Hunger strike and mouth/chin discoloration


New Member
Hello !

I just wanted to get recommendations on what the best way to go about this is. I recently decided I wanted to try and stop feeding crickets for multiple different reasons, and try and switch to dubias and my boy is not having it. Before he would normally eat 8-10 crickets, 1-2 dubias, and 1-2 hornworms a day, with a hand fed wax worm as a treat sometimes. So far with no crickets its been 1-2 MAYBE 3 roaches every day and he just acts scared of the rest of them. I know that they cannot really injure the chams so I have just been leaving 3-4 in his cage throughout the day and I can never tell if he is actually eating them or they just are hiding/dying somewhere. Since the drop in eating I have been giving him normally 3-4 hornworms because he will still eat them and a waxworm every day. I would be open to switching back to crickets I just hate them so much.

Since the hunger strike has been happening I have also noticed some mouth/chin discoloration that I had not noticed before, I also recently purchased an automatic mister on the same day that I bought the dubias so I do not know if all of this could somehow be related. I haven't noticed any major changes in personality or actions he seems to be normal, just not enjoying his food.
I know these are terrible pictures but he was not having it and I decided to just leave him be. On his left side there is a bruise like spot of darker skin that runs a long the jawline and the crest on his chin, and then on his left side there is a line/dots in a line that runs with his jawline.

Thank you in advance for any help

  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • I think he is around 5 months old, I have had him about a month.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • I have only handled at the reptile expo and moving him into this new enclosure.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • This is the issue, I try to feed him as early as I can in the morning, feeders are gutloaded with lugardia cricket feeder, some vegetables, and one of those little cricket hydration square things.
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • zoo med repticalcium without d3 every day, with d3 maybe once a week.
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I used to hand mist but just recently purchased a monsoon automatic mister, every hour for 30 seconds, I have not visually seen him drink since I purchased but I have also been not there for more of the mistings which was the point of me getting the automatic mister.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • droppings are looking good to my knowledge ! Poop is solid and brown/darker brown with eurate being mostly dry and light white. He has never been tested for parasites.
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • I purchased him at a reptile expo and he came with a much younger female chameleon, both housed in a very small very poor glass enclosure. I quickly moved both of them into this new screened enclosure but had both of them together for a few days before I could find somewhere to rehome the girl. Obviously they did not get along the best and I do not know if at all or how long they were housed together before. I was mistakenly assured that they would be fine together and fine in the enclosure and feel very bad about stressing them out in such poor conditions for the time I did. Since the separation he seems much less stressed then when I originally got him.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • Large reptibreeze full screen enclosure (18",18",36") I have one side facing most of my room/bed/desk covered with blanket for humidity and just so he cant see me while im doing homework/being lazy, and another 1.5 sides sort of covered in press and seal (seran rap?) to try and trap some humidity in. I also have a blackout curtain in case I am up with lights on after his bed time.
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • I have a 22" reptisun 10.0 UVB in a biomed cover and a 75 watt heat flood in a deep dome light for basking from scales and tales that are both on from 9am to 9pm
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • I have one of the reptile control center things they sell at scales and tales that has 6 plugs, two heat sensors, and a humidity sensor. basking spot during the day is ambient 80-85 F and cage floor is between 65-70 normally. Just this week it started getting warm and our ac has been funky so they have shifted a little day to day but almost always within those ranges. I have a secondary ceramic heat bulb I have been turning on for just a few minutes, pointed mid level of the cage, if I notice much lower temperatures during the day. Night time temperatures have been 65-70 at the top and usually 50-60 at the bottom. watching today after switching all fake to live plants the bottom is 63 which is the highest I have seen so far. I have seen 51-53 sometimes at the bottom but never under 50.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • humidity during the day is 35-45% maintained solely through live plants and misting, at night after temperatures have dropped I run a fogger through the night and it normally gets to 55%ish, I am honestly lost to get it any higher.
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • I have a large ficus tree, larger dracea tree of some sort, small ficus shrub, and one stalk of bamboo.
  • 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?
    • It is in the corner of my bedroom in the basement, maybe 5 feet away from a ceiling vent that may or may not work. It is my bedroom and I am in college so I and roommates have been in and out, but I have been trying to limit interaction and he has been getting left a lone for as much as I can during the day. The cage is on a roughly foot and a half tall desk off of the floor.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • I am in northern colorful Colorado, USA


for reference the entire cage, with him in the midst of running away because I pointed my phone at him.
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