pygmy cham care help


New Member
I recently take care of a veiled chameleon, but at the pamona reptile expo this weekend I plan on getting a few pygmys, and possibly breed them (not for sales of course). I was just wondering if you guys had any care tips at all since i have trouble finding decent care sheets on the internet. They all seem to contradict each other so i don't know what is correct. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
assuming you are getting bearded pygmy (leaf) chameleons ( Rhampholeon brevicaudatus), care steps are quite simple.

i will answer your post to my best experience.

to answer your question first about breeding. just get a male and female pair. chances are, the chameleons will be WildCaught, therefore chances of a female coming in already gravid, or with sperm retained in her are high. we've had 5 clutches from just two different females. our last adult passed away a couple days ago. 3 clutches in a year shoudl tell you, you have nothing to worry about in regards to breeding

Lighting - i believe R. Brevicaudatus does not need a 5.0 uvb, or any uvb source for that matter. a linear 6500K Daylight bulb will sufices for this. it will help the plant life grow and will alow uva to come through cycling day light for the chameleon.

HUMIDITY/TEMPERATURE - i like to have my humidity around 65% the lowest, rising up higher to about 80% at night. Brevs do well in room temperature. unless you live in cold climates where room temperatures drop below 65-68, a heat lamp may be required but of low wattage only, a 25-40W incandecent.

Enclosure - Brevs are a chameleon species that will thrive in a well-vented aquarium or terrarium. one can do fine permantly in a 5g, a pair in 10g, and add 5 extra gallons for every added chameleon to the colony. you want to generally give every male his own 10g, with the option of placing a female in his area as well. (male Brevs can actually become quite agressive with other males if in one another's territories)

Esthetics - Eco-Earth coco husk substrate is what i use, this is of course layered on-top of organic or natural earth soils or potting soils. dence foliage is prefered with lots of sticks and pathways.

Feeding - Hatchlings will eat as much as they can for the first 2 months, dust plain calcium every feeding (LIGHTLY) 3 months to 5 months, feedings can be cut down but still everyday. 5-12 months fed everyother day dusted 4 times a week, 12moths and on can be fed every other day dusted all feedings. all dustings are plain calcium NO D3, but a small dusting of herptivite and D3 can be given twice - 3 times a month. this is just IMHO, its worked wonders for me.

brevs are generally pretty hardy species of chameleons, hope this helps, and enjoy your pygs when you get them! make sure you show us pics :)


Staff member
Fruit flies are okay, but since you can gutload tiny crickets they're a better option. I got some really tiny butterworms in my last shipment and my pygs enjoyed those! Silkworms are small enough when they hatch that I bet those would be a good option too. Horns would be way too big by the time you got them.
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