Half of panther Chaneleons tail is black

Hey, this my panther chameleon named Smaug. We believe that she is a girl. In the past day and a half her tail has blackened. She has been fully black before, but I found it odd that it would be black now. I’ve seen some different things about black tails, should I take her to the vet?
I wouldn't say no to a vet at this point that does kind of look scary. but seems like she's curling it ok. does she move it and have strength to wrap around branches and everything?
I dont know. I'd take my advice with a grain of salt because im not sure. but the only two instances I've heard of with that are injuries, or shedded skin not coming off and cutting off circulation. both of which I dont think there's a lot a vet can do to save it once it's at that point. if she still has mobility and strength in it maybe (hopefully) it's just weird markings starting to show. was it gradual, or was it fine one day and solid black the next? part of me wants to say to keep an eye on if it seems like its bothering her at all take her in. the other thinks if there is a real problem the earlier she can be seen, the better likelyhood it can be fixed. i hope somebody else with more experience on it chimes in.
When’s the last time she sheded. Looks kinda dull in the pictures. If it is retained skin or if u have had problems with shedding it may be a good idea to go get some shed ease like zoo med repti shedding aid spray her down and if possible take a towel and soak it in the solution apply to area for as long as possible/ animal is willing without added stress
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Panther Cham, prob female, around 1/2 year old
I’ve had it since November of last year

I Handle her when she grabs onto my hand
(I give her my hand and let her grab on if she wants)
I feed my Cham large crickets from pet smart (5-7 a day) I also feed her some small beetles (mealworm beetles) I use fluckers High-Calcium Cricket Diet
My supplements are Rep-Cal Calcium and Rep-Cal Multivitamins I feed most of my crickets with normal calcium, and I feed her multivitamins once a month.
I use a monsoon mister and also spray the cage by hand, The mister is on a 2 hour basis and I’ll also hand feed once a day
I see my Cham drinking every day
Fecal matter: The urine is bright white and the fecal matter is brown/dark brown
I got her from DFW Reptarium, (which I wouldn’t do again they are not very good with Chams)
I have a screen cage 4 by 2 by 2 Feet
I have a Zoo Med UVB/LED light also I have a basking light
Bottom of the cage 74 degrees Fahrenheit
The basking spot 94-100 degrees Fahrenheit
I use a exp terra probe one
The people at dew reptarium said I did not need a humidity sensor
I use the monsoon and the spraw bottle for humidity
The cage is located in the corner of the living room by my fishtank there is no AC systems nearby
I’m in the southern United States (Texas)
It has been around 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit
I have a Hoya plant and a Bromila
I’m concerned about my chameleon’s black tail
She can move it around fine and she hung from it today, she has been very active I just want to make sure she is ok
Thank You very much for your help and time
is his "basking spot" the place you have him in the first couple pics of the enclosure? 95-100 is too high, and if hes getting even closer than that by climbing on the roof of the cage, I would guess it's a burn
The place the Cham was about 90, it is too hot I agree so what should I do? Should I suspend the light? Also how would I turn down the voltage thanks again I should of realized this sooner -LCoyote
I would suspend light first, if the cham is climbing on the top of the cage any light can burn them, and raising it will prevent that. if basking spot is still too hot get a light with a lower wattage. i would also read up on treating burns. from what I understand, if it is a burn, that tissue is going to die and fall off and as soon as it does is when you need to begin treatment to prevent infection and so forth. reading now can prevent scrambling for info later.


Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 205662 View attachment 205661 View attachment 205660 View attachment 205659 Hey, this my panther chameleon named Smaug. We believe that she is a girl. In the past day and a half her tail has blackened. She has been fully black before, but I found it odd that it would be black now. I’ve seen some different things about black tails, should I take her to the vet?
First things first--don't panic! You might never know why and it will probably self correct over time.

There is a larvae, butter worms, that causes a skin reaction in some animals. Did you feed butter worms?

Chameleons' skin will blacken just like that at the site of an injury. You can put a black mark on their face just restraining them while giving meds. It can last anyware from minutes to days and weeks to never going away. My guess is that her tail was pinched in the door.

I had one whose tail went from bright beautiful green to half black on one side right in front of the vet during an exam. The vet--a really good board certified zoo vet--watched in wonder as half the tail blackened before his eyes and gave no advice or opinion on prognosis. Over days and weeks, it eventually went completely black and limp. Over time--months--the black slowly faded and the limp tail slowly gained strength. I asked other chameleon keepers about it and they said they had seen similar tails and sometimes the tail never regained it's grasping ability or color and the animal lived its life with a black tail tail or a black limp tail. I don't know how strong the grip of my chameleon's tail is, but it does look normal other than the damage which was the original reason it went black. (My chameleon has--had--a sail fin on his tail that was degloved at import so he ended up with an infection in or around the bones in the tail. I have no idea why it went black when it did at the vet's office, but the original issue with mine was a severe injury and infection in or around the bones/spinal cord of the tail.)
Thanks for all of your help, just in case I got a 50 watt bulb, I got neosporin on hand, and we will see what happens, If it’s just an injury than that’s ok too. Thanks Again for all your time -LCoyote


Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm thinking it might be a "bruise". Is it possible she dragged it thru some of that fishing line and pinched it? I see a lot of place she could have accidentally trapped it. Everywhere you have V's that come down to the knots concern me. You could put a dowel rod on top of your cage and make the knots outside the cage.
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