Dark Juvenile Panther Chameleon

crunchychameleon

New Member
Hi i’ve got a lovely young cap est panther chameleon (we think he is around 8 weeks old. I know that he won’t develop colouring yet but i’m concerned about how dark he is. Is this a stressed, grumpy cold, sleepy colour or is he still just young and trying not to stand out? I’ve tried looking into it and there seems to be so much conflicting information out there.

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  • Your Chameleon - Cap est panther, male, 8 weeks old
  • Handling - I try not to, he is hand fed what he will take and only taken out on his terms (when he chooses to come to me)
  • Feeding - He is fed medium locusts, crickets and the occasional silkworms and wax worms, whilst he is young I offer as many as he will eat. Once a day after his basking light has been on for a few hours. The insects are gut loaded every night with kale and the odd bit of carrot or whatever I have available.
  • Supplements - The bugs are dusted every day with calcium and then once a week with a multi vitamin mix
  • Watering - The cage is misted by hand just before the lights turn on and just after they turn off in the evening. I frequently see him drinking and will use homemade dripper or an ice cube on top of cage if i am out
  • Fecal Description - his faeces are normal, brown with white urates
  • History - no

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - glass and mesh combo, it is 60cm wide 92 high and 45 deep
  • Lighting - Exoterra deep light for basking light with a 65w and the t5 linear light at 6% (arcidia) uvb is on 8:30am for 12 hours and the basking light turns on an an hour after and off an hour before (so 9:30am - 7:30pm)
  • Temperature - cage floor is 22 degrees c, ambient is about 25 and basking is 30. the lowest overnight. temp is 19. This is measured with 3 separate digital thermometers and humidity
  • Humidity - 50% in the day and 80-90 overnight
  • Plants - all live plants
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
 
Welcome to the forum. See my feedback in red.
  • Your Chameleon - Cap est panther, male, 8 weeks old This is really young and this baby is going to be more susceptible to stress and compromise.
  • Handling - I try not to, he is hand fed what he will take and only taken out on his terms (when he chooses to come to me) I would not hold baby at all at this age. They will jump if they get spooked and unfortunately a fall can be fatal for them. Until baby is at least 3 months old you want to limit taking it out of the enclosure. Hand feeding is fine as long as this is supplemental to a feeder run for it to eat as much as it needs.
  • Feeding - He is fed medium locusts, crickets and the occasional silkworms and wax worms, whilst he is young I offer as many as he will eat. Once a day after his basking light has been on for a few hours. The insects are gut loaded every night with kale and the odd bit of carrot or whatever I have available. Make sure your insect size is extremely small. Babies this small can have issues taking on anything larger than a 1/4 inch cricket. Baby should be fed unlimited amounts of size appropriate feeders. Your looking at easily 3 dozen a day. Using a feeder run is a good way to determine how much it is eating in a day also this keeps all the insects in one spot. This will also teach them to eat this way so if you ever have to treat for a parasite issue you do not have to worry about re contamination from eating off of the surfaces in the cage. I would expand your gutload if you are doing fresh veg see image. Also feeding first thing in the morning allows the entire day for them to digest the large amount of insects they take down.
  • Supplements - The bugs are dusted every day with calcium and then once a week with a multi vitamin mix. Make sure the calcium is plain phosphorus free calcium without D3. This would be used lightly dusted on all insects at every feeding. Your multivitamin should be a calcium with D3 and A. But should only be given 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th again lightly dusted on all feeders. Depending on exactly what you are using you may want to switch to one like repashy calcium plus LoD version that has lower levels of these two fat soluble vitamins.
  • Watering - The cage is misted by hand just before the lights turn on and just after they turn off in the evening. I frequently see him drinking and will use homemade dripper or an ice cube on top of cage if i am out.. I prefer automated misting machines like mistking. These not only allow you to set the exact schedule but have a very fine spray.
  • Fecal Description - his faeces are normal, brown with white urates
  • History - no

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - glass and mesh combo, it is 60cm wide 92 high and 45 deep. This is fine for now. But you will want to upgrade to an adult size enclosure of 24x24x48inches by the time baby is around 5 months old.
  • Lighting - Exoterra deep light for basking light with a 65w and the t5 linear light at 6% (arcidia) uvb is on 8:30am for 12 hours and the basking light turns on an an hour after and off an hour before (so 9:30am - 7:30pm) So babies this young you do not want to put intense heat on them. They dehydrate at this age very easily. I would not have temps hotter than 26 at basking. This may mean you need to lift your fixture further away. Lighting should be lifted off the top of the cage 4 inches. This includes your UVB. Babies this young will screen climb the top and exposure to high UVI or heat can cause health issues. With the UVB bulb strength you are using you want 4 inches off the top of the screen then measure down from the screen 5 inches. That is where you want your highest branches below the UVB lighting. At the branch will then put baby into a 3 UVI while at the screen keeps them below over exposure levels.
  • Temperature - cage floor is 22 degrees c, ambient is about 25 and basking is 30. the lowest overnight. temp is 19. This is measured with 3 separate digital thermometers and humidity So all of these temps are great with the exception of the basking which I already covered. Until this baby is 3-4 months old you do not want basking temps over 80F. As an adult male they still do not need hot temps for basking. You are looking for a range of 80-84 max at the branch below the heat. It will be hotter where they rise up off the branch closer to the heat. If baby is a female temps would actually be kept lower as it matures.
  • Humidity - 50% in the day and 80-90 overnight. These are good numbers with the temps you have.
  • Plants - all live plants
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.


Baby is still very young. Colors can indicate everything from stress to being darker absorbing heat. If there are not enough branches high enough for baby to feel safe they can show darker colors as well.
 

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