Is my wandering panther chameleon stressed out?


This is my first post on the forums. I have a 4.5 month old "blue bar" Ambiliobe panther chameleon from FL Chams. Supposedly, he is Hunter's offspring. He lives in a 6' tall potted ficus tree in a tall glazed pot. He is not enclosed in any type of cage. Roaming surface is 52" x 24" x 24". Until last week, he hasn't been able to navigate past the tall slick glazed sides of the ceramic pot. Now, he's learned how to slide down the slide of the pot while hanging on to the pot edge with his tail and all four feet dangling. He then simply drops 6" to the floor and goes walk-about. He seems fond of climbing the wicker laundry hamper and the Monstera plant in the bedroom.

I'm concerned about the wandering, since he's not near his misting system and light/ heat sources. Also, his silkworms are left behind in the tree when he leaves it. Since I have to return him to the tree, his handing has increased alot. He doesnt enjoy it, and hisses his displeasure. His food intake seems to have dropped from 6-10 feeders/ day to 1-3 feeders/ day. I'm concerned that all of the handling is stressing him out. I am having a 36" x 36" x 24" acrylic box constructed. It will be ready tomorrow. I plan to place his tree pot in the box to prevent him from getting too far from the tree area, and providing a couple of Reptivines to help him back up to the tree. I plan to place an aquarium background around the box sides to prevent confusion and rostral abrasions.

Am I on the right track? I'd not against the idea of a lil free ranging, but we do have a Chihuahua and I don't want Warpaint to get hurt. Pics of the setup to follow.

Parameters for care and housing are below:

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - F. pardalis, male, 5 months (3 months old when shipped from FL Chams), named Warpaint. He has shed three times in the two months that I've cared for him. This is my first experience with F. pardalis. I have previous experience and great luck with C. (T.) melleri in shaded outdoor enclosures in Galveston, Texas during the late 1990s. This panther seems far more active then the melleri were....

Handling - was once per week at most, now its increased to 1-3 per day to return the panther back to the tree.

Feeding - Has consistently refused to use feeder cup. Must be tong fed or food items must be placed on tree near the chameleon.
Live prey includes 3/4"-1" crickets, B. dubia nymphs, small hornworms, silkworms, Zoophobias mealworms, Phoenix worms, and occasionally wlid moths/ flies/ green grasshoppers from fallow fields. He was eating 6-10 insects per day. 50-60% of the diet was crickets, with varying amounts of the remaining feeders each day. No more than one Zoophobias per day. Hand fed from 9am- 2pm. One semi fasting day (only 1-4 insects) on Fridays.
Homemade gutload (Green Vibrance powder from Green Health, powdered dried coconut, powdered organic skim milk, bee pollen, wheat germ, ground flax meal, marine fish spirilina kelp fish food, pure astaxanthin powder, green tea, almond meal, pumpkin seed meal, sesame seed meal, paparika, dried sweet potato, dried blueberries, dried turnip greens, dried mustard greens, dried parsley, dried savory, dried apricot, sundried tomatoes, dried carrot, tumeric, dried ground turkey liver meal) for crickets and B. dubia roaches. Roaches and crickets hydrate via Flukers Ca2+ fortified cricket quencher dusted with astaxanthin powder. Silkworms and hornworms eat the foods from their shipping buckets. Superworms are fed on steel rolled oats, wheat germ, carrot, and Green Vibrance powder.

Supplements - Flukers calcium/ D3 powder twice per week on crickets. Reptivite vitamin powder dusted on crickets twice per month.

Watering - Exoterra Monsoon with two nozzles, spraying water from 7:30am-7:30 pm for 90 seconds once every two hours. Ultrasonic humidifier pointed at mid section of tree. Gentle handspraying once per day to wash out eyes and verifiy drinking.

Fecal Description - Black with a white uric acid tip. Solid texture.

Cage Info:
Cage Type -6' tall rapidly growing potted F. benjamina, with a small Rhaphis lady palm and ferns growing in the base of the pot. Tree is liberally festooned with repti-vines. Tree is located next to an east facing window and receives morning glass filtered sun light

Lighting - A retasked HO t5/ metal halide/ LED reef aquarium light that is suspended from the ceiling via cables. AdvPlus fixture (36") includes HO T5 Daylight Bulbs 6500K x 3, HO T5 Reptisun 5.0 UVA/ UVB bulb x 1, 250W metal halide bulb 6500K x1 (provides bright light and heat), and three blue light low wattage LEDs. T5 bulbs/ LEDs run from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. Halide runs from 10:30 am to 5:30pm. Light suspended 12" above the highest point of the tree.

Temperature - Basking site 99F (directly under the bulb), 85- 87F average across the top of the tree, 78F at the bottom of the tree. 78F ambient room temp. Night low temp. of 70-74F, depending upon the weather.

Humidity - 50 to 60% with a hydrometer. Humidity reads 95%+ from the center of the mist cloud that flows to the vertical mid point of the tree.

Plants - ficus (1) and maidenhair fern (3) lady palm (1)

Placement - near an east facing window in our bedroom. Relatively near a bathroom door. Direct line of sight in bedroom room entry.

Location - Dallas, Texas
Forgot to mention that there is a 24" ProLumen LED Daylight 8000K strip mounted on the windowsill near the pot to provide extra illumination the smaller plants in the pot. It produces no heat.


Hes wandering cuz he can.
Hes patrolling. its normal.

But his supplementing isn't.

He needs a calcium with no d3 ever feeding, a calcium with d3 twice a month, and a multivitamin twice a month

ALso, stop giving fish food as a gutload, its not very good.

ive never heard of some of the stuff you are using for gutloading, so I would suggest looking into that.

I wouldn't give ground turkey meal either.. just doesn't seem right.

fresh fruits and veggies are best for gutloading
that seems like a great solution, the pics don't seem to show.
btw, we love pics

they are photobucket....sometimes you can just right click the "broken" image and select open image in new tab/window to view it(works more often than not, as is the case here). Regardless, these are the images the OP intended to post.



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