My veiled dug a tunnel to lay her eggs and I haven't seen her since...

MolecularWC

New Member
My veiled dug a tunnel to lay her eggs and I haven't seen her since. This was about 3 1/2 - 4 days ago. I'm really worried now and I'm not sure what I should do. We keep her laying medium in the enclosure all the time because she absolutely hates being touched. Should I go an start digging around in the dirt? Do I just wait a little longer? I don't know what to do. How long do they usually stay under the earth for? She has never been in her tunnel for more than 2 days max. Any suggestions? I'm nearing the end of my rope.
 

MolecularWC

New Member
All i can see is the opening and it still looks like a hole, but she does dig some long tunnels. Looking at the surface it doesn't look like any of it has sunk down. And the last time she laid part of the tunnel opening did drop on her but she dug herself out. It's hard to see into the tunnel though because of how the opening is facing.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is why a lot of breeders recommend having a safety stick in the hole so if it does collapse they can get out. 4 days is a long time! Id be pulling that dirt out in shovel loads!!
 

MolecularWC

New Member
Update. I went and dug right after making my last post. And I found her. A little info about the enclosure. I have 3 live plants in there among some other things from her to climb around on. The day before she went digging we had added more viney foliage around the upper areas of the enclosure. I dug for no reason. She must have come out sometime during the night and decided to take refuge behind some of them. I don't know how, but I managed to miss her the 500 times I must've looked all over the enclosure. I only happened to find her because I guess I got too close to her and she let out a pretty loud hiss at me and just about gave me a heart attack. Thank you guys for the replies.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Update. I went and dug right after making my last post. And I found her. A little info about the enclosure. I have 3 live plants in there among some other things from her to climb around on. The day before she went digging we had added more viney foliage around the upper areas of the enclosure. I dug for no reason. She must have come out sometime during the night and decided to take refuge behind some of them. I don't know how, but I managed to miss her the 500 times I must've looked all over the enclosure. I only happened to find her because I guess I got too close to her and she let out a pretty loud hiss at me and just about gave me a heart attack. Thank you guys for the replies.
Thank goodness!!! (y) Did she lay her eggs?
 

MolecularWC

New Member
I don't think so. She still looks plump. And she didn't fill in the hole which is why I probably missed her since I was sure she was still underground. I'm guessing she didn't fancy the tunnel she was working on and decided to come out for a break. Out of all our reptiles she is the one who gives me the most anxiety.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would try not to disturb her and leave the hole she dug alone. Chances are she will go back and work on it more. They often dig more than one hole or dig the same hole several times before actually laying the eggs. If she's digging don't let her see you watching her or she may abandon the hole and become eggbound if it happens too often.

Good luck!
 
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MolecularWC

New Member
She does stress me out something terrible. More so because her last 3 clutches were 50+, even after I scaled back her cricket intake. I still can't figure out how she carries that many with how small, imo, she is compared to the size of other females I've seen. But she's been a trooper. And yes, when I get another cham, its definitely going to be male. I don't think I could go through all this stress with a second one.
 

The Wild One

Avid Member
I tried for a male because I loved the name Levi and I didn’t even know about the eggs! So I ended up with a female.....
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dug for no reason. She must have come out sometime during the night and decided to take refuge behind some of them. I don't know how, but I managed to miss her the 500 times I must've looked all over the enclosure. I only happened to find her because I guess I got too close to her and she let out a pretty loud hiss at me and just about gave me a heart attack. Thank you guys for the replies.
This proves my point they are total ninjas. Glad you found her and you are both ok.
 

DeremensisBlue

Avid Member
Site Sponsor
I'd like to add that a chameleon should be digging a "hole" and not a "tunnel". I know it is semantics, but there has been a trend to give chameleons a lot of room to dig with perfect soil that will hold its shape. When what they are really looking for is a good firm layer to lay eggs against. And they are being forced, through our good intentions, to dig all the way down to the bottom of the container to find it. And then we assume that means they wanted more space to dig. Six inches of dirt is enough for them to lay. When a female is laying her eggs she'll want to do it so her head is above the ground. If you'd like to use a deeper substrate then you can place flat stones and plants and other natural substances four to six inches down that they can dig to. We try so hard to give them the perfect substrate to dig through, but that isn't what they have evolved to expect or to look for. If anyone is having trouble with a female that won't lay eggs in their perfect lay bin, try introducing a little imperfection and see if that helps.
When I had a larger breeding operation going on I would have 20' x 20' enclosed outdoor planted areas specifically for females to lay their eggs in a natural setting. I had a large section dug up and replaced with 12 inches of the best digging soil possible. And was consistently frustrated to find it ignored and the chameleons would always pick soil that I hadn't optimized. I thought they would want the optimized soil because in my previous years that was the only option I gave them. So now I have backed off on forcing my views on them as far as what they should want and use to lay their eggs. It seems they know better.
 
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