"Cup feeding" and humidity


I have two questions regarding basic husbandry:

1. Cup feeding. In another thread (which I don't want to "hijack") I read this story: "Those worms [hornworms] can hold on to nearly anything like Velcro. My mistake for not cup feeding him. Anyway instead of the worm coming to Atlas when he shot it....the damn worm held on and it forced Atlas to come to it. His tongue suffered an injury as a result."

My question is, what does the term "cup feeding" mean? By now I thought it means putting worms or other food into a cup or a bowl, so they don't crawl all over the vivarium or dig themselves in. According to the above quotation it must mean something different. Can someone please enlighten me?

2. Humidity. I recently was at the vet's with one of my Yemen Veiled chameleons and the vet found that the animal was dehydrated and said that these chameleons should have a humidity of about 80% in their enclosures. I find this hard to achieve even in a full-glass (with mesh top) vivarium when I spray water into it until everything is wet - which I usually do twice a day. Outside of this time, the humidity in their vivs and in our home is about 40%.

On the contrary, I have read on websites of chameleon breeders (see the first one that come up on Google when you type in "chameleon breeding") that Yemen chams thrive best in full-mesh vivariums at normal room temperature, plus a basking lamp and water spraying at least once a day. I have my adult male in one of those large full-mesh vivariums and transfer him into the smaller glass viv only for the "moisture treatment" at least every second day for half an hour or so. When I visited an experienced breeder to pick up my last two veilded chams, he had a separate room for them which had a very high humidity and was quite warm - I would say about 25-30 C. It felt like in a jungle rather than in a desert where our veilded chams come from. So what is the right humidity for them?


Chameleon Enthusiast

You need to pick the "run up" media, i find hot gluing aluminum screen works the best and is easy to clean.

2) recommended average min is 60%. now this could be 40% during the day and 80% over night. If your house air is only 40%, you will have to mist, let the cage dry out, mist again. If you dont do this, and they are not "good drinkers" they will slowly dehidrate from just breathing, and they may develope and upper respiratory infection, just like humans if they stay too long at 20-25%.

Yemen has huge swings in humidity and heat throughout the day and even the seasons. It can get so cold that only the experienced veileds know where to get low to avoid the frost, and it can get so hot and dry that they literally die and mummify in the heat. The point is, your breeder is trying to simulate "perfect breeding season" which the warm rainy season. You are not trying to simulate yemen all year around, unless you want to have a 90% die off (if you live to see your 2nd clutch, or even your first clutch, hatch, you are the 1% in the wild). There is a reason why they have adapted to " eat and grow as fast as possible, and bury eggs at the end of the rainy season before the drought hits". They are not from the more easy going climates like the parsons, where they can take 3 years+ to start laying eggs.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so question 1. They are saying that they basically should have cup fed because the hornworm latched on to probably a branch. I hold hornworms for mine so they can't perma stick to anything. So these I hand feed. Everything else is cup fed.

2. For day time you are looking for 30-50% humidity. And normal heat temps where the ambient is in the low 70's and the basking is at the appropriate heat level based on age of the cham. At night this is where you want high humidity. 80% is great at night. You can utilize a fogger at night for this and run it from 12am-4am or 1am-5am. Here is a great podcast on naturalistic hydration. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
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