Chameleon species for semi-liberty in appartment garden

Archaleon

New Member
Hello,

I had a chameleon in my young, which I kept without any device (Nor cage, neither UV lamp nor anything) for almost 2years. It mainly stayed on diverse house plants, and were sometime found on the windows trying to get out :D.
It was mainly feeding on insects it cached directly in the garden when I was "walking him".


Anyway it was long time ago, but great memories and since I will soon finish my studies and settle somewhere I am getting the idea of getting a new Chameleon.

My idea would be to make a nice interior garden, with many types of plants and small trees.
A UV lamp would be suspended somewhere close to some tree.
The Chameleon would be there in semi liberty, and I would bring him some insects or take him out to eat.

According to what I have just read recently, my main concern with this system would be to keep the humidity high enough, since it won't be a closed space.

Probably some species are more used to "arid ecosystem" and would be at ease without high relative humidity?

Ideally I am looking for an easy care chameleon, neither too big nor small (25/40cm = 10/15inch) not agressive and with nice changing colors.

My researches leaded me on (please correct me if incorrect info) :
  • Male Veiled Chameleon : easy to take care of, about 50cm (20inch). But can be agressive (not with humans depending on sources) and I dont really like its huge casque.
  • Oustalets Chameleons : hardy, gentle, around 60cm (24inch, a bit much), needs humidity.
  • Male Panther Chameleon: about 45cm ( 18inch), very nice various colours depending on chameleon, gentle, needs humidity and has tendency to be active and "run around".
  • Mellers chameleon: seems a bit hard to take care of ?
  • Flap necked chameleon : hardy, around 25cm (10inch).
  • Jackson's : I m not really fan of the 3horns

I might have missed many species readibily available, but I guess I have most of the important ones up there.

For now I would pre select or the veiled chameleon because it s probably most adapted, or the Panther Chameleon because it is smaller and more gentle.

Do my project seems realistic?
In that case which species would be most appropriate ?
Any advice/remark is welcome.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I have something similar to your idea, and you can see photos here: https://www.chameleonforums.com/my-jungle-room-49654/
I turned a room into a huge cage where I keep panther chameleons. Your idea is called "free ranging" and it's done a lot by some people. It has it's challenges, but there are always ways around them. with live plants and a lot of misting (an automated mister will be your good friend, something like a Mistking, for example) the humidity can stay just fine. But it largely depends on where you live - I live in Florida, which is pretty humid and warm, but if you lived in Germany, the circumstances would be very different.

A veiled will tolerate lower humidity better, and they aren't all aggressive. I have several aggressive male panthers and a very docile female veiled, so it really depends on the animal.
 
hope this helps :)
According to what I have just read recently, my main concern with this system would be to keep the humidity high enough, since it won't be a closed space.
you could use a room humidifer. some keepers steer away from using them due to preference only. i use one and room humidity levels are wonderfull always. just clean the filter regular *bashfully blushes* i need to do mine today lol

Probably some species are more used to "arid ecosystem" and would be at ease without high relative humidity?
a panther or even better a veiled, would be more forgiving to a less humid envornment. though they still like to to be a comfortable 60-65ish% for panthers and 55-60ish% for Veileds,.. the least

Ideally I am looking for an easy care chameleon, neither too big nor small (25/40cm = 10/15inch) not agressive and with nice changing colors.

again a veiled or panther would fit your category of length, humidity aims and care levels.

My researches leaded me on (please correct me if incorrect info) :
  • Male Veiled Chameleon : easy to take care of, about 50cm (20inch). But can be agressive (not with humans depending on sources) and I dont really like its huge casque.
male veileds are one of the easiest of all chameleons to keep. male and females can both be very aggressive but will more so "taunt" and not bite. the female's casque doesnt get nearly as high as the male's, but like any female chameleon, extra monitoring and care needs to come in aspect due to clutch developing
  • Oustalets Chameleons : hardy, gentle, around 60cm (24inch, a bit much), needs humidity.
i've never worked with oustalets, but they are beautiful and big chameleons.
  • Male Panther Chameleon: about 45cm ( 18inch), very nice various colours depending on chameleon, gentle, needs humidity and has tendency to be active and "run around".
    panthers do tend to be alot more gentle then most, but can still get aggressive and nasty. they need relative humiidty (around 65%). never worked with panthers to know how active they are
  • Mellers chameleon: seems a bit hard to take care of ?
they do get massive and require higher humidities
  • Flap necked chameleon : hardy, around 25cm (10inch).
flap necked chameleons are not usually captive hatched or bread. a great majority of flap necks on the trade are wild caught and would need an immediate vet check for fecal testing and such. it is easier to find a CB/CH Mellers, and i believe www. FLChams.com breeds them
  • Jackson's : I m not really fan of the 3horns
Jacksons need the higher humidity and lower temperatures, the horns on male jackson are gorgeous imo (i like trioceros)


Do my project seems realistic?
your project is very realistic and do-able and i cannot wait to see it when its done
In that case which species would be most appropriate ?
it's your decision, again, you can free-range almost any species, but it is your preference, it is based on what YOU think you can keep successfully
Any advice/remark is welcome.
good luck! :) and make sure your heat lamps are cage guarded when you suspend them :)
 

Archaleon

New Member
Thanks for your answers, it gave me some confidence !

Dont know if it was clear, but in my project i wanted to have the "garden" in a part of a normal room, like most probably the living room.

I just checked out what should be the humidity in a normal room, and it seems 55% is a good value for humans.
So I guess a Veiled Chameleon would be the most suited for this.

About agressivity, a Male Veiled might be a little agressive, but I wouldn't exhange against a female which is said to have less interresting colors.

I m looking forward my flat and instalation in 6/8months to finaly have my chameleon !
 

Miss Lily

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a pair of Veileds and both are colourful in their own way. My male is green and yellow with a few brown bits, but I think my female has nicer colours - she's a very nice pea green with turquoise and orange markings. Both mine are very calm, although the female will gape and hiss if she's not happy about you being near her.

I know what you mean about the casques - when I got my first female I really wasn't keen on the males - I thought they were too large and 'fish-like' in shape. However, since I got Tommy I love the males just as much as the females and you really don't notice the casque, and Tommy's is rather large! I always think it looks like a speed cyclist's helmet!:D

Male (Tommy)


and female (Amy)
 
Thanks for your answers, it gave me some confidence !

Dont know if it was clear, but in my project i wanted to have the "garden" in a part of a normal room, like most probably the living room.

I just checked out what should be the humidity in a normal room, and it seems 55% is a good value for humans.
So I guess a Veiled Chameleon would be the most suited for this.

About agressivity, a Male Veiled might be a little agressive, but I wouldn't exhange against a female which is said to have less interresting colors.

I m looking forward my flat and instalation in 6/8months to finaly have my chameleon !
agreed with Tiff. males have a more striking and permanent pattern, but females do become absolutely brilliant, they produce such vivid, bright and beautiful different colourations and patterning in different stages in her life which makes a female IMHO, more appriciated. you only get the a glimpse of a females beauty every so often
 

Archaleon

New Member
Uhm that could make my choice change :D !

+ they are smaller which wouldn't be such bad idea. (eat less?)

Aren't female a bit harder to keep due to breeding and stuff like this ?
 

Ace

Avid Member
Uhm that could make my choice change :D !

+ they are smaller which wouldn't be such bad idea. (eat less?)

Aren't female a bit harder to keep due to breeding and stuff like this ?
well generally speaking yes..they lay infertile eggs every so often wilthout mating.

you need to control the temps, diet, and observe her every so often to make sure she goes to the laying process smoothly
 

jcal

Member
Uhm that could make my choice change :D !

+ they are smaller which wouldn't be such bad idea. (eat less?)

Aren't female a bit harder to keep due to breeding and stuff like this ?
you just have to be careful with females. they lay eggs regardless if they have breed with a male so you have to make sure to have a egg bin for her to find. also her diet is alittle more demanding.....because of all of the eggs she will produce.
 

pssh

Avid Member
I had a free range in my living room. I happen to have a 'friendly' panther who pretty much never roams except to come find me when I'm in the room. He stayed put and hung out on his 'main' perch where he would look out over the room and watch me do things on the table that was somewhat under the perch. He is really really small, unusually so. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Anywho, I would leave a humidifier on a couple times a week because he liked to sit over it and soak up the moisture. Humidity isn't a super big problem with veileds and panthers as long as they are well hydrated at all times. The lack of humidity does dry them out faster, but a dripper and/or misting system would take care of that. Ideally, an ambient humidity of 40-50% would be great.

With panthers, the males do tend to roam somewhat normally. To counter act this problem, you can put up an 18" wall around his area that is far enough away that he can't jump off a plant to get over the wall, and far enough away from anything that would give him a boost to get to the top of the wall. Easy enough. :)

Some people see a change in character of chameleons when they go from a caged environment to a more free one. Most chameleons will not change much if at all.

It would be a good idea to buy an adult or subadult to free range right away, or buy a cage to keep a baby in until it is big enough. I do know of some breeders who free range babies in a baby-escape proof area though. They keep several babies in a free range that is about 1.5x3x7 and have many feeding cups.

Edit: with females, if you are very thorough and careful with monitoring food and temperatures, you can delay egg production, and/or reduce egg production if she has already begun to lay.
 
Uhm that could make my choice change :D !

+ they are smaller which wouldn't be such bad idea. (eat less?)

Aren't female a bit harder to keep due to breeding and stuff like this ?
not sure if others answered, but yes. when reached at 5 months of age. food can be cut down. at 7 months of age, can eat everyother day, after a year old, eats every 2 days
 

Archaleon

New Member
With panthers, the males do tend to roam somewhat normally. To counter act this problem, you can put up an 18" wall around his area that is far enough away that he can't jump off a plant to get over the wall, and far enough away from anything that would give him a boost to get to the top of the wall. Easy enough. :)

Edit: with females, if you are very thorough and careful with monitoring food and temperatures, you can delay egg production, and/or reduce egg production if she has already begun to lay.
The wall is just brillant and simple : a glass wall high enough all around the garden would prevent chameleon from roaming around randomly which could be a bit dangerous for himself.

For the male/female dilemna... I guess I won't really be able to control all those things so it could just be far easier to have a male.

If Panthere can be okay with general humidity of 55%, I could also go for one of those.

I guess I will see what I find when I finaly have my garden ready :)
 

pssh

Avid Member
As long as you keep him hydrated. When you mist the humidity goes up anyways, and you want to create a cycle. Sounds fine to me. My house is only at 45% max in the winter and the panthers do just fine.
 
Top Bottom