Help with young panther chameleon


Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here! I'm going to elaborate in some areas, along with asking a few questions. I've also posted some more helpful images and links below. My replies will be in red:

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. Yup, like @Flick boy said, this is most likely caused by her being uncomfortable in the cage.

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. Righ now, you can feed her as much as she'll eat in one sitting, only in the morning. You'll want to start cutting back her food intake starting at 6 months to help keep clutch sizes down. Mealworms aren't staples, so I'd look at and choose at least 3-4+ different staple bugs to rotate through from the feeder sheet @Flick boy posted above. Also look at the gutload image he posted, and try to get as many ingredients as possible from there (in the proper ratios) for better gutload to feed your bugs, too.

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. The Repashy Calcium Plus is too muchto even use just twice a month. You'll need to get a quality phosphorus-free calcium without D3 to use on every feeding. You'll also need a quality multivitamin with D3 (and preferably with preformed Vit. A) to use once every two weeks (like Zoo Med Reptivite With D3 or Repashy Calcium Plus LoD).

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. You'll want longer misting sessions, at least 2-5+ minutes long each time, for the two misting sessions (preferably around lights on and lights off).

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. She needs a bigger cage now, either 2'x2'x4' tall or 36"x18"x36" tall or bigger, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger is best. She does need a proper lay bin in her cage now, too. I've posted a helpful image for lay bins below. The Exo Terra vines need to come out ASAP and get replaced with safe ones (make sure to not use moss vines, either), as well. I've posted two great cage set-up links for inspiration below.

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. You need to either get an Arcadia 12% or Zoo Med 10.0 T8 UVB bulb to replace the one currently in there (those are the two trusted UVB brands) or a T5 High Output fixture (at least the length that her biggest cage will be) with either an Arcadia 6% or Zoo Med 5.0 T5 HO UVB bulb in it. Let me know which one you decide, as each type has different distances they need to be. If you can afford it, definitely invest a Solarmeter 6.5. It measures UVI levels (that tells you how far away the basking branch or chameleon needs to be from the UVB bulb for the healthiest UV levels), and is literally a life-saver!

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. A digital thermometer with a probe is best for measuring the basking temps, with the probe placed where the top of her back is when she's on her basking branch. You'll want the basking temp to be between 78-80*F to keep clutch sizes down, too. What are your ambient daytime temps and nighttime temps (you'll want at least one digital thermometer or digital thermometer/hygrometer combo, if not two to three, to measure ambient/middle of the cage/bottom of the cage temps, too)?

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. Daytime humidity levels should be between 50-65%. If the nighttime temps are at least 67*F (but really preferably 65*F or lower), nighttime humidity levels can go up to 100%. You can help do that by using a cool-mist humidifier/fogger. Just make sure to properly clean it and the tubes and whatever else used at least once a week. If it comes with crinkly tubing, it's better and more sanitary to replace them with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing. Make sure to place the output nozzle at/near the top of the cage so the fog rolls down if you do get one, as well.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Yes, umbrella tree, ficus and a golden pathos. I've posted two helpful images and a link below to give you inspiration for more choices once you upgrade her enclosure!

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?

Here's the links and images (make sure to read through the entirety of The Chameleon Academy's website, along with listening to as many of their podcast episodes as possible, as it's a must read. They have the most accurate and up-to-date info available, along with teaching you the basics of all husbandry categories)!


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New Member
Welcome on here! I'm going to elaborate in some areas, along with asking a few questions. I've also posted some more helpful images and links below. My replies will be in red:

Thank you for all of this!! I am putting in an order with for small dubia, waxworms and hornworms now. I will read all of the resources you linked and work on the upgrades you mentioned above right away. I was thinking we had more time to upgrade the enclosure so thank you for letting me know it should be now. I should have known better than to go with what was suggested at the store. I clearly have a redo on my hands but it's all good. I am looking forward to doing it right! Thank you again!!
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