Spider Bite?


Established Member
  • The form
  • Your Chameleon - T. Jacksoni Jacksoni Imported (farm raised) 1 year(?)
  • Handling - Close to never
  • Feeding - 2 week old 1/4 inch crickets, houseflies, small roaches (different types red runners, green banana etc. ), small horn/silk/super worms, bees, mels, hydei, a mix of about 20-25 /day . Eats well
  • Supplements -Outdoor Miner-All (w/o D3) 2X wk, herptivite 2 X mo bee pollen (every feeding)
  • Watering - Gestetner misting system, artificial rain, ultrasonic foggers. Schedule --Rain (12 foot off the ground oscillating sprinkler(actually resembles real rain)1 hour before sunrise, 30 minutes before sunset. Misting 10 minutes 3 X day (9, 12, 3) drinks well. Foggers at night to keep humidity at least 80%.

  • Fecal Description - perfect fecals
  • History -One of 20 adults (75 very fat sassy healthy babies) of these I have, all doing very well including this one until this morning.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2 X 2 X 4 screen reptibreeze
  • Lighting - Natural sunlight 3-4 hours morning, shade midday, 2-3 hours evening
  • Temperature - Outside so fluctuating temps, I have large commercial misting heads in the trees and behind the cages creating an ambient temp of about 72 even when real temps are 100 (live in SoCal), basking temp (morning and evening, in shade midday) 78-85 , lower levels always around 70 daytime. Nighttime temps 45-65 depending on time of year. Measured by Personal Weather Station
  • Humidity - Depending on time of year--if ambient is <40 I use the heavy misters all day to raise, hardly ever gets below 50%. Nighttime 70%-99% either ultra sonic foggers or natural fog. Measured by Personal Weather Station
  • Plants -Tons of live plants (I HATE plastic plants), Shefflera, Ficus, Spider, Plumeria, Ferns, Mandelvilla, Neptenthes lots of vines and branches
  • Placement - Outside top of cage 7 foot 6
  • Location - San Gabriel Valley Southern California (a natural desert)

Current Problem - Not that any of the previous info has any bearing on this other than the fact that he is outside. This morning I found him on the cage floor, looking dead (black and white/blue mottling). I picked him up , he protested, and examined him. Left front foot jet black and soft like decaying, tail stiff hard and dry like it would break off if I tried to bend it.

My Conclusion - I have well over 200 cages outside, I don't know how, but every time I clean the cages I find Black Widows in a lot of them. I remove them, figuring that they are inedible to the cjhams, but I have a feeling that this poor guy was bitten on the foot by one (the necrotic tail I assume is from loss of blood flow due to poisonous blood).

I have a vet appointment a 9 AM tomorrow morning, couldn't get one today. I'm assuming this is fatal (I'm sure he will lose the foot and tail) and he won't make it to morning.

My Question - Has anyone ever had a cham bitten by a highly poisonous spider (almost all are poisonous, but brown/black widows and recluse are extra nasty, been personally bitten by all three).

Does anyone know if a cham can eat a widow without adverse effects?


Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm so sorry I know how much your chameleon's mean to you. We've been dealing with an indoor spider problem, fortunately it's not black widow's. The babies cages were infested with baby spiders. I'm sure they were after the fruit flies and other small feeders. Everything got deep cleaned and sticky traps went into all the corners around the cages. We had a couple of babies seem off but they rallied and are fine now.
Black widow and brown recluse bites can cause a lot of tissue damage in mammals. I know in the wild Jackson's eat bees but I have no idea what spider venom would do to them.

CJ's Exotics

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm so sorry for your loss. At least a necropsy would help you find out the culprit, just to make sure, and to see the effects.
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