Help with young panther chameleon

KeanuChameleon

New Member
My (I believe female) panther chameleon has been going to the bottom if her enclosed and turning almost black all morning. Is this normal? Should I be worried? I am new to chameleon husbandry and will be filling out the form with her husbandry soon however wanted to be sure this isn't something that needs to be immediately addressed first. Also, any help on identification would be helpful as well. I believe she is female, and about four months old (she is around 8" nose to tail). I received close to no information from petco and the lady "helping" us at the store even told us she was a veiled before changing her mind later after we told her we thought she was a panther (her tag even said panther). Sorry for the long post. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
First photos are her normal coloring for reference. She is still active and will go back to her normal color and to the top of her enclosure but then she will go to the bottom and get dark again.
 

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KeanuChameleon

New Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? We do not have much information on her. We believe she is a female panther chameleon, around 4 months. We have had her for under a week.

Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? If she comes to us when we open her enclosure to feed we let her climb on us as much as she wants and offer her the enclosure to go back in often. Its normally only a few minutes she is out before she goes back in. She has done this almost daily. We never take her our or handle her if she doesn't reach for us. She seems very calm and open to people handling her which from what I am reading may be odd or I worry it could be because we are doing something wrong and she doesn't love her set up yet.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? We have been feeding her twice a day (morning and after work around 6pm) 4 to 8. A combination of meal worms and fruit Flys. We plan to feed much more of a variation starting Monday. That is just what we purchased when we purchased her. We are gut loading with carrots.

Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repashy super food, vitamin and calcium supplement. We have been dusting with every feeding. We will be upgrading the supplements and changing the schedule as well next week. This is just what we currently have.

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
A gravity fed drip nosel. Mist with a spray bottle for a minute twice a day. This will be upgraded to a misting system when we upgrade her enclosure. Yes, I have seen her drink.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Black and moist with white at one end.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? We purchased what the lady at petco said was the best of the best however even with her saying that we had done enough research to know this would only be a temporary set up for when she was very small. Zilla tropical vertical kit 12x12x18 glass with a screen top.

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Thrive 18" T8 UVB and the halogen that came with the kit. 18 hours a day automatically set to turn on at 8am and off at 8pm. The halogen is 8am-10am and 12pm-2pm.

Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
80 degrees average. The gage that came with the kit and digital hydrometers that are linked online. The digital hydrometers we just set up yesterday so we will have a better overall of the heat and humidity going forward.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
50 to 80% this has really been fluctuating a lot and something we are working to get right. We will be getting a misting system set up and are looking into other ideas. The digital hydrometers we just set up yesterday so we will have a better overall of the heat and humidity going forward.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Yes, umbrella tree, ficus and a golden pathos.

Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? Currently in the living room on a stand next to the couch. I have been sitting by her as much as possible when not at work to get her used to me and let her know I'm not a threat. She will come to the glass by me to check me out. When we have her larger enclosure set up we will move her to a low traffic area. There are no fans, air vents near her. The top of the cage is around 50" relative to the floor.

Location - Where are you geographically located?
Glyndon, MN

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. I am aware that I do not have an ideal set up yet however I am highly motivated to get her in an upgraded enclosure with the best systems, vitamin and feeding regimen possible and hope by my next husbandry posting the difference will be vast. I appreciate any and all feedback and all of you for your help! The current issue is above in this post however she is no longer black and at the bottom of her enclosure so I am hopeful if it was anxiety triggered the anxiety has passed. We moved her yesterday and that could be the issue. If it is that she us getting ready to lay eggs, how do I know for sure? Any advice there?
 

KeanuChameleon

New Member
A few more photos. She has been darker than normal (as far as we know is normal for her) most of the day.
 

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KeanuChameleon

New Member
@Flick boy @Beman we are getting an egg bin set up just in case. She has all the indicators of needing to lay eggs with the exception of reduced appetite and she doesn't seem larger. I posted the husbandry form above. If/when you have time I would love your feedback.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so while I look at your form you will want to upgrade to a minimum of 2x2x4 enclosure though bigger is better. Reptibreeze or dragon strand or zen habistat. Handling good yes never force her . Your girl will benefit from a larger enclosure more branches ( she may want to come out because she doesn't feel safe in her current enclosure.
 

KeanuChameleon

New Member
Ok so while I look at your form you will want to upgrade to a minimum of 2x2x4 enclosure though bigger is better. Reptibreeze or dragon strand or zen habistat. Handling good yes never force her . Your girl will benefit from a larger enclosure more branches ( she may want to come out because she doesn't feel safe in her current enclosure.
Thank you for the information! I will check out the resources you mentioned. I plan for the upgraded enclosure to be at least that size but hopefully larger. That was my worry that she was coming out of her enclosure so often because she isn't comfortable in it. I have been continuing to read as much as I can find on cameleons to fix what needs to be so she can have a place she loves. She has come to the front three times today. When she does I open the front and she came right out each time. I love that she enjoys climbing on me and is in no way scared of people however I want her to be as comfortable in her home. I have a lot of work to do but am excited to upgrade! Thank you again!
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so pen paper priotise . If you stick with the t8 imo a 10% bulb but a t5ho 6% is better imo you will want this 8/9 inches away from her basking branch. Your cham may want out as she doesn't feel secure in her enclosure ( I also have a female panther who always wanted out until a did an upgrade) I'm not an expert . Supplements calcium phosphorus free no d3 every feed then say the 1st and the 15th say reptivite +d3 . How are you measuring temps and humidity?
 

KeanuChameleon

New Member
We were using the gauge that came with the kit but just yesterday started using digital hydrometers that we can track online. Photos of them attached.
 

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Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok great I use govee mini wireless (but to measure ambient temps and humidity) wired probes are best. Probably overkill but anyway I have a komodo dual multi so I have 1 temp probe at basking 1 probe at the bottom both temp probes 1 humidity gauge in the back middle and the govee in at the top also temp and humidity gauges in the room outside the enclosure 🤣🤣make sure that your device/s don't get wet/sprayed to give you false information 😉
 
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