Hello Just got a pair of Chams had a few questions


New Member
Hi there im a regular on Reptileforums.com but I figured I'd come to a sole Chameleon forum to ask this. Now before you think im one of those people who ran out baught a cham and now am stuck with no idea please think other wise. Though these are my first chams but I have done my research and have experience with many other animals. I hate it when people run out and buy animals then expect to find all they need in one post.

My reptiles include
2.3.0 Ball Pythons
0.0.1 Red Tail Boa
0.0.1 Jungle Carpet Python
0.0.1 Sonoran Bull Snake
0.0.1 Bearded Dragon
0.0.1 Jeweled Lizard
0.0.3 Turtles: Terrapin, Side Neck, and Painted

And Now

1.1.0 Chameleons

I baught them from a breeder on Kingsnake. Sadly though no instruction was left on which was male or female. I Posted Pics the lighter one is smaller and the darker is well larger and bulky. They are both eating well. Is there any way someone can give me a hint on which is which. Thanx


What kind of chameleons are these? I am not an expert but there are many people here that I know can help you out.
they are flap neck chameleons, delipis, based on the pics the upper pic is male lower is female although i cant see the base of the tail. they look stressed there normal colors should be green.
In your first picture, I think I see a tarsal spur and from the tail, I would say its male. I can't see the tail base on the second one with the yellow spots....but I would say its female....and maybe gravid.

Here are some articles you might like to read...

I hope you are keeping them one to a cage?
No substrate?
Proper egglaying container for the female? I think March to April is egglaying season in the wild for this species.

Nice looking pair!
thanx they are stressed they just got in this afternoon. These pics were taken shortly after No flash. The settled in and ate later. The female is all green the male is still the same color. Im hoping to keep the female and the male is going to my friend. We hope to join them to breed in the season. I was going to hold on to both of them for the week untill she got back from Varginia but if you think they need to be seperated right away I will let her take hers now. She leaves thursday comes back sunday. Her Boyfriend is coming over to baby sit her animals but he isnt the most gentle with animals I dont really trust him even with my animals let alone a stressed chameleon. Do you think they will be ok untill sunday.

I will get an egg laying box. I suspected she might be gravid they were supposedly bred before. I will check out the articles right away. Im going out to buy calcium powder tomorrow Anyone recomend a brand for a gravid female.

The calcium powder should be phosphorous-free, IMHO. I use Rep-Cal...but there are other good ones on the market too.

Since you have a beardie, turtles and a jeweled lizard, why do you need to get calcium powder? Don't you dust the insects for them already? Do you know about UVB light? Gutloading?

If they were mine I would separate them. How are they reacting when near each other?
I have the brand specialy designed for each one

The beardeds has a mix os calcium and other vitamins. i dont have the bottle on me right now and Im not going to go searching 1:00 in the morn but is is a store baught brand. the turtles also have one designed for them but I believe its similar to the beardeds. I did have some Repti-cal around here but where it is now I have no Idea. The crickets I buy are from my local store where they a pre goatloaded for a week before sale. Except for the pin heads that up to you.

They do have uv on them all my UVA/B required animals have it.

Went and go the bottle It is buy T-rex. Dragon Dust VGF

Im going out to buy straight calcium for the cham along with a red bulb tomorrow.

They haven't shown any signs of aggresion between eachother but I mean they just got into the enclosure so they are most likly to preoccupied to even have time to fight I will keep a strict eye on them and seperate immedietly if anything should happen. Like I said my friend is taking the male and has a full set-up though not the best IMO because she has the same Reptarium as I but she is keeping it long ways. I tried horribly to correct her but she wont listen. Thats why im keep the female. I fear the female wont have a chance there.

My friend has bad luck with reptiles. Her turtle that she had no more then four days just died. I told her not to but she insited that she bring it to an assembly (we do herp assemblies ever couple of months) She was passing this little turtle around who hadn't even eaten yet and I warned her but she still questions why the turtle died. She did have a vield cham once that died shortly and she wouldnt even take him to the vet. I hate having to give her one but she baught him.

Im very scared of having an egg bound female I get very nervous with that so I figured the female would have a better chance here.

Ok I read the two site has some what gone into egg laying.

Laying box. Can someone give me a description of theirs.

As for incubation. is there anyway to incubate them with buying a incubator. Any things a can make say using a heat pad or just compost. I dont want to hurt the babies so if its best to just destroy the eggs rather then me have deformed hurting babies because I cant aford a incubator right now then thats what it takes. Is it best to leave the eggs where she lays them I have heard both ways removing and leaving. I'd worry they get to cold. If someone can tell me how they incubate. I imagine I will have to pick up a thermostat.

Ok sorry for the long post
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If your friend is going to be gone for awhile, why doesn't she bring her set-up to your house and have you babysit.
There is more concern for the stress levels imposed on a gravid female being housed with a male then there is of them "fighting".
Why are you buying a red light bulb?
I can't help but be more than a little concerned for these animals after reading your last post....especially the male.
It sounds to me like you have a lot more research to do.
I wouldn't trust ANY petstore gutload over my own.
Just some things to consider. I know you said you researched before purchasing but there seem to be some gaps. Remember when dealing with chameleons very little basic reptile husbandry applies (if any).
These are extremely specific and sensetive animals.
Keep reading and asking questions.

You said..."Ok sorry for the long post"...no problem!

You said you were going to buy a red light for them....if you are getting it for daytime basking, all you need to use is a regular incandescent bulb in a hood/fixture. If its for night time....unless your house gets very cold, you don't need it.

You said..."They haven't shown any signs of aggresion between eachother but I mean they just got into the enclosure so they are most likly to preoccupied to even have time to fight"...that's likely right.

You said..."Im very scared of having an egg bound female I get very nervous with that so I figured the female would have a better chance here"...most egg binding occurs from poor husbandry. Once in a while it occurs due to physical reasons...deformed eggs, fused eggs, uterine problems, etc.

Ok I read the two site has some what gone into egg laying.

You said..."Laying box. Can someone give me a description of theirs"...so that I don't overcrowd the cage I use a container that is big enough for the female to fit into with a couple of inches to spare on all sides when its empty. I fill it about 2/3rds full of washed playsand and keep it in the cage. When the chameleon starts to dig intently, I move her to a 65 liter rubbermaid container that I have modified the lid of. I cut most of the lid away and put screen over it. I place at least a bag of washed playsand in the container...and add a branch for the female to climb on. A plant can be added too. I moisten the sand so that it will hold a tunnel...and place the female into the container. I put the lid back on and add a light over the screened part. Make sure not to overheat the container....after all it is a closed space. The chameleon can be watered and fed while she is in there...just make sure to remove any uneaten insects so they won't chew on the eggs or the chameleon. Do not let her see you watching her when she digs or she may abandon the hole...if she abandons it often enough it can lead to eggbinding. Once she has laid her eggs, let her bury them and return to the branch and then they can be carefully dug up. Try not to turn them as you move them.

You said..."As for incubation. is there anyway to incubate them with buying a incubator. Any things a can make say using a heat pad"...yes, you can use a people's heating pad. I make a frame of wood with screen over it and place it over the heating pad. This can be raised to get the temperature in the container that you put the eggs in right. I incubate the eggs in a shoe-box sized plastic container. I put two very small holes in its lid. I fill it about half full of slightly moist vermiculite and lay the eggs in rows in small indentations.

I'm not sure of the temperature right now. It might be in one of those sites I told you about.

You said..."Is it best to leave the eggs where she lays them I have heard both ways removing and leaving"...I have had some species hatch when left....but its usually too hard to keep the right moisture level in the substrate to have it work very well....so I don't like to risk it any more.
A note about your dragons supplement. Unless it is only Vitamin D3, mixing vitamins and Calcium (minerals) make them degrade, essentially rendering them useless. This pertains to the large majority of brands, and very few of the companies have discovered even adequate ways to offer vitamins and minerals in the same bottle. It is has even been suggested and recommended that you give them on days apart to aid in their utilization within the body.

I personally recommend the Rep-Cal and Miner-All products. You will require for the chameleons, all three of the following. The are to be used in a specific frequency and amount, and this will change depending on the chameleons age, sex, growth, health, food etc. They are as follows;
-Calcium (NO Vitamin D3, NO Phosphorous)
-Calcium with Vitamin D3 (NO Phosphorous)
-Multi-Vitamin Supplement (With Beta Carotene for a Vitamin A)

No red bulbs should be used. No additional heat at night unless it is consistently dropping into the 50's F. If it were you would need to raise ambient temperatures, not with a point heat source.

A heat "light", a basking spot or flood lamp should be used to create a basking spot in one top corner of the terrarium. This should create a temperature gradient downwards to the opposite corner. Chameleons will utilize every point in this heat great to regulate their temperatures.

For UV for these chameleons, I'd most likely first think to personally try two choices. First, a double bulb ballast with dual 10.0 florescent bulbs in them, mounted right on top against the screen. The ballast fixtures should have a good metal reflector on them. I suggest one that covers the length of the cage top, on a diagonal, utilizing the most area available. Secondly, a lower wattage Mercury Vapor Reptile lamp, which would provide both heat and strong UV. The Mesh on reptarium cages has been frequently reported to block 50% and MORE UVB penetration.


As always, there is nothing that beats real sunlight. If you live in an area where it might be possible to provide it, I do recommend doing so, if for only half a day a week, there can be benefits.

Also, notice the sunken eyes due to dehydration in this Wild Caught female of mine, it was due to the stress of both laying and having parasites (as you can see, there is a worm under the skin, that can be seen in the eye cavity. It bothered her to no end by the way...)​

The cage should be vertically oriented, and chameleons, being probably one of, if not the most arboreal group of lizard, will most certainly suffer from the horizontal position of the cage, if not, at the very least not thrive in it during the most difficult of times: the acclimation period of a new home and owner.

The cage is also best off in a vertical orientation, to provide the needed hight for a few LIVE plants. Use something along the lines of Shefflera (Umbrella Plant), Ficus, Hibiscus (Requires high light best w/ Mercury Vapor Lights) and the addition of some branches, vines, and Live 'Pothos' vines. The live plants create an incredible difference in the chameleons care and well being. Raising humidity, oxygenating, and creating a piece of mind for their instinctive thoughts. The plants may also became a small part of the chameleons diet, so be sure to stick with either non toxic- or low toxicity plants that are deemed safe by chameleon keepers, also the plants should be prepared for the chameleons, washing the leaves in a mild soapy water solution and re potting it in plain topsoil (No added chemicals or fertilizers etc.)


A cage of mine, slightly different than the majority of north American keepers since it accounts for my locations non existent humidity and cool ambient temperatures. In addition, it is strongly recommended by the general population of keepers that no substrate be used, and I too recommend this for those that are not experienced enough, or prepared to deal with the dangers of it- yes dangers.
However, other than those differences, this is a good example of a well planted cage. As you can see in the front left, there is a clearing with the heat lamp above creating a warm basking area for the chameleon come to when in need of regulating and raising its temperature. It will vary in its distances from this top section based on its temperature desires. There are also plenty of strong horizontal and vertical branches and climbing pathways/perches.​

Keep watch on the food intake, and the hydration of the chameleons. Watch and witness drinking, give plenty of opportunities, and daily, long thorough morning mistings (rain showers). During periods of stress, such as when chameleons are getting used to new caging, care and routines, they may show signs of dehydration, and it may suddenly appear. Keep watch for the skulls to become thin and bone-like, but more so, how bulbous the eyes are. Infrequent showers (see next photos) may be given to further provide better hydration, and a "wash" (especially a good eye cleaning as you will probably experience sometime). You can offer this every few weeks, and when the chameleon is dehydrated- be sure to balance it out with the stress of you handling them if they are sick and dehydrated- they may be better off left in the cage if its stressing them.



There is more information far below on the subject of females, laying and incubation, but here are some of my photos to give you some ideas for after you have finished your reading. I use Sand, Topsoil & Coco fiber mixed together. It should me misted with water, then mixed up, and misted again, and again, under the mix has a strong feel to it so that if she digs a long tunnel it will hold up and not collapse. If shes in there for extended amounts of time you'll need to mist to keep the soil moist enough.

I do mist for drinking water in the morning, no dripper as you don't want to saturate the bottom of the tubs soil. I usually place a few silkworms inside in the event that she will eat- although many will not. I usually put my computers webcam inside to spy on her. If she sees you she could abandon the whole shes digging and eventually become eggbound and die.


The laying bucket, minus the cloth that usually covers the hole not occupied by the light. The hole in the lid that is not covered by the lamp I cover with a type of perforated fabric that allows airflow.


I don't use a heat lamp, I use a florescent Coil, or a low wattage incandescent. You'll need to monitor the temperature and test a couple bulbs probably.


Provide vines, branches, and a plant as if it were her real cage.​

Forgive me, however your friend does not seem like the type who is deserving of a chameleons responsibility. Give her the money she paid for the split purchase and keep the pair to yourself. Once she has been educated enough and witnesses your (hopefully) successful care and acclimation of them, she may wise up enough to hear your (and our) suggestions.

Here is your homework. Call me what you will, but it is your duty to read, understand, and ask for clarification as to what you have read and do not understand in the reading you have in front of you. I have recently realized it's not enough for me to simply provide the information, but apparently we need to be a little more forceful about the importance of proper, active ongoing research. It is one of the constant responsibility of keeping chameleons, and it is the key to providing up-to-date care, as these creatures care and keeping guidelines are in an ever evolving state.

-Chamaeleo dilepis complex By Steven Deckers
This is the group of the type of chameleon you care for. Defining which exact subspecies is something you should look into after you have them acclimated and well off in your care. For the time being, the care for this species is general, and this article may enlighten you on some important points.

-A Simple Nesting Site by Ken Kalisch
-Eggs: Laying to Hatching by Bill Strand
The above 2 articles will outline the laying process of a female. It is generalized and not specific to your species, however they are detailed in instructions. Follow them carefully, they have worked time and time again for many people. You'll need to do research for info on dilepis incubation. Also, take concern with the female before, during, and after the laying. She will need special care to properly have her regain strength.

-Co-Habitation by Bill Strand
An overall discouraged practice, but none the less possible. However, it is agreed upon by those that don't do it, and those that successfully do, that no one without experience and knowledge of chameleons, chameleon mentality and instinct, and more significantly- the in and outs of chameleon interaction, communication and signals. As Bill concludes in the article, "As a beginning keeper of chameleons you have enough to worry about with just learning the basics of chameleon care. Do your self a favor and do not add the difficulties of making a co-habitation work."
Ok have to come back after school and read the whole post above sounds very useful.

I do trust the store who gutloads because
-My uncle half owns it
-I used to work there

I will nix the night time heat lamp. They have a UV on in the morning along with a 60 watt bulb It recently got really hot hear.

I will pick up a few thing of calcium. and a box for her to lay in. If I give her the male now she will keep it at her house where her boyfriend will watch him and you can read above my concerns with thats but I tell her today he needs to be moved out this afternoon.

Other then that for now I have to go to school But I'll be back
Quick Update

I got my firneds reptarium. I flipped it tall packed it with plants. ANd seperated the male and female. I got another Uv bulb for it as well I could not find straight calcium where I usually go so Im off to another store a bit further away tomorrow. They were drinking more today and look a normal hugh. The female took a wax worm and the male took acouple crickets.

Im finally over that panic hump I think This have mellowed and its starting to calm down. I intalled a red lamp over my computer desk so I can type at night without disturbing any and all of my reptiles. my mom says I have officially become the snake lady. :rolleyes:

I tank you all greatly for your help and will keep you updated if the female turns out.

If she does start to lay in her rep. should I leave her. Will she lay in there if its not deep enough If im not home in time to catch her. Im picking up a mix of Sand and pete tomorrow. I thought I had some pre washed play sand around here but I could find it. Does the pete moss need to be baked or froze.

How long should I leave the female in the bucket if she starts to lay in the large bucket or trashcan So I dont disturb her. I few days a few hours How do I feed and water her If I cant let her see me.

It is just to soon for eggs Im a novice too chams I didnt want a gravid female on top of it.:(
I wish you luck with your chams. Theya re a big responsability, and quite a challenge to care for if you are not used to the extra work. I too am a little nervous about your friend getting the male... he might be better off with you. I'm glad you went ahead & got your friend's rep. from her & made it more to cham specs. Good Luck! and keep learning ;)

Great post Will! I read through it twice to double check what I am doing... Thanks!
Trust me if there was any way I could cleanly make it so she wouldnt get the male I would be she baught him fair and square. I will be over her house AMAP to make sure he is ok
Thanks for the complements, I just looked through it, its quite a long post. Someday Ill need to actually organise all the little writings I do. I didnt even touch on Vitamin A in the supplement part, but I don't even klnow where to start when talking about that- ill leave those that are doing better active research- luckily enough some of them are on this forum. Hopefully if there are any different opinions on what I posted, they will be brought up. (post in a new thread please).

RunAway, be sure to post updates as it progresses, you've come to us, so now they are our chameleons to look after too.

As for feeding the female, youll just have to toss in the food quickly and do any cleaning while shes asleep.
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