how does your panther spend his day?

mike brandt

New Member
i have a male ambilobe a little over a year old, i was just wondering how much of the day your panthers are roaming the cage. mine almost never sits still during the day. he's up he's down. then he walks the floor for a few minutes then back up. his actual sitting still time is only about 1/4 of the day. the reason im asking this is because my vieled used to pretty much just stay in one spot all day unless he spotted a prey item.
Over feeding them will effect their activity levels. The male veileds I have had liked to bask alot but where still pretty active. Chameleons have faster metabolisms in comparison to other reptiles and are usually very active animals. When over feed, ill, basking or when evading a predator (me sometimes) is the only time I have seen them sit still for to long.
Improper setup variables could cause similar behavior. For example, if your cage is too hot it is possible the cham may be trying to find a way out. For the best answers to your questions, it is very important to provide as many details as possible.

24 Hour Heat.
Do not use heat a night. Unless your house is dropping below the low 40's for many days at a time, absolutely no night heat should be given. Chameleons need the temperature high during the day to digest the food, but a low drop at night to absorb the nutrients from what they consume. Secondly, Ceramic Heat Emitters are known to dry out the air, and not be appropriate during the day as a basking heat because they do not emit light. Chameleons also respond to the point where more intense light is, to be the point where the higher heat will be. If you provide heat without light, then it will not be as effective.

Rubber Plant.
Ficus Elastica is toxic and not recommended for captive chameleons. It is a good plant in structure and keeps well, but because of its toxity, the similar Ficus benjamina should be opted for. A cage the size of yours deserve to have much larger and dense LIVE vegitation. 4' is a larger vertical space allowing you teo keep larger hibiscus, Ficus, Shefflera, as well as hang large vined pothos. You can check the Live Plant section of this website for info on plants and a few links to offsite chameleon-safe-plant articles.

Murcury Vapor.
Mercury Vapor Bulbs produce very high heat. You should recheck your basking spot temperature. Do not use an analogue dial thermometres. If you have any, you can basically trash those ones, they are almost always incorrect. Instead use Digtial thermometers. You can buy them with cords that are probes that work well.
Also, the MVBs produce a lot of UV which some people say can be problematic for some chameleons as it has been suggested that they need to regulate their temperature and their UV absorption, seperately.
High levels of UVA can actually blind people, proven by people who live in the north of Canada and the arctic from when the sun rebounds off of the reflective snow causing 'snowblind'. Chameleons, specifically Panthers are not hot desert reptiles and may not be adapted to handle this either.

I suggest trying a "Heat Bulb" that does not produce UV for a week and see if behaviour changes.
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I am guessing at least part of the problem is the cage setup. A nice cage, but some changes should be made if possible.

ambient temp 75-83F
You do not need to maintain this at night, in fact panthers will do better with a limited temperature drop during this time. How about the basking temperature? 83F is not an appropriate basking temp for panthers.

heat via ceramic bulb(24 hours) & mercury vapor bulb (on a timer)
Ceramic bulbs are not recommended for chameleons. As mentioned in another recent thread, they are more appropriate for lizards that live in dry climates. I would replace the vapor bulb with a standard house bulb, and move it to the top of the cage.

1 live rubber plant
That plant looks kind of small for your enclosure. This plant is also not the safest for your chameleon. I suggest a good sized Schefflera Arboricola.
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