Questions for female veiled

GaryS

New Member
I have a young adult female veiled for about three months. She was raised from a hatchling and housed alone where I purchased her. To the best of my knowledge, she has not had any contact with other chameleons. She lives in my plant/pond room 7 x 16 x 7 feet with a glazed southern exposure and an ambient room temeparture of 60 degrees at night. She has access to a waterfall and several spraying/dripping fountains. I have never seen her approach or take any water. She does not eat the plants, and she actively avoids being misted. The first month or two she spent most of her time moving between her preffered basking spots and ate heavily. She looks in good condiiton, but is getting finicky on feeding and has started to wander about the plant room. She spends some time out of the vegitation and in areas that are much cooler than the literature recommends. I would be concerned, except she seems content and periodically returns to the ceramic or daylight bulb heaters. From the start, she habitually slept in vegetation away from all the heat sources. She is exhibitiing some signs of being gravid if that is possible. She is well filled out and displays a spotted pattern where she was formerly a uniform pale green. She does not dig in any of the plant containwers. I have read of females laying infertile eggs.
Questions
If I wanted to breed her, is there a male in the neighborhood?
I have experience with captive herp breeding (snakes)
Is there a down side to the chameleon's health if I do not breed her?
Should I be expecting infertile eggs, or is it possible she is just heavy and off her feed in the short winter days?
Gary S
Perkasie, PA
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello and welcome to the forums. Do you have a UVB light and a laying bin for her? I'm going to attach two of my blogs for you. The first is on general care and the second is about egg laying and the laying bin. After you read them please ask any questions that you might have. I would not consider breeding her until you know that she is in good health.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/jannb/325-info-new-keepers-young-veiled-panther-chameleons.html
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/jannb/345-egg-laying-laying-bin.html#comment656
 

GaryS

New Member
Jannb
Thanks for the links. I saw and saved those earlier. I have a reptisun 5.0 UVB (coiled type) focused in the same location as a regular white light heat lamp. They are on timers that run mornings and evenings. Depending on where she basks, she can get as warm as the upper 90s at those lamps. She generally warms up there in the morning, then moves to the south windows. She regularly moves back to those lights, or other spot lights, late in the afternoon. I started with those lights on all day, but Olga never used them prefering the south side windows ( presumably bird watching.) I have a ceramic heater over her favoroite spot at the south windows. That is on 24/7 and she periodiocally returns to the ceramic heated area if the day is not real bright. Sunny days warm the room to the mid seventies and I might find her anywhere in the room. Interestingly, she never sleeps near a heat source prefering the 60 degree ambient room temperature.
The entire room is full of potted plants (or pond) and I have vines draped around three sides for easy chameleon traveling up near the ceiling height. I try to keep her off the east side potting table. With free roam of the room, she can get down on the floor or up against cold window glass if she choses to do so. I don't often find her low in the room or in the colder places, but sometimes she is. I am hoping she will seek areas that self regulate her temperature appropriately. I don't want to cage her, and heating the entire room to get the floor up to 70 degree is not practical in that space.
Among other plants, I have large wash tubs with elephant ear plants, so if she was inclined to dig she has plenty of exposed soil. I will cover the pots and add a breeding tub if I do chose to breed her. I will watch for any signs of distress and hopefuly she is just plump and not producing infertile eggs.

I would be intersted to hear from anyone else housing veiled chameleons in a northern climate green houses.

Gary
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Gary are you aware that UVB does not pass through glass? She can get heat but is not getting uvb from the sun shininig through the window. You say you put on the lights morning and night. Most of use a 12 on 12 off schedule. How many hours are you leaving the lights on. She might not be getting enough UVB throughout the day.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Some of the coil type bulbs have caused eye problems in chameleons that lead to blindness. 90 is way to hot for a female. Lower her basking temps to the very low 80's.
 

GaryS

New Member
Follow up on hUVB and heating

I have the white light heat lamp and the reptisun 5.0 UVB (coil) oriented 90 degrees to each other focused on the same area, a cluster of vines. She is getting heat and UVB at the same time. She generally orients to, and faces the heat lamp. The UVB then hits her side or back. Of course with eyes on swivels she could potentially be looking into the UVB any time she basks there. What stops any animal from staring into the sun? A thermometer placed where she generally perches, registers in the upper seventies or low eighties. I have a wire cage over the refelctors so she can't reach the bulbs or get burned. She can, and does, move around in the basking area to suit herself.

She only selects that location to warm up in the morning. How long she stays there depends on how sunny the day is. On a bright day it may be less than an hour in the morning. She moves back to that location around four in the afternoon and moves in and out of the basking area for two or three hours until she settles away from all heat and light, early in the evening. I estmate she gets 2 to 4 hours exposure to the reptisun daily. I am aware the sun through the glass has no UVB benefit.

Questions:
Should I really be concerned about over heating? In nature I assume they do not select locations that are thermally harmful. I would think a captive animal with virtually unlimted space and choice of temperatures will not hurt herself.
Are you recommending I locate lights so she cant possibly get to ninety degrees? Right now she could perch on the wire bulb guard, but she does not. I am reluctant to restrict her access to the heat lamps so much that she can't get warm enough, or as warm as she choses.

I have trouble understanding why reptisun UVB coil bulbs would be potentially injurious and UVB tubes would not. Are they not transmitting the same UVB rays? Has Reptisun acknowledged a problem?

I could discard the very pricey reptisun coil and put equally pricey UVB tube fixture in the same location. I could put the UVB tube at the windows where she spends most of the day if she needs more than 2 to 4 hours of UVB exposure a day. I am reluctant to make that investment. If Retisun is too intense a UVB, I would be inclined to install a string of plant grow lights. I can do alot of grow lights for what the specialty UVB systems cost.

I would be interested in the total number of hours of UVB exposure required to maintain a healthy condition. I do dust her crickets about 50% of the time with a calcium/vitamin D supplement.

Thanks
Gary
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Questions:
Should I really be concerned about over heating? In nature I assume they do not select locations that are thermally harmful. I would think a captive animal with virtually unlimted space and choice of temperatures will not hurt herself.
Are you recommending I locate lights so she cant possibly get to ninety degrees? Right now she could perch on the wire bulb guard, but she does not. I am reluctant to restrict her access to the heat lamps so much that she can't get warm enough, or as warm as she choses.

No, for a female you want to keep her temps at 80-82F because the warmer she is (and the more she's eating without restrictions) the more eggs she will end up laying, which is tough on a female's life. She will be more than fine with a temp in the low 80's.

I have trouble understanding why reptisun UVB coil bulbs would be potentially injurious and UVB tubes would not. Are they not transmitting the same UVB rays? Has Reptisun acknowledged a problem?

I can't answer this, because I've never really looked into it in depth. But I believe that a while back a company came out of coil bulbs that really were making animals blind, so now everyone prefers to stay away from them. Some don't have a history of problems while others do, so it's up to you to do the detective work and see if yours is ok. We usually recommend linear bulbs just as a precaution.

I could discard the very pricey reptisun coil and put equally pricey UVB tube fixture in the same location. I could put the UVB tube at the windows where she spends most of the day if she needs more than 2 to 4 hours of UVB exposure a day. I am reluctant to make that investment. If Reptisun is too intense a UVB, I would be inclined to install a string of plant grow lights. I can do alot of grow lights for what the specialty UVB systems cost.

Grow lights do not emit the same wavelengths of light needed for reptiles to be healthy. In fact, most of the bulbs they sell at Lowes/Home depot labeled for plants are too weak to provide much of anything for the plants. Which is why members prefer to go for the 5000k bulbs instead, because it's a more natural intensity of light. The grow lights are only like 1500-2000k.

I would be interested in the total number of hours of UVB exposure required to maintain a healthy condition. I do dust her crickets about 50% of the time with a calcium/vitamin D supplement.

It depends on how good your light is, but they don't require 12 full hours of it. Mine only bask about 4 hours and that's, and they've been fine. You don't want to overdo the vitamin D3 though, because it causes problems if given too much. You want to supplement it lightly about twice a month, and use a D3-less calcium for the rest of the month. And then multivitamins lightly twice a month again.

Thanks
Gary
Hope that helps!
 

GaryS

New Member
thank you

I will look into relocating the reflectors so she can't easily get quite as warm.

I am still hoping to hear from anyone housing a veiled free in a nothern climate greenhouse.

I am going to research the Reptisun bulbs a little before changing that arrangemnt. So far I have no sign of trouble. If 4 hours of UVB has been good for your anials I think I am probably supplying enough.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a controlled study with herps of anykind to see if the animals themselves can detect whetwer they are getting adequate UVB. It would be easy enough to give a group of animal a choce of several basking stations and record basking times under the varous options and control groups. It would make a nice masters project for some budding herpetologist. I'll google that as well while I am checking up on the Reptisun coiled bulbs.
 
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