New Panther Owner Seeking Guidance


New Member
Good Morning All,

Hope everyone is well and their chameleons are healthy.

I'm new to the husbandry of owning one of these amazing animals. We recently purchases from a breeder and acquired a male Tamatave panther. He arrived yesterday morning 3/14/2019 @ about 10:14 AM.

We assume he is acclimating to his enclosure we set up. I've read a few articles, post, and guides on care for this little fella. I' will admit I'm not an expert but a diligent learner who only want to provide the best to all living things.

When he arrived he was very thirsty and immediately started drinking from the dripper and misting system (Both systems have distilled clean water). But he showed no appetite what so ever. During the day I provided some food (Crickets, Silkworms, Super worms, Roaches) but he did not seem interest or hungry. Again at 8:00 Am this morning I tried to cup feed and he was not interested.

Cage Info:

-Cage Size: 16x16x36
-Basking Bulb: Zoo Med 75 watt Basking bulb (Outside of Cage) The lighting is set on a timer to go on at 6:30 AM and Off at 7:00 PM.
-UVB Linear Tube: Zoo Med T5 10.0 (Outside of Cage) The lighting is set on a timer to go on at 6:00 AM and Off at 8:00 PM.
-Misting System: Mistking ( 7AM for 2min, 11AM for 15 sec, 2PM for 2min, and 4PM for 30 sec) Will adjust to help keep humidity up and on advice.
-Plants: Pothos, Fern, bromeliads (All cleaned and repotted before putting in cage)
-Inferred Gun (Basking temp 80-88 F), Cage is on avg 72-78 F
-Runner Cup (Food to be place in with drainage bottom)
-Placement - Low Traffic corner wall in the dinning room. Cage is on top of a Exo Terra stand.
-Location: Fort Worth Texas

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Tamatave , Males, 4 Months purchases from FlChams on 3/13/2019
  • Handling - Barely, maybe once a week if lucky. (When opening on delivery was hard not to grab container from above the specimen. So I may have stressed him.
  • Feeding - Vitabugs Crickets, Super Warms, Cockroaches, Silkworms. Figure I try everything see what he likes and build around that.
  • Feeder Gutload Food- Bug Burger and natural food such as (Mangos, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Collards)
  • Supplements -(Calcium) Rep Cal Calcium WITHOUT D3, (Vit A/Multivitamins) Zoo Med Reptivite with D3, For Emergencies Fkuker's Repta Boost and Liquid Calcium.
  • Watering - Big Drip and MistKing automated misting system.
  • Fecal Description - Has not had a movement yet (first day owning it) And will test for parasites this weekend with my vet.
  • History - Bought from FLChams. Arrive don 3-14-2019. arrival weight 27 grams.
My concern is his eating and not showing an appetite just yet, I assume it is the stress in a new environment and his personality. When should I be worried as a new owner on his eating habit ?

Is my lighting and basking spot in a good position about "7 inches down from the top of the cage.

What book do a majority of owners recommend reading ?


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Social Media Manager
Staff member
Welcome and congrats on your new baby. So a few things here.
Lighting needs to be on a 12 hour on off cycle. distance looks good. Basking for his age needs to be right about 82 degrees.
Viv looks great but one thing The bigger perches like the one at basking are going to be too large for him to get a good grip on. This may cause him to not want to bask up there. If he starts screen climbing your gonna want to lift the basking light up off the screen a bit so he does not get a thermal burn.

It is not uncommon for them to not eat right out of the package. Sometimes they need a few days to adjust. You may want to get some exo terra vines to go from basking down to his feeder cup just so he can get up a little closer. It is hard to tell from the pics what he can perch from to get to it. But again if it is the larger sticks he can have an issue holding on because of the larger diameter of them.

Another thing with feeding... like with my guy he does not want to eat until he has warmed up a bit in the morning. All lights come on at 6:30am and I feed about 2 hours later.

What is your supplement schedule?

Everything else I am seeing looks really good.

Here is a care sheet. and I am going to post a few additional pics for you.

Supplements pic.jpeg
Gutloading 101.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg


New Member

Thank you for such a quick response.

He has screen climb a few time and I will admit he does seem to struggle on that branch a bit. I've found him basking on the bamboo bridge I made him. There are a few level branches around the basking area I added.

Those PDF images are what I printed off and put into my binder for care.

The supplement schedule would be to my understanding is Repti Cal without D is to be dusted every feeding lightly. And I wanted to do the vitamin once every 2 weeks. I printed out a feeding schedule to be consistent on his supplement delivery. I'm trying out the VitaBugs from Timberline too since I do not have the time to raise feeders on my own. But will continue to gut load them.

The feeding cup or run cup is in line with the bamboo bridge that over right in front / over it. (Photo attached) The bridge can hold 240grams of weight, so I know he can sit and climb on it.


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Chameleon Enthusiast
All excellent advice given above^! But I do have one thing that needs to change. You have a panther with minimal foliage, he needs a 5.0 UVB or 6% Arcadia.


New Member
Awesome, Yeah we were hoping to have some larger plants to fill In the space but they are still growing.

I put in 6 inch pots permanently to be able to quickly swap dead plants in and out and change up the land scape to see what he would like best.


Chameleon Enthusiast
It will still need to be changed to a 5.0, that won’t be enough foliage when grown in to warrant a 10.0. This isn’t a preference or opinion. You will injure him with a 10.0.


Established Member
i agree with all the above advice. give them a few days to settle in. as long as hes active and moving around he will be fine. make the adjustments recommended and be patient. i think you'll be good. and welcome to the wonderful, crazy, expensive, rewarding, and sometimes frustrating world of chameleon ownership. Rule #1 is that they own you. get that in you head and all will work itself out lol.


Chameleon Enthusiast
One other thing - the bamboo bridge you made - did you sand the bamboo or wrap it someway? I can't tell from the pics. Bamboo can be very slick when wet - might want to sand it and make sure your baby can get a grip on it. I like to use willow or aspen instead of bamboo. I get those at my local crafting store. They seem to hold up well in the wet area & are not as slick.


New Member
@celeste_knitter I did sand the bamboo a little to help with grip before installing.

I think I'll go get some extra flex vine to wrap around and in-between gaps for him.

@Brodybreaux25 Will he be ok until the 5.0 arrives in the mail ? I just travel to all the local stores in my area during lunch and couldn't find a T8 5.0 17W linear bulb to replace the 10.0 one I currently have.


Chameleon Enthusiast
@Brodybreaux25 I should be able to acquire a new bulb tomorrow at the expo in Arlington. I just ran during lunch time to all the pet stores in my area and we couldn't find one to fit the 24" T8 Reptisun hood. Which would be the 5.0 T8 - 17 watt/24" .
You can use a 6% 22" Arcadia bulb as well. They last longer and are more preferred but can be tricky to find at pet stores.


New Member
Alright for the time being I prop up the light outside the cage by about 2 inches using some corks.


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