Hi again fellow S. Florida dweller. Some things to keep in mind about melleri: The husbandry of meller's is quite different from your veiled chameleon. Veileds can tolerate much higher temps, that is why it's OK to keep them outside in S. Florida even in the summer, provided it has shade available. Veilds are actually established wild in Ft. Myers. Meller's, however, begin to feel heat stress when the temps approach the upper 80's. That means outdoors in S. Florida in summer would be a no no. Meller's are giants and need giant cages. Here is a quote from www.melleridiscovery.com :
Juveniles can be housed in fine screen cages, but the active adolescents require larger mesh screen to prevent claw and foot damage. Adults need at least 1 x 1.5" vinyl-coated mesh screen. Do not use screen size larger than .5” x 2” rectangles, or the melleri will injure its rostrum (nose) by trying to push through the screen to freedom.
If you take on the responsibility of keeping a giant, you have to think big. The overall cage size should be as large as you can make it. The minimum is 4' x 6' x 6' for a single animal and a robust collection of live plants. Outdoor enclosures are preferred for physical and mental health. The 260 gallon Reptarium all-screen cage, when placed on a raised platform, has worked for some as a temporary outdoor cage. Large and medium horizontal perches should run diagonally and along the cage walls to give the animal places to rest off the screen. Allow 10" of headroom above the highest perch for an adult to fully bask. Live potted trees such as Ficus benjamina or Ficus alli tolerate the climbing and perching of this giant species."
So, my fellow floridian, as you can see, there is no commercially produced cage available that would be suitable as a permanent residence for a meller's. Most people who keep them set up elaborate free range indoor rooms and
have large custom outdoor enclosures for them to use when the temps are not too extreme. Check out www.melleridiscovery.com for detailed information on thier care. They are definitely not the best choice for a
species for the beginner cham keeper. They look real cool since they are so huge, which makes them tempting, but I have watched in disgust as one wasted away in a local pet store due to impropor husbandry(I won't even buy crix at that store anymore). I hope this information helps you. How's your new veiled doing?
Thanks for the info. My Veiled is doing great, I just ordered him a big new indoor cage, and we just bought a house that we are moving into this weekend, and you can bet the first home improvement we will do is build an outdoor enclosure for him. I got some great plans I think from the CCIC? website. As far as the Mellers, I would definatelly not keep it outside unless the temp was kind of like it is now. My boyfriend is very handy and loves to build stuff for my kritters so I am thinking of having him build me some cages, but now that you mentioned the room thing its got me pondering, lol. We do have a spare bedroom that we keep our fishing and hunting stuff in, nothing that couldnt be moved into the shed. In a typical bedroom of a house with lots of plants, how many Mellers would I be able to keep?