C. rudis and C. bitaeniatus


New Member
Hi All!
I am new to the forum and I have been doing a lot of reading lately. It is very interesting here and I hope you can answer to some of my questions.
I have seen some really nice rudis and bitaeniatus offered and since I am thinking of getting a cham, they immediately made a big impression on me. However, after doing some reading (and there is really little info on them) I found out they need some really low temperature during the night (15-18C). That wouldn't be the problem during winter, but during summer it is completely impossible to drop the t. under 22-24C or in any case under 20C. Also, it can be very hot during the day, but it rarely goes over 28-30C.
Even though they are cheap I have no intention in torturing animals, so I would like to know if this low night temperature is really indispensable?
All the best
Hello filip, welcome to the Chameleon Forums :)

I don't have any experience with the two species you mention above. I almost purchased a cb rudis recently, and know from casual conversation that they do enjoy a drop in temp at night. Hopefully someone who does have experience replies to your questions soon. Until then, you might find some info at www.adcham.com, www.chameleonnews.com, or some of the other links here: Chameleon Link Directory
Hi Brad,
Many thanks for the reply. Great links, thanks, I have already visited some of these great site...
After some more research I have found that people keep them at temperatures near 0C at night! Well, that is really a cold loving cham...
Hi Filip!

Sadly, both the rudis and bitaeniatus are montane, cool loving chameleons. I find they do best with high humidity levels (at least 70%) with temperatures no higher than about 80F (25C). On hot days outside, my chameleon room does sometimes spike over the desired 80F mark and my bitans look miserable. The odd time this happens is ok for them, but not daily. At night my room drops into the low 60's with 100% humidity. Air conditioning in the summer is a must. High humidity year 'round is also a must.

Since you are using metric temperatures, I'm assuming you are not living in the U.S? Most of the true bitaeniatus you will find are WC animals and I don't recommend them for a beginner. Some rudis you see for sale are CB's and thus worth the slightly higher price.

The true bitaeniatus are not an active species. In fact, they sit in one spot for days and days and days. Their appetites are good but do not need to eat every day. I keep them singly in 22gal reptariums. The rudis are a little more active and are more hungry. In my experience all readily accept crunchy bugs (crix, roaches, mantids, flies etc.) in captivity but for the life of me can't seem to get any of them to eat silks, hornworms or waxies. That just me though! With my observations, the bitans are seasonal breeders (once a year)
and the rudis are not.


Here's a few of my bitan. posse:


Hi Trace,
Many thanks for the detailed reply and for your time, it sure did help me gathering the info. Yes, I live in Europe and the rudis was an adult but the bitaeniatus were both adults and young ones. They assured me they were captive bred, but who knows...
How do you manage to drop the temperature that much in summer? I couldn't do that even with a refrigerator :)
These little chams are true beauties, its really a pity I can't get one. Maybe one day when I manage to get a room just for them...or if I go to live in an alpine region :)
Thanks again
Hello again! :)

I'm really not familiar with the European market so either species could be CB for all I know! There are many good keepers over there that are working with slightly out of the ordinary species. Species I'm quite jealous about...

I'm mostly working with the bitaeniatus family (bitans, ellioti, rudis, goetzei etc.) and I have an enclosed "chameleons only" unheated attic room. Because I'm working with species that have similar requirements, I'm able to keep the ambient temps and humidity were I want or need it; I have a space heater for the cold winter months and an air conditioner in the summer and a humidifier that runs 24/7. With this set-up too, I can cycle my animals with dry and wet periods for breeding that much easier as well.

Here's a pic of part of my room:


I'm certainly not one to say you can't or shouldn't get a species of chameleon that you like. You have to work with things you like or you will get sick of the animal or hobby. If you are able to keep those temperatures low somehow, then go for it! Get a bitan. They are a nice, personable little species.

Good luck!
I'm working with rudis . and love them . if it not to hot there . there pretty cool . they do eat alot . and if not feed good . they could burn throe there fat reserve pretty fast . like carpet and other high energy chams .they need alot of plants to . and then just find what they like to eat . seems they like jumpy bugs like flies and crickets . none of my rudis eat silk worms . which wreeds me out . but really like these chams . good luck Jeremy Elder
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