Stress colors??


New Member
I was just wondering what the color of everyones chams are during the course of the day. While basking my panther is usually always a dark brown. When it eats it changes to a lighter color. However, I read that when there stressed they will be darker in color, but when I have taken my guy out of his cage he changes to a light color, so is this his stressed color.
I just am curious to what are good and bad colors and what to watch out for as signs of stress.
I'm curious about this too. I have a male panther, he's about a year old I'm told. He was given to me. I've had him about 3 months and we get along pretty well. Most of the time he is dark green with black bars and grey eye turrets. Pretty dull actually, which worries me although he appears healthy. He eats and drinks regularly, is very active and strong, and appears not to mind my company at all. He tries to crawl up on me whenever I open his cage which is 30x30x18, screened on 5 sides and loaded with vines and pothos and pony tail palms.

When feeding, agitated or when I take him out of the cage he shows more reds and yellows but retains the blue-green of his basking color. When he's asleep he shows his best colors. He turns red, yellow and pink sometimes showing more color on one side of the body than the other. His normal green gets very light but is still present.
Hi Seth and KK,

Panther chameleons change color depending on mood, physical states, and temperature. When they need heat, they will turn dark or black in order to capture the heat from their basking lights. Black colors soak up the sun and/or the heat rays from your lighting. If your chameleon is dark in color, he probably needs some heat. They turn lighter in order to cool down and not attract the heat.

Panthers show their bright colors when they have the feeling of stress, fear, anger, mating colors, curiosity, aggression, among many, many other states of emotion. So when you take him out of his cage and he starts to turn bright colors, he is showing an emotional state. Probably either a bit of fear or stress about being handled.

When he's not really showing any color at all, an olive green or just a regular color with some barring showing (with the exception of nosy be type locales who usually are always blue), they are just "chillin." Hanging out in their cage and taking it easy.

If a panther is showing their brightest colors all the time, this is a sign that they are upset about something and under a good amount of stress. So it's a good thing that they don't always show their bright colors :).
When you mentioned your panther chameleon lightens its colors when feeding, this is usually becuase of excitment due to feeding. As Prism Chameleons mentioned, they vary their colors according to their moods.

Darker colors absorb heat, and lighter reflects heat. Darker colors and sunken eyes usually represent an extreme amount of stress placed on the chameleon, or the chameleon could be sick. Vibrant, bright colors usually always mean aggression, excitment, curiousity, and stress.
I know this is an old post but I'd been wondering the same thing with my baby - I'm glad to hear that the lighter colors are fairly pleased colors . . . he hangs out on the back of my chair when I work on the computer and is a light color . . .
Bumping this up a bit because I was having some worries over my cham's color this morning- he has been really active today & eating a lot and then all of a sudden he turned almost black and went up to sit under his light. Now I understand why. Thanks for the good information. I seem to be on a crash-course this week in worrying about my little guy, but so far, I've found many good answers here & from my breeder, too. I'll be glad when I don't worry so much! lol
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