Species suggestions?


New Member
Hello everyone,
I'm new to this forum and keeping chameleons and would appreciate your suggestions and advice. I now live (permanently) in Thailand where I teach science at a catholic school. I have some experience with keeping reptiles such as pythons, boas, and a few lizards including leopard geckos. I also worked for a veterinarian for a total of 6 years (high school-college) I plan to build an enclosure for two chameleons over the next week or so. It is to be an outdoor enclosure behind my home, where it will receive some direct sunlight each morning. I will make it with a metal frame and a metal mesh available in construction stores here with mesh-holes around 1 cm in width and height. The enclosure itself will be 130 cm wide, 200 cm tall, and about 100 cm deep. I plan to put a vertical wall in the center to seperate the two chameleons.
The average monthly temperatures are fairly high throughout the year. Right now is the coolest with lows near 20 C and highs around 30. The hotter times of year might be considerably warmer with night time temperatures rarely below 28 C and highs of 40. The humidity is always 65% or more, usually more. So my plan is to keep them outdoors all year. I will include a drip system with a basin above the enclosure which will drip into each side, each with its own adjustable flow valve. A plastic basin with a low point drain as a floor. I don't plan to include an automatic misting system due to the climate here but will instead give them daily mistings myself, adjustable as needed. I'll include a potted hibiscus plant of appropriate size in each side, expanding into other safe potted plants as time passes if it appears to be a constructive thing to do. There will also be a few bamboo perches distributed throughout the enclosure to add more climbing opportunites. I believe I have all the bases covered here but welcome any suggestions...
I am not sure what species will do best here, that is really what I need the most help with. The humidity range is fine for any but it's the hotter season night time temps that have me concerned. There could be two to three months, maybe more, when the temperature would not drop below 28 C. Is this going to be a serious problem? All the information I have found recommends a much lower night time temp. The cooler part of the year here lasts about one month, beginning about one week ago, when the temp could drop to around 20 C at night. The rest of the year there is no escape from the heat, even in darkness. Looking at the range of wild chameleons I see parts of Africa and India at the same longitude so there must be some species that can live in these conditions without problems.
Due to the state of the pet industry in this country I cannot be sure to get what I want anyway :p but want to make the best decision for the sake of the chameleon. Thanks in advance for you advice and suggestions, I appreciate all the help I can get...
why no help for me?

It's been a week or two since I asked for help, but still have no replies. Any one have a suggestion concerning what I did wrong? Lots of posts since mine so obviously it was sth I said...
Chameleons appropriate to Thailand

I kept chameleons for three years in Uganda in a very reduced setup that they handled very well-no heating, no special lights, no misting, they mostly did their own hunting, no vets, none of which were an option in the area (human medicine was a bit iffy so reptiles were out of the question). They did well because they were in their native environment. I was keeping the local ones, ones that would live naturally in my yard. Since you're so much closer to the equator than anyone here in the US, you've got some advantages. What you might want to do is see what species might be an option for you to obtain and then from those choices try and match climatology as much as possible between them and your area in Thailand. In other words, if you can obtain two different species, compare the two for what their native conditions are like-if they normally would live in a place that stays 28 c for extended periods of time and doesn't cool much at night during the hot season, they should be able to handle that same condition where you are. The things that you'd want to check are temp and humidity ranges, photoperiod (closer in latitude is better), altitude (mountain species usually have a larger daily temperature change) and basic weather patterns (I seem to remembe that Thailand has similar monsoon seasons to India and Sri Lanka). There's a difference between coastal and interior areas. Do the little guys come from desert or jungle or grassland? What is your area like?

Depending on what you teach, that type of research might be something that could be worked into a lesson plan too-if your students have access to climatological information they could study the maps and try and pinpoint not only what their own conditions are but what factors contribute to those conditions and where else similar ones might be.
I have seen jackson (xantholophus) been raise in Thailand. I have also seen panther in Malaysia as well. The climate in South East Asia is quite ideal for keeping most chams outdoor (other than high mountain species). The most important concern will be cooling them down as the heat in SEA can be unbearable. The first choice I would suggest Veiled which require higher temp. I do believe jackson, veild and panther can survive in outdoor enclosure in Thailand, but keeping them hydrate and some temp drop at night will be the key.
Very helpful advice, thanks a lot. My life has been so hectic, had a baby girl in January, family visited for a couple months, school holiday, just getting back to thinking about chameleons again ;)
Sounds like panther country to me . Hazy hot and humid and they can take high temps as long there is shade and water . Be careful with a new baby in the house .
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