Questions about Pygmy's


New Member
Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and to chameleons in general, but found this site to have a large amount of useful information. I am currently looking into getting a few pygmy chams and have been doing a lot of research into them and their needs. I've got the materials (minus the plants) for building a vivarium for them, and am currently searching for plants to put in it.

My mom has a Philodendron that she's owned for years so I plan making a couple starter stems from that but was wondering what else you guys would recommend plant wise. I've seen a lot of recommendations for Philos and Pothos, with some for various ferns and what-not but figured I'd ask for opinions.

I'm going with what seems to be the most popular choice: fired clay balls with weed mesh on top, followed by ecoearth that will have the live plants on it. I'm planning on getting some dried leaves for the floor too.

I've got an exo-terra terrarium with a light hood but I didn't buy the bulbs for it because I wasn't exactly sure what I needed. Most of what I've read recommends 2-5% UVB, if any, but once again I thought I'd ask for opinions before purchasing. As far as heating goes, my house is generally right around the temps that pygmy's seem to like, so I don't think I'll need a whole lot of added heating. I'm considering options for some supplemental heat for nights and winter though, since temps tend to drop a lot.

I dont have a huge background with reptiles, but I did keep a green anole when I was younger for quite some time, years I'd say. I did learn a lot about reptiles over that time period and have learned even more since then. Would breeding pygmy's be something that I would be able to do without extensive reptile experience? I would really like to get 3-4 pygmy's so I assume breeding is probably going to happen regardless of whether I want it to if they're kept in the same cage.

Here is where I think I need the most help; specific species. I've seen a variety of pygmy cham species around the web and, as far as I can tell, the most common one seems to be the bearded pygmy (R. brevicaudatus). Is this the most recommended species? I don't have a huge personal preference, as I think all of them are awesome, but if possible can someone point out some of the differences beyond their physical appearance?

Last, but not least, where to get these little guys. Everywhere I've seen for pretty much every reptile out there recommends captive bred animals. I agree with this completely and can see why people recommend avoiding wild caught ones, what with impacting their wild populations and all that. However, I can't seem to find a supplier anywhere that has CB pygmy's. OR, if I do find somewhere, they seem to be consistently sold out. Long story short, any recommendations for suppliers? Is there anyone on these forums that breeds and sells pygmy's?

I realize at the end of this that this post is massive, but I tend to be long winded when it comes to typing sometimes. Sorry for the extensive read, but thanks for any input and advice, it will be much appreciated.

(P.S. I'll be sure to take pics of my vivarium once it's actually assembled; I'm currently in the process of building a cabinet for it to sit on.)
hello and welcome to the forums!
a good starter pygmy is the bearded pygmy, sorry to say but its hard to find captive born pygmys, so most likely it will be wild caught.
checkout the sponsors in the upper right corner they might have some, i think flchams has a few different pygmys available.
for breeding you probably wont even know theyre breeding till you clean the cage out and you find a baby. incubation it only 1 1/2-2 months
heres a good care sheet on them
if you have further questions you can pm me
Thanks for the response :) I'll give that care sheet a good reading. I'm excited to join the cham community! The long response time from me was because of my weekend work schedule, which actually raises another question; anyone have recommendations for good automatic misting systems? Or just a mister that could be put on a timer for that matter. It has come to my attention (can't believe it didn't occur to me sooner...) that on weekends I won't always be able to manual mist the little fellas so Im definitely going to need something automatic.
Thanks again! I have another question now though. This one is less about basics and more about specifics. I know that when it comes to lighting at night it's recommended to have none due to the chameleon's light detecting parietal eye. I know that having light(s) on at night tends to disrupt their sleeping, however, I plan on keeping my chameleons in my room where I often times have the light on at night. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to limit or negate the light entering the enclosure in a safe way? I know with things like birds a lot of people throw a blanket or sheet over them later in the day but I feel like that's a really bad idea with reptiles that require ventilation. Has anyone encountered this problem and come up with a successful solution?

edit: Forgot to include the idea I've come up with for feedback. I thought about designing a cover of sorts out of plexiglass that I can tint to filter the light and make it darker. The basically, I'd make the cover to where it would fit over the enclosure without covering the vents or sealing the top (screen). Good idea? Bad idea? More complicated than necessary?
Of couse I'll post pictures! I haven't actually started the building process yet, I'm currently just collecting supplies but I'll definitely be posting pictures.
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