Teach me all the things about Parsonii Cristifer

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Alright cham fam... here’s the deal... my local reptile shop has two unrelated 7ish month baby Calumma Parsonii Cristifers for sale. I saw them in person yesterday and they stole my heart (See pics for cuteness overload). So now I’m throwing myself into as much research as possible to see if this is a good fit for me. I already listened to the Parson’s chameleon podcast episodes but am wondering if anyone else as experience with Cristifers.

My current concerns are the cage size requirements. Keep in mind these are the smaller parsons species... but still... I’m in a one bedroom apartment. How long could I keep the babies in a custom 6x2x2 before needing to separate them or put them in a massive custom build?
I’ve heard they need more water than a panther... so would I need a separate mistking for them?

Also want to make sure the asking price is fair. What is going rate right now?
Another concern is that there isn’t *as much* info about Parson’s as say Panthers. I’d love to be pointed in any direction of resources or care sheets for Cristifers. Give me all the reading, listening, and watching I can do.

Thanks in advance. P.S. I already have a 1yr+ Ambilobe male.
 

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Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wait are you planning on housing them together because you shouldn’t be doing that at all

They are currently being housed at the shop in a custom 6x2x2. One of my questions is when they should be separated. If it’s as soon as I get them, that’s fine but they’re offering to sell me the enclosure too. They also have 2 full-grown parsons in at custom enclosure something around 10x10x4 that seem to be doing great.

Pretty sure they are CB. Calling today to confirm that.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
My opinion is if you are worried about their space needs sharing a single 2x2’ cage, they may not be the right fit for you. I believe a dragonstrand large atrium is considered acceptable for ONE up to 1 year old. Thats an almost 4’ long cage. Male and female need to be separate and ideally where they wont see each other in passing (when removing from cage).

They also need massive amounts of water (like 30 min mistings, not 3 min), daily food, and they shouldnt be bred until they are several years old.

I love them and would love to get one someday, but they need lots of space and a whole lot more attention than a panther imo
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
My opinion is if you are worried about their space needs sharing a single 2x2’ cage, they may not be the right fit for you. I believe a dragonstrand large atrium is considered acceptable for ONE up to 1 year old. Thats an almost 4’ long cage. Male and female need to be separate and ideally where they wont see each other in passing (when removing from cage).

They also need massive amounts of water (like 30 min mistings, not 3 min), daily food, and they shouldnt be bred until they are several years old.

I love them and would love to get one someday, but they need lots of space and a whole lot more attention than a panther imo
All this and they should also be getting a hour misting atleast once a week. These are the holy grail of chameleons there needs are Extreme.

They also need temp drops of 50/40 at night. Will you be able to mimic this temp drop?
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm aware that these guys are the holy grail of chameleons :) and this is why I'm asking lots of questions. If they're not the right fit for me for where I'm at in life right now, I have no problem saying no. But if there's a chance I can give these guys an amazing life, I want to make sure I do everything I can and know all the info before making a decision.

From the chameleon breeders podcast about cristifer, they are recommending a 2x2x4 for the female and a 4x2x4 for the male. I have no issue accommodating two adult enclosures. My original question, is when will they need to be separated? These guys are tiny and slow growers. I also have no problem decking them out in some sick dragon strand enclosures, but if they need to be separated ASAP, I'm mindful that the production time for those enclosures takes awhile. Would the 6ft enclosure be sufficient until their adult enclosures were set-up?

Sounds like another mistking is a MUST HAVE with 30 min/1 hour mistings so that's good to know. I know of a custom drainage table that would accommodate the male's adult enclosure and could whip one up for the female.

Daily food isn't a problem. The temp drops is going to be tricky... still thinking on that... How do most people mimic that?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm aware that these guys are the holy grail of chameleons :) and this is why I'm asking lots of questions. If they're not the right fit for me for where I'm at in life right now, I have no problem saying no. But if there's a chance I can give these guys an amazing life, I want to make sure I do everything I can and know all the info before making a decision.

From the chameleon breeders podcast about cristifer, they are recommending a 2x2x4 for the female and a 4x2x4 for the male. I have no issue accommodating two adult enclosures. My original question, is when will they need to be separated? These guys are tiny and slow growers. I also have no problem decking them out in some sick dragon strand enclosures, but if they need to be separated ASAP, I'm mindful that the production time for those enclosures takes awhile. Would the 6ft enclosure be sufficient until their adult enclosures were set-up?

Sounds like another mistking is a MUST HAVE with 30 min/1 hour mistings so that's good to know. I know of a custom drainage table that would accommodate the male's adult enclosure and could whip one up for the female.

Daily food isn't a problem. The temp drops is going to be tricky... still thinking on that... How do most people mimic that?
They put them in their own room. Run a window air conditioning unit if it is too warm. etc...
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm aware that these guys are the holy grail of chameleons :) and this is why I'm asking lots of questions. If they're not the right fit for me for where I'm at in life right now, I have no problem saying no. But if there's a chance I can give these guys an amazing life, I want to make sure I do everything I can and know all the info before making a decision.

From the chameleon breeders podcast about cristifer, they are recommending a 2x2x4 for the female and a 4x2x4 for the male. I have no issue accommodating two adult enclosures. My original question, is when will they need to be separated? These guys are tiny and slow growers. I also have no problem decking them out in some sick dragon strand enclosures, but if they need to be separated ASAP, I'm mindful that the production time for those enclosures takes awhile. Would the 6ft enclosure be sufficient until their adult enclosures were set-up?

Sounds like another mistking is a MUST HAVE with 30 min/1 hour mistings so that's good to know. I know of a custom drainage table that would accommodate the male's adult enclosure and could whip one up for the female.

Daily food isn't a problem. The temp drops is going to be tricky... still thinking on that... How do most people mimic that?
I answered the housing question right way they can’t be housed together. You need two separate cages ready for them when they come home if you buy them.

ac unit in the window but then you need to figure out how to keep the humidity up because the ac will take the moisture from the air.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
You can use the shower method to give them a good "mist" a few times a week. Other than that I'd suggest clearing your schedule. They aren't "needy" per se, they just have needs that aren't like other chams. There is a real lack of consistent pricing... but if you can afford to impulse buy 2 and "possibly" the enclosure as well then I'd suggest doing that. I know a lot of folks, myself included, who have been wanting them but just aren't ready to make that commitment. I've seen them selling for anywhere from $500-$2500. But I haven't exactly been looking as I have a rather large collection of panthers and bugs to tend to. Given that and my normal job, I'm already working 14+ hours a day... just not enough time to devote to such a wonderful creature.

I personally would split them asap. Not only because they should be, but it's a known effect that housing male/female where they can even see each other can contribute to them rejecting each other as a mate. I'd also recommend just making a custom cage as their temps and water are going to be quite different from most other creatures you're keeping. Many keepers I know have issues with the long mistings even outdoors lol. I've heard of people double stacking the DS cages to create a bigger enclosure for them, so that may be something geared more for you.

Whatever the case may be, congrats and best of luck.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
As I understand it, most parsons breeders, regardless of whether they’re Cristifer or giants, agree that they get aggressive young and fast towards each other. This is why most breeders have them in separate cages from day 1. If you’re going to do this, pick up a couple large atrium dragon strand cages and be prepared to invest in fogger in addition to the mistking.
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
Still researching and deciding... Probably like 85% sure I'll get them. I've been in touch with a few people who have successfully bred and take care of Cristifers to help answer my questions.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Still researching and deciding... Probably like 85% sure I'll get them. I've been in touch with a few people who have successfully bred and take care of Cristifers to help answer my questions.
I'm curious how do they do the temp drops they need?
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm curious how do they do the temp drops they need?

Seems like most people keep them on a winter and summer cycle. The summer cycle temp drops don't need to get very low, around low 70s. During the winter times, they will cool the temperature of the room to 60s and use a low wattage bulb to provide a gradient in the enclosure. Cristifers have been know to survive very low temps even down into the 40s no problem. Very hardy species from what I can tell. Also depends if you're trying to breed and get them to go into brumation.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Seems like most people keep them on a winter and summer cycle. The summer cycle temp drops don't need to get very low, around low 70s. During the winter times, they will cool the temperature of the room to 60s and use a low wattage bulb to provide a gradient in the enclosure. Cristifers have been know to survive very low temps even down into the 40s no problem. Very hardy species from what I can tell. Also depends if you're trying to breed and get them to go into brumation.
Are you turning the room into a cham room? I wish I had the space to do that. Currently Beman shares my room I drop the night time temp to 60ish. He loves it and I hate it. But he gets what he needs. Lol
 

Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
A cham room is the dream, but isn't going to happen anytime soon. For now they would be in my living room so I'll just have to setup my thermostat to provide the temps that they need like what you do with Beman.
 
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