First time dad... Please help my Panther!


New Member
Your Chameleon - Male Ambilobe Panther. Age around 6 weeks. Got him two days ago.
Handling - So far none. Only taken him out once to clean his cage.
Feeding - Baby crickets fed with clementines. I feed him around 6-7 crickets in the morning and then 6-7 more in the evening. Really need to buy more crickets... supplies are low.
Supplements - Right now I only have calcium with D3 so I've been using that. I'm about to order vitamins and calcium without D3.
Watering - Drip system in place, about to get a Mist King. I've seen him drink once or twice. I mist him around 4 times a day for a couple minutes each.
Fecal Description - Only seen one dropping and it was white and clear with a small spec of yellow on top.
History - Just got him, no history.

Cage Type - Glass with screen top. 25" x 18" x 18"
Lighting - Repti Glo 5.0 UB and 60W Sun Glo. Lights on at 7:30 AM and off at 8 PM.
Temperature - I have one thermometer that I've moved around. Highest basking temperature is 90 while the bottom is around 70.
Humidity - It fluctuates between 50 and 65% between misting.
Plants - Fake plants for now.
Placement - It's on a desk shelf. Top of the cage is 4ft. I live in a studio apartment so everywhere is a bit of high traffic...
Location - Chicago

Current Problem - Mo, my new Panther, was doing fine until this morning. I cleaned his cage yesterday to remove substrate and put down paper in it's place (pet store guy said substrate was good... *sigh*). I noticed yesterday, however, that Mo seemed to sleep while he basked. If not sleeping, he generally had one eye closed. From my research on here, that's not good.

This morning I was surprised to see him darkly colored in the same position, even when after I turned on the lights. I misted and let in some crickets, two of which climbed either right by him or on him without Mo reacting. I tried to move the crickets but when I put my hand near he kind of flared up his throat. I just got back from class and he's in the SAME spot and darker than ever. I have no idea why he's so stressed or sick and it's freaking me out! I don't have a car (live in the city) and I'm going crazy trying to find a vet. I've close to a train so maybe those vibrations are freaking him out?

Please help! I'm so confused on what vitamins to feed, when to use lights, etc. Every site or post I read says something different! :eek:


New Member
Here's some pictures (sorry for cell phone quality). The first is Mo normal, the second the habitat and the third is him darkly hiding.


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I am a new owner as well, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I would hold off on feeding him any calcium with D3. This supplement is meant for bimonthly usage only. I mistakenly fed my chameleon calcium with D3 supplement for the first week I had her, and she spent the following week with her nose encrusted with calcium. Generally had a poor effect on her health. Live plants are always better, but I am sure you have already heard this.
On temperature I am less sure, but I think 90 might be a little high for a baby. I would wait for more input before you adjust basking temperatures, though.
Besides that, your setup seems really good, much better than mine when I got my chameleon. Sorry I can't be of much more help than that, I wish you good luck in solving your current problem!


New Member
i agree with what was said about the d3 and the temps...definitely lower for a baby.... and one of my concerns is the glass with the screen top.... because of the difficulty with regulating temps and such and needing ventilation, most will recommend a primarily screened cage vs the glass. he may be staying stressed due to temps and heat and it does sometimes take them awhile to get acclimated, so depending on the set up and how much the vibrations and other stressors (high traffic in the room, other animals, etc), there could be a lot of stress from those factors, too....

good idea to take out the substrate and just make sure he has lots of vines and places to climb and bask and "hide", whether real or fake...

just some things to re-evaluate.... =) hope it helps and welcome!!! =)


New Member
My biggest concern is that maybe he's having trouble finding the feeders. He's a baby and that's a good size enclosure. Are you cup feeding?

I agree with the posters above, 90 is too hot for that little one. I'd say no more than 85. 82 sounds ideal.

They do take some time to adjust, so you have to factor that in.


New Member
Thanks for the suggestions. I came home later in the day yesterday and he was hunting (I don't cup feed... should I? He seems to hunt well) with better color.

He seems to really like going to the very top where the temperature is warmest and turn dark, even though it's 90. I'm worried if I raise the lights there won't be enough heat... will he move if he gets too hot?

I think adjusting to this new environment is a biggie. I'll report back after some time has passed for Mo to get situated. Thanks for the help!


New Member
First off, he's probably stressed from the move. Your original post says you've only had him 2 days so he's still adjusting. Your last post says he's more active so that is probably the case.

Next, only feed in the earlier part of the day and never in the evenings. They need about 4 hours of basking to help digestion so if you feed in the evening, they have undigested food in their guts.

The top of your cage sitting on the desk might be a little low. You want to have it so they have a perch that is higher then your eye level so they can feel more secure. But you still have a "baby" cage so it could be hard to move it up.

Chams will often move if they feel too hot but some will burn their backs so you should be careful with your basking temps. I would move your basking light up, or maybe not use the sun glo and use a regular incandecent light bulb.

You seem to be on the right track. The first few days are a little nerveracking for a first time owner.
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