Baby Furcifer Virids and what I have learned

I figured I would post these here since a lot of people have asked. Very few people have worked with F. Viridis and even fewer still, from what I have been told, have produced viable clutches.
But so far the easy part is done; now comes the hard part: keeping these guys alive.

So if you are interested, here is a breakdown of the journey so far:
About two years ago I received my first chameleon, a Furcifer lateralis. Immediately, I was obsessed and wanted more. Because, you know, chameleons are impossible to keep to only 1.
So I begin for the search for more Furcifer lateralis.
I went to a local reptile shop that just received a shipment in from Madagascar and they were advertising WC lateralis. So I bought two more, one male, one female. I took them home and immediately noticed the muted physical distinctions.
After much research and consultations from chameleon enthusiasts and conservation experts who work exclusively with Malagasy species, we came to the conclusion that this species was Furcifer viridis, advertised more commonly as the "Green Carpet Chameleon".
I kept the chams similarly to how you would keep a lateralis according to Frank Payne due to the little information available for this species.
When it came time, the first clutch was laid. The female, Rumor, was an exceptionally easy layer and continued to be until her passing. Lay box, bioactive earth, etc-- it did not matter. She did not appear to have the egg-scattering trait that the lateralis are known for and was ready and willing to lay in just about anything you offered to her. She even laid one clutch neatly in vermililculite mixed with a little playsand for me!
This first clutch was kept in a humidity and temperature- controlled environment at 70°F. Humidity was kept at around 80%. This first clutch died at 1 year 5 months, being all eggs molded and turned black. 13 eggs.
The second clutch was kept in a container, sealed, and kept at the top of a closet. 70°F and 80% humidity. These eggs died at 1 year 3 months. Same as the first. 11 eggs.
The third clutch came unintentionally. Rumor was not actively bred but retained the sperm from the previous breeding. She produced her biggest clutch yet at this time despite no increase in her diet. 20 eggs. They were laid in the bottom of her bioactive enclosure. These eggs were removed and kept in a zoomed incubator in vermiculite. These eggs died at 1 year.
The fourth clutch also was produced from retained sperm. This clutch she laid in vermiculite mixed with a little playsand. They were kept in the incubator with the fourth clutch at 72°F and 80% humidity. This clutch also died at one year. 17 eggs.
The fifth clutch was laid in a normal lay box, 50/50 sand and topsoil. 13 eggs. Intentional breeding. These eggs were kept in a sealed container in a bathroom. There was no temperature or humidity control involved and they also felt the cool down from wintertime a few months ago. It is unknown how cool it got or for how long because there was no way to measure it. This clutch survived and has currently produced 2 babies with several other sweating eggs waiting to pipe. This clutch hatched at 1 year 1 month.
The final clutch before Rumor's passing was laid in a plant that had been added to her enclosure-- she didn't even wait for it to be taken out of the container and planted! The clutch died at 4 months due to the plant being infested with some sort of insect that tore in to the eggs. 12 eggs.

It is a very big disappointment that with so many eggs produced, only so many have survived and the ones that have, have provided very little information as to why or how to properly take care of the eggs in order to get them to hatch. So far only two hatchlings have been welcomed to our world with 6 more showing signs of fully developed babies when candled, and five seemingly empty with just veins.
The hatchlings so far are split in to two groups at two days old already: a voracious and brave explorer, and a timid and scared sleeper. Fingers crossed they all will survive.
Attached are photos of babies and Rumor, the mama. Rest in peace sweet girl.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220606-154455_Lightroom.jpg
    Screenshot_20220606-154455_Lightroom.jpg
    68.6 KB · Views: 16
  • Screenshot_20220606-154350_Lightroom.jpg
    Screenshot_20220606-154350_Lightroom.jpg
    41.6 KB · Views: 18
  • Screenshot_20220605-170942_Lightroom.jpg
    Screenshot_20220605-170942_Lightroom.jpg
    87.3 KB · Views: 19
  • Screenshot_20220605-170852_Lightroom.jpg
    Screenshot_20220605-170852_Lightroom.jpg
    146.7 KB · Views: 18
  • Screenshot_20220605-170741_Lightroom.jpg
    Screenshot_20220605-170741_Lightroom.jpg
    85.2 KB · Views: 19
  • FB_IMG_1654555508012.jpg
    FB_IMG_1654555508012.jpg
    327.7 KB · Views: 21
  • 20220601_095744.jpg
    20220601_095744.jpg
    45.1 KB · Views: 19
  • FB_IMG_1654555518731.jpg
    FB_IMG_1654555518731.jpg
    84.9 KB · Views: 21
  • FB_IMG_1654555529503.jpg
    FB_IMG_1654555529503.jpg
    234.3 KB · Views: 20
  • FB_IMG_1654555537582.jpg
    FB_IMG_1654555537582.jpg
    305 KB · Views: 17

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
I figured I would post these here since a lot of people have asked. Very few people have worked with F. Viridis and even fewer still, from what I have been told, have produced viable clutches.
But so far the easy part is done; now comes the hard part: keeping these guys alive.

So if you are interested, here is a breakdown of the journey so far:
About two years ago I received my first chameleon, a Furcifer lateralis. Immediately, I was obsessed and wanted more. Because, you know, chameleons are impossible to keep to only 1.
So I begin for the search for more Furcifer lateralis.
I went to a local reptile shop that just received a shipment in from Madagascar and they were advertising WC lateralis. So I bought two more, one male, one female. I took them home and immediately noticed the muted physical distinctions.
After much research and consultations from chameleon enthusiasts and conservation experts who work exclusively with Malagasy species, we came to the conclusion that this species was Furcifer viridis, advertised more commonly as the "Green Carpet Chameleon".
I kept the chams similarly to how you would keep a lateralis according to Frank Payne due to the little information available for this species.
When it came time, the first clutch was laid. The female, Rumor, was an exceptionally easy layer and continued to be until her passing. Lay box, bioactive earth, etc-- it did not matter. She did not appear to have the egg-scattering trait that the lateralis are known for and was ready and willing to lay in just about anything you offered to her. She even laid one clutch neatly in vermililculite mixed with a little playsand for me!
This first clutch was kept in a humidity and temperature- controlled environment at 70°F. Humidity was kept at around 80%. This first clutch died at 1 year 5 months, being all eggs molded and turned black. 13 eggs.
The second clutch was kept in a container, sealed, and kept at the top of a closet. 70°F and 80% humidity. These eggs died at 1 year 3 months. Same as the first. 11 eggs.
The third clutch came unintentionally. Rumor was not actively bred but retained the sperm from the previous breeding. She produced her biggest clutch yet at this time despite no increase in her diet. 20 eggs. They were laid in the bottom of her bioactive enclosure. These eggs were removed and kept in a zoomed incubator in vermiculite. These eggs died at 1 year.
The fourth clutch also was produced from retained sperm. This clutch she laid in vermiculite mixed with a little playsand. They were kept in the incubator with the fourth clutch at 72°F and 80% humidity. This clutch also died at one year. 17 eggs.
The fifth clutch was laid in a normal lay box, 50/50 sand and topsoil. 13 eggs. Intentional breeding. These eggs were kept in a sealed container in a bathroom. There was no temperature or humidity control involved and they also felt the cool down from wintertime a few months ago. It is unknown how cool it got or for how long because there was no way to measure it. This clutch survived and has currently produced 2 babies with several other sweating eggs waiting to pipe. This clutch hatched at 1 year 1 month.
The final clutch before Rumor's passing was laid in a plant that had been added to her enclosure-- she didn't even wait for it to be taken out of the container and planted! The clutch died at 4 months due to the plant being infested with some sort of insect that tore in to the eggs. 12 eggs.

It is a very big disappointment that with so many eggs produced, only so many have survived and the ones that have, have provided very little information as to why or how to properly take care of the eggs in order to get them to hatch. So far only two hatchlings have been welcomed to our world with 6 more showing signs of fully developed babies when candled, and five seemingly empty with just veins.
The hatchlings so far are split in to two groups at two days old already: a voracious and brave explorer, and a timid and scared sleeper. Fingers crossed they all will survive.
Attached are photos of babies and Rumor, the mama. Rest in peace sweet girl.
Congratulations on your babies!
I’m sure it is very frustrating being on the forefront and learning as you go, but I love your efforts
Even more so, I really appreciate you sharing your progress

The adults are stunning. Thank you again for sharing
 

javadi

Avid Member
Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience and congrats on the babies. I have a question for you-do you know for sure if all the eggs that went bad were fertile? Did you ever candle them and see any signs of development like veins? Did they grow over time? Even Madagascar species that many folks think require a diapause actually don't need one and will hatch without one, albeit way way later than they probably should (13-16 months for some small Furcifer). So I find it a bit interesting and surprising that so few made it. The last clutch being the one that may have had something resembling a diapause is interesting as well, perhaps in this species it matters more. Did you open up the eggs after they died? If so, anything developing inside? There's a pronounced dry then rainy season for F. viridis so I wonder if water content of the incubation media might have also been a factor. The day/night fluctuation seems to be helpful for incubation of many small species; would you say the most recent clutch experienced these changes in temperature between day and night? Thanks again for sharing. Sharing one's experiences with these uncommon species is great and some very valuable data can potentially be mined from it. We were just talking about this on Wednesday :)

Thanks!
 
The clutches I did candle from time to time showed nothing growing. But to be honest, this is a small chameleon so the eggs are TINY. So it really doesn't say much that I didn't see anything when sometimes you won't see anything for the first few months. At the time of death and the rate of decomposition it had, I didn't dare cut in to them. But I held them for as long as possible until they turned to a black mush basically. A few people I spoke with who used to try to breed them from WC told me that it was for that exact reason why they gave up. They couldn't ever get fertile eggs or eggs to hatch. I'm thinking dispause is required for these guys honestly. If I can find another female I have a few ideas on how to try to make it easier for the eggs, but finding one in of itself is a whole other battle!
 

javadi

Avid Member
The clutches I did candle from time to time showed nothing growing. But to be honest, this is a small chameleon so the eggs are TINY. So it really doesn't say much that I didn't see anything when sometimes you won't see anything for the first few months. At the time of death and the rate of decomposition it had, I didn't dare cut in to them. But I held them for as long as possible until they turned to a black mush basically. A few people I spoke with who used to try to breed them from WC told me that it was for that exact reason why they gave up. They couldn't ever get fertile eggs or eggs to hatch. I'm thinking dispause is required for these guys honestly. If I can find another female I have a few ideas on how to try to make it easier for the eggs, but finding one in of itself is a whole other battle!
I think that it's actually quite valuable information that there was no sign of development, as often times even if development has not proceeded, you can see tiny red embryos in the egg if fertile. The absence of that might suggest that the eggs were infertile. But if they were only candled during the first few months of incubation, then I'd agree it might not mean much. If there was still no sign of development at say 6-8 months, I'd be even more inclined to think a diapause or some kind of trigger is needed, as you allude to. Even the smallest chameleon eggs, 1/2 or less the size of any in the furcifer genus, can be candled and one can see development so I think it's still a good thing you checked despite the smaller size!

Have you spoken to Sandor Molnar on facebook? He has posted in the lateralis group. He apparently has produced a number of F. viridis at only 5 months incubation, which is wacky and further suggests that indeed there is some trigger that might be being missed. Tomas Jakubov might be worth talking to as well, as I believe he has produced some. I know you said you've already chatted with some other keepers, but I just became aware of these two so wanted to mention them in case you all can swap notes and advance the keeping of this nice chameleon :)

I've actually seen a number of them come in in the last few months, so they do show up but hard to find since importers are so hush-hush. If I see one available I will be sure to alert you though so F. viridis can keep going! There's a rumored final Madagascar shipment of the year (or at least until Nov-Dec) coming in in a few weeks. So there might be another chance to get one before it goes dry for a while. If that would be helpful, I can let you know!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Thank you for sharing this information with us all. It must have been hard to have th eggs fail without being able to figure out what was wrong.

Like @javadi said, I wonder if the substrates moisture content could have been part of the issue. I wonder if using the coarse vermiculite might have worked better too. Don't know for sure.

Hope the little ones you have and however many more hatch for you survive. Fingers crossed.
 
I think that it's actually quite valuable information that there was no sign of development, as often times even if development has not proceeded, you can see tiny red embryos in the egg if fertile. The absence of that might suggest that the eggs were infertile. But if they were only candled during the first few months of incubation, then I'd agree it might not mean much. If there was still no sign of development at say 6-8 months, I'd be even more inclined to think a diapause or some kind of trigger is needed, as you allude to. Even the smallest chameleon eggs, 1/2 or less the size of any in the furcifer genus, can be candled and one can see development so I think it's still a good thing you checked despite the smaller size!

Have you spoken to Sandor Molnar on facebook? He has posted in the lateralis group. He apparently has produced a number of F. viridis at only 5 months incubation, which is wacky and further suggests that indeed there is some trigger that might be being missed. Tomas Jakubov might be worth talking to as well, as I believe he has produced some. I know you said you've already chatted with some other keepers, but I just became aware of these two so wanted to mention them in case you all can swap notes and advance the keeping of this nice chameleon :)

I've actually seen a number of them come in in the last few months, so they do show up but hard to find since importers are so hush-hush. If I see one available I will be sure to alert you though so F. viridis can keep going! There's a rumored final Madagascar shipment of the year (or at least until Nov-Dec) coming in in a few weeks. So there might be another chance to get one before it goes dry for a while. If that would be helpful, I can let you know!
Oh that would be awesome! Thank you so much!
And I'll look for those guys to see what their secrets might be. I havent spoken to them previously so they might be able to help. Thank you so much!
 

javadi

Avid Member
Oh that would be awesome! Thank you so much!
And I'll look for those guys to see what their secrets might be. I havent spoken to them previously so they might be able to help. Thank you so much!
Great, I will let you know then! And thank you for sharing these fascinating and valuable experiences with the community! Wishing you much success with the hatchlings and for future projects :)
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
I figured I would post these here since a lot of people have asked. Very few people have worked with F. Viridis and even fewer still, from what I have been told, have produced viable clutches.
But so far the easy part is done; now comes the hard part: keeping these guys alive.

So if you are interested, here is a breakdown of the journey so far:
About two years ago I received my first chameleon, a Furcifer lateralis. Immediately, I was obsessed and wanted more. Because, you know, chameleons are impossible to keep to only 1.
So I begin for the search for more Furcifer lateralis.
I went to a local reptile shop that just received a shipment in from Madagascar and they were advertising WC lateralis. So I bought two more, one male, one female. I took them home and immediately noticed the muted physical distinctions.
After much research and consultations from chameleon enthusiasts and conservation experts who work exclusively with Malagasy species, we came to the conclusion that this species was Furcifer viridis, advertised more commonly as the "Green Carpet Chameleon".
I kept the chams similarly to how you would keep a lateralis according to Frank Payne due to the little information available for this species.
When it came time, the first clutch was laid. The female, Rumor, was an exceptionally easy layer and continued to be until her passing. Lay box, bioactive earth, etc-- it did not matter. She did not appear to have the egg-scattering trait that the lateralis are known for and was ready and willing to lay in just about anything you offered to her. She even laid one clutch neatly in vermililculite mixed with a little playsand for me!
This first clutch was kept in a humidity and temperature- controlled environment at 70°F. Humidity was kept at around 80%. This first clutch died at 1 year 5 months, being all eggs molded and turned black. 13 eggs.
The second clutch was kept in a container, sealed, and kept at the top of a closet. 70°F and 80% humidity. These eggs died at 1 year 3 months. Same as the first. 11 eggs.
The third clutch came unintentionally. Rumor was not actively bred but retained the sperm from the previous breeding. She produced her biggest clutch yet at this time despite no increase in her diet. 20 eggs. They were laid in the bottom of her bioactive enclosure. These eggs were removed and kept in a zoomed incubator in vermiculite. These eggs died at 1 year.
The fourth clutch also was produced from retained sperm. This clutch she laid in vermiculite mixed with a little playsand. They were kept in the incubator with the fourth clutch at 72°F and 80% humidity. This clutch also died at one year. 17 eggs.
The fifth clutch was laid in a normal lay box, 50/50 sand and topsoil. 13 eggs. Intentional breeding. These eggs were kept in a sealed container in a bathroom. There was no temperature or humidity control involved and they also felt the cool down from wintertime a few months ago. It is unknown how cool it got or for how long because there was no way to measure it. This clutch survived and has currently produced 2 babies with several other sweating eggs waiting to pipe. This clutch hatched at 1 year 1 month.
The final clutch before Rumor's passing was laid in a plant that had been added to her enclosure-- she didn't even wait for it to be taken out of the container and planted! The clutch died at 4 months due to the plant being infested with some sort of insect that tore in to the eggs. 12 eggs.

It is a very big disappointment that with so many eggs produced, only so many have survived and the ones that have, have provided very little information as to why or how to properly take care of the eggs in order to get them to hatch. So far only two hatchlings have been welcomed to our world with 6 more showing signs of fully developed babies when candled, and five seemingly empty with just veins.
The hatchlings so far are split in to two groups at two days old already: a voracious and brave explorer, and a timid and scared sleeper. Fingers crossed they all will survive.
Attached are photos of babies and Rumor, the mama. Rest in peace sweet girl.
Thank you very much for sharing. Beautiful sweet girl!
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes they will be available around 3 months old. I'll have first pick of the females, but after that, I wanna get out as many to the public that wants them
Can I pls reserve one, female if there are enough but male is fine too. Let me know if you need deposit
 
Top Bottom