Gravid cham sleeping during the day, stopped digging holes

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
Thank you everyone for the tips. The lady seems pretty spunky besides when she's resting, so I don't think it's a sickness issue and I believe she is still acclimating.
When I had a look at her she was not overly gravid.
This is very interesting to hear. I've never had a gravid cham before (even though my first one was a female) so I'm not really able to judge her development. I just need to leave her alone! xD I'm bad about fiddling with things, I do it with my fish too. Everything does better when I put it in autopilot.
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
@Mendez I measured the depth of the lay bin, it was actually only 4.5". Don't know how I misjudged that. The humidity read at 78%, right after lights out. The humidity on that floor is pretty consistent, since my aquariums are just one room over.
 

javadi

Avid Member
There is some very good advice here, and I'm sure if you implement it it will help her out :) . However, here is something I'd like to add.

I know the dealer you got them from. I don't know the full protocol they use for deparasitization but frankly I don't think the approach is really advisable. Some of the meds can do damage to an already weakened system, especially if they are given without good clinical picture and indication for treatment. For instance, if she had a high worm load, she could have mountains of worm corpses in her guts decomposing and causing her distress, that should/could have been treated differently. There's so much to consider with wild caughts. I see you mist her throughout the day. This species is a deep rainforest species. As such, they need a lot of water, or they need humidity to retain water. How much does she drink when you mist her? Ideally she will drink until she chooses not to. It might surprise you how thirsty she can be! Hydration is more important than feeding most of the time, for wild caughts, and especially for forest calumma species like this. The basking spot is likely a bit warm, as you mentioned. She probably doesn't even need a basking spot, so long as the area under the uvb light is somewhat warmer than the rest of the enclosure (so 80 or so). Some calummas bask, some don't-for a possibly dehydrated import, you might err on the side of caution and keep her cooler and wetter than you might otherwise. The damage they suffer due to dehydration during the import process is more than not eating, as they can go weeks without eating anything and exhibit no visible weight loss, but struggle to go a few days with minimal water.


Also, just a note on feeding of wild caught imports. Most chameleons, but Calumma species in particular can get obese very quickly. It can be hard to gauge, but they store excess fat in dangerous places (around organs, under skin etc.). Further, there is evidence that excess feeding and even stress from import (the study correlates cortisol levels with egg size) can cause the eggs to develop too big or too fast. There is the added concern that excess fat can actually block the oviduct to a degree and physically restrict the passage of eggs. A common mistake many folks make with imports is that they think they are emaciated and need to eat constantly to acclimate. What this often does is lead to a dangerous situation where a stressed, ovulating chameleon is overfed. Just something to keep in mind. I can't tell you how many times I have heard of or seen someone with a wild caught female F. lateralis, C. linotum, you name it, that had their animal die eggbound likely due to excessive feeding with the well-intentioned approach of helping them acclimate to captivity.

So with that said, eating a few bugs from time to time is nothing to be worried about :) (Not that you were). Maybe avoid feeding her all she can eat, and focus on hydration above all else. I wish you the very best of luck with her! It's a beautiful species for sure.
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you everyone for the tips. The lady seems pretty spunky besides when she's resting, so I don't think it's a sickness issue and I believe she is still acclimating.

This is very interesting to hear. I've never had a gravid cham before (even though my first one was a female) so I'm not really able to judge her development. I just need to leave her alone! xD I'm bad about fiddling with things, I do it with my fish too. Everything does better when I put it in autopilot.
I did not say that. I am saying you should allow her to acclimate first then concern your self about your female Calumma malthe laying.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
There is some very good advice here, and I'm sure if you implement it it will help her out :) . However, here is something I'd like to add.

I know the dealer you got them from. I don't know the full protocol they use for deparasitization but frankly I don't think the approach is really advisable. Some of the meds can do damage to an already weakened system, especially if they are given without good clinical picture and indication for treatment. For instance, if she had a high worm load, she could have mountains of worm corpses in her guts decomposing and causing her distress, that should/could have been treated differently. There's so much to consider with wild caughts. I see you mist her throughout the day. This species is a deep rainforest species. As such, they need a lot of water, or they need humidity to retain water. How much does she drink when you mist her? Ideally she will drink until she chooses not to. It might surprise you how thirsty she can be! Hydration is more important than feeding most of the time, for wild caughts, and especially for forest calumma species like this. The basking spot is likely a bit warm, as you mentioned. She probably doesn't even need a basking spot, so long as the area under the uvb light is somewhat warmer than the rest of the enclosure (so 80 or so). Some calummas bask, some don't-for a possibly dehydrated import, you might err on the side of caution and keep her cooler and wetter than you might otherwise. The damage they suffer due to dehydration during the import process is more than not eating, as they can go weeks without eating anything and exhibit no visible weight loss, but struggle to go a few days with minimal water.


Also, just a note on feeding of wild caught imports. Most chameleons, but Calumma species in particular can get obese very quickly. It can be hard to gauge, but they store excess fat in dangerous places (around organs, under skin etc.). Further, there is evidence that excess feeding and even stress from import (the study correlates cortisol levels with egg size) can cause the eggs to develop too big or too fast. There is the added concern that excess fat can actually block the oviduct to a degree and physically restrict the passage of eggs. A common mistake many folks make with imports is that they think they are emaciated and need to eat constantly to acclimate. What this often does is lead to a dangerous situation where a stressed, ovulating chameleon is overfed. Just something to keep in mind. I can't tell you how many times I have heard of or seen someone with a wild caught female F. lateralis, C. linotum, you name it, that had their animal die eggbound likely due to excessive feeding with the well-intentioned approach of helping them acclimate to captivity.

So with that said, eating a few bugs from time to time is nothing to be worried about :) (Not that you were). Maybe avoid feeding her all she can eat, and focus on hydration above all else. I wish you the very best of luck with her! It's a beautiful species for sure.
Thank you so much for all of the information! It's good to know the nuances of the small Calumma species, thanks a lot for the insights there. On hydration, I have yet to see either the male or female to visibly drink, so that may be a factor in their rest, however the male's scat looks very well hydrated so I know that he's getting at least enough. I don't want to directly spray them, of course, but I will be setting up a dripper for each cage so that they can have constant access. I've read that Calumma are particularly sensitive to low humidity, since their skin is so soft, so maintaining a high percent is my top goal. I've offered them one or two bugs a day, and will be logging their weights as well to keep track of them. I've come to understand that broad-spectrum antiparasitics aren't often the best choice, so I guess you live and learn. Thanks again for all of the info! I'll be working to replicate more of a deep forest ecosystem in the future.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@javadi said..."For instance, if she had a high worm load, she could have mountains of worm corpses in her guts decomposing and causing her distress, that should/could have been treated differently"....not only can a huge amount of bodies cause her distress they can be an overload to the immune system...too much for it to handle. Large loads need to be treated carefully to prevent this.
 

javadi

Avid Member
@javadi said..."For instance, if she had a high worm load, she could have mountains of worm corpses in her guts decomposing and causing her distress, that should/could have been treated differently"....not only can a huge amount of bodies cause her distress they can be an overload to the immune system...too much for it to handle. Large loads need to be treated carefully to prevent this.
Yes, definitely. I'd say an overloaded immune system would cause a whole lot of distress!
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
Ok, an update...
She hasn't moved much the past few days, as before. However, she has a very strong feeding response and pounded 2 whole dubias, one of which she ate from the tongs. The hygrometers and lights arrived this afternoon, so I installed them, and they do brighten up the spaces a good bit. I'm just using 65000K LED lightbulbs like I use for my plants in grow tents and terrariums, so they should work just as well. Perhaps in the future I will upgrade to some full spectrum lights, but for now it seems good. The female has started to shed around her casque as of yesterday, so I will be staying on top of humidity to make sure it all comes off! Since they are from a super humid environment, I hope stuck shed won't occur in my lower humidity.
I'm beginning to think that the lack of movement may be due to a lack of climbing opportunities. I thought I had scaped it well, but after looking around, a lot of the vertical climbing surfaces are flimsy fake plants. So after she adjusts a bit more, I will be getting some sort of large bush for the cage to fill it in.
Overall though, she seems to be doing better! She's shown more color, and hasn't been napping as much (though she still has a couple of times). She's slowly but surely getting used to her new environment, so I hope she can get comfy to lay her eggs. I haven't palpated her, however her sides bulge over the edges of her perch an extra 1/3" than the rest of her, so I'm confident she should be laying soon.
Pics will be sent tomorrow. Thank you everyone for your patience and advice!
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
I just had a thought. When she was digging for the first time a few weeks ago, I tried to peek at her (before I learned that they would stop if they see you). I never saw her, but it's almost a guarantee that she saw my forehead and hair. Is it possible that she is avoiding that laying spot because she's been spotted there?
Still no eggs, however as she sits on her perch, her body is bulging out over the sides. I can now see distinct egg outlines.
 
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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Is she sleeping during the day? Lethargic? Sitting low in the cage?
Eating? Drinking?
Are you leaving her alone except to feed and water her and only doing that when she is the branches?
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
Is she sleeping during the day? Lethargic? Sitting low in the cage?
Eating? Drinking?
Are you leaving her alone except to feed and water her and only doing that when she is the branches?
I haven't been looking at her much besides when I feed her, however I haven't caught her sleeping again for a while. She is pretty lethargic though, as the most amount of movement I've seen from her in the past few days is pacing back and forth on her perch, which is about 2/3 down in the cage. I imagine it is because of the weight of her eggs, but I could be wrong.
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
I'm not going to worry about it anymore. She has a killer feeding response and is already comfortable enough with me to eat from my fingers. Clearly she isn't ready yet, because she has a fantastic appetite and a lot of spunk. I think the towel over the front of her cage was actually stressing her out more than I was, whenever I remove it she drops her stress blotches entirely and goes a really muted chestnut color. The problem with new species is that nobody has really documented their behaviors, so some guessing is involved. However, I'm no longer concerned for her health and I think she just needs some more time to adjust.
 

Jikkermanccini

Established Member
This might be of interest...

Thanks for this! That female is HUGE! Mine is about half her size... lol
This is actually what I did when I first got her, however she showed no activity so I put the bucket, along with her, back in her enclosure. Perhaps I should have left her alone and let her do her thing?
I'm blown away by how much I've learned in this short time on here! Thanks a million!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Ther is definitely a lot to learn about them if you want to keep, raise and breed them successfully.

Don't forget...the one in the video has already laid her eggs and is still that big. I hope she didn't retain eggs.

I would have dug the eggs up more carefully.mid like to know if he damaged any of them with his rough handling of them.
 
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