senegal chameleon.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by animaltycoon, May 1, 2012.

  1. animaltycoon

    animaltycoon New Member

    i have a few questions about senegal chameleons.
    i am going to get one but i have never owned a rep before and i need some help. i am going to get ether a 4 month old or a 6 month old. which is better? the 4 month old is at a pet store which are farm raised and not wild caught. the 6 month old it imported and is on a website.

    also, what can i feed them?

    can babies be taken outside?

    how small are babies?

    i have a screen cage and everything.
    i want to hand feed it.
    also DO senegal females lay eggs when NOT pregnant!??!??

  2. Carlton

    Carlton Chameleon Enthusiast

    A bit of info about Senegals first off:

    The term "farm raised" is still basically a wildcaught cham, because it was not kept in a captive situation in the same country you probably live in, not kept under artificial lighting or climatic cycles, not fed-captive produced insects, and has been shipped long distances. It was still been exposed to the wild and all those hazards like unknown levels of parasites, injuries, or diseases. Yes, captive bred chams also have parasites but they often get treated for them. Don't believe what a dealer tells you about parasite treatment...assume nothing has been diagnosed or treated.

    Pet stores often get Senegals because they are relative cheap to buy from wholesalers. Because you don't know much of the specifics about their earlier care and because most pet shops don't know much of anything about proper cham care you could be getting an animal already stressed and dehydrated. Not a great first herp to start off with! I'd see both chams in person after you have a better sense what a HEALTHY one should look like. If they both look hydrated and healthy, choose the older juvenile as it will be a little easier to feed (not so many small insects).

    If you really want a Senegal over any other species that's fine, just be aware there is less husbandry information available for them from experienced breeders. I'd suggest searching the forum for posts about Senegal care and reading some of the beginner cham information on the forum to answer the basic care questions (what to feed it, what type of lighting you need, caging, watering techniques, temp ranges, etc). Then come back with more specific questions you can't find answers to.

    Also, your future cham may not like to hand feed no matter what you do. Chams are individuals...some won't ever tolerate you and some will be fine. Meeting each cham in person would help you judge how shy they are.
  3. Dean Pulcini

    Dean Pulcini Avid Member

    Chamaeleo senegalensis

    Daudin, 1802: beginners to advanced.
    Distribution and Habitat
    Ditribution: Widely disrtibuted in Africa
    Climate preferences: Warm and humid areas.
    Forest strata:West African forest galleries along rivers, also savannas
    Status in the wild: common.
    Breeding data
    Breeding potential: good.
    Number of eggs per clutch: 25 to 60
    Number of clutches per year: 2
    Hatching time 5 to 6 months at 76 ( 24.5 C )
    Sexual maturity: 5 months.
    Temperature: 74 to 85
    Hygrometry: 75 to 80 percent.
    Scoialbilty: Aggressive.
    Food: insects, lizards, spiders.
    Chamaeleo senegalensis was for years one of the most popular species in the pet trade because it is very hardy, used to the rigorous weather of West Africa. Impoted species are often weakened by internal parasites. It is a very prolific species, laying eggs twice a year. Eggs, generally laid in April or May at the end of the rainy season, hatch at the beginning of the next rainy season August. This species likes warm and damp climates. It is usually found at the forest edge, where it finds shelter and food. Owning to almost inevitable parasite problems, I do not recommend specimens from the wild.
    Francois LeBerre
    The Chameleon Handbook
  4. animaltycoon

    animaltycoon New Member

    are they easy to take care for if they are healthy?
    i wanted to get one because they are one of the smallest species of chameleons.
    i have done LOTS of research.
  5. Dean Pulcini

    Dean Pulcini Avid Member

    Always go with captive born bred ( cbb ) if given the option. They are a medium size chamelon not small. And yes if they are cb b they are very hardy.
    #5 Dean Pulcini, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  6. KarmaChameleon1337

    KarmaChameleon1337 Avid Member

    If they are captive bred (really rare) and healthy, you should have no problems, but the ones near you are wild caught, meaning they can have parasites and that is not only a big vet bill but also a lot of work to keep up with. They are really docile, but can get stressed easily. I wouldn't recommend a Senegal as a first chameleon.
  7. DanSB

    DanSB Avid Member

    I personally think Senegals are great Chameleons in general.

    If you are willing to put in the research, pay for vets and parasite medication and are good at following detailed instructions I would think you should be in good shape.

    You have obviously NOT done "LOTS of research" which is indicated by asking what to feed them and if they can lay eggs when not pregnant. Lots of research would reveal that information.

    I am not trying to be rude but just trying to point out that there is a huge learning curve and assuming you know anything and your level of research is adequate is the quickest way to wind up with a dead chameleon.

    I have read "Understanding Reptile Parasites" cover to cover twice now, along with several other chameleon husbandry books and spend at least a couple hours a day reading information from the internet and have been at it since December of last year. Not to mention I have a lifetime of experience with owning exotic animals in general including saltwater aquariums, birds, amphibians, other fish, and general pet store experience through high school for 4 years.

    I have not done lots of research in my estimation and still have significant amount to learn before I begin a breeding project where I would have babies.

    Now with all that said I recommend the following (assuming you're not ignoring this post by now):
    Set up your enclosure, take pictures, write up a detail of everything in it including temperatures and relative humidity.

    Post it on this site asking for critiques. Make any corrections suggested, re-post the enclosure for critiques. Make sure you can maintain proper temp and humidity for a few weeks.

    Plan out your feeding strategy. What feeder insects are available in your area? Where will you order them? Is the supply reliable?

    Plan your feeder gut load supplement / nutrition strategy. There is lots of great information on this site. Write up what you plan to do and post it up here for review. Hopefully in the process of doing this you learned enough to be able to adjust the strategies based on how your soon to be chameleon reacts.

    In the mean time be on the look out for a CBB Senegal chameleon. When you find it order it and put it in the reviewed enclosure.

    Mist it a lot. Keep the RH as high as possible. I mist mine at least 4 to 5 times a day for around 2 minutes each but this really depends on the weather and how dry the ambient RH is. Senegals die slowly but surely from dehydration and need plenty of water. But not too much! too much water can cause respiratory infections.

    Also in the meantime make sure you have a little money squirreled away for vet emergencies.

    This should all take you a month or so. If you do it you will greatly improve your chances to be happy and have a healthy good first chameleon experience.
  8. amanda509

    amanda509 New Member

    you sound like the person i was talking to on yahoo ;)

    heres a link on here for two captive bred ones, you will prob have better luck with these guys than imported:

    also, im pretty sure i already stated that yes they do lay eggs without being pregnant. all chameleon that lay eggs will lay infertile eggs even when not being bred. this means if you were to get a female, all you would need is an egg laying bin at the bottom of her enclosure: this will help her from being eggbound. other than that, senegals are very cute and if you get a healthy one, can be very hardy. make sure BEFORE you get one, you have everything set up and check back here for critiques..once your temps and humidity levels are good and you have food ready, and everyone here gives you the green light, take the last step and get one ;)

    they eat insects like crickets, roaches, silkworms, calci-worms, hornworms, flies,

    you also have to take in part that the feeders need gutloaded and dusted with supplements. im not sure what supplements to give a senegal, but im sure if you ask around you can find out.
  9. chamlover98

    chamlover98 New Member

    if you are going to get one please do not buy Wild caught, its rare to find CB but..I have 2 healthy CB senegals I've been taking care of if anything you might pay a little more but you wont have problems down the road I will promise you that.

    I had more but I sold to local pet store now I only have 2 that I am looking for a home for.
  10. amanda509

    amanda509 New Member

    i already posted your link ;) hehe. 2 steps ahead of u! :p
  11. animaltycoon

    animaltycoon New Member


    how much for the male?
  12. chamlover98

    chamlover98 New Member

    I posted a message on your page, your going to pay more for just one so I would include 2 for a better reasonable price.
  13. DanSB

    DanSB Avid Member

    The cost of the set up should be far more than the cost of the animal even at the price you're asking. These NEED separate enclosures and do not do well in groups.
  14. oliveblanche

    oliveblanche New Member

    I have to agree here! I was at the store to buy a male Veiled and ended up buying a pathetic tiny little female Senegal, not really knowing the difference. I love my little Olive but getting her through this first year has been very pricey and stressful on the both of us!! She was wild caught and came with a mess of problems, thankfully she is very healthy now, but she stresses easily and I am very careful not to upset her!

  15. oliveblanche

    oliveblanche New Member

    I have done tons of research and I am yet to find any concrete "evidence" that they lay eggs even when infertile. I have been dying to know this for sure, my Senegal is almost 2 and no signs of laying. Help??

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