Other and recommeneded websites :
- General good chameleons website :www.masika-sipa.de/en/blog/2013/04/16/traumvonregenwald/
- Very Good : www.pantherchameleoncaresheet.com/
- Important about Females Keeping :
Where do they come from?
Below is a map of Madagascar.You can see some of the place names relate to Panther Chameleon Locales
What is a panther Chameleon?
A panther Chameleon like any chameleon is unique, from the way that they feed to their boxing glove type feet.
Below are some pictures of chameleon body parts so you can familiarize yourself with these amazing reptiles
At this point we will also mention the dreaded MBD ( metabolic bone disease) calcium deficiency. If you have followed a good routine with dusting and vitamins and have well gutloaded your feeder insects this should not be a problem. Things to look out for inacase you suspect your chameleon has MBD:- Bendy limbs/swollen limbs, poor grip,tounge problems( floppy tongue)
Your chameleon may not support his/her body i.e. lie on the branch useing its belly for support rather than its legs.
As he/she grows you will know by his/her size when to move him/her into either a medium size vivarium or his/her adult home. There is no set time for this they all grow at different rates, at this point around 6-7 months if you have a female as opposed to a male, it is a good idea to have in the vivarium when she is moved a container where if needed she can lay eggs,
female chameleons will lay eggs whether they have been with a male or not, this can be avoided to some degree with a strict feeding regime i.e. don't
A Few Chameleon Locales you may come across, there are more!
Is a Panther Chameleon Suitable for me?
Are you prepared and committed to give a lot of time and money?
Are you prepared to get up at a certain time every morning i.e. no later than 8 am ?
Have you got room for an adult vivarium of at least 3fthigh x 3ftwidth ?
Have you got a good chameleon sitter if you go on holiday?
Will you or somebody else be available to spray at least twice a day?
If you answered no to any of these questions, then sadly a panther or any other species of chameleon is not suitable for you.
These reptiles need routine and commitment, if on the other hand your answer was yes to all of the questions then read on....
What to look for in a healthy baby
When you go to choose your baby here a few things you should look out for, never choose the one sleeping in the corner
baby chameleons should not sleep during the day, have a good look and make sure they have nice straight tails, backs and limbs, make sure they support their bodies well when moving about.
A Healthy baby
A Unhealthy Baby notice the kinks in the tail and back
Ask if you can see them feeding or at least the one you have chosen, that way you will see if there are any tongue problems.
Their eyes should be full, round and open. and they should have a nice clean vent area.Avoid any with sunken eyes
Look at their vivarium is it dirty? by that i dont mean a days excrement, i mean standing smelly water in the bottom of the vivarium that has not been cleaned for a few days.
Raising your baby panther chameleon (Furcifer Pardalis)
Before you buy your baby, here is a check list of essential items you will need.
1. A vivarium, i use an 18x12x12 Exo Terra for a baby
2. A UV light, as it is going through mesh and sits on top of the exo i use a 10.0 UV
3. Calcium, the one i use is Calypso i also use Mineral 0
4. Vitamin dust, i use chameleon dust, repton and Mineral 1 i alternate between the three
5. Basking light, i use a very low watt halogen clip on desk light, max 20 watts. You can buy these at Homebase for £5.99
6. Plants, plastic and maybe a small ficus, live plants help with humidity
7. Plastic garden mesh, fashioned into a tube shape ( see baby vivarium below)
8. Thermometer, buy a decent digital one.
9. Spray bottle
10. Reptisafe, this takes the chlorine out of the water ( chlorine can damage eyes)
11, Food, Fruit flies and small crickets along with a good gutload
12 Kitchen roll lots of it :)
13. Commitment and time
14. My motto for keeping all reptiles :- First do no harm !
15. It is your duty of care to make sure, that your baby has everything it needs regarding equipment and care.
Baby Panther Chameleons are very small, even at 12 weeks when you will most likely collect yours he/she will be tiny.
Therefore in order for them to be able to catch and find food they need a very small enclosure, from my personal experience an 18x12x12 Exo terra is ideal for a baby. Even though they are small they appreciate height.
Inside the enclosure I use green plastic garden trellis so the babies have lots of climbing levels this also holds water droplets well for them to drink. Plastic plants and a small live plant can be added around this. Below is a picture of a basic set up.
Food:-Initially they will enjoy fruit flies and small crickets as food items; these must be lightly dusted with a good calcium powder and twice a week a good vitamin dust.Cup feeding or free ranging? i personally free range insects, making sure i leave no crickets in the vivarium over night, crickets hide and will nibble on your chameleon be it baby or adult.
All food items must be well gutloaded before they are fed, i gut load Fruit flies with a mix of banana, dried milk and honey i mix this into a thick paste and place a nice dollop in with the flies. There are lots of commercial cricket gutloads about, this one is highly recommended. you can also place a peice of orange or carrot in with your crickets for moisture other than that keep them warm a dry,with good ventilation they need warmth to process the food. see picture below as to how i keep my crickets
Baby chameleons are not easy they are hard work and I really wouldn’t recommend buying one less than 12 weeks of age mortality before this age can be high.
Drinking:- Chameleons will only drink from water droplets or moving water, in the wild they drink from droplets and dew that collects on leaves and branches.
Your baby must be sprayed at least twice day, but the vivarium must be allowed to dry out between misting . Standing stagnent water in the bottom of your vivarium full of dead insects will lead to bacterial infections and eventually your baby will die. Cleanliness is of the utmost importance, I myself wipe round the bottom of vivs twice a day( hence the need for lots of kitchen roll) i also spot clean foliage, chameleons dont care where they go to the toilet and when they are babies and eating well, they go often!
Lighting:- All diurnal reptiles in captivity need UV, a good UV light is essential as with out it they cannot convert the calcium and vitamins that you supplement to help their bones develop. I use a 10 percent UV as it sits on top of the exo terra mesh roof.some excellent information about UV's can be sourced here
Heat:- Babies need slightly cooler temperatures compared to adults, and in a small vivarium heat can build up quickly, you dont want to cook your baby. I have used with success small halogen clip on desk lamps 20watt, these give them a basking area without over heating. The temperature you are aiming for is high 70’s and low 80’s
All my chameleons have a photoperiod of 13 hours with lights on and 11 hours with lights off, again this works for me. None have nightime heating of any kind, your chameleon does not need a red bulb at night! it needs total darkness to sleep.
Handling your chameleon
This is a very debatable topic some say do some say don't, i always let the chameleon decide unless medication has to be given. While my chameleons were babies or when i have babies, i rarely handle them, the only time is to move them into another vivarium while i do a weekly clean out. Most of my chameleons come to me of their own accord, i believe this is down to routine, familiarity and trust, they know when its not me and are quite chary of strangers. As babies I never push the issue, they will get to know that big hand is a good thing and brings food, and eventually they will come to you, i had one and it took him a year, but he came to me willingly with no stress and no pressure it makes for a much pleasanter experience for both you and the chameleon. And remember chameleons can bite!!
don't Stress your baby by forcing him/her, stress kills chameleons and causes illness, just be patient and let the chameleon decide. And you will hopefully get a bold boy who is more than willing to greet you.
The correct way to handle a chameleon
The incorrect way to handle a chameleon
As your baby grows and thrives, he/she will shed their skin on a regular basis, at this point he/she will look a mess and will scratch and scrape to get the shed off, this is normal and can take anything from 2 hours to a whole day for it to completely shed, an idea of what it looks like is given below.
I have mentioned previously the symptoms of MBD( metabolic bone disease) here are a few more things you need to be aware of.
Dehydration, eyes are a good indication of dehydration (sunken) also wrinkly dry skin, the casque on most chameleons will also give you some idea that they are hydrated it should be well rounded not sunken at all, see diagram below
Burns, thermal burns are nasty, your chameleon will sit under a lamp that is too hot until it burns be sure of that.This is unlikely to happen with your baby if you use a very low wattage bulb as mentioned previously.
Eye infections, dehydrated animals are more prone to eye infection, supplementation can cause eye problems i.e. too much or too little.
Respitory infections, are generally caused by too much humidity and not enough heat, again standing water in the vivarium
can cause this over a long period of time, signs can be mouth gaping, wheezing, puffy eyes or eye, as it affects the sinus's as well as the chest it manifests in the eye leading to one or maybe both eyes becoming an irregular shape or bulging at one side.
Irritation, a foreign body in the eye will lead to an infection if not treated. The most important thing regarding good health is good husbandry, keep the environment clean and stress free with the right amount of heat and humidity and you should have no problems.
Moving on Up
As you move your chameleon up in to its forever vivarium, you will need some different equipment below is a picture list of what you will need.By this time your Uv will most likely need replacing anyway.
Once you have everything you need for your growing baby/juvenile, its time for the big move! Make sure you have the vivarium setup exactly the way you want it, it will be harder once your guy/gal is in there to change stuff, give him/her plenty of walkways and some lovely live plants, some plants i use are listed at the end of the guide.
Important stuff now.... temperature :- his/her basking temp should be low 90s with the basking light on a dimmer, if you use a 60 watt bulb it shouldn't dim down so much that it gets dark he/she needs it nice and bright, aim for an ambient temp in the low 80s. I recommend you set the vivarium up and monitor temps for at least a week that way you know its right its harder to change once your chameleon takes up residence best to get everything right first off.
Now for the big move, do it in the morning, that way he/she has time to explore and find a nice sleep spot before lights out, chameleons are creatures of habit as you will have found out, they nearly always choose the same branch to sleep on, so moving him in the morning gives him time to find his favourite spot for bed. don't think oh i will do it when i get in from work, you don't want him bumbling around in the dark do you.If you are going to use a dripper( some don't) site it where it will drip onto a plant, i tend to use my drippers just after i have sprayed as spraying triggers off the drinking response, i can then clean up the lying water and believe me you will have plenty of that.
Once he is in his new home, the same level of cleanliness must be adhered to, just because he is growing up doesn't mean you can be lax in your husbandry, still keep the same supplement regime apart from the vitamins i.e. one light dusting per day of calcium but reduce the vitamins to once a week, i much prefer to give well gutloaded feeders as opposed to lots of supplements.
By this time your young chameleon should be eating larger crickets and small locusts maybe even medium locusts, as chameleons chew their food rather than swallowing it whole, they can often eat much larger prey than think they can.
Lastly as i feel breeding needs to be a whole new care guide, enjoy your chameleon, if you give him/her your time and commitment he/she will give you years of endless pleasure. And always remember these are solitary animals, i personally do not recommend keeping two together, not even male and female unless for breeding then only under supervision.
FAQs Panther Chameleon
Q:- What size bulb should i use for my baby ?
A:- A small 20 watt halogen will suffice
Q:-What size bulb should i use for my adult ?
A:- I use a 60 watt on a dimmer stat
Q:- What size vivarium do i need for a baby ?
A;- An 18x12x12 Exo Terra
Q:- What size vivarium do i need for an adult ?
A:- Minimum36x20x18 the bigger the better
Q:- Do i need to use live plants ?
A:- Live plants help with humidity and give a much nicer environment
Q:- Do i need substrate ?
A:- I do not use substrate for adults or babies
Q:- What size food should i be feeding my baby?
A:- As a very small baby fruit flies and small crickets, food size can be increased with growth of chameleon
Q:- How often do i need to mist?
A:- Two to three times per day the enclosure must be allowed to dry between misting.
Q:- How often should i feed my baby?
A:- Babies should be fed twice a day with well gutloaded live food
Q:- How often do i feed my adult?
A:- I feed my adults every other day on appropriate sized food
Q:-Do i need to dust every feed with calcium?
A:- Babies need one feed per day lightly dusted with calcium
Q:- How often should i use vitamins?
A;- For babies dust twice a week, adults once a week
Q:-How often will my Chameleon shed?
A;- Your chameleon will shed as it grows babies shed more often but it is still variable
Q:- Do i need to use a dimmer stat?
A:- For an adult a dimmer is essential to avoid burns
Q:- will my chameleon change colour to match his/her environment?
A:- Chameleons change colour depending on mood and temperature
Further Reading :
Wash all plants well before placing in vivarium
I find these the best plants i.e. for longevity
and holding water droplets
Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
(nice for babies has thin branches)
Creeping fig (Ficus pumila)
(good background cover)
(flowers are extremely tasty for yemens)
Umbrella plant (Schefflera)
(nice upright growth holds droplets well)
Pothos Devils ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
Excellent hanging plant
Videos on Care , Feeding and Breeding :
How to Set Up & Care for Panther Chameleons
Baby Panther Chameleon care
Chameleons for sale - How a panther chameleon develops it's first colors.
How to tame your panther chameleon
Panther and veiled chameleon care
Panther Chameleon Setup (Exoterra RS400, Zoo Med ReptiBreeze, Zilla Mini Halogen)
Chameleon care including update of pothos setup
Panther chameleons breeding (HD quality)
Panther Chameleon mating | Red Bar Ambilobe | Párduckaméleon párzás
Panther Chameleon Eggs
Panther Chameleon Laying eggs
Panther chameleon egg size changes through incubation
by Ben Team (Author)
by Richard G. Shaw (Author)
by Garyw Ferguson (Editor), James B. Murphy (Editor), Jean-Baptiste Ramanamanjato (Editor), Achille P. Raselimanana (Editor)
by Rebecca Hirsch (Author)
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