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Chameleons

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Jackson's Chameleon

Chameleons are one of the most colorful, interesting and difficult to keep reptiles (less than a 50% survival rate) now seen in the pet trade.  The difficulty stems from lack of information and different but very explicit requirements for each species which must be met.

The Veiled Chameleon from Saudi Arabia requires 80-90 degree daytime temp., mid 70 degree evening temp., 50% humidity and a 95-105 degree basking site.  The Jackson's Chameleon from Tanzania needs a 74-84 degree daytime temp., a 50-64 degree evening temp., 80% humidity and a 85 degree basking site to emulate its natural environment.  The Panther and Parsons Chameleon from Madagascar are different still!  Lack of proper parameters over time plus a heavy parasite load (typical of imports) leads to respiratory and gastrointestinal disease, lack of appetite and ultimate demise.

They all require a large cage with plenty of foliage and limbs, a running, dripping or misting water source, a full spectrum light and a 12-14 hour photoperiod.  Their diet is primarily insects that should be "Gut loaded" as well as small amounts of green leafy vegetables and a vitamin/mineral supplement for reptiles. They are solitary, antisocial animals that do not like handling.

Anyone interested in one of these creatures is urged to speak to an experienced chameleon breeder, a herpetological club member that has raised them successfully or an experienced reptile veterinarian that can supply detailed information on all the necessary parameters for the given species.

The above is a reprint of an article written by Jack Landess, D.V.M., as a public service.  Reprint permission was obtained from the Florida Pet Pages.

 

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