I need help- new to reptiles in genral...


New Member
Hello there-
Im new here and new to owning a reptile in general! I've been interested in chameleons for a while now, and finally bought my own about two or three weeks ago. I did some internet surfing and found out a LOT of stuff about my jackson chameleon. Now I know they need a variety in their diet when they are older- but Im not sure how old my chameleon is! I know its a girl, but dont know her age...any way to tell? And I read that they are happy when they turn light colors, is this true? I also read they dont like being handled, for the most part is it like this? Any other useful information you think I should know would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
I forgot to ask- will my female turn any nice colors? She currently only turns brown and neon green. I saw a video on Animal Planet and saw that a chameleon was turning colors every like other second, do Jackson Chameleons do this? *heh* (sorry if its a stupid question, but Im telling you, Im new to Chameleons!)
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Well to vary diet, you can use silkworms and crickets as staples, and then give it hornworms, mealworms, wax worms, moths, pheonix worms (mine ignored them but you can try either way), butterworms.
About colors, chameleon don't change to any color of the rainbow, and males usually have the best colors, but females are cool. She will stick mainly to a grey brown color and green. Green when she is relaxed, like when she is sleeping. Not sure though, never had a jackson.
Yea little to no handling is best theres this link on myths about chameleons from chameleon news that I found interesting http://www.chameleonnews.com/myths.html
They have something about no handling them there "Constant handling is a stressor that evokes the secretion of various hormones that, among other things, inhibit the body’s immune system. The result can be a dramatically shortened lifespan." (It scared me into like never touching my chameleon unless its to clean the cage lol)

How big is she so that we may better guess her age? And since she already turns green I assume she's definitely over four months. And you’re right about light color indicating being relaxed. My jackson (Twiggy-cuz he does that moving twig thing which is the cutest thing in the world) usually turns a darker color when he hunts.
she is about.. 2.5" without her tail- so how old would that be?
That sucks that she doesnt turn any kewl colors- but shes a REAL happy chameleon because shes mainly always lime green :D thats good to know! I've only seen her do that sway thing once- and as far as touching her- I guess no more! :( THanks for the help guys. BTW I know that I should have two tanks, one inside and one outside (during summer) Now its okay if for rightnow shes in my house right? (I keep her in a chameleon tank- all sides are glass except the top) I know I've read that isnt good- but its really the best I could do for the inside cage- I got her a really big net cage for outside, but havent even set it up yet because its been raining here..
Jacksons can vary in color depending on if they are green phase blue phase or red phase. Jacksons are one of the more mellow chameleons that dont get as stressed by handling but they still arent cats. A young one can be in a glass tank but you will want to switch to a screen cage in the next month or so. Just remember jacksons like lower temps than the others and they like lots of humidity...you might need to pipe a humidifier right into the cage. I saw a quick easy screen set up that wont cost you a lot for right now....they took this mesh wire (bigger holes than the screen) they rolled it into a tube with like a 12'' diameter wired it like that and then used one of those trays they use to catch water under a pot as the bottom and one for the top...put a plant in there and then they would secure the top down with a bungee cord. You will need to cup feed if you do this since the holes are too big hold an insect in. Just make sure to wash the leaves of any plant you put in there since it may have pesticide on the leaves
my guess would be about half a year depending on her nutrition before u got her and also that all chameleons grow at different rates. Maybe....shes a midget chameleon lol. At 2.5 in she has to be younger than a year i think. Many jacksons grow to 4-5in if I remember correctly so she's halfway there lol.
Does she want to be picked up?

Im not sure- but my chameleon sometimes (okay RARELY) goes to grab to the glass and doesnt stop until I open her cage, she then goes on my hand and climbes up my arm. Is this a sign shes giving me that she actually wants me to hold her? Or do they usually do this and Im getting my hopes up?
She may want to be picked up, but probably just wants out, and she knows you have to pick her up for her to get out. I'd encourage it, though!
my cage is actually at Face level already. I have her cage on a tall table in my room. Would this behavior actually be considered bad? And do Jacksons normally do this?
Probably confused by the glass. They do not understand things like that. A visible boundry like mesh is something they understand.
It is a bad behavior. It is an additional stress on the chameleon. They are essentially struggling and could exasperate themselves doing it. I'm willing to bet that Kinyonga has more experience than anyone here in the use of glass cages with chameleons- Id suggest talk to her. However, I recommend that if you do need solid side cages, that it actually be something "solid" in both structure and visibility.
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I had the problem of Shiver scratching at the glass when i first got her, i put some backing ( the stuff used on aquariums ) on 3 sides of the cage and this stopped her doing it - i think she was trying to "attack" her reflection.
I had the same issue, and agree with everyone here, but did the same thing Kazza suggested. Stopped almost immediately. Just as long as something is up (visible boundary), they seem to be cool with it, just make sure that they're still getting enough sunlight if you have 3 of 4 sides wrapped up
It is a perfect temp solution till ya can get a mesh cage
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