How many people are actively keeping and breeding pygmy chameleons?

ZachG

Member
I haven't been around that long, but I've noticed that most of the pygmy species that have been offered in the classifieds or mentioned in other threads are the result of WC imports. I was wondering how many people are working to produce CB offspring and if there were any active breeding projects going to maximize genetic diversity of the specimens we currently have. It seems people are working to do this with many of the larger, often more flashy species, but the more cryptic genera seem to be neglected a bit. I could be totally wrong, but that's the initial impression I get.

I come from a background in dart frogs where CB is the standard for most species because the majority of the native countries are now closed to WC imports. In the 90s, when countries like Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Colombia were actively exporting, it was common to see Oophaga species on price lists for way less than $100. Now, many of those species are totally lost to the captive hobby or cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

It seems to me like these are the "cheap pet" chameleons right now, but what happens when the WC imports dry up? I'd love to work with species like Rh. acuminatus or spinosus once I gain some experience, but will there be enough around to maintain a captive population?

I don't want this to come off as ranting or anything like that. I just wanted to try to start a discussion on the captive management of these species. They seem to be a very interesting group, and I'd like to see them around in captivity for many years to come.
 

Dragon Born

New Member
Not I..But that is not to say that I wouldnt/don't want too..I am sorry I am drinking and only read your title but you should enjoy pgymy chams whether other people prefer them or not. I am sure the experience will be just as rewarding as owning and breeding any other cham:] I got too baby vieleds that I got with intentions to breed in the future and couldnt be more excited even though they are not some special panther or anything. A chameleon is a chameleon, and even though the require different needs depending on species they are still a chameleon none the less and very interesting to own:]

I know there are multiple ppl on this forum that have pygmys and love them. Just wait a few more hours and you will receive better answers I am sure.

and lol after reading your post I was way off. But I have seen sites that sell pygmys so dont feel too neglected.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I have bred R. brevs in the past and currently have a pair that has produced offspring but only once. I'd love for them to breed more but can't force them. The female of the pair is the cb offspring of my first pair. The problem is they live short lifespans (only 2-3 years old) and it's hard to get a good start because a lot of wc pygmies are already middle aged or older when they are imported. The last few pairs I got with hopes of breeding for captive populations seemed to be past breeding age because it didn't matter which females were paired with which males, none of them produced anything.
 

ZachG

Member
I have bred R. brevs in the past and currently have a pair that has produced offspring but only once. I'd love for them to breed more but can't force them. The female of the pair is the cb offspring of my first pair. The problem is they live short lifespans (only 2-3 years old) and it's hard to get a good start because a lot of wc pygmies are already middle aged or older when they are imported. The last few pairs I got with hopes of breeding for captive populations seemed to be past breeding age because it didn't matter which females were paired with which males, none of them produced anything.

I totally agree with everything you said. The fact that they have short lifespans is more of a reason for the need of CB individuals. If we can get even a few F1s from various WC pairings, it will likely go a long ways in the success of these in captivity. Knowing the age of the animals will be a big plus and captive bred makes that complication relatively easy.

Is there any organization over there working to CB these specimens in their home countries? I know there's Association Mitsinjo for Madagascar, but they only work with Mantellas. Essentially, they set up a reserve in Madagascar with a breeding facility. Some of the frogs are exported through Understory Enterprises and others are kept in Madagascar as part of the group's conservation work. A percentage of the proceeds of the frog sales goes back to the program for further conservation projects.
 
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