Dwarf Chams?


New Member
Hello everyone, this is my first post, so I hope i dont say anything to crazy. I'm new to chams, and I have not bought mine yet, but I am a seasoned gecko breeder. Heres my deal:
I want to pick up a trio of Kenyan Dwarf Chameleons ( also known as dwarf leaf tailed)
Does anyone have any info on these guys ? From what ive been told/read this is what im going to do:
A 10 gal glass w/ screen top for 1.2 of them. sphagnum moss as thier subsrate, a drip system, but also a water dish. Lots of leaf litter, and designated "hides" for them. Everyday feeding of pinhead crickets or appropriately sized circkets. I am curious about the dusting schedule. any help on that
Oh yes, i will also have a 50 watt infrared bulb to provide a warm basking spot, ~80F right? My reptile room stays at between 65 ( winter) and 77 ( summer) I was told that they do benefit from UVB, but if i provide enough calcium, and properly supplemented d3, that it is not needed. I was also told that they are a ground dwelling cham, so hieght is not a large issue, however i will have plenty of vines/grapewood for the trio to climb on.
I will mist 3 times daily to keep up relative humidity.
I know that with a trio like that i will have eggs, i have an incubator setup for my geckos that i could use, however i was told that they could be incubated at room temp? correct?
Also about tank size, these are the "dwarf" ones that are adult size ( ~1inch)
Thanks so much in advance, ill post lots of pics when i pick them up :)
Hi.. welcome to the forums. I really don't have a clue as to which species you are referring to. There is a "Knysna Dwarf Chameleon", Bradypodion damaranum, but they are really rare in captivity. I am guessing you are referring to one of the leaf chameleons, probably r. brevicaudatus because they are the most common in captivity. They are larger than 1 inch.. the males are a little over 2 inches, and the females are a little over 3. I guess the first thing to find out is what you are really getting. If they are one of the leaf chameleons, there is a great article on Chameleon News about constructing a habitat for them. The same person, Roo, wrote a good article about their care for Chameleon News as well.

If you are getting the bradypodion, the only thing I can say is.. who, how much, do they have more, and are they in the country legally...

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He is talking about a kenian Dwarf chameleon this should be a Rhampholeon species. As far as I know this can only be kerstenii or boulengeri. But normally animals from kenya are hard to get.

MAybe it's good to be sure of the species before giving any advise.

When talking about knysna dwarf chameleon it's south africa I'm almost sure he's not able to get them. And kenia and South africa is quite different.

But a small bradypodion from Kenia is Tenue maybe this one?
Just to warn you, the 10 gal. might be too small. I would recommend a 20 gal. long for a trio as the smallest. Also, be careful with the 50 watt infrared bulb, it could easily overheat them especially in a 10 gal. I use a 25w maximum daylight bulb on a 20 gal. tank. I wouldn't trust infrared bulbs on any species of chameleon. They also need to be able to get away from the heat if they want to.

Ok, they are Kenyan Dwarf chameleons ( Rhampholeon) I dont know the exact species, but that is what was told to me by the owner. No they are not between 2-3 inches, I observed them last week, and today, full grown they are roughly 1.5 inches. I have changed my mind about the infrared, Im going to buy a UVB ( 13 watt) and use that as thier basking spot bulb.
Sorry for the mixup on thier name, i had looked at other chams, and seen ones called "dwarf leaf chameleon" and they looked exactly the same as the ones i want to purchase. They are brown, shaped similar to a leaf, have very short tails, and keep to the lower regoins of the cage.
The store keeps them in a 7 gal ( 5 of them) and they are thriving ( or so it seems) two of the females are gravid ( i dunno if this is the proper term for chams) and have already each layed a clutch of eggs. But I have a spare 15 Gal that i could use for them!
So if this is enough info, does anyone know a good dusting schedule for the two gravid females, and the male?

edit: also, is the article provided ( which looks great btw!) appropriate for leaf chams? It seems like the setup at the petstore, so i think it is. thanks!
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Both of the articles that I linked to in my post are great for pygmy leaf chams. IMO.. the enclosure the pet store is keeping them in is too small, but a 15 gallon would probably be ok for a trio. I keep 6 (1.5) in a 65 gallon, but have had up to 11 in that tank. It was overcrowded, so I seperated them into 2 groups. If they are r. brevs, and it sounds like it, maximum size is a little larger than that. I have some adults that are very small also, but I believe they are younger than the others. My entire group is wild caught, so no idea on how old they are. Here are some pics:

Uncooperative female at almost 3 inches:

Smaller female.. the smallest of my chams is successfully hidden at the moment, but would probably be about an inch and a half, maybe a little more.

One of my two males. The other male is slightly larger than this one:

Are they this species? If so, they will have the tiny "beards" on their throat area, which are little scale extensions. Here are some more pics:





Yours look fantastic! They look similar to a couple of them ( the brown ones)
but no, none of them have the "beard". All of them are a brownish tan tone all over thier bodies.
These are captive bred, and are a .. 4th gen CB, the breeder is local to here ( Toronto) so i could find out where he got his originals, but as far as i know they are all captive bred.
Those pictures are awsome. I love their stuby tails and that you can have many in the enclosure (which are very cool. Chams sparked my interest right away but in the world of chams these guys are exteremly cool. Hopefully within a year or two I will be able to get some of these little guys for myself. Very cool, keep up the good work.
Thanks! :D I haven't had mine for very long, but I have become a bit obsessed with them. They are really great little chameleons!

JaeHood, I would love to know the species that you are getting. Good luck with them, and please post some pictures! I just bought a new, very large double decker cage that needs a little bit of retrofitting for pygmies. No clue what species I am going to put into it yet... so many to choose from, and so little space!

I have a trio of brevs that I recently moved to a 70gal lizard lounge. Do you think it would be safe to add one or two females to my colony? Also, after I moved them I went through their old enclosure and found 4 eggs. Could I incubate them at the same temps as my panther eggs? Thanks.

Hi Jerm,

Yes, I think you could add some females. I tried keeping two males in the 65 gallon together, and it didn't work out well, but like I said, I have 1.5 in a 65 and they are doing well.

I don't know how you incubate your panther eggs, and I haven't had any of my brev eggs hatch out yet. I currently have 22 eggs incubating, and I just put them on perlite in a glad container with a lid on it. The lid has a few small holes in it, and I stuck the container on top of a cabinet at room temperature. They seem to be doing well with the exception of 2 that look infertile. I just read a thread on another forum about using hydroton as an incubation medium, and I am thinking about ordering some in to give it a try. Has anyone done this with their eggs?

I've only used vermiculite and perlite, but I might want to try it. Where can you get hydroton?

I have ordered it from Black Jungle, and I just saw that LLL reptile has some as well. The stuff I ordered from Black Jungle would be too big, I think... maybe not, but the clay balls are a lot bigger than the eggs. I have to call LLL reptile later today anyhow, I will ask them about the size of theirs.

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