need help choosing a chameleon at an expo

wastedwords

New Member





So I am heading to the Steel City Reptile Expo in two weeks. I am looking to purchase a chameleon (hopefully a panther but due to finances perhaps a veiled)

I need to know what I should look for in picking out my chameleon. Is it best to purchase a youngin or an older, fullsized chameleon? I would love to get a male and female pair. Do I need to get them from the same breeder as a mated pair or is it ok to survey all the booths and mix/match. I would prefer ones around 8 months but I'm not sure if that is a best practice.
Besides characteristics like bones sticking out and scaled missing are there any things that I should be on the lookout for? Could mites be an issue and if so how can I spot them? Also is it acceptable to haggle at a reptile expo? Is it possible to put a reptile "on hold" for an hour or so in case I need more time to look around?

Also I would like very much to get a pair of dart frogs. I have done some research and it seems there are conflicting opinions on the breeds that do best in captivity. Can anyone help me out with this? Also I have basically the same questions about which to pick. Besides mal-nutrition and scars etc. what should I look for to make sure the frog is healthy? Should I get a youngin or an adult? Can I get a male and a female or should I stick to two females?

Any advice from people who have tables at expos or just expo going reptile enthusiasts would be greatly appreciated. I am travelling far for this and I would like very much to be successful in my endeavors.






 

RJDragons

New Member
Deff haggle at the expos u can usally get them down atleast a few bucks. putting one on hold, most likely not, there not gonna put it away from other people for the fact if you change your mind they might have missed out on a sale from another buyers. Age wise the older the hardier but anything around 4 months should be ok just as long as you did enough research on how to care for one.
 

giaindell

New Member
if you can try to hold the chameleon and see if it has a strong or weak grip if it has a weak grip, dont get it, and make sure its eyes are not sunkin in thats basically all i can tell you:)
 

dodolah

Retired Moderator
Hope this helps answer most of your questions.

http://chamworld.blogspot.com/2008/01/chameleon-care-101.html

http://chamworld.blogspot.com/2008/01/new-arrival-bringing-home-new-chameleon.html

as far as the more specific ones:
Besides characteristics like bones sticking out and scaled missing are there any things that I should be on the lookout for?

If you read the first link, I have listed most of the general "not so good" characteristic of chameleons that you should avoid buying.
You should also check out the the 101 series and the health sections in the blog when you have more time. These excerpts will hopefully help you in your quest of finding the right chameleon for you.

Could mites be an issue and if so how can I spot them?
Generally, if you buy from reputable breeders, you won't see this problem. Ask around members here for a recommendation.
You can also check out the forum sponsors. As far as spotting mites, see if there are some moving tiny dots on its body.

Also is it acceptable to haggle at a reptile expo?
Some breeder will allow you to do it. Some won't.. It depends.

Is it possible to put a reptile "on hold" for an hour or so in case I need more time to look around?
A good breeder will allow you to do so provided that you pay first or have some sort of a guarantee that you won't disappear at the end of the day while they are keeping your chameleon for you. Most reputable breeders should have a fully furnished cage for the chameleons they display. Unlike most Geckos and exotic insects, due to their low tolerance to stress, chameleons cannot be displayed in a small tupperware. If the breeder refuse to put your chameleon on hold while you look around and prefer that you keep your chameleon in a small plastic tub for hours, I would stay away from them.
 
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MINItron

New Member
Those are two very good blog posts about choosing a chameleon.

I would agree with most of what has already been said. I typically will make a pass through the entire show to see all the available animals before choosing which ones I want to look at more closely. I just bought a new chameleon this weekend, and actually only looked at one animal. I will admit that it was a relatively small show, and there was only one seller that had young chameleons available.

With chameleons I would always want to get a close look. It is generally good to let them walk across you hand so you can feel their grip as has already been mentioned. Usually they will be at least a little stressed so they will likely gape and hiss at you which will give you a chance to see the inside of their mouth. I try to make the evaluation as short as possible, especially if there is any chance that I may be moving on to another animal. I really don't like to stress them any more than necessary.

As far as haggling goes I have never haggled over any of the reptiles I have bought at shows. It has been my experience that most sellers at shows and expos are already giving you a really good price. I helped in a friend's pet store for several years before I joined the Navy, and even when I had access to buying reptiles from wholesalers we often went to shows to buy stock because the prices were better.

As always this is just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
 

Psi

New Member
putting one on hold, most likely not, there not gonna put it away from other people for the fact if you change your mind
That's why you offer a deposit, or even just pay for it in full right away and they'll typically keep it behind. Without either of those, yes, I'm only holding it for 30 minutes or so, and likely not out of sight either.
If someone had come up 20 minutes later saying "oh I want that" I just tell them I have it on hold another 10 minutes to see if the original customer comes back, if not it's theirs.
 

Hugh Wahl

New Member
You should look at limbs to make sure they are properly formed, you should look at there eyes they should not be sunken in and should be clear and alert never sleeping. They should have a strong grip and no discharge from there nose. Also I he will open his mouth check in there for anything that look abnormal, I won't buy from someone how does know the basic info on something do your research and ask question. The seller should know right away an answer, if he dilly dallies he is searching for what he thinks you want to hear. As far as the frog I bought a male and female dendro azuris and had them for like five years they,re cool frogs easy to care for as well just don't get lazy and always have fruit flies available. Mine died because I couldnt get fruit flies enough in the winter. For frogs look for clear skin no sores and nice fat legs and clear eyes, hope this help and good luck finding your animals
 

DeviousMike

New Member
What is your budget? Veils are generally cheaper then panthers but there are some panthers in the sub-$200 range. Breeders bring animals with the intention to sell them. They don't really want to bring the chams home so you may find a great deal. And if you are not so worried about pure bred, you might find a breeder selling a cross, which generally go for less then a pure panther locale.
 

wastedwords

New Member
Thank You!

Thank you all very much. I love reptile forums. I feel pretty confident now. I will post an update with images after the expo :)
 

kaylie

New Member
I've noticed that younger chams are generally cheaper. For example, on FL Chams' website, a baby Veiled is $40, a juvi $75, and an adult $250-300. I believe it depends on how much the breeder has spent on raising the cham- you would spend much less raising a cham to 4 months than all the way into adulthood. Gotta get some of that money back.
 

wastedwords

New Member
Although I like the idea of the cham being inexpensive I've noticed it is common opinion that a beginner should purchase an older lizard. What do you think? Should I spend the extra for a better chance of a good start?
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
As long as you have prior reptile experience anything older than 3 months should be beyond the fragile stage of development. Just make sure you have an idea of the size cham your gonna buy before you hit the show. That way you can have the enclosure already set up for the cham when you get home. You want to subject the lizard to the least possible stress and having to hurry and set up a enclosure after returning from a day at the show is stressful for exp keepers and esp so for inexperienced. You dont want to hurry trying to set up and forget something or half ass it until you get everything you need. You also want to check and make sure your temps and humidity are in the proper ranges before putting the cham in there.

If it were my first cham I'd get a veiled or panther and I'd try to find one in the 3-4 month range. You will need a baby cage for the cham until it reaches close to adult size then you will need to upsize to a 2ft X4Ft adult sized cage.
 

wastedwords

New Member
You will need a baby cage for the cham until it reaches close to adult size then you will need to upsize to a 2ft X4Ft adult sized cage.[/QUOTE said:
I want a larger one. I cant explain why exactly. Just feels like what I should find. I have an open air 18x18x36 that I'm setting up this week. If I end up with a youngin is that too large?
 

wastedwords

New Member
If it were my first cham I'd get a veiled or panther and I'd try to find one in the 3-4 month range. You will need a baby cage for the cham until it reaches close to adult size then you will need to upsize to a 2ft X4Ft adult sized cage.

I want a larger one. I cant explain why exactly. Just feels like what I should find. I have an open air 18x18x36 that I'm setting up this week. If I end up with a youngin is that too large?
 

kaylie

New Member
I want a larger one. I cant explain why exactly. Just feels like what I should find. I have an open air 18x18x36 that I'm setting up this week. If I end up with a youngin is that too large?
It is exciting to watch them grow, develop colors, introduce new bugs, etc. Like having a kid, only a million times faster and you don't have to pick him up if he cries :rolleyes:
I had only owned a ball python before (years ago, dont even remember what happened to it) and then a baby sulcata tortoise for a few weeks before getting my cham from a pet store... So I pretty much had no experience with reptiles, and didnt find this forum till after I had him a day or two. If you are willing to put the work into it, the age of the cham shouldn't matter to a new owner (but at least 3 months old).
I'd say that is too large for a baby. You can try to divide it and put it in the top or bottom half till it's bigger. If that is going to be your permanent cage, it's a good size for a female, but I'd put an adult male in minimum 2x2x4. Mine is 2x3x4.5 and he's almost 7 months.
 

pssh

Avid Member
A young one will do fine in there if it's set up properly, though it may have a little trouble hunting. Tub feeding will solve the problem. If it doesn't seem to be doing well you can always section it off.


What to look for:

-nice, round eyes
-alert
-good grip
-mouth looks okay and not bubbly or gunky
-toes and tip of tail look normal
-has all of its nails and toes
-has all of its back spines
-no wounds
-fully functional tail
-straight limbs with normal 90 degree bends in the joints (no MBD)
-fat pads are nice and rounded
-look for poo in the cage, be sure the urates are white or mostly white


Quiz the seller too. Ask when the last time it recieved D3 and vitamins was. What kind of food it has previously eaten? What sort of lighting and housing? Did it have a substrate? If you are buying a baby, ask how the seller knows its a male or female. What kind of guarantee do they have? Will they replace the animal if they had mis-sexed it? what locale is it? If they accidentally mixed up the locale will they replace the animal with the correct locale? Stuff like that.
 

wastedwords

New Member
Zaphod!

Ladies and gentelemen I would like to introduce to you...Zaphod! Thanks for all of your advice. I'm so thrilled. Zaphod is the man.

 
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