Baby Sudden Death Syndrome


New Member
I've read that neonates can randomly die from the time of birth to about 4 months or 3 months I think. My friend has two brothers of my chameleon and one suddenly died today. As far as I know his setup is perfect for a neonate because they were as chubby as chubby can be, eating, pooping awake etc. He said that one of the babies shed yesterday and today he was dead. Is there a correlation there? Because I'm afraid for my baby. Everything for him is great and he just shed today though theres still a bit of old skin stuck on him. I don't want to wake up and find him dead. My friends second chameleon is also shedding right now. The one that died was the bigger of his two and we just don't know what happened. Do they tend to die spontaneously at a young age like human babies sometimes do? (I pray it doesnt happen to mine)

Brian S

New Member
If they were both kept in the same cage it could have been stress and illness that he did not notice. He could have been loosing stand-offs repetitively and the stress just did him in.


New Member
DAMMIT!! I told him not to keep them together. But I did read that until they are about 3 months old they should be ok to be together and they are in a 70 gallon vertically tall aquarium. They are about 2 months and 2 weeks now. The one that died was the bigger one too. This is upsetting me too much. And the talk about chameleon death is quite frequent right about now...
Babies are best suited for baby sized cages, not 70 gallon aquariums. Another point of concern to look into. You mentioned that his setup was perfect for neonates, but now finding out about an aquarium of such a size, I would suggest investigating further into the husbandry.


New Member
Im sorry its 30 gallons for his. :[ Mine is 20 gallon horizontal.

His setup:
100 W UVA/UVB heat bulb
a fan

5 plants:
2 ficus
1 Schefflera
2 unknowns (they are green with yellow spots a tropical plant)

Soil and moss as substrate (I actually thought he took this out when I told him it was bad but apparently he didnt listen)

Sigh as I ask him about his whole setup I find now that I was wrong in saying his setup was perfect. I now feel like it was my fault that I didnt press harder in saying that he shouldnt put unknown plants and soil in his tank. Now a baby chameleon is dead... ima go cry in a corner now...
If all people that developed the captive care of chameleons cried in a corner each time they had a chameleon die, they wouldn't have gotten anything done. However, it is the owners responsibility to use every effort to turn the death into a learning experience to grow and further their knowledge of these creatures. If each death is shrugged off, the death would truly be a loss. You however, are on the right path...

The high wattage lamp throws up a caution flag, as well as hearing that the bulb produces the UVA and UVB. Could you give details on the bulb?

Also, temperatures, humidity, water offerings all need to be addressed to give more accurate hypotheses.


New Member
I really dont know, I dont live with him he's a friend that introduced me into reptiles. He's owned many reptiles but never a Jackson so we are both newbies still. I know he sprays morning and night so thats 2x a day (I told him it should be at least 3 times for babies a day but he works alot so hes not home midday). I definitely know he supplements with Calcium and D3 and multivitamins. 40 - 68 humidity. 80-85 temp. Trex UVA/UVB bulb.

(ugh u kno im upset when i have a gallon of ice cream and brownies)
Temperatures are on the higher side for jacksons babies, and the lamp is very intense. Aim for a higher humidity, and plenty of drinking opportunities.

Supplementing jacksons chameleons can be extremely difficult to do correctly. They are very sensitive to it. As I have not cared for jacksons with enough detail to have experience developing these schedules and to understand their needs, I'll have to leave someone else to respond on that subject.


New Member
Thanks for the responses Brian and Will, I'll see to it that his second one doesnt follow his brother.

As for supplementation for MY little baby, since he's growing and shedding I give him a Calcium supplement with D3 4 times a week and Multivitamin 3 times a week. I read that thats whats meant for a neonate. I cant find where I read that anymore..sigh.
As I said before, I cannot precisely comment on the supplementation of montane species, but they are easily overdosed. Even for a growing baby, that could be a significant amount.
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