Brookesia/pygmy care

scott52019

Member
Hello everyone. I’m looking for a care sheet on brookesia. I’m not sure which species I want yet but I plan on getting a trio in March. I am gonna use an 18x18x24 exo terra with live plants and isopods. Any suggestions for care?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, it doesn't get much easier than Brookesia! I think it is a total shame that they aren't more popular in the trade, as they make excellent apartment chameleons. It can be really hard to find a bunch of information on their husbandry out there, though.

I keep B. stumpffi, personally; two of them. An 18x18x24 exoterra is absolutely perfect for them. Just make sure to read up on bioactive enclosures if you haven't made one before. In addition to isopods, you will want to include springtails. Brookesia tend to be less active and acrobatic than their longer-tailed cousins, but I find that mine really do like to crawl around throughout the entire enclosure. Just at a slower pace than more common species.

I put a layer of hydroton clay balls for a drainage layer, followed by mesh to keep the substrate out of the drainage, followed by an ABG substrate mix seeded with isopods and springtails. Then, put as many live plants in there as possible! That's one of my favorite part about small species: you have infinitely more plants available to you that wouldn't be usable in a large enclosure for veileds or panthers. Just some of what I use include small willow trees, peperomia species, schefflera, croton, various ferns, wandering jew, myrtle, and a ficus bonsai. In addition to live plants, I like to include a larger than average amount of dead sticks, twigs, and bark. I find that my pyggies tend to prefer to perch on things that are colored similarly to them (aka brown). One of mine especially likes to sit on pieces of cork bark, while the other prefers to perch up high in a tangle of dead branches.

There is debate over whether or not pygmies benefit/need UVB, but I do include a UVB bulb for mine, if for no other reason than that the bulb is long and shared with a neighboring enclosure, so it is already there. No basking spot. Temperatures around room temp are appropriate for them and I try to keep humidity above 50%.

For feeding, I use medium-small crickets for the most part. Mine are wild caught and extremely avid hunters. Sometimes I let some black soldier flies into their viv, which they also quite like (but it's harder for them to hunt flying insects). Mine don't have any interest in worms or larvae.

Mist down the enclosure a couple times daily, I see mine drink very often. However a word of warning! I don't know if this is unique to my particular pygmies or to pygmies in general, but when I mist them they have a habit of just straight up plummeting from wherever they are if they are above the ground. So my recommendation is to be careful not to surprise them too much or they might accidentally hurt themselves.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! There are also some pygmy chameleon facebook groups which I have found to be helpful in the past
 

scott52019

Member
What is ABG substrate? Also where can I get isopods and springtails in really cold weather? Thanks for your feedback!
 

Theveiled

Avid Member
What is ABG substrate? Also where can I get isopods and springtails in really cold weather? Thanks for your feedback!
I believe its Atlanta botanica gardens mix. You can buy these things at josh's frogs, however I am unsure about the bugs with the temperature. Pygmies seem to have a very similar care to the dart frogs I keep!
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is ABG substrate? Also where can I get isopods and springtails in really cold weather? Thanks for your feedback!

As long as they are sent with a heat pack, I've had good luck ordering them online (I live in Minnesota, so I'm no stranger to cold weather). Alternatively, you can ask around at local specialty pet shops and maybe find some locally if you're lucky. My favorite local shop has like 10 species of isopods at any given time
 

scott52019

Member
As long as they are sent with a heat pack, I've had good luck ordering them online (I live in Minnesota, so I'm no stranger to cold weather). Alternatively, you can ask around at local specialty pet shops and maybe find some locally if you're lucky. My favorite local shop has like 10 species of isopods at any given time
What species do I want?
 

scott52019

Member
I believe its Atlanta botanica gardens mix. You can buy these things at josh's frogs, however I am unsure about the bugs with the temperature. Pygmies seem to have a very similar care to the dart frogs I keep!
How many inches of hydroballs do I need?
 
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