Jackson Chameleon! Slightly Worried!

Smurfdog

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - Jacksonii xantholphus, 6months, male-owned for 1 month
  • Handling - Handled occasionally, never stresses when handled, enjoys free moving around the room
  • Feeding - Fed Primarily crickets haven't fed anything else (going to change tomorrow)
  • Supplements - ZooMed Vitamins without D3, and calcium occasionally.
  • Watering - Misting system, drinks water off the leaves and out of spray bottle when I spray the cage.
  • Fecal Description - Fecal matter looks perfect, never checked for parasites
  • History - 3 weeks in he was coloring up and looked fine, his eyes and everything look perfect skin is elastic. Just finished shedding and shed fine. Lighting cycle is 12 on 12 off.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 24x24x48 Screen cage
  • Lighting - ZooMed Lighting kit (UVB 5.0/Blue Tint Heat bulb)
  • Temperature - 70-72f Daytime 65-66f Nighttime
  • Humidity - 67-72% after mist closer to 80%
  • Plants - Live Plants- Medium sized Delray palm Fake- Vines, Leaves plenty of space to move and get around access to all parts of the cage
  • Placement - On a table 5ft off the ground in a corner near computer setup, very low foot traffic 1 person majority of the time 2 people in the room maximum.
  • Location - Enclosed room in the back of a house, plenty of fresh air all the time.

Reason to be worried: I have had joe for around a month now, around 2 and a half weeks he was bright green all day and he seemed to be really settling in. As of late though he has not been so green, it would seem that for some reason one side of his body is a blotchy brown and yellow color. While the other side is quite bright green. The color is sort of similar to the picture where he is sleeping that brown except he no longer is that color when sleeping that was at an earlier time in his new home. He is always green on both sides while sleeping. This brown with yellow tint color always seems to be on the side facing the light. The UVB and Heat are concentrated in one side of his cage to give some level of variability in temperature in the cage. He does have a basking spot although he does not use it often. The temperatures are always constant and never vary off the acceptable temperature that Jacksons are supposed to live in. His diet has been crickets this whole month, but I am going to switch it up with wax worms tomorrow. In addition to the color difference, I have noticed that he will no longer eat crickets out of my hand but he used to eat them with no issue straight out of my fingers. I handle him occasionally and when I do he is always bright green and happy roaming outside of his cage and is never that blotchy color on one side just even green through his body. Despite his happiness when handling he still does not eat out of my hand anymore. I'm thinking that might just be his distaste that has grown for only eating crickets. I will update tomorrow if the wax worms make a difference in that. My main concern is his color which I know indicates mood, its strange that when he is out roaming around my mood he is green and happy but for some reason is unhappy and that same color inside his cage. Despite me checking everything cage enviornment wise i could possibly think of. I appreciate any help! Thank you!

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - Jacksonii xantholphus, 6months, male-owned for 1 month
  • Handling - Handled occasionally, never stresses when handled, enjoys free moving around the room
  • Feeding - Fed Primarily crickets haven't fed anything else (going to change tomorrow)
  • Supplements - ZooMed Vitamins without D3, and calcium occasionally.
  • Watering - Misting system, drinks water off the leaves and out of spray bottle when I spray the cage.
  • Fecal Description - Fecal matter looks perfect, never checked for parasites
  • History - 3 weeks in he was coloring up and looked fine, his eyes and everything look perfect skin is elastic. Just finished shedding and shed fine. Lighting cycle is 12 on 12 off.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 24x24x48 Screen cage
  • Lighting - ZooMed Lighting kit (UVB 5.0/Blue Tint Heat bulb)
  • Temperature - 70-72f Daytime 65-66f Nighttime
  • Humidity - 67-72% after mist closer to 80%
  • Plants - Live Plants- Medium sized Delray palm Fake- Vines, Leaves plenty of space to move and get around access to all parts of the cage
  • Placement - On a table 5ft off the ground in a corner near computer setup, very low foot traffic 1 person majority of the time 2 people in the room maximum.
  • Location - Enclosed room in the back of a house, plenty of fresh air all the time.

Reason to be worried: I have had joe for around a month now, around 2 and a half weeks he was bright green all day and he seemed to be really settling in. As of late though he has not been so green, it would seem that for some reason one side of his body is a blotchy brown and yellow color. While the other side is quite bright green. The color is sort of similar to the picture where he is sleeping that brown except he no longer is that color when sleeping that was at an earlier time in his new home. He is always green on both sides while sleeping. This brown with yellow tint color always seems to be on the side facing the light. The UVB and Heat are concentrated in one side of his cage to give some level of variability in temperature in the cage. He does have a basking spot although he does not use it often. The temperatures are always constant and never vary off the acceptable temperature that Jacksons are supposed to live in. His diet has been crickets this whole month, but I am going to switch it up with wax worms tomorrow. In addition to the color difference, I have noticed that he will no longer eat crickets out of my hand but he used to eat them with no issue straight out of my fingers. I handle him occasionally and when I do he is always bright green and happy roaming outside of his cage and is never that blotchy color on one side just even green through his body. Despite his happiness when handling he still does not eat out of my hand anymore. I'm thinking that might just be his distaste that has grown for only eating crickets. I will update tomorrow if the wax worms make a difference in that. My main concern is his color which I know indicates mood, its strange that when he is out roaming around my mood he is green and happy but for some reason is unhappy and that same color inside his cage. Despite me checking everything cage enviornment wise i could possibly think of. I appreciate any help! Thank you!

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Don’t handle him unless he wants it (climbs onto your hand), if he is very bright, then he’s fired up (mad/pissed/etc.).What do you gutload with? Only use waxworms as treats. Try some more variety, like silkworms, hornworms, butterworms, superworms, roaches (dubia, red runner, orange headed, and ivory headed cannot climb or fly), mantids, small helix aspersa, blue bottle flies, and black soldier flies and larvae, to name a few. How often do you use those supplements? What is your misting schedule? Get rid of the lighting you have now and get a white light heat bulb and either a t5HO or T8 linear uvb bulb and fixture (use either a Zoo Med 5.0 or Arcadia 6% for the bulb). Basking should be 82-83*F. Is that palm tree cham-safe? @JacksJill will be more help than me
 

Chameleophlaged

Established Member
Don't worry about the two different colored sides, he's regulating his temperature.
If you can lower the night time temp he would be happier, they like it cool and wet at night.
 

Smurfdog

New Member
Don’t handle him unless he wants it (climbs onto your hand), if he is very bright, then he’s fired up (mad/pissed/etc.).What do you gutload with? Only use waxworms as treats. Try some more variety, like silkworms, hornworms, butterworms, superworms, roaches (dubia, red runner, orange headed, and ivory headed cannot climb or fly), mantids, small helix aspersa, blue bottle flies, and black soldier flies and larvae, to name a few. How often do you use those supplements? What is your misting schedule? Get rid of the lighting you have now and get a white light heat bulb and either a t5HO or T8 linear uvb bulb and fixture (use either a Zoo Med 5.0 or Arcadia 6% for the bulb). Basking should be 82-83*F. Is that palm tree cham-safe? @JacksJill will be more help than me
I use the ZooMed Vitamins once a week and the calcium 2 times this month. The crickets are fed potatoes and squash and healthy foods already, I am going to try silk worms and wax worms as treats. Misting times are 30 sec every 3 hours, but i have changed that up before to 15 sec every hour and I didn't notice a mood change or difference in humidity to mist as much as 15sec every hour. Also anytime i handle him its voluntary, he will come to me. When I do have him out and about I never restrict him and he is always the correct colors that show relaxation and never any stress colors.
 
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Smurfdog

New Member
Don't worry about the two different colored sides, he's regulating his temperature.
If you can lower the night time temp he would be happier, they like it cool and wet at night.
I'm not sure how I would go about lowering night time temps, 64-65 is about the lowest I can get it in my room during the winter.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use the ZooMed Vitamins once a week and the calcium 2 times this month. The crickets are fed potatoes and squash and healthy foods already, I am going to try silk worms and wax worms as treats. Misting times are 30 sec every 3 hours, but i have changed that up before to 15 sec every hour and I didn't notice a mood change or difference in humidity to mist as much as 15sec every hour.
Phosphorous free calcium without D3 should be twice a week, phosphorus free calcium with D3 once a month, and a multivitamin without D3 once a month. Add in some more organic fresh fruits and veggies, along with bee pollen and spirulina into your gutload (there’s a gutload list here in the food and nutrition tab in resources) and/or add in a quality commercial gutload, like the Montane version of Cricket Crack. Silkworms can be fed as a “staple”. Add in more variety, like I listed above. Mistings should be a minimum of 2 minutes long each time
 

Smurfdog

New Member
Phosphorous free calcium without D3 should be twice a week, phosphorus free calcium with D3 once a month, and a multivitamin without D3 once a month. Add in some more organic fresh fruits and veggies, along with bee pollen and spirulina into your gutload (there’s a gutload list here in the food and nutrition tab in resources) and/or add in a quality commercial gutload, like the Montane version of Cricket Crack. Silkworms can be fed as a “staple”. Add in more variety, like I listed above. Mistings should be a minimum of 2 minutes long each time
My misting system can't be set to 2 minutes should I just go for the highest amount of time I can? I will try to gut load them more variety and i am definitely gonna try silkworms as a staple and switch it up sometimes to treat him with different insects.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
My misting system can't be set to 2 minutes should I just go for the highest amount of time I can? I will try to gut load them more variety and i am definitely gonna try silkworms as a staple and switch it up sometimes to treat him with different insects.
Highest setting, I’d look into getting a MistKing. You shouldn’t have a “staple”, but if you do, have a minimum of 3-5 staples along with even more variety. Crickets, BSF and BSFL, silkworms, blue bottle flies, mantids, and multiple types of roaches are great “staples”.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree he's trying to warm up, the darker side is better at absorbing heat. Winter is coming and if the temperatures and light is lower their appetite will drop off a bit. A well fed cham is lazy about eating.
Here is the care sheet incase you haven't seen it. caresheets/jacksons/ it will help you set temps and supplement schedule.
 

Smurfdog

New Member
Update, I fed joe some wax worms he seemed to really like the new treat. I went to the pet store where the owner breeds chams and he said that 73 average ambient temp is to low, i should have ambient temps of 77 and basking temp of 84 and nighttime don't drop below 67. Humidity is perfect and watering he said is even better. The diet variety, supplements and temps could be the combo stressing him. He said the feeding i have for him is perfect a mixture of him hunting his own food in the cage and a feeder/hand feeding for variety of different bugs. Ill update the post as his mood improves
 

Smurfdog

New Member
If my ambient temperatures are around what you shoot for, then why would he be displaying colors of a chameleon that is cold? im very confused on this.
 

timw1

Chameleon Enthusiast
If my ambient temperatures are around what you shoot for, then why would he be displaying colors of a chameleon that is cold? im very confused on this.
Basking temp too low. Chameleons are cold blooded and need adequate basking temps to warm up. A chameleon will turn dark to absorb more heat and turn light to reflect heat. In your enclosure your cham will also use the different temp gradients throughout the enclosure to regulate his body temp.

Also, how are you measuring heat? Some of the cheaper temp gauges are not that accurate.
 
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