jackson chameleon

I'm interested in getting a pair of jackson chamleon an was wondering if anyone on here has had real good luck keeping them. my biggest worry is temperture.i live in fl
Ive had fischers and werners which are a bit similar care wise because they are mountane species and these guys like it much cooler then your average veiled or panther. That and they need a higher humidity level, much higher like 90%, these guys love to drink. Heres a care sheet:

Kammerflage Kreations

~Jackson's Chameleon Care Sheet~
Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus


We prefer all screen enclosures with a hard plastic bottoms. Chameleons do best when housed in screen enclosures. These types of cages are light weight, easy to clean and able to be used outdoors on a warm, sunny day. Below are some recommended cage sizes:

Baby Size: 24"L x 12"W x 24"H
Juvenile Size: 24"L x 16"W x 30"H
Adult Size: 30"L x 18"W x 36"H

Baby chameleons should be kept in smaller enclosures in order to properly meet their daily needs. In an appropriately sized cage, they will have an easier time finding food, drinking water and staying warm. We keep the bottom of the cage clean and free of any substrate. Standing water or waste should be cleaned out on a regular basis in order to avoid potential bacterial growth.


(1) - UV Florescent Light Fixture
(1) - Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 florescent bulb or comparable UV bulb
(1) - Clamp Lamp Fixture
(1) - Incandescent light bulb for heat

Obviously, nothing man-made will ever replace the sun. Whenever you have a chance to take your chameleon outside, we highly recommend it. The optimum hours for natural UV exposure are between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Be sure to place your cage in partial sun/shade and provide misting and watering to avoid possibilities of overheating. As little as one day a week in the sun will prove to be very beneficial to your chameleon.

Since most chameleons will spend a portion of time indoors, lighting plays an important role in their health and well-being. Two forms of lighting are required. The first is UV Florescent lighting, which simulates natural sunlight. UV rays are important not only for the provision of vitamin D3 (necessary for absorption of calcium), but also for proper health and psychological well-being. UV exposure helps to elevate a chameleon's mood, activity level and appetite.

Since florescent lights do not produce heat, this is not the only light source needed. In addition to the florescent lighting, an incandescent bulb is necessary to provide proper heating. Jackson's should be provided with a basking site that reaches 84-86F for babies and adults. A branch can be placed horizontally underneath the basking area where the chameleon can relax and enjoy the warmth. The branch should be no closer than 6 inches below the screen top so as to avoid accidental burns to your chameleon. The incandescent bulb, which fits in a clamp lamp fixture, should be located in one corner on the screen top of the cage. By placing the clamp lamp in one corner, you can provide a gradient temperature range within the enclosure. When your chameleon wants to warm up under the heat light, he/she will go over to bask, if not, there will be other cooler areas in the enclosure to go to. Avoid placing the spot lamp in the top middle since the heat will disperse evenly throughout the cage.

Both forms of lighting should be off at night. Just as chameleons in the wild have a cooling down period during the night, we need to provide this in captivity as well. Unless the temperatures inside your home fall below 60 degrees F in the wintertime, no additional heat source at night (such as a ceramic heat lamp) should be necessary.

Light Timer:
(1) Inexpensive lamp timer
(1) 3-pronged adapter to fit the timer (which is usually 2-pronged)
(1) Power strip

Placing your lights on an automatic timer is a simple way to automate the care of your chameleon on a daily basis. You can plug a power strip into an inexpensive lamp timer and have the chameleon's lights come on and off routinely. We set our timers on a 12-hour cycle during the summer and a 10-hour cycle during the winter.

We recommend living plants to include in your chameleon's enclosure. Choose a healthy plant that fits the cage nicely, both in fullness and height. We use Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) in over 95% of our cages since they do nicely both indoors and out. Some other nontoxic plants include:

Weeping Figs (Ficus benjamina)
Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola)
Any other non-toxic plant. See our website for great links to “SAFE” plants . . . Go to: http://www.calumma.com/Plants and Branches.htm

Due to pesticide and fertilizer use in most plant nurseries, whenever you introduce a new plant to your animal's enclosure, there are some preparation steps to take beforehand. Many nursery's and garden centers use heavy-duty pesticides to protect the plants but these same pesticides may prove fatal to your chameleon if ingested. Make sure they are removed!

Step 1: Take a clean bucket and fill it with a squirt of antibacterial soap and water. Create a soapy solution. Invert the plant "head down" into the water and swish around. Let the plant sit for 3-5 minutes.

Step 2: Rinse the plant thoroughly so that any soap solution is removed. Repeat steps 1 and 2 a second or third time.

Step 3: The potting soil the plant originally comes in may contain fertilizers and soil additives that could be detrimental to your animal. Crickets often go into the potting soil of the plant and if your chameleon shoots for the cricket, you don't want him/her to draw back nitrate fertilizers along with their prey. A simple way to remedy this is to purchase a small bag of "Super Soil" (without conditioners) and replace the top 3-4" of soil in the plant container.

Once your plant is properly cleaned and the topsoil is replaced, you can rest easy that it's now ready for a new home with your chameleon.


Spray bottle for misting
Drip watering system

We mist our chameleons' enclosure plants about one hour after the lights come on. Enclosures can be misted once in the morning and then later on in the afternoon when possible. Misting not only provides water for your chameleon to drink from, it's also helpful in raising humidity within the enclosure. Jackson’s prefer higher humidity levels in the 60%+ range.

After misting, you can fill the chameleon's drip cup with fresh water and place it on the screen top so it drips over the interior plant(s). Use a simple catch plate underneath the plant to hold any excess water.


Babies: Baby chameleons should be fed 6-7 days a week. From the age of 0-4 months, we feed our offspring liberally. Babies will often eat 8-12 crickets a day when the crickets are 7-14 days old (small 1/8" - 1/4" size). In addition to crickets, one of their favorite foods at this stage of life are flightless fruit flies. These can often be purchased at your local pet shop in small vials with 100 or so flies per culture.

Juveniles/Young Adults: Once the offspring reach 5-12 months of age (juvenile, young adult size), we slow down their food intake and begin to grow them at a slower pace. By now they are on a 3-4 week cricket (1/2 - 3/4" size) and we allow 5-6 crickets per feeding as opposed to the 8-12 they were receiving as small babies. The very real risk of overfeeding during this life stage is a high potential for MBD (metabolic bone disease) by misjudging the calcium ratios to food intake. It's too difficult to manage proper supplementation when offering large volumes of food. By growing your chameleon slowly and steadily through this period of their life, you are much more likely to provide them with strong, dense bones as opposed to weak, brittle bones from accelerated growth rates the chameleons can't keep up with.

Adult Males: From 13-18 months, we feed our adult males on an "every other day" basis. When we feed crickets, they are given approx. 10 per feeding. At this stage of life, they are no longer experiencing rapid growth and don't require food on a daily basis.

Adult Females: For mature and actively breeding females, we maintain a daily feeding schedule due to the high demands associated with during egg production.

Due to the lack of scientific research, nutritional supplementation for chameleons in captivity is largely a mystery. This is an area of chameleon care that must be determined individually by the chameleon keeper. The needs of each chameleon can vary depending on species and life stages (i.e. growing babies, females actively reproducing, mature adult males etc.).

The conventional wisdom is that both a vitamin and calcium supplement should be provided to captive chameleons but with widely differing opinions as to "how much" and "how often". One of the best ways to ensure chameleons are getting proper nutrition is through the foods they eat. Supplements are in addition to a healthy diet. When we supplement, it is done "lightly and routinely". The prey item should be evenly coated but not "laden down" or smothered with supplements.

We use the following supplement products:

Rep-Cal Herptivite (multi-vitamin only)
Rep-Cal Calcium (calcium with and w/out vitamin D3 - depending on whether your chameleon is housed indoors or out)

For babies and juveniles, we give vitamins once every 7-10 days and Rep-Cal calcium or Miner-Al (alternating between the two products) twice a week. As is common with many montane species, Jackson's are sensitive to over supplementation so we are careful not to over do.
I'm interested in getting a pair of jackson chamleon an was wondering if anyone on here has had real good luck keeping them. my biggest worry is temperture.i live in fl
if you have an, auto mister i think you will be fine , if you mist a dry warm cage it will lower the temp about 10* (depending on your setup & other factors) just keep lots of live plants and mist frequently, in temps above 90* i would mist AT LEAST every 90 min,those comments pertain to an open, or semi open, screen cage not a terrarium, i think any sort of terrarium or cage that had more than 2 solid sides , heat buildup would be a problem. just be sure they always have shaded misted areas to go to
Top Bottom