Chamaeleo calyptratus biotopes

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chamaeleo calyptratus biotopes

Credit: Petr Necas

A lot of confusion is spread over the cyberspace about where and how the Veiled chameleons live in fact. Even some quite reputable pages and sources are usually very inaccurate...

What is NOT RIGHT:
They live in a desert (they do not)
They live on a plateau (they do not)
They live on a coast (they do not)
They live on the tops of the mountains (they do not)
They live along the coast (they do not)

What is RIGHT:
The best term describing their biotope is WADI
It is a deep canyon with a non permanent river at the bottom overgrown with tropical lush vegetation in the rainy season and drying out in the dry season
Tjey inhabit niotopes where the water is abundant enough to allow trees to grow to several meters high and feen the air with enough moisture to provide fog and humidity raise upto 100% (dewpoint) each and every night regardless season.

The subtropical to tropical climate, with very specific regime of rain and temperatures:

Temperatues:
Summer: Up to 40°C (104°F) at daytime; 22-25°C (72-77°F) in the shade, at night 17- 20°C (63-68°F)
Winter: Up to 22°C (72°F) at daytime, at night 7°C (45°F) dipping to 5°C (41°F) or even 0°C (32°F) sometimes

Rainy season: April to August
Dry season: September to March

Humidity:
Daytime: around 50% during wet season to below 20% in dry season. Nighttime: Up to 100 % all year
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Another good one.

Not directing this at you brody, or trying to call anyone out here, just posting this to see what anyone thinks...

So, all this "daytime humidity is bad" makes me wonder, why are they thriving in the florida wild? That is pretty far from what is described here. One could argue they adapt to survive, but then that leads back to the point that maybe how we keep them in captivity doesn't/shouldn't mimic what it is in the wild 100%. For example, a very dry season would be of no benefit to our chams, but it happens in the wild. Also, like the jacksons in hawaii, for a handful of jacksons to inbreed and manage to thrive in population there, they must be liking what the island has to offer.

I think it shows that there are different and equally acceptable ways to keep chameleons healthy and happy!
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Another good one.

Not directing this at you brody, or trying to call anyone out here, just posting this to see what anyone thinks...

So, all this "daytime humidity is bad" makes me wonder, why are they thriving in the florida wild? That is pretty far from what is described here. One could argue they adapt to survive, but then that leads back to the point that maybe how we keep them in captivity doesn't/shouldn't mimic what it is in the wild 100%. For example, a very dry season would be of no benefit to our chams, but it happens in the wild. Also, like the jacksons in hawaii, for a handful of jacksons to inbreed and manage to thrive in population there, they must be liking what the island has to offer.

I think it shows that there are different and equally acceptable ways to keep chameleons healthy and happy!
Think About it this way, some plants would hibernate. you don´t need to due in captivity they will not experience those harsh conditions, but those who do live far longer. part due they metabolism slows down for a period and it offers variations and stimulation inside the animals hormons and immune system.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Think About it this way, some plants would hibernate. you don´t need to due in captivity they will not experience those harsh conditions, but those who do live far longer. part due they metabolism slows down for a period and it offers variations and stimulation inside the animals hormons and immune system.

I have plants like this and I brumate my Parsons so I'm with you, but idt that is the same as withholding water like a dry season where apparently most veileds die in the wild.

I made a post a while back about whether or not brumation is even necessary for Parsons. No one seems to know for certain, but I've heard it benefits their reproductive system.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have plants like this and I brumate my Parsons so I'm with you, but idt that is the same as withholding water like a dry season where apparently most veileds die in the wild.

I made a post a while back about whether or not brumation is even necessary for Parsons. No one seems to know for certain, but I've heard it benefits their reproductive system.
Time to put on that white coat buy a female and play some Marvin Gaye
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
Another good one.

Not directing this at you brody, or trying to call anyone out here, just posting this to see what anyone thinks...

So, all this "daytime humidity is bad" makes me wonder, why are they thriving in the florida wild? That is pretty far from what is described here. One could argue they adapt to survive, but then that leads back to the point that maybe how we keep them in captivity doesn't/shouldn't mimic what it is in the wild 100%. For example, a very dry season would be of no benefit to our chams, but it happens in the wild. Also, like the jacksons in hawaii, for a handful of jacksons to inbreed and manage to thrive in population there, they must be liking what the island has to offer.

I think it shows that there are different and equally acceptable ways to keep chameleons healthy and happy!
As I have spent a lot of time struggling over how to reconcile the natural humidity cycles with captive husbandry I'll share my thoughts which are hardly definitive, but you can use them as appropriate. I am thinking the reason why we are needing to be more careful with daytime humidity is the same as why Jackson's chameleons in Hawaii spill into areas that do not have a deep as a nighttime drop as we try to give in captivity. And that is because in captivity we are restricting them to a much smaller area to find proper microclimates and with much less airflow. So we have to be much more cognizant in making the conditions ideal. I also don't think the problem is so much the actual humidity level as it is how much that humid air is moving. In our cages in our homes the air exchange is greatly reduced. When I was in that fog bank in Florida while searching for Veiled Chameleons it was so dense visibility was impaired. But it didn't feel stagnant or oppressive.

In captivity we need to worry about blooms of bacteria and fungus if we keep the areas too wet and so we need to let the surfaces dry out. If we mist and fog during the night we need to let it dry out during the day. If we mist and raise humidity during the day we need to let it dry out during the night.

I did that podcast interview with Mario Jungmann on fogging and airflow specifically to explore how he makes it work. And I don't think it would surprise any of us that fogging/humid air that is moving and exchanging would be different from fog/humid air that is being contained to raise humidity.

So, I think the discussion about humidity during the day is best had when taking the entire 24 hour humidity cycle in to consideration. Yes, there are people who are adamant that humidity and heat and daylight in themselves are a recipe for disaster. I, personally, have to take into consideration the decades of keepers successfully keeping chameleons in the reverse humidity cycle. I do not advise that or suggest that because I am trying to get as close to nature as possible, but I cannot deny it has worked.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
As I have spent a lot of time struggling over how to reconcile the natural humidity cycles with captive husbandry I'll share my thoughts which are hardly definitive, but you can use them as appropriate. I am thinking the reason why we are needing to be more careful with daytime humidity is the same as why Jackson's chameleons in Hawaii spill into areas that do not have a deep as a nighttime drop as we try to give in captivity. And that is because in captivity we are restricting them to a much smaller area to find proper microclimates and with much less airflow. So we have to be much more cognizant in making the conditions ideal. I also don't think the problem is so much the actual humidity level as it is how much that humid air is moving. In our cages in our homes the air exchange is greatly reduced. When I was in that fog bank in Florida while searching for Veiled Chameleons it was so dense visibility was impaired. But it didn't feel stagnant or oppressive.

In captivity we need to worry about blooms of bacteria and fungus if we keep the areas too wet and so we need to let the surfaces dry out. If we mist and fog during the night we need to let it dry out during the day. If we mist and raise humidity during the day we need to let it dry out during the night.

I did that podcast interview with Mario Jungmann on fogging and airflow specifically to explore how he makes it work. And I don't think it would surprise any of us that fogging/humid air that is moving and exchanging would be different from fog/humid air that is being contained to raise humidity.

So, I think the discussion about humidity during the day is best had when taking the entire 24 hour humidity cycle in to consideration. Yes, there are people who are adamant that humidity and heat and daylight in themselves are a recipe for disaster. I, personally, have to take into consideration the decades of keepers successfully keeping chameleons in the reverse humidity cycle. I do not advise that or suggest that because I am trying to get as close to nature as possible, but I cannot deny it has worked.

Good post, thanks for sharing. Makes sense to me. I was thinking, even here in PA we have hot/humid summers, but I figured with the constant exchange of air I should have nothing to worry about.
 
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