Panther gestation - How long is too long?


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Female panther chameleon has been gravid for 45-46 days now. It's been 53-55 days since mating. She has gained a total of 4 grams. I can feel eggs. She is a very small female, unusually so, which is why I don't think the 4 gram weight gain is a problem. She is normally about 38 grams anyways. Laying bin is circular, 18 inches in diameter, 12 inches of playsand:soil mix (approx. 10:1) it was put in her cage with the plants suspended above it when she was 20 days gravid. She hasn't shown any interest in it except using it as a poop box. Before this bigger one was put in, she had a smaller one for just in case.

She is still eating tons, as mean as normal, pooping just fine. She has her cage covered on all sides that she would see anything moving.

I'll fill this out just in case.

Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Panther, female, 18 months, since 3 months.

Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Pretty much never. I have a few times in the last month or so to weigh her and gently palpate her belly, but it's very very brief. She's a meany.

Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Crickets, dubia, silkworms, superworms, hornworms, flies, butterflies, WC mantids (not now since it's cold,) stick bugs, etc. Because she is small she is always offered as much as she can eat in 5 minutes or so. She is fed very liberally, and is still fed liberally now. Use a dry gutload that has almonds, sunflower seeds, a little soy flour, yellow split peas, millet, barley, black eyed peas, dried fruits and veggies, seaweed/spirulina, bee pollen, sesame seeds, oats, etc. No particular order. A little calcium is added. Wet gutload has been collards, mustard greens, winter squashes, carrots, kale, a little apple and orange, etc. All bugs have access to dry food 24/7 veggies are replaced when they get too wilted or gross looking.

Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Repcal and minerall. Ca w/o d3 every feeding (minerall,) d3 once a month (repcal,) and multivitamin once a month. Calcium without d3 has been slighty boosted for egg laying. The bugs still look like bugs not ghosts. :)

Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
All the time. She's not shy about it. Stop misting when she walks away.

Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Normal brown poops, white urates with the occational yellow tip. I believe so, it was last year.

History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Well, she didn't become receptive until she was 17 months old, and has never laid eggs. She's small. Uh, that's it I guess.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
2x2x4 screen.

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Reptisun 5.0 and a 40 watt incandescent bulb. 12/12

Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
70-75 ambient, premating: 82, now 85-87 ish, 60-70 night temp. Temp gun.

Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
30-40% dry, 90+% wet, digital hygrometer, manual misting several times a day. Dripper is on half the week.

Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Pothos and dwarf umbrella

Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Rarely visited bedroom, no fans/vents, and 5 or so feet.

Location - Where are you geographically located?
Central California.
I don't think there is much a difference between a gravid veiled and a gravid panther..but anyways...:D

Clea was mated in October of 2008 and laid in December of 08.
She laid 52 days after mating and never stopped eating. She kept gaining and gaining weight so i knew she was gravid.

I came home from school one day and she was just getting out of her 12x12x14 laying bin covered in dirt.

I say that your girl may very well be about to lay. Just don't force her to stop eating. If she wants to she will. Clea just kept eating but i didn't feed her every day.

Maybe it's time to cover the cage with a sheet of some sort on all sides to see if she will maybe start digging then.
Cage is covered already and has been for almost two weeks. She is still fed as she pleases.

Do you know if Clea was gravid the whole 52 days? This girl was mated 53-56 days ago (or at least the two were separated.) the first mating was probably 63-65 days ago (I think.)
I also don't have any panther experience to add, but my Charlotte didn't go in her laying bin at all, but she roamed like nuts. I ended up leaving her in her trash can with no way out and she got right to work laying after 15 minutes of scratching to get out. She didn't stop eating but when she saw food it wasn't an intense reaction to food like it usually was.

Maybe you can try leaving her abanoned in her laying bin if you think she's due to lay and see what happens. Jann also had this problem with Camille, if I remember correctly, she has to leave her in her laying bin until she does it.
She's been left in the bin alone and just sits there or tries to get out. She turn really dark too. I'll try again today. She still runs to her feeding tub when she sees the food bowl/cup going into the cage. She hasn't even slowed down the intake. I'll weigh her again today before leaving her in her bin.
one thing that worked for me was to put some sphagnum moss in a ziplock bag and soak it in hot tap water. I then placed it loosely ontop of the soil in her laying bin and put a peice of driftwood on top of that. For some reason this made her dig and lay her eggs that same day. I put a sheet over her cage and checked the next morning and she was under her basking spot with a dirty nose. I thnk they like being able to dig under something so you may try that to see if it sparks her interest. Good luck!
Cage is covered already and has been for almost two weeks. She is still fed as she pleases.

Do you know if Clea was gravid the whole 52 days? This girl was mated 53-56 days ago (or at least the two were separated.) the first mating was probably 63-65 days ago (I think.)

I know for a fact she had eggs within 12 days of mating.
Are you sure that they are eggs and not a big poop? Give her a really nice palpate after she goes to the bathroom just to be sure. You can also show her your male and see how she reacts. If she has not laid by now then start to mix it up a bit; change the bin, maybe add more water to the mix or take some away if it is too moist.
Well, she has something to dig under (wood.)

It's not a poop. She's pooping regularly. I can feel a few of them and they feel distinctly egg shaped. I don't know if a poop would be perfectly oval or if I just wouldn't be able to differentiate the shapes, but I'm pretty darn sure she has eggs. I've palpated her several times and they are always there.

Well, the moisture seems right. I can dig nice diagonal tunnels in it. Should I add more soil? Should I put moss in it? I started a few tunnels to hopefully encourage her, but nothings happened so far.
I know this probably wont help all that much but I had a case and proof of a female panther who carried eggs for atleast 60days. She did not lay on her own, and exhibited the same reaction to the laying bins I provided. Her food intake never decreased over the entire time this was going on.

I recieved this female on 2/2/09. As soon as I opened the box I knew I got more than I thought. She was very hefty, looked to me to be already in the mid stages of egg carrying. She was a WC and wanted nothing to do with any of my laying bin setups, plant, wood, sticks, moss, sand, peat, didnt matter she didn't care for it.

After three weeks of this I went to my vet, she agreed the cham looked gravid, very much so at that. She suggested we wait another week and see what happens. A week with no eggs passed and we got an xray. There were eggs but they werent pressing on much so we waited. Anyhow if you care to read the whole story its in the link ill provied at the end, it also has alot of xray shots with the eggs in her.

The end result of this was after 5 weeks of my inital vet visit we used oxytocin. She just sat in her tree in her laying bin at the vets office dropping one eggs at a time. It took two shots to get all the eggs out.

Three weeks later she laid another clutch all on her own. In her cage, in her provided bin. To this day I dont know what caused her to not want to lay that first clutch. Where she layed the second was in no way more secluded or anything just baffled me. She layed normally from that point on.

This is the post I made before about it.
Other than looking like a bag of jellybeans when she stretched out, and showing her dark bars all the time, she was acting totally normal. There was no searching for a spot to lay, at the same time she wasn't lethargic. No decreased appetite, she would chase down feeders. She was spending more time basking, but all my females do when gravid.

The vet only agreed to the oxytocin after the last xrays when she was getting very full of eggs. We both thought at the time that she was probably in the process of producing a double clutch.

Was she a virgin before this mating? They can stay receptive for their first time for a LONG time. If she was a virgin might it just have taken her a bit to start producing the eggs after the breeding. If ya get where I am going with that.
Yeah, I know. She started showing gravid colors a week or so after the 5 day love session :) I felt her when I put her in the laying tub without her normal plants. Her eggs are nice and big. Bigger that last week. I forgot to weigh her, but I'm pretty sure she gained a few grams. She doesn't have lumps when she stretches out, but she is definitely wider than ever.

She was not happy to be put in there.
Sorry for the late reply...

My female ambilobie Laurie also had a 5 day love fest after being about 17 months old. This was her first clutch and lasted about 42 days before I noticed her start to dig in her flower pot/laying bin. I then added her to a 25 gal trash can and then she took 4 days and laid on the 4th night.

I'm wondering since our numbers are close and our temps/humidity is almost exact, do you know the sire and dame she came from?
Laurie is a Zippy baby...I could look up the dame tomorrow.

Did you say she was 38g ???
My Laurie was 70g

Yes, 38 grams. I spoke with many breeders and almost all of them agreed that it would be okay to breed her. My male is only 100 grams (he's small too) so it wasn't like super chameleon rape or anything.

I didn't just make this choice myself, as I indeed am worried for her wellbeing. I made sure I got all sorts of opinions and advice from very experienced people. Many said that they themselves would breed her if they were in the same situation.

Harry, she is a Sambava. :)
Well, I think she dug a test hole today, but I didn't actually see it so I'm not 100% sure. She did somewhat cover up the pothos vines that I put in there, which is why I think she dug a test hole. She sees me every time I look at her, so I don't really want to look too much. She's too smart for me :)
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