Not sure what I’m doing wrong - baby Jackson’s sleeping


New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jackson’s - in my care for just over a month. Sold to me as 4 months old however I believe he was much younger due to his size.
  • Handling - rarely.
  • Feeding - Crickets daily, gut loaded with dark green veggies.
  • supplements - calcium without d3 every other feeding, calcium with d3 once a month and multi bits once a month
  • Watering - automatic mister set to 2 minutes every 2 hours 3 times a day, dripper running all day. I have not seen him drink but he is very shy.
  • Fecal Description - Healthy - brown with white urates.
  • History - None.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Large reptibreeze screen cage, 2 sides of the screen covered to help humidity.
  • Lighting - Uvb tube lighting 5.0 and 50w basking lamp. 10 hours lighting a day.
  • Temperature - basking temperature around 75 with ambient around 60.
  • Humidity - Constant around 50% with peaks at 70%
  • Plants - ficus benjamina and umbrella plant
  • Placement - Low traffic room
  • Location - Yorkshire United Kingdom

Current Problem - Im looking for some advice as I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, Franklin by all accounts seems healthy, he’s eating well (I see him catching crickets daily) and his urates are healthy. He’s active and moves around his cage all day every day. However, I’ve caught him napping. I know it’s not good for chameleons to sleep during the day so I’m immediately concerned. He’s currently shedding and it seems to be taking a while so I wonder whether this is causing stress which is causing the daytime sleeping? I can’t see anything else glaringly wring with him but I would like input from you knowledgable bunch on my husbandry to see if there is something I’m missing!! I’ve attached photos, any help would be hugely appreciated!!


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New Member
5 hours after the photographs posted in my original post were taken and I have found Franklin has passed away. I am utterly devastated and would still like feedback on my husband art and anything glaring that I was doing wrong.

I’ve kept chameleons for years and I’ve never had this happen, I’m so utterly in shock. He only started with the napping during the day 2 days ago but was still eating and moving as normal. I can’t believe I might have missed something that’s killed him.


Chameleon Enthusiast
So sorry to hear that your baby passed away, I used to have a Jackson's but he passed of old age. As far as I can tell you did everything I did and I can't really see anything wrong with your set up except the misting, I misted 7 mins minimum because Jackson's need a lot of water.


Avid Member
I have a 7 month Jacksons and when he came to me at 4 months he didn't look much like your baby (posting a picture of what that looked like below). Did you buy it from a breeder or pet store? At a glance, your enclosure looks solid and can't see any glaring errors on your part but I'm a new cham keeper so others here will have more stable advice. So sorry for your loss, so much of this is trial & error :(



Staff member
I'm so sorry for your loss. They are so fragile when they are young. He may have come to you with problems.
The only thing that I see are your temperatures were a bit low if he was really 4 months old. I keep my ambient around 70-72˚F/ 21˚C during the day and dip down to 60˚F/15.5˚C at night. I have the basking at 78˚F for younger ones moving to 80˚F as they mature. A 12 hour on - 12 hour off is the usual schedule for the UVB lights.
You could vary your gut load more, green veggies are great but many contain compounds that aren't good for chameleons in large quantities. Mixing in a variety is the best idea.
I don't know if you got him from a pet shop or a dealer but I would avoid pet shops because the time they spend there stresses them and takes a toll on their health especially at a young age.


Established Member
I'm sorry for the loss of your chameleon. He looked very sweet. If you have not already, I recommend you have a necropsy done to try and determine what caused his death.

I am no expert, but perhaps my recent experience is related, and might provide you with some ideas.

I recently had an issue with my subadult panther chameleon starting to act sleepy, at the bottom of the cage, no stress colors. I saw this on a Sunday afternoon, and got him to a specialty vet within 24 hours. It turned out he had an impaction in his gut. It didn't appear to be soil or some other debris in the x-ray. When he finally was able to move his bowels, he also ejected two very large sperm plugs, which were part of what caused things to back up. I also may have contributed to the impaction by feeding him all the crickets he wanted, perhaps too close to the time his light would go off for the night. (At this time he is getting mostly silkworms which keep things running through, and maintain good hydration; the crickets he gets are softer bodied nymphs - no wings.)

IN ADDITION my captive bred chameleon had hookworms! I didn't realize a CB chameleon receiving cultured insect food could get parasites, but the vet said it is common to get parasites from food items. Did you ever have a fecal done for your chameleon?

Again, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of your chameleon.


New Member
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all of your replies!

I bought him from a pet store, stupidly as I have always avoided them in the past, however they seemed reputable and had the parents available for me to meet and had bred the babies themselves so I was hooked. I feel he was sold to me very young, certainly not the 4 months that they said! We live and learn, I think itll be some time before I bring another scale baby home. We got Franklin following the passing of my panther from old age so it’s all a bit much right now! :(
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