Why Does My Chameleon Have Black Spots? {This is How You Help}

The beauty of chameleons lies in their skin tones and color ranges. Why does my chameleon have black spots all of a sudden?

Find out what may have happened before it gets complicated. There are many details we can assist you with here.

This article is dedicated to your chameleon with black spots to find out how to help, heal, examine causes and solutions.

Why Does My Chameleon Have Black Spots?

Black spots on a chameleon doesn’t always mean an underlying illness. It could have just been a bruise from an accident.

Abrasions, wounds and trauma occur in the wild in highly elevated areas where chameleons keep falling off branches.

Other reasons could be due to burns or a bite from a cricket that was offered to them as a meal in their enclosure. Read further to find out many other causes of chameleon black spots that are related to stress.

Black Spots On Chameleon Meaning

We are careful and mindful of the way we care for our reptile companions in this community. You are included because you are to here to find out answers and meanings beginning with the black spots you are seeing. Now let’s see what’s wrong.

  • Damage under the skin
  • Stress leading to illness
  • Fungal infection
  • Burns
  • Bites from insects
  • Mites

Pesky Mites

The final factor on this list above is the one I hate the most. Mites are so hard to spot and could be as tiny as a speck of sand. Black pepper looking specks or red spots lead to parasitic bites that create wounds such as black spots.

Before placing any wooden decoration or items in the enclosure, heat them up or boil them first to get rid of pesky mites that hide so well.

Increasing temperature, using a reptile sterilizer or hot water spray may get rid of these mites before they cause damage to your chameleon.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections develop where you see the black spots growing or spreading. If you keep more than one chameleon, separating them at this point is a must to prevent infections being contagious.

Chameleon Skin Problems Due To Stress

The skin is an indicator of underlying issues related to stress or other illnesses. This is the largest organ in the body that connects tissues with muscles and other organs. A reptile companion developing black spots due to stress could be related to:

  • Introduction to new habitat
  • Fall off branches (read more)
  • Over Cramping in a small enclosure
  • Too much high traffic
  • Sounds and vibrations
  • Malnutrition

I spent a lot of effort placing branches in spots that I thought my chameleon would enjoy in his enclosure, It turns out, some of them were too high and my chameleon fell a couple of times before I had to adjust.

If you place your chameleon’s enclosure in a quieter area with less traffic and activity, they may relax more, eat more and enjoy their surroundings to the point where these black spots due to stress begin to disappear.

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Is My Chameleon Burned?

Your chameleon’s skin is sensitive to burns. Excessive UVB exposure, direct sunlight or direct contact with a heat source may have caused burns on your chameleons without you noticing.

You arrive and see black spot on your chameleon and wonder what could have happened. Chameleons need to bask under hot lights or absorb sun rays in the wild.

The positioning of heat lamps and UVB light sources is crucial to protecting them from getting burned if they get too close. Burns may result in dead tissue, black spots and infection.

A vet may need to assess the damage and provide you with medication or topical ointments to help your chameleon recover. The skin might need to be shed before the black spots fully disappear or heal.

Chameleon Trauma

Chameleons develop abrasions, wounds, bruises and suffer from accidents all the time in the wild. They take risk when working their way through branches across dense shrubbery and forests.

They do so to evade predators when simply camouflaging themselves is not enough. A chameleon is deceptively fast and can dart quickly without assessing the stability of the surface or branches beneath them.

They may lose grip or get cut from sharp branches. Scratches and wounds from their enclosure or objects inside may have occurred when you were not around.

We have memories of our chameleon climbing on our bookcases and TV stand that we thought were safe. He fell a couple of times before we made adjustments and allowed him to explore safer spots. Black spots in this case are bruises or wounds that will heal with or without your help depending on its severity.

Chameleon Skin Shedding With Black Spots

The black spot could simply be dead or dry skin during the shedding process for chameleons. When a chameleon gets older, they don’t shed as often, but the shedding process could be longer and need your assistance.

Skin gets stuck or needs a surface for them to rub themselves against to help them remove it. Some chameleons get too aggressive with rubbing on surfaces and cause wounds on their bodies that appear as black spots.

Sometimes shedding is complete in a few hours while others take 3 days to a week. The dry spots may appear darker. Increasing humidity or misting helps your chameleons shed faster. You can gently remove pieces as well, but it is not necessary and should not be forced.

Chameleon Cricket Bites

When I learned about gut loading, I realized that mealworms are high in fat, but a very common food source to pack with added nutrients.

Simple feedings of veggies to these mealworms were effective, but when I learned that crickets are a healthier source of nutrition with less fat, I tried to switch over to gut loading crickets.

What I found out quickly is how fast these little bugs were when placing them alive in my chameleon’s enclosure. My reptile companion needed more effort and tactic maneuvering to catch this prey.

Sometimes they get bitten by crickets. These bites leave wounds that look like black spots. Thankfully, they don’t usually lead to infection and will go away on their own.

Chameleon Turns Black and Died

I’m sorry, but we have arrived at the gloomier portion of this article. Are you seeing only black spots, are they growing or is your chameleon turning black altogether?

A darkening of color indicates anger, stress or illness in a chameleon. Black colors around the throat are especially associated with illness or stress due to perceived fear from threats.

Your chameleon could also be feeling cold. All of these conditions end up getting coupled with stress. Let’s go through a list of things we do to help a chameleon turning black:

  1. Make sure the enclosure is not cramped or too small.
  2. Add elevations and hiding species.
  3. Add planted areas whether they are real or fake (great spots to hide or sleep as well).
  4. Reduce fear by placing your chameleon’s enclosure in an area with less traffic, movement and noise.
  5. Stop feeding crickets that bite your chameleon.
  6. Heat up decorations made of wood to prevent mites. Use reptile sterilizer to kill mites.

Chameleon Bruises

The bruises you might be seeing on your chameleon indicates that the habitat you have created could be a bit dangerous. Your chameleon may also be a bit clumsy adjusting to this new space or it could be something worse.

What color are these chameleon bruises? They could be black, yellow, green, blue, purple or red. The extent of the damage is hard to tell visually from the outer skin without looking inside.

You may need a visit to the vet if your chameleon is not moving, not eating or excessively falling. There could be a need for x-rays at this point.

Final Thoughts

I was be excited to introduce my new chameleon to visitors. My reptile companion would hide, eyes bulging and fearful of these intruders. He would turn darker in color out of anger or fear.

Dogs and cats nearby would often stress him out. I also realized that this chameleon wished to be left alone for better parts of the day and didn’t need a companion to share an enclosure with.

The black spots started to become evident when he fell from branches or elevated areas, especially when he was scared. Thankfully, these spots would heal on their own.

The final note was during shedding. He would rub his body too hard against surfaces leading to scratches and bruises that were black or red in color. Misting his skin or raising the humidity in the enclosure helped him shed more quickly and smoothly to reduce wounds or black spots as well.


Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.