Panther chameleons are well known for their ability to change colour. This is a response to their mood, temperature or for attracting a mate
Male Panther chameleons are very colourful exhibiting yellows, blues, greens, oranges, reds and more. Female Panther chameleons are not as bright as males and display colours like cream, pink, orange and yellow
Panther chameleons originate in Madagascar and some species are named after the specific island, district or city which they come from in the wild such as; Nosy Faly, Nosy Be and Ambanja
Female Panther chameleons are interesting breeders who bury down beneath the soil in order to lay their eggs. Groups of eggs or ‘’clutches’ are laid which can hold up to 80 eggs
HOUSING YOUR CHAMELEON
Panther chameleons require an arboreal forest set up which can be created with mesh, glass, wood or a mixture of these materials. We house our chameleons in repti-breeze enclosures as these allow great airflow and a variety of backgrounds are available which keep humidity high. Glass is another option with paludariums on the market, some people prefer to mix a chameleon with some fish at the bottom of the tank and plenty of plants and wood to climb on. Wooden enclosures are also available with a glass front to allow for viewing. If you’re not sure where to start, ask us about our set up kits and we can help you choose the correct enclosure for your pet.
Panther chameleons require heat and UVB light to recreate the environment they would have in the wild. Chameleons are diurnal meaning they are active during the day, sleeping at night. Therefore all lighting should be turned off at night, a red bulb can be used overnight in winter if required.
Panther chameleons drink only moving water, they cannot see water if it is still in a water bowl so their terrarium must be misted several times a day to provide enough humidity and drinking water for your chameleon. Drippers and automatic misters are available along with a selection of substrates which are designed to hold humidity whilst creating the most natural looking environment.
Male chameleons should be housed separately and should not be in the line of sight to one another, use a screen to separate cages. Females can be kept together in a large enclosure which is often how breeding chameleons are kept, the male being added for breeding purposes.
HANDLING YOUR CHAMELEON:
Chameleons love to climb so it is their natural instinct to climb as high as they can. Gently place your hand underneath the back legs and tail of your chameleon, this will give it some support whilst keeping your hand directly out of its face.
Chameleons will climb when out and may even try to sit on your head.
Chameleons enjoy time outside in the peak summer but due to their heat and humidity requirements we recommend keeping handling down to 20-30 minutes at a time.
Some chameleons do hand feed which is something that owners very much enjoy, however ensure that this is done as a treat rather than every day otherwise you will find that your chameleon will not feed unless you offer it food by hand.
Genus, Species: Furcifer paradalis
Adult Size: 15-21 Inches
Lifespan: 3-7 years depending on sex/breeding
Diet: Insects dusted with calcium powder every other day
Ambient Temp (f): 76-82
Basking Temp (f): 88-90
Humidity (%): 60-85
Locality: Madagascar Difficulty: 3
Breeding Age: 8 months-1 year
Social Structure: Live alone except breeding times
SEXING YOUR CHAMELEON:
Panther Chameleons are relatively easy to sex and so when purchasing your chameleon you will already know its gender.
Male chameleons have a much thicker tail than females, especially at the base of the tail where the male will display a buldge. Female panther chameleons also grow around 2 –3 inches smaller than males so it is clear from the rate of growth and colour which sex chameleon you have. Males have brighter colours than females.
There is not much difference between male and female as far as care goes, females may lay infertile eggs called ‘slugs’ once she reaches sexual maturity. Not all chameleons do this, it just depends on the specific animal. If this does happen, be sure to add more calcium and extra food into the females diet to give her some extra strength.
Eyes– Eyes are fully open and clear of stuck shed. Eyes are clear and not cloudy. Cloudy eyes can be the sign of an eye infection. Always consult a vet, there are many additional products on the market to aid in recovery.
Skin– The skin is clear of shed and there are no cuts or scrapes on the chameleons skin or tail. Occasionally locusts or crickets can nip the skin of the chameleon. Always remove live food that is not eaten after the chameleons meal to prevent further bites and stress which can stop your chameleon eating.
Limbs– All the limbs are moving correctly and the chameleon is able to walk and move normally. Chameleons can suffer from a condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease). This occurs when chameleons do not have enough calcium D3 and causes their bones to grow abnormally, eventually restricting their movements. MBD cannot be reversed so always dust live food with calcium twice a week to avoid MBD occurring.
Dehydration– As chameleons require such humidity and spraying to keep drinking water available, it is easy for them to get dehydrated if they are not provided enough. Dehydration can be spotted easily by the eyes appearing sunken in. Spray your chameleon 2-4 times a day, more regularly on hotter days.