Baby Panther Gravid Already?

NorCalAnthony

Avid Member
Hi Everyone,

My wife and I got our first female cham, Aphrodite, back in April. She's a beautiful little ambilobe from Komeleon's Noki and she'll be six months old next week. The problem, well more like a concern, is that it looks like she's gravid already. I thought that this couldn't happen for a while yet but as soon as I noticed her looking a little extra wider than normal I got her moved in to a bigger cage and set her up with a laying bin. I have been reading up on here about all of the female specific care requirements and wanted to check in with all of the experts on here to see how her setup is looking to make sure she continues to grow up happy and healthy. Let me know what you think and if there's anything that I should be doing differently.


Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Ambilobe female almost six months old and we've had her since April 18th. She's currently about 10" from nose to tail tip and weighs 63.5g
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
1-2 times a week, sometimes more, to let her play on the free range or wander the bushes outside and get some natural sunlight
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
We feed her around ten medium sized crickets daily (how many she'll eat in a couple of minutes) which she devours mercilessly lol. The crickets are gut loaded with kale, mustard greens, butternut squash, oranges, yellow and red peppers (no seeds), mint leaves, and some other ingredients which I'm currently blanking on... all of those are blended up and frozen in to cubes for easy cricket feeding. We also give our chams the occasional silk and horn worms for variety.
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
We use Rep-Cal calcium without d3 mixed with a small amount of Repashy Super Pig at every feeding, Rep-Cal calcium with d3 on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, Rep-Cal herptivite on the 2nd Sunday, and Zoo Med's Reptivite on the 4th Sunday of month
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
We have a Mist King that goes off for 2-3 minutes every 2 hours starting at 9:00 am (one hour after lights on) and ending at 7:00 pm (one hour before lights out). I see her drink but rarely since our chams are in a quiet room of the house.
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Normal looking feces with dark brown/black poop section and white urate. Has not been tested for parasites
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
No previous health concerns. She has been very healthy and growing like a weed since she has been in our care. Her colors have changed in the last couple of weeks from a pale tan with orange and pink markings to almost entirely a darker pink or peach color with dark green markings and occasionally a darker brown along her back.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Zoo Med Reptibreeze 18"x18"x36"
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
She has an 18" All Living Things Tropical 5.0 UVB (will be replacing with a Reptisun once the 6 months is up) and she has a regular 30 watt incandescent spot light for her basking spot. Lights are on 8am-8pm.
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Her basking spot is 84-85 and the ambient is around 75-78. I have an Exo Terra Digital Thermometer (w/probe) zip tied to her basking branch which is about 6" below the top of the cage and basking light. I also have an Exo Terra Digital Thermometer & Hygrometer (w/probe) in the middle of the cage above the base of the schefflera to measure the ambient temp and humidity. Night time drops down to upper 60's
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Her humidity fluctuates from a low of 35% to a high of 70% right after mistings and we use live plants to help maintain the humidity which is measured with an Exo Terra Digital Thermometer/Hygrometer combo
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
We have a small schefflera in the center of the cage and a pothos hanging in the back corner
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Her cage is in our office/cham room with little to no traffic except for when we go in there to feed them or clean out their cages. Her cage is in the corner sitting on a plastic garage shelf that's about 42" high. She was in view of our male Nosy Be who kept trying to push through his screen to get to her while she kept staring at him so I hung a towel over that side of her cage as a visual barrier which has calmed them down. There is a ceiling fan hanging in the center of the room which we leave turned on the lowest setting to keep the air circulating.
Location - Where are you geographically located?
We are located in Lincoln California (about 20 miles north of Sacramento).

I didn't see a spot for this but we also have a laying bin set up for her. It's clear plastic storage bin about 12" wide x 15" deep x 10" tall and is filled with moist play sand. I tried digging a channel in it to make sure it was moist enough to hold a channel and it was. I can blend in some organic potting soil if I need to but thought I'd start with plain sand. There are also a couple of branches that lead down in to the sand so that she can make her way down there whenever she needs to

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Our little girl is developing eggs already so we wanted to check in and see how her husbandry is looking. Again, please feel free to comment with suggestions.


Here are some pictures of our little girl as well as her setup and laying bin...

Aphrodite:



Aphrodite before she was gravid:


Her big ol' belly:


Her cage:


Her laying bin:


Thanks for looking :)
 

Kerrek

Member
Her colors look more receptive than gravid to me. But if she is gravid you can usually feel the eggs if you gently palpate her abdomen. I have had females lay infertile clutches as young as 5 months so its possible. Your setup looks ok, but she's the one who will decide that, and first time females usually have to dig a couple of holes before they lay.
 

deerharvester

Established Member
I would say not gravid as well, but it's good to have the bin in there just incase. once mine hit 6 mth I put one in. but, I have never had one lay that early. I think high temps, among other things can, but mainly high temps imho will lead to early laying. Does she have a male within sight?
 

NorCalAnthony

Avid Member
Thanks for the replies so far. Her colors definitely look receptive to me but for some reason I thought they wouldn't show themselves as being receptive without carrying eggs at the time... I tried to feel for any eggs she may or may not be carrying this morning but couldn't feel anything yet despite her belly being MUCH larger than it was two weeks ago. That along with the coloring is what led me to believe she may be gravid.

deerharvester - I had heard high temps may cause them to cycle through laying cycles more rapidly so I've been making sure that she is kept much cooler than my two males at only 84 degrees like it said in the care sheet but now I'm wondering if that's still too warm? Yes, there were males in sight of her cage. I had her on the opposite side of the free range with several medium sized schefflera's and some orchids in between their cages but noticed her and my male Nosy Be starting at each other so I hung up a towel on the side of her cage so they can no longer see each other.
 
Although the top pics show more receptive colors, the last photo of her does look like she could have eggs. On her left side, it almost looks like she is lumpy. 6 months is not unusually early. You'll know if she is about to lay because most females stop eating a day or two before.
 

NorCalAnthony

Avid Member
Although the top pics show more receptive colors, the last photo of her does look like she could have eggs. On her left side, it almost looks like she is lumpy. 6 months is not unusually early. You'll know if she is about to lay because most females stop eating a day or two before.
Thanks for the reply. I'll keep an eye on her eating and try to feel her belly again in a few days to see if there's anything developing in there.
 
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