Originally Posted by Damaranum
Are you sure a veiled is better to start with?
A vieled is maybe less expensive but has higher nutricios needs as a pardalis. The chance for MBD is much bigger with calyptratus. A panther has less of these problems. The only issue is they're more expensive.
On the other hand a calyptratus is an easy eater compared to a bad behaving pardalis. But in general I wouldn't say a vieled is easier. But that's just my opinion. And to be honest I've never kept vieleds so my total view on them is not 100% but many starters end up with some problems with there nutricion.
But for sure pardalis and calyptratus are the 'easy' starters.
But the most important is to read as much information about chameleons as possible. With a good preparation these two are good to start with. But without a decent preparation those two will end up in a disaster as well. and with a very decent preparation some other species are possible as well, as long as it are captive breed animals and no wild caught.
Are you sure that if you are recomending a chameleon to start with it should be the Easiest species to care for? Should there not be a little difficulty to proove to the new keeper that any chameleon is not a walk in the park. That keeping any chameleon, wether they are deemed easiest, mediocre or most difficult, is a huge responsibility. If they adapt the thinking style that my first chameleon was easy and care requirements were minimal, and move on to another species and treat it with the same care, when in fact it needs much more attention?
Another reason that veileds are a great starter is because for the most part, healthy veiled chameleons are generally not very tolerant of handling. We all know that chameleons need minimal handling compared to other reptiles. Even panthers who sometimes seem to enjoy it. People who start of with a panther are going to be handling it more and more and more, maybe too much- and even though it may not display it, but there is a chance it could be stressing out. Handling is less possible with a veiled.
Why is there much more chance of MDB in Veileds? They're isn't. It is that there are MANY more cases of MDB showing up because of irresponsible new keepers that start with a veiled chameleon and fail to provid needed elements- the cheaper and more accessible chameleon. Now let me think aloud, maybe it's crude, but if a new keeper looses their veiled chameleon, they are going to have two choices, start over with another veiled after doing more research and adjusting their husbandry and care routine, OR quit working with chameleons. There is no way that a person who lost a $40-80 chameleon is going to spend $300+ dollars on a panther chameleon.
I may have contradicted myself in this somewhere, nut thats what you get when you throw thoughts into a discussion.
Why does no one suggest Pigmy chameleons? I think Brevs would ba a great begginer. Not exactly your typical chameleon, but no less interesting.