have black spots, it is often due to stress, bruise, or abrasion. It can also be due to shedding. Cricket bite can also contribute to this. However, some of the black spots often disappear over time.

To resolve this issue it is very important to find the root cause which I will go over below how to find it.

What do black spots on a chameleon mean?

Black Spots on the skin of Chameleon indicate that something isn’t right. It shows that there’s damage under the skin or the chameleon is stressed. However, this isn’t something you should be worried about because there are suitable solutions to them.

There are many different reasons that can cause this which I will cover below.

Reasons Your Chameleon Has Black Spots

The black spot or spots on your chameleon may be due to several reasons, including

  • Fungal infection
  • Stress
  • Abrasion
  • Burn
  • Shedding
  • Cricket bite
  • Mite

As a reptile pet owner, you may want to know how these factors cause black spots on chameleons. Thus, you’ll find the following explanation helpful:

Fungal infection

Chameleons are prone to fungal infection, and such infection can be fatal if left untreated. It is also contagious. This infection is characterized by growth on the skin with black spots.

If you find black spots on your chameleons caused by a fungal infection, you should immediately isolate the infected chameleon so as not to infect others. You should then seek veterinary assistance.


When chameleons are exposed to stress, they’re prone to develop black spots. Some of the causes of stress include introducing the reptile to a new environment or putting them in a high traffic area.

If they’re in a new environment, they may struggle to adapt, and that can lead to stress. Black spots caused by such factors will disappear once the chameleon adapts to the new environment.

On the other hand, if you notice black spots on your chameleon when you put them in a high-traffic area, it may be best to keep them in a more quiet environment such as a room.


Chameleons enjoy sitting in the sun to absorb sun rays. This is why you’re required to provide them with heat lamps. However, sometimes, this reptile might climb up closer to the lamp, and they may get burnt.

This is why you should keep your top branches away from the lamp. If your chameleon develops black spots due to burns, you should reach out to a vet as quickly as possible.

The vet will provide suitable treatment to reduce the risk of infection. Sometimes, they may have to remove the dead tissues, depending on the severity of the burn.


Chameleons love to entertain by hanging around branches of trees, busy displaying their antics. However, the tree branches might scratch their skin in the process. This may eventually result in black spots on the skin.

This is usually not a severe injury, and it’ll heal on its own after some time.


Like many reptiles, chameleons shed skins as they grow. This helps them maintain a skin type suitable for their body size. They shed lesser skins as they grow older. Younger Chameleon shed skins once every month or every three weeks. The adults, on the other hand, shed skins once in a couple of months.

The shedding process often occurs within a few hours or a maximum of three days. During this period, the reptile will have flakes on their skin. The flake will disappear once the shedding is over.

However, if the shedding exceeds three days, it shows that something is wrong. Often, this is usually due to low humidity and may lead to infection. It is usually accompanied by black spots on the reptile.

Hence, if you notice this in your pet, you should supply enough humidity as quickly as possible to ease the shedding process.

Cricket bite

Crickets are common foods for chameleons. However, these insects may try to defend themselves when they’re about to be eaten. In such a case, the reptile may get bitten.

Their bites aren’t harmful, but they may cause bruises and leave behind a black spot or spots on the chameleon skin. The black spot will disappear over time.


Mites are ectoparasites, meaning they live outside their host. They’re not commonly found on chameleons, but sometimes, this colorful reptile gets it from other reptiles.

Ophionyssus natricis, also known as the reptile mite, is a tiny mite of 1 mm. They hide in the enclosure of reptiles and are only found on the skin when they are ready to take a blood meal. You’ll find a black spot or spots on the skin of your chameleon after they fed on it.

This Parasite often waits till it’s dark at night before they come out to feed. Thus, it is challenging to spot them. Therefore, if you find black spots on your chameleon and you already ruled out other factors not to be the cause, you should check the enclosure on the chameleon skin if you’ll find this Parasite.

If you do, you should sterilize the whole enclosure where you keep your reptiles. You can use a reptile sterilizer and hot water for this.

Mites may also hide in the wooden decoration. Hence, you should heat the wood by keeping them in the oven at a low temperature for about an hour. Soak other decorations in boiling water.

This insect can’t withstand high temperatures; thus, it’ll die when kept in the oven or boiling water. Reassemble the enclosure and keep your chameleon safe in it. Check back after a week to see whether you’ll find mites in the enclosure or not. If you do, repeat the cleaning process.

Final Thoughts

Not knowing the reason for the black spot on your chameleon can get things complicated. You may even begin to worry when the cause is nothing to worry about. You may also look away when the cause requires an urgent solution. Therefore, as a reptile pet owner, you must understand the reason for the black spot on chameleons. This will help you adopt the appropriate solution.