Pygmy Leaf Cham Help


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hello everyone, i have just joind this site! i was hoping to recieve some help. I am interested in purchasing a pair of Pygmy Leaf Chameleons. I have been researching for months and I am loaded with info about them... but i havent heard any first hand experience. I am also unsure about the caging. So if you dont mind, could someone who houses pygmies oost some photos of their enclosures and share their experiences? ...also, i will have to purchase the pair offline (prob. from LLLreptile). I have never ordered a live animal to be shipped, is this safe? reliable? someone please help!
Word of warning...these chameleons are experts at playing dead. They will curl up like a dead leaf, appear not to breath and not move for a long while after being startled, etc. I know of one person who was going to dispose of the body only to come back to where he had left it only to find it gone.

Here's are sites with good information....

From my own personal experience, I housed a trio (1.2) in a cage two feet high by two feet by 18 inches. The cage was glass on three sides and the bottom with a screen lid and door. I used no substrate and had a China Doll plant that filled the cage in a large clay pot. I provided branches that started at the floor of the cage and gave access to the plant above. I fed them gutloaded and supplemented insects of an appropriate size (mostly pinhead or slightly bigger crickets). I misted the cage at least once a day...often more than that. They lived for over a year in this cage and were all WC adults when I got them.

Most people I know of keep them in a cage similar to the one in this picture....and they do well like that too.

I can't answer your shipping experiences....I've only had chameleons shipped to me once (on an airplane). They did fine...but its only one experience....and I had control over how they were shipped thanks to a very nice person on the other end.
I ordered R. brevs from LLL and was pleased with them. They are wild caught, and captive bred are always a better way to go. But, LLL was prompt and professional.

I have a bunch of r. brevicadautus, and have yet to see one play dead. Has anyone else seen this species do this? Maybe one of the other leaf chameleons do?

All of mine are housed in terrariums similar to the ones in the article referenced above, and have done very well.

Will the leaf chams be your first chameleons?

Yeah, I've yet to see brevs really play dead - I cant remember the last time I saw that behavior. When I kept R. temporalis, they played dead all the time. My B. superciliaris like to play dead too.

If you do it right and mind the weather, shipping isnt a problem. I've shipped probably a couple hundred brevs and never lost one.

Captive bred is the way to go. You will be lucky to keep a WC much over a year if that. My CB group is around 1.5 years old and looking great.

Here is a link on enclosures:
Your cages are awesome, roo!

I have seen the brevs play dead. One evening, I walked by the cage and accidentally bumped it.The brev was on the screen and immediately fell to the ground looking like a curled up dead leaf. When I picked him up to see if he was alive, he never moved, never breathed, and I would have sworn he was dead. No matter how much I moved him around looking at him from different angles, there was no sign of life. I laid his tiny "body" back down on the floor of the cage to see if he would move or not. He didn't. I came back about 15 minutes later and he was gone from where I had left him. I was so relieved!

I also had brookesia thieli play dead on me. The tiny chameleon went stiff....legs still in the position they were when I startled movement, no breathing. This one stayed like that for over an hour. These ones also vibrate when picked up.

Many chameleons produce a sort of buzzing when picked up...
* B. decaryi (E. Edwards)
* B. thieli (E. Edwards; L. Horgan)
* C. dilepis (K. Barnett)
* C. Johnstoni (F. LeBerre)
* C. melleri (A. Banks)
* C. Oweni (F. LeBerre)
* C. senegalensis (K. Barnett)
* F. ousteleti (multiple ADCHAM list members)
* F. pardalis (multiple ADCHAM list members)
* R. brachyurus (J. Mease)
* R. brevicaudatus (J. Mease)
* R. kerstenii robecchii (E. Edwards; J. Mease)
* R. uluguruensis (J. Mease)

Go to this site to hear what it sounds like in the veileds...

R. boulengeri...

"Many of the specimens produced buzzing vibrations when collected."

Playing dead...

R. temporalis in a state of akinesia...
Thanks so much! so far this little information has been a huge help, i didnt expect replies so fast! wow! Although i have already previously visited all of the sites you guys have mentioned, your personal experiences really helped.
Heika, to answer your question, yes this is my first cham, but i have experience with many other reptiles (beardies, Anoles, savannah monitor). and about the WC vs. CB thing, do you know any sites that have CB for purchase?
and, could you guys post some pics of your own personal enclsures if you dont mind?
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