Looks irritated for no reason?

Erinincharge

New Member
I am a brand new chameleon owner, I’ve had my veiled for almost exactly one month. I’ve been trying to learn all I can, but as you all know there’s much to learn and a lot of conflicting information out there.

This afternoon, I look into her cage and see her black stripes and spots. I’ve only witnessed this behavior when she is really upset/irritated, but in this instance, she was just chillin in her cage without disturbance. She is shedding, maybe that’s something to do with it?

Another environmental change that comes to mind is that for the last month, we thought we had to have lamps on 24/7 so at night, we’d give her a “night lamp” which was basically a purple bulb, not very bright. The last 2 nights, we’ve been turning off all lamps and letting her sleep in darkness, so I’m wondering if maybe she’s trying to absorb heat with her black spots? I’m just skeptical of that solution only because of her posture in the picture I’m attaching. I‘ve read that this stance typically indicates aggression; does it always?

Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated in addition to any further advice you’re willing to share for a new cham owner!!
 

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Chameleoking

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello , glad to have you on the forums. Chameleons must not have any light at all at night. They need darkness and a good 10 degree temp drop. Also if she's four months or older she needs a laybin asap in the enclosure. The problem sounds like some husbandry issues like heating, correct lighting and humidity that need to be addressed and she should jump back to her normal colors. So I'll post a husbandry form for you to fill out if you kindly can. You came.to the right place. This forum rocks.
 

Chameleoking

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful
 

Chameleoking

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you could please fill this form out just by writing your answers in and pasting. This will solve problem. Oh and make sure your basking lamp is 9 inches away from basking branch. Sorry I'm running late for work gotta go for now. Good luck!
 

Chameleoking

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh and if you can this will also help if you can take a pic of your whole enclosure from the lights on top all the way down please and thank you
 

Erinincharge

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled, female (I believe; can’t see a tarsal spur), unknown age, in my care 1 month
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • I handled daily when I first purchased, but since learning that they dislike to be held, I never handle unless necessary.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • I have been feeding a mix of mealworms, crickets and a waxworm here and there. I feed her pretty much all she can eat since she is so small, but intend to feed less once she is an adult. I’d appreciate advice on when to switch to adult feeding schedule.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • zoo med repti calcium with D3 every few days, zilla vitamin supplement with beta carotene food spray about 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?
    • We have a dripper over one of her potted plants, and mist for a couple minutes when she wakes up and a couple minutes when she goes to sleep. I do see her drink from the leaves of her plants. I use a hand sprayer and spray all the leave, but I just recently purchased an automatic mister that I’ll have on a timer. I’m wondering if I should increase to more frequent misting, as I was told recently that juveniles are more susceptible to dehydration. My concern is that I’d like to avoid too high of humidity, in order to prevent respiratory diseases.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • moist, but substantial looking, medium brown droppings.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • The cage she is currently in is relatively small and is mainly glass, (PetCo recommendation smh…). Thus, we ordered a new cage with larger dimensions (I’ll update with exact numbers once I know-my partner ordered) and combination of glass and screen. We intend to set up with mainly screen sides to encourage ventilation. Again, the cage she is currently in is not ideal. We received a lot of bad advice when we first purchased this chameleon, and are now having to make a lot of re-purchases. Her new cage arrives this Tuesday.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • I actually don’t have any of the original packaging for our lamps, so I couldn’t tell you what they are. I have multiple lamps but typically only run one. I have read that it’s best to have one for heat and a separate one for UVB; as of now, I just have bulbs that do both, so I welcome any recommendations there.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • her basking spot is around 85, and the bottom is around 75. We just have stick on thermometers at 2 points in the cage.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • I need help!! It’s around 20-30% during the middle of the day. Again, we spray the cage in the morning and at night. We do also have a dripper going that adds moisture. We have a fogger as well which I would like to use to increase humidity at night but I have concerns about using it with the glass enclosure. I noticed an accumulation of moisture at the bottom of the cage that does not decrease throughout the day, so we stopped using the fogger altogether.
    • Again, we are switching to a more screen-style cage, so I’m hoping that will help allow the substrate to fully dry between mistings/fog.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • She has 3 different succulents in her cage, she eats the jade plant. There are also a few fake plants that were added to provide extra area for her to crawl around on.
  • 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?
    • her cage is in our bedroom. It’s about 3-4 feet off the ground.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • I live in Florida (I’ve heard there are wild populations of veileds here!! ….never seen any)
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Sometimes seems moody…generally after some expert advice about her care/any changes I can make.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled, female (I believe; can’t see a tarsal spur), unknown age, in my care 1 month My guess is she’s somewhere around 5 months old.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • I have been feeding a mix of mealworms, crickets and a waxworm here and there. I feed her pretty much all she can eat since she is so small, but intend to feed less once she is an adult. I’d appreciate advice on when to switch to adult feeding schedule. Attaching feeder and gutloading graphics. Mealworms and waxworms aren’t good as staple feeders. Veileds will eat endlessly and this poses risks for them, especially the girls. Assuming she’s around 5 months old, she should be getting around 5 feeders daily and in another month or so, reduce to every other day.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • zoo med repti calcium with D3 every few days, zilla vitamin supplement with beta carotene food spray about once a week Correct supplements are very important and while there’s many different types and regimens, I’m going to tell you the one I use. You’ll need to use a phosphorus free calcium without D3 at every feeding except one every other week. That one every other week you’ll want to use a multivitamin/D3 combo such as ReptiVite with D3 or Repashy calcium plus LoD.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • We have a dripper over one of her potted plants, and mist for a couple minutes when she wakes up and a couple minutes when she goes to sleep. I do see her drink from the leaves of her plants. I use a hand sprayer and spray all the leave, but I just recently purchased an automatic mister that I’ll have on a timer. I’m wondering if I should increase to more frequent misting, as I was told recently that juveniles are more susceptible to dehydration. No, what you’re doing is perfect. My concern is that I’d like to avoid too high of humidity, in order to prevent respiratory diseases. True.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • moist, but substantial looking, medium brown droppings. Always a good idea to have a veterinary wellness check with a fecal test. We have some good vets experienced with chams here in Florida. This is who I and others in the central area use. https://myavho.com/
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • The cage she is currently in is relatively small and is mainly glass, (PetCo recommendation smh…). Thus, we ordered a new cage with larger dimensions (I’ll update with exact numbers once I know-my partner ordered) and combination of glass and screen. We intend to set up with mainly screen sides to encourage ventilation. Again, the cage she is currently in is not ideal. We received a lot of bad advice when we first purchased this chameleon, and are now having to make a lot of re-purchases. Her new cage arrives this Tuesday. Unfortunately it’s common that we start buying all the wrong stuff and then have to replace with all the right stuff. 🤷‍♀️ Minimum enclosure size is 2x2x4’ or equivalent. I prefer screen as I can block off areas as needed to maintain humidity. Being in Fl, I’d avoid all glass due to humidity concerns.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • I actually don’t have any of the original packaging for our lamps, so I couldn’t tell you what they are. I have multiple lamps but typically only run one. I have read that it’s best to have one for heat and a separate one for UVB; as of now, I just have bulbs that do both, so I welcome any recommendations there. The standard for correct uvb is a linear T5 with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. It needs to be long enough to span the width of your enclosure and basking area will need to be 8-9” below the light. Usually we’ve had to order the correct uvb on line, however PetSmart has started carrying Arcadia Pro T5 which is a great uvb light. The screw in bulbs just aren’t able to provide needed uvb levels any farther away than 2-3”.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • her basking spot is around 85, and the bottom is around 75. We just have stick on thermometers at 2 points in the cage. Too hot for a girl. Ideally basking temp is around 80.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • I need help!! It’s around 20-30% during the middle of the day. Again, we spray the cage in the morning and at night. We do also have a dripper going that adds moisture. We have a fogger as well which I would like to use to increase humidity at night but I have concerns about using it with the glass enclosure. I noticed an accumulation of moisture at the bottom of the cage that does not decrease throughout the day, so we stopped using the fogger altogether. 30% humidity is fine. Ideal range is between 30-50% for veileds. Adding live plants will greatly add to and maintain humidity levels. You only want to use a fogger at night if you can achieve night temps of at least 68-70 or lower. When you get your new enclosure, you’ll need to figure out a drainage method. Lots of ideas all over the forum.
    • Again, we are switching to a more screen-style cage, so I’m hoping that will help allow the substrate to fully dry between mistings/fog.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • She has 3 different succulents in her cage, she eats the jade plant. There are also a few fake plants that were added to provide extra area for her to crawl around on. Pothos, pothos, pothos! It is the easiest to care for, safe for our little plant nibblers, long vines to travel, big leaves to drink from and take cover under, etc etc. There are lots of great live plants, but many will need an additional plant light to thrive. No fake plants in the enclosure - impaction risk if she eats a leaf. Attach the fake to the outside door to give extra privacy.
  • 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?
    • her cage is in our bedroom. It’s about 3-4 feet off the ground. Height = safety for veileds. I keep mine at a level which is way above my short 5’ tall head.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • I live in Florida (I’ve heard there are wild populations of veileds here!! ….never seen any) I believe they are mostly in south Florida and hard to find.
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Sometimes seems moody…generally after some expert advice about her care/any changes I can make. Veileds have a reputation for their sassy attitudes. It just adds to their personality imo and I adore them for it.
To be continued…

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here is a safe plant list graphic as well as a lay bin graphic. Now let me give you my ‘laying 101’ blurb. ;)
Whether mated or not, your sweet lady will develop and lay eggs periodically. This takes a great deal out of them and shortens their lives. Having large clutches of eggs also increases risks for complications in laying them successfully. This is why we limit their basking temp to 80 and limit their food intake. The more they eat (overeat), the more eggs will be produced. It’s a bit tricky with girls who are near the age of sexual maturity like yours, as we don’t want them to produce large amounts of eggs, but we also need to make sure to give them the nutrition needed for growth. So, my choice is to start reducing their feedings when they are around 6 months old to about 5 feeders every other day. When your girl starts showing some colors of teal and orange, she’s starting her first receptive (to mating) phase. She most likely will also be quite restless and active at this point. This is when you need to prepare a lay bin and keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure. I use bins that are at least 12” long and wide and fill it to about 5-6” deep with washed play sand. The sand needs to be moist enough to hold a tunnel without collapsing. To prevent excess water in the bin, I drill some small holes in the bottom. It only leaks sand for a short time. Provide some stable branches/vines for her to get in/out of the bin. If you notice a lot of poops getting in the bin, try putting it in a different area and clean the debris as needed. When she needs the bin, she’ll find it. Usually anywhere from a few weeks after settling down from her receptive period you can expect egg laying at any time. She’ll retain her colors, but you may see changes to them…usually darkening. Each lady has her own patterns and some are subtle, so you’ll need to pay close attention to determine your lady’s. She’ll start getting plump and maybe lumpy and her activity levels may slow down a bit. Right before laying, her appetite may decrease and she may start spending more time exploring the lower areas of her enclosure. One day you’ll find she’s in her lay bin digging. Don’t let her see you if possible. Cover up just the visible lower half of her enclosure with a light sheet and give her total privacy. You can make small holes in the sheet to peek and monitor her progress. She may dig several holes until she likes one and then once she’s dug it out, she’ll turn around and lay her eggs. When done, she’ll carefully cover all holes and return to her basking branch, looking dirty and much thinner. The whole process can take a couple of days and she may sleep in her tunnel. Keep your normal light schedule. After she’s all done, feed and hydrate her well for a couple of days. Hornworms and silkworms are great at this time. Then you’ll start her on a diet regimen of 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week (plus occasional small treats). You’ll want to remove the eggs and count them. Ideally we hope for less than 30 eggs. Anything over 40 is a lot. Over 50 is danger level for complications. Of course, each chameleon is different and much is up to her genetics. I have 2 veiled ladies. One hasn’t laid any eggs since Feb 2020. The other has been laying about once a year. Both still have had receptive periods, but they have gotten less pronounced in intensity and no eggs are produced. Hope this all helps. :)

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Erinincharge

New Member
Well we changed her enclosure so she has a lot more space but she hasn’t been as active as she was in the last cage. It’s typically around 80° in there during the day, we updated to the recommended lights, and reduced her feeding a bit.

Does she look too skinny for her age or does she look ok?
 

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Chameleoking

Chameleon Enthusiast
The enclosure looks awesome! Those vines are so cool but veiled chams are notorious at eating pieces of those vine especially as that start to get older. So I whould highly recommend removing those. I used them too when I first started and ended up removing them after I found out they where an impaction risk. Really veiled chams will eat just about anything if you give them the opportunity ( fake plants and those vines). I think once you put a nice real center plant with lots of climbing limbs she will start moving around.
 
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