Growth of one of my C. parsonii

Littlehorn

New Member
Hi all, I guess it has been a busy year for all of us.
Just would like to do an update and share some data on the growth of the yellow-lip male parsonii that I acquired in June, 2009

1./ This boy came in at around June, 2009 at the age of 4months, the picture below was taken in Sept last year, and the total length of him is around 14cm. His diet consist of fresh molted dubias and crickets, both which will be gutload with a "cake" that I made. I do not dust calcium with my crickets




2./ Below is a photo taken back early this year around March. This boy has grown to 23cm. But the body mass has increased as he weight much more heavier than expected. The coloration of the skin has also changed after a few shed. It's starting to have a green tint right after shed, and also the top of the casque is more yellowish than other parts of the body, the nostral appendages started to grow now.




3./ This photo is taken around July. I measure the boy and it seems he has grow up quite a lot during the warmer seasons. He's now 32cm form head to tail. The coloration of the skin has a definite change and it's now a greensih yellow. Also it has became a bit territorial and will not tolerate other males into his eye sight. I have started to include pinkies into his diet (per month). He does not like dubias anymore, so I switch the diet to crickets, silkworms and grasshoppers (with the back legs cut off).




4./ This is the most updated photo of this boy. He now measures 43cm. The growth rate increased a lot, 11cm in 4 months!! Body color has changed to green, some bluish tint can be found. He refused to eat pinkies so I stopped giving him. But the good thing is he started to welcome dubias again.




My parsonii are strictly living in indoor environments, with "some" sunlight every morning for not more than 20mins. I will bring them outside for the sun for 20mins each Sunday morning (If I don't feel good under the sun, my parsonii will also not be under the sun) All my chameleons lives in a DIY cage, 2 sides with walls and 2 sides with screens.

My observation:
1./ I don't dust my feeders at all. But as you can see he looks very strong. The thing I do to avoid MBD is to gutload my feeders. My gutload includes Spinach, Honey, Bee pollen, Wheat 1pc of cuttle fish bone and 1 boiled egg. Mix together with a grinder; then I prepare some jelly powder and mix them together as well. And I set the "paste" into a baking tray and let it sit in my fridge, rdy to serve in 30mins. I cut little blocks of it to feed my feeders so I won't waste anything. The gutload can be kept in a fridge for 2 weeks (no foul smell!! @@)
2./ I find this specific male to be shocked when he sees "white" things. No matter if it's a fresh molted dubia, fresh molted cricket, a pinkie with some white fur, he will run away from it, and seriously, I mean run. There was once I tried to feed him a white moth (which came out from the cacoons of the silkworms) This boy just literally ran out from his cage.
3./ I live in Hong Kong and during the warm seasons, indoor temperature gets to 28C. overall humidity in Hong Kong is around 70% through out the year. In order to avoid the heats, more misting intervals is needed. On days where the temperature reach 30s, I have to turn on the air-con.
4./ From my view, water is much more important than temperature for this boy. Apart from the regular mistings, I also have one of the mister head connected to a dripper to provide water droplets 12hrs a day. I have seen many times that he will drink for over a total of 1 hour in a whole day.

I would say C. parsonii is not such a difficult species to keep as long as you know what you are doing and treat them with respect. A total of 5 parsonii are living in my place and I keep them without any problem so far (My Kinyongias have more problems) I think it is the same with all animals, the best way to avoid problems is to be willingly to take care of your animals and also fulfill your commitments to it.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
He's beautiful! I am so envious that you have 5 of them! You should post photos of your other ones too, I'm sure we'd all love to see them.
 

ndugan7

Member
amazing job! your post was extremely informative! I had been under the impression that parsons are only for the most experienced of keepers, but the more i learn the more this is clearly a myth!! it probably has to do with the fact that in the US it is hard and expensive to get parson's, and that they aren't as prolific breeders as furcifer pardalis or chameleo calyptratus.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
I have to whole heartedly disagree with that statement. Parsonni are only for the most exp of keepers. If you read his full thread you'd notice how this animal has needs that most keepers cannot accomodate. I mean just keeping them on feed and watered is a major accomplishment. Finding approp sized feeders that the cham will even eat is a full time job. This is a montane species that in and of itself makes them a bit trickier than the lowland species. (like a panther or veiled) He says he uses no supps, sooo that means his gut loading has to be spot on. The OP has Kiny also so that means he has exp with montane species.

Im not saying that parsonni are the hardest species to keep in captivity, but they def arent an easy species. No cham is, but these guys with their size req a cage that is huge. They have enormous watering needs and they need large varied feeders to keep them eatting. Not something most keepers can accomodate. ;)

Littlehorn: thanks for posting the progression from juvie to sub adult. It was nice to get an idea what keeping a parsons entails. Most parsonni keepers dont divulge much of their husbandry on here. Thanks for the info.

amazing job! your post was extremely informative! I had been under the impression that parsons are only for the most experienced of keepers, but the more i learn the more this is clearly a myth!! it probably has to do with the fact that in the US it is hard and expensive to get parson's, and that they aren't as prolific breeders as furcifer pardalis or chameleo calyptratus.
 
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CNorton

Avid Member
...I had been under the impression that parsons are only for the most experienced of keepers, but the more i learn the more this is clearly a myth!!
Sounds like you're only believing what you want to believe.


I have to whole heartedly disagree with that statement. Parsonni are only for the most exp of keepers.
I would have to agree, parsonii are difficult to keep. To breed...that's just a whole other level of mastery.



I do not believe parsonii are considered to be montane chameleons. If I'm not mistaken, and I easily could be, they are more of a sub-montane chameleon. Their sensitivity to temperatures can be a little tricky but if there is a nice BIG cage for them, they will regulate their own temp. Mine only seeks out the heat first thing in the morning and right before nightfall. Otherwise he prefers the shade and cool (68-73F). Just my two cents;)


Absolutely amazing species, thanks Littlehorn!
 

Littlehorn

New Member
amazing job! your post was extremely informative! I had been under the impression that parsons are only for the most experienced of keepers, but the more i learn the more this is clearly a myth!! it probably has to do with the fact that in the US it is hard and expensive to get parson's, and that they aren't as prolific breeders as furcifer pardalis or chameleo calyptratus.
Well, they are for experienced, as are all chameleons.
I do have a very specific daily routine to check on all my chameleons and doing all the clean ups. At a minimum of 1hr/ day.
I just don't want everyone to think keeping a chameleon is an easy job. There are a lots of commitments into it.
I'm still learning everyday as the information are all scattered around and I have not yet found an organized "official" caresheets about the specie.
 

Littlehorn

New Member
Whether they are montane or sub-montane, I think it relates to their origin. From the "information" on the web, some parsons do live up in the mountain, which they need a more cooler environment. While some others live very close to the urban area and have a "slightly" higher tolerance to the temperature.

There is a few things I forgot to mention before, which I find to be very important.
1./ 3 of my C.parsonii which I acquired are all with import document and written as "CB". Whether or not this is true, I have find them to be much more tolerate to the higher temperature range. Also they have less health problem then the pair of adults parsonii I have.

2./ As I have mentioned, I gut-load my feeders, but will not dust calcium supplement. The reason is not because I'm not willing to spend a few dollars to buy the calcium, but simply because all my chameleon seems to hate feeders with a coat of white powder, they just refuse to eat when they see the feeder is dusted.

3./ In my gut-load cake, I use Bee-Pollen, which I highly recommend. I see a huge difference when I gut-load with Bee-Pollen.

Below are just another 2 of mine, I got the others on a breeding loan, so couldn't take a snap.

Male Orange-Eye (bought from a friend, guess he is around 1 years old), you can see he's pissed in this picture


Female Yellow-lip , this one is bought slightly earlier in Jan2009, she's now 47cm when I measured her last week.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Are parsonni as expensive in Hong Kong as they are in the states? If so you've got a hellva an investment in your collection. Btw simply beautiful adults in those last cpl of pics man.

I saw you added cuttlebone to your gut load also. do you think the feeders are eatting it or are you just hoping some of the calcium gets picked up by the feeder while eatting the dry gutload.
 

Littlehorn

New Member
Are parsonni as expensive in Hong Kong as they are in the states? If so you've got a hellva an investment in your collection. Btw simply beautiful adults in those last cpl of pics man.

I saw you added cuttlebone to your gut load also. do you think the feeders are eatting it or are you just hoping some of the calcium gets picked up by the feeder while eatting the dry gutload.
Well, they are expensive, lets say around 2/3 of the US price. But they can also be bought illegally from Thailand for around USD400. But going through the black market is a big hassle, and most of them comes in dehydrated with many problems.

With the cuttlebone, I will put it in together with all the other ingredients into a food processor, after 1min, they are mixed into a very thick paste. I then add in a little Jelly mix and put the paste in a baking tray and let it stand in the fridge. When I need to feed my feeders, I just cut a few slice and blocks, my feeders will eat it within minutes. They actually have a commercial product similar to what I'm making. I think Zoomed use to carry this sorts of cricket food (greenish blocks). But they only came in a gallon bottle and cost like 50bucks, plus the shipping to where I live, thatz USD150 per bottle.... so I just made my own.

I think my feeders do consume the cuttlebone (calcium). But with all the supplements, I always look at it in a more natural way. In the wild, I don't think there is a chance for chameleons to have any special source to get calcium. The main source of all the vitamins, mineral salts are from the things they eat. All insects with a exo-skeleton/ chitin layer are already very high in calcium, for my believe, just provide some good feeders and good feeder food will be good enough.
Maybe many others disagree with this. But I have some very bad experience with calcium powders. When I had my first 2 chameleons (C. jacksonii) I use calcium powder every 2nd feedings, and after 6 months both jacksonii have tongue problems (cannot "shoot" tongue) since then I never use calcium powder anymore. Coz I just can't get it out of my head: Calcium powder=bad tongue (haha!)
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Thanks for the info Littlehorn. I used to have large parrots yrs ago and have used cuttlebone for the birds so that kins of intrigued me a bit and I had never considered adding that to my dry gutload.

I know what you mean about supplements. When I first started keeping chams in the '90s I oversupplemented a gravid panther thinking that she neeeded more calcium in her diet. I was really lucky I didnt lose her. I had a very exp cham vet at the time who helped me. Which I do still supplemnt but I'm very careful now about dusting very lightly. Im of the opinion that a varied diet and nat sunlight are the key along with access to h20.

Thanks again for the information.
 

ndugan7

Member
i was by no means trying to say that parsons are easy to keep, not that i have any personal experience...i am trying to say that the opinion i've seen is that parson's are only for the super elite keeper. the don't-even-think-of-getting if you dont consider yourself an expert, and TO ME this is not the case. If one does the proper research providing what the animals NEEDS, and taking a proactive approach i just don't see this being the impossible task that i was led to believe.

Littlehorn - i am so impressed with your chameleons, and your dedication to them! Have you always lived in Hong Kong? My brother is going to live in kowloon starting with the new year teaching english, and i plan on visiting...are there petstores that sells parsons where i would be able to see them or do you have to go through people you know? also i too suspected supplements caused tongue shooting problems with my jackson, i have since greatly improved my gutloading and cut out dusting for the jacksons (i still give him a feeder lightly dusted once a month calcium w/d3) and have not had problems since!
 

Littlehorn

New Member
i was by no means trying to say that parsons are easy to keep, not that i have any personal experience...i am trying to say that the opinion i've seen is that parson's are only for the super elite keeper. the don't-even-think-of-getting if you dont consider yourself an expert, and TO ME this is not the case. If one does the proper research providing what the animals NEEDS, and taking a proactive approach i just don't see this being the impossible task that i was led to believe.

Littlehorn - i am so impressed with your chameleons, and your dedication to them! Have you always lived in Hong Kong? My brother is going to live in kowloon starting with the new year teaching english, and i plan on visiting...are there petstores that sells parsons where i would be able to see them or do you have to go through people you know? also i too suspected supplements caused tongue shooting problems with my jackson, i have since greatly improved my gutloading and cut out dusting for the jacksons (i still give him a feeder lightly dusted once a month calcium w/d3) and have not had problems since!
I do agree that if one is willing to do their homework, willing to spend time and money and really love the animal they keep, usually there will be less problem.
I always believe in one thing, never 100% follow a care sheet in designing the habitat for your pet, instead have a rough idea on how it should be, but at the same time study and think of the environment where you will keep the animal. Imagine 2 people living in the same street right across each other, one keep his chameleons on the 2nd floor in his house, the other kept his down in the basement; although these 2 guys live in the same street, but their chameleons are actually living in a totally different environment.

I haven't been in HKG for my whole life, I use to live in Australia, and I came back to Hong Kong around 10 years now. In regards to the shops in Hong Kong, there is one place (nickname: Fish Street) where most of the shops are. I wouldn't guarantee you will have a chance to see Parsons, as they are not a regular on sales list. But I would be sure you can find many interesting things. The size of the shops are comparatively small to the ones you find in US (been to 2 stores when I was driving from San Diego to LA last year, I remember one was LLLreptile, lol) In the "Fish Street" there are over 100 shops selling fish, turtles, tortoises, dogs & cats, corals, insects, etc... itz worth a visit.
 
Whether they are montane or sub-montane, I think it relates to their origin. From the "information" on the web, some parsons do live up in the mountain, which they need a more cooler environment. While some others live very close to the urban area and have a "slightly" higher tolerance to the temperature.

There is a few things I forgot to mention before, which I find to be very important.
1./ 3 of my C.parsonii which I acquired are all with import document and written as "CB". Whether or not this is true, I have find them to be much more tolerate to the higher temperature range. Also they have less health problem then the pair of adults parsonii I have.

2./ As I have mentioned, I gut-load my feeders, but will not dust calcium supplement. The reason is not because I'm not willing to spend a few dollars to buy the calcium, but simply because all my chameleon seems to hate feeders with a coat of white powder, they just refuse to eat when they see the feeder is dusted.

3./ In my gut-load cake, I use Bee-Pollen, which I highly recommend. I see a huge difference when I gut-load with Bee-Pollen.

Below are just another 2 of mine, I got the others on a breeding loan, so couldn't take a snap.

Male Orange-Eye (bought from a friend, guess he is around 1 years old), you can see he's pissed in this picture


Female Yellow-lip , this one is bought slightly earlier in Jan2009, she's now 47cm when I measured her last week.
How do you tell the difference between female orange eye and yellowlip?
 
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Ace

Avid Member
I gotta say that you have quite an impressive group of parsons, thank you for sharing and glad you offered your time to share your experience and methods of caring these amazing species. They seem to be quite a hassle, yet strangely well worth it. I hope one day i can see a female lay a fertile clutch and watch atleast a few survive, thrive, and grow....but i know its easier said than done.

i also have a question, you said you use spinach at least partial to it in the gutload of your feeders...correct me if im wrong but i heard/read on the forums that- spinach, broccoli and tomatoes should b avoided due to somethimg about causing problems with d3 or the process of absorbing calcium in the chameleons body...but im not sure, i could b wrong....???
 

Littlehorn

New Member
How do you tell the difference between female orange eye and yellowlip?
I don't 100% know.
But I find the yellow-lip female adults have a bluish tint.
Also I guess I have to trust the license and documents, as I have separate papers for each animal I have. And I also have the photos and datas of the parents of the animal I buy.

Of course there is always a chance that people can trick you into buying something not what it suppose to be. But I don't think this is such a important thing to me. I love the animal, I do my best to take care of them, this is the most important.
 

Littlehorn

New Member
I gotta say that you have quite an impressive group of parsons, thank you for sharing and glad you offered your time to share your experience and methods of caring these amazing species. They seem to be quite a hassle, yet strangely well worth it. I hope one day i can see a female lay a fertile clutch and watch atleast a few survive, thrive, and grow....but i know its easier said than done.

i also have a question, you said you use spinach at least partial to it in the gutload of your feeders...correct me if im wrong but i heard/read on the forums that- spinach, broccoli and tomatoes should b avoided due to somethimg about causing problems with d3 or the process of absorbing calcium in the chameleons body...but im not sure, i could b wrong....???
Hi, you might not be wrong in regards to the sythesis of D3 & calcium. I have heard a lot of caresheets in regards to this matter. But for the time being, I have never have any MBD problem with my chameleons, and I have yet to come up with any problems with "weak" chameleon egg shells.

I chose spinach, because spinach is high in minerals salts and vitamins. I understand many will disagree with me and I respect their view. But for me, I always believe chameleons in the wild will eat anything that they can find, and my principle of keeping a healthy chameleon is to provide as much as different sources of food, and gutloads with ingredients of different vitamins, mineral salts and proteins. "I try just to do things with less numbers and calculations, and solve all the problems in a more natural manner."
 
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