Please help - worry wort mommy with new JAX


New Member
will do intro later - sorry no pics

Chameleon Info:
• Your Chameleon – Jackson-Female-not sure how old but the guy said 2 years, we think they are younger than that but not sure, have had for 2 days
• Handling - dont
• Feeding - Have tried: Roaches, supers, crix, wont eat any – haven’t tried any veggies yet.
• Supplements – idk – calcium plus D3 and a vitamin
• Watering – drip system with a cup with a hole, and misting 2X daily – haven’t seen her drink
• Fecal Description – haven’t seen any poo yet…
• History – don’t know.

Cage Info:
• Cage Type – screen – I’m not sure but its pretty big
• Lighting – 60W and a zoomed (I think) 10.0 with uvb
• Temperature – 86 in the hotspot 72 low – Lowest overnight temp = house isnt any lower than 70 ever. Measure with a digital thermometer thing that scans and is electronic
• Humidity – not sure about the humidity levels but we have 2 drops set up that go throughout the day, and they get spray misted 2wice a day –not directly on them but on their plants, you know.
• Plants – yes we are using banana tree and another dracea or whatever might be called anita?.
• Placement – on a stand in a corner, the top of the cage is about 6 feet off the floor, the bottom is about 4? It is not near any vents or fans and it is not a particularly high traffic area but its not still either
• Location –Kansas.

Current Problem - bought from a guy from wisconson who gets his from FL who was at the kc reptile show – she was all black from being stressed, I felt bad so we got her and a male – dude said they could live together, LIER! Anyways… she gets a nice green overnight but when I turn on the lights she starts getting dark again. Then when we come home from work at night she gets dark again. She threw up this morning when my husband was putting in some food for them. She is getting a new cage all to herself tonight.
by dark I mean that she is practically black and then after she threw up this morning she turned a lighter brownish color.
we are worried that she may not make it out of this any suggestions or help would be great.
Once we get her set up in her own cage she will be in a bedroom by herself with very very little traffic.
she does not have sunk in eyes and overall seems active - moves around from branch to branch and looks around but the color, hunger strike, and vomiting have me soo worried! PLEASE AND THANK YOU!
Because she is turning dark, I wouldn't suspect that she is too hot, but I would cut the hot spot down to 80F at the most. I use a 40w bulb for my Jacksons. If she was too hot she would be a light color. I also recommend a cool mist humidifier for Jacksons. Go to Walgreens and spend $40 on a good ultrasonic cool mist. I don't know what to say about the vomitting thing. Might need a vet visit to screen for parasites. I know it's winter time and difficult to find this time of the year, but I've had Jacksons on a hunger strike and never had one turn down a 'green colored' insect. Might try some Hornworms that are small enough maybe.
Welcome to the forums! This is a very good article on caring for jackson chameleons that you should read. You need to get fecals done asap as one of the causes of vomiting could be intestinal parasite overload. Since you don't know the history of your chams that would be step 1 for me.

Separating them is a good idea. Make sure there are plenty of areas to hide as that will help with the stress. Try to leave her alone as much as possible, or at least not let her see you so that she might feel comfortable enough to eat.

What are you feeding the crickets before you feed them to your cham? Gutloading is very important. The link in my signature has great nutritional info on commonly available fruits and veggies. Aim for higher calcium than phosphorus and avoid oxalates and goitrogens.
Thank you!!! i'll see about getting a fecal done, since there isnt any poo and she isnt eating (which is where poo comes from) i dont know if that will be able to be done. i will order some worms from somewhere online - probably mulberry if they carry them.

*update* it is an umbrella tree/plant not banana - sorry

Thanks for all the help!
Welcome to the world of chameleons!

IMHO It would be best to separate them asap since the one is showing signs of not being well. Also...the dark coloration she is showing could be an indication that she is gravid. Does she hiss at the male, rock back and forth and act as though she is mad at him??

Not sure what the vomiting may be caused by....did she extend the tongue when she did it? Do you have a substrate in the cage?

Here's some information you might find helpful......
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
Welcome to the world of chameleons!

IMHO It would be best to separate them asap since the one is showing signs of not being well. Also...the dark coloration she is showing could be an indication that she is gravid. Does she hiss at the male, rock back and forth and act as though she is mad at him??

Not sure what the vomiting may be caused by....did she extend the tongue when she did it? Do you have a substrate in the cage?


Thank you Kinyonga - we actually do not have a substrate - easier to keep clean. the Female (our sick baby) is getting a new home this evening. she does not hiss or rock or anything like that. and she did not, my husband said she gaped and then blah out it came. any ideas? everything is appriciated - we have other Herps but these are our newest to date. unless the beardie had babies then they wont be the newest entirely... :)
If she's not reacting to the male, why did you say you were lied to about keeping them together? (I do agree with separating them, but I'm just wondering why.)
because he said they could live together and after i've done some digging on here and other areas they shouldnt be housed together. it can be done, kinda like 2 beardies can live together but it isnt good for them so it shouldnt be done. that kinda thing.
i attend many reptile shows throughout indiana. every jacksons ive seen at shows are wildcaught. they are cheap and cheap for a reason. they will need to go to a vet for flagyl or panacur depending on the protozoa.believe me! without seeing these animals. you will lose your female first then the male will have a 50/50 chance. if you dont take this seriously you will have wasted your money and an animals life.

basic montane care (Cool and humid)

Cage:24x24x48' SCREEN cage lots of rope, vines and live plants if you can. live plants will help with the humidity. make sure you cover the soil with screen. put cage as high up in the room as you can. not near any vents, fans or windows.

Lighting: 5.0 reptisun or reptiglo linear tube (length depends on cage size)/house hold bulb for basking. the house bulb watt will depend on how far your nearest branch is from the light and your ambient room temps.
***change bulbs every 6 months.

Temps: basking temp around 78* / ambient temps 72* measure by digital guages.

Hydration: manual spray 2-5 minutes/2-3 times a day. provide a dripper.

Feeders: gutload (24 hours before feeding) with fresh veggies and fruits and once a week with sticky tongues gutload. Crickets, mealworms, superworms, silkworms, hornworms, dubai roaches, reptiworms, BB flies.

Supplements: repcal calcium w/o d3 every feeding, repcal calcium w/d3 twice a month, repcal herptivite twice a month

good luck with your pair!
how do you know that they are wild caught? he said they were captive bred and that he gets them from a guy in Florida (typing this out i now see how that could be a possibility!) oh geez! would it be better to take them to FL and let them be free again? you know like how you catch a box turtle and keep it for a week then let it go... is there anything that could indicate it was wild caught?
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I doubt that they are wild caught from Florida. There are Veileds loose in a few different areas of Florida though. But it is a possibility. What did you pay for them? Like Ataraxia said, if they were cheap, they were cheap for a reason. Post some pictures. As to how to tell if it's wild caught, it's kind of an assumption. Post some pics and I'm sure you'll get some educated guesses from some people on here.
No you do not want to talk them to florida and release them. First it is not legal, second that would not be where they are wild caught (w/c) from. There are lots of people in Florida that sell chameleons, and getting a w/c that someone thinks in captive breed (c/b)is not rare.

Atarixia has given you excellent advice, I would follow it. I also never keep my jacksons above about 74 in their basking spot but I do tend to keep mine a bit cooler than some do.
indicators to me are bought from a reptile show, not eatting and puking. yes i am completely assuming but im not new to jacksons. when you buy from anyone at the reptile shows and they say they bought them off a guy in florida ask if the guy is a wholesale or breeder/collector. if he is a wholeseller your question is answered right there but if he says breeder then ask for a number or name to research. if he wont give up information then just dont buy.
update!! okay so she is eating! got a shipment from mulberry farms of hornworms she's eaten 5 smallish medium ones - ick they are freaky lookin worms - our other animals love them too soo we might try to breed them if we can figure that out. thanks so much! hopefully she gets better now that she has her own tank in a safe quiet spot and some food she actually likes :)
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