Desert Side Stripe

Vegas Chad

Avid Member
Whilst I continue to learn about and care for the chameleons that I keep now, I am always on the look out for another type of cham that I might be able to work with. I like the types that are not the norm and that everybody and there mother has; tho I have them too :) . Types like what one called Roo’s dried up sea horse (still chuckling over that one) while keeping the maintenance minimal. I was reading an article today and came across a chameleon called a Desert Side Stripe. This seems like something that would work well for me, being from the desert and all :rolleyes: . However info on them is not so easy to come by, anybody have a link to a page that has information about them. Or anybody here keep them and can comment on them? The hardest thing for me is keeping the temp down and the humidity high! I wish there was a pigmy that would fit into the hot and dry category! Thanks guys!
Keeping humidity high for pygmies is no issue since you can use a mostly sealed tank with them.

Remember, that the desert isn't always dry. The most basic definition of desert would most likely be "barren".
Keeping humidity high for pygmies is no issue since you can use a mostly sealed tank with them.

It can still be a bit challenging though since they are just like true chams in regards to air flow. So when you toss that into the mix, having both the proper humidity and good airflow in a glass enclosure can be tricky – that and avoiding an overly wet tank. Maintaining pygmy tanks the way I want it done is much more time consuming/difficult then with my true cham cages. Right now I have three fans and two humidifiers carefully orchestrated to get it done. Being as small as they are, I feel pygmies are more susceptible to lower humidity issues then a larger cham … a theory at least much in tune with how many keepers take care of neoneates … lower wattage bulbs and high water intake b/c of their small size.


Desert Side Stripe Chameleons are Chameleo trioceros bitaeniatus. AdCham has some limited information about them. There is also a good write-up on the species in Necas' book.

I work almost exclusively with the bitaeniatus complex (bitans, rudis, goetzei, ellioti to name a few) and I certainly would not call any of those animals a "desert" species. All are montanes. All need it cool and humid to thrive. I try not to let my ambient temperatures go above 80F in my chameleon room. They start shrivelling and looking uncomfortable at 85F. My humidity is 80% during the day and 100% overnight. As far as I can tell, the true bitaeniatus are seasonal breeders.

Not many people work with bitans so most likely all you will find are WC animals. I shouldn't have to reiterate the perils of buying WC animals.

Adult male:


CBB Juvenile: Litter born September 2006.


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