Thoughts on Calluma boettgeri?

skoram

Established Member
A local reptile shop has these for sale and I am considering purchasing either one male or a pair. If I purchase I plan to keep them in 18x12x12 or 18x18x18 Exo Terra glass terrariums with lots of plants in a bioactive setup.

From what *very* little information I have gathered online, they are primarily found in the rainforests of northern Madagascar and thus require a bit more humidity and cooler nighttime temperatures than Furcifer pardalis. The shop owner said they have been thriving since he imported them about 3 months ago. Below is a photo of one male he sent me.

C_boettgeri .jpg

Does anyone have thoughts or more information about this species?
 

skoram

Established Member
There's a little bit of info on this site....look at how few were imported a few years ago...
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/furcifer-and-calumma-in-madagascar.172708/
Thank you for the link! Although the document did not contain a large quantity of information about C. boettgeri, the specific information about its origin and habitat is very helpful.

IMHO...since you may not see them for sale again for a while I'd get a pair and hope I could get them to reproduce...but that's just me.
Better for someone on here to have them than to have them be sold to someone who knows nothing and they end up being lost.
This is what I'm leaning towards and will probably end up doing. I just want to gather as much information as possible first so I can make an educated decision and give them the best chance of survival.

The information I've gathered thus far, limited though it may be, seems to indicate that this species is relatively hardy and appropriate conditions for their survival and well-being should not be difficult to replicate in captivity. The nighttime temperature drop is my main concern. The page on Adcham you linked suggests a 10-15º fahrenheit drop, which is no problem. 10-15º celsius, on the other hand, would pose a big challenge based on conditions at my home.

Also, the seller said he has had these since March this year, not the past three months, which was a misunderstanding on my part. So, aside from a few that died shortly after import, they have thrived in captivity for at least 9 months.
 
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Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Thank you for the link! Although the document did not contain a large quantity of information about C. boettgeri, the specific information about its origin and habitat is very helpful.



This is what I'm leaning towards and will probably end up doing. I just want to gather as much information as possible first so I can make an educated decision and give them the best chance of survival.

The information I've gathered thus far, limited though it may be, seems to indicate that this species is relatively hardy and appropriate conditions for their survival and well-being should not be difficult to replicate in captivity. The nighttime temperature drop is my main concern. The page on Adcham you linked suggests a 10-15º fahrenheit drop, which is no problem. 10-15º celsius, on the other hand, would pose a big challenge based on conditions at my home.

Also, the seller said he has had these since March this year, not the past three months, which was a misunderstanding on my part. So, aside from a few that died shortly after import, they have thrived in captivity for at least 9 months.
Where you from? Here we don't have a problem with temperatures drop. Goes from 70° F to 30°F... Which States replicate similar Temp drops?
 

skoram

Established Member
Where you from? Here we don't have a problem with temperatures drop. Goes from 70° F to 30°F... Which States replicate similar Temp drops?
Wow, you regularly experience 40 degree drops? That’s going from pleasant spring/summer weather to below zero in the same day...

I’m in South Korea. We experience nighttime drops of around 5-10 degrees celsius but obviously that is not the case indoors.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
A local reptile shop has these for sale and I am considering purchasing either one male or a pair. If I purchase I plan to keep them in 18x12x12 or 18x18x18 Exo Terra glass terrariums with lots of plants in a bioactive setup.

From what *very* little information I have gathered online, they are primarily found in the rainforests of northern Madagascar and thus require a bit more humidity and cooler nighttime temperatures than Furcifer pardalis. The shop owner said they have been thriving since he imported them about 3 months ago. Below is a photo of one male he sent me.

View attachment 253968

Does anyone have thoughts or more information about this species?
I can't really offer you anything concrete, but I do want to encourage you to go for it. You seem quite competent, have a good set up for you panther, and are on top of his tail issue...

That being said, when it comes to "imported" (aka WC) chams, really NOTHING is set in stone. My WC panther adheres to none of the typical conditions as my CB guys and gals. From diet to husbandry, it's always at least slightly different. For example, she will NOT touch a hornworm. The only reason she eats silks is because she tends to gape at me when I stare at her... when she did I tossed a silkworm into her mouth (was quite a good shot!). Turned out she likes them, hehe.

Your best bet is just trying (as I see you're doing) to mimic their natural habitat as best you can. As far as temps... well that, to me anyway, varies by each cham no matter the species or sex. I have one male ambilobe who LOVES the heat. He basks in full sun in Florida heat, never gaping or moving. Meanwhile, my other male gapes at anything over 80 degrees F. It's all over the map.

Basically, my "advice" to you is to use the powers of observation and common sense. You seem capable and willing so I feel you'll do fine!

Also, I'm jealous. I saw your post on the list of chams in the "Chameleon specific store" you have... so jealous!

Congrats and best of luck!
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Wow, you regularly experience 40 degree drops? That’s going from pleasant spring/summer weather to below zero in the same day...

I’m in South Korea. We experience nighttime drops of around 5-10 degrees celsius but obviously that is not the case indoors.
Yes dude, It hot during the day, you get sunburn and stuff. Bamm at night its freezing. Gotta love the desert.
I don't know how's the weather in South Korea, but I'm guessing it's nice
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am the very proud owner of a C. boettgeri female and she has been one of my favorite chameleons of all time. Very active and curious. Happy to hand feed on small crickets and soldier flies (although she reeeaaally likes to eat the young isopods small enough to fit in her mouth that live in the bioactive substrate and sometimes can't be bothered with me).

Do NOT keep them together if you get a pair. They do not like each other in my experience lol. Either of the enclosure sizes you mention would work wonderfully. I started my girl off in a 12x12x18, but have since upgraded her to an 18x18x24. She did fine in the smaller one, but I find her to be one of my most active chameleons. The only downside to a large enclosure (especially heavily plant as mine is), is that they can be extremely difficult to locate during daylight hours. Their crypsis is really incredible. They can look exactly like a dead twig. She always comes out front-and-center to sleep on a big pothos leaf, though.
 

skoram

Established Member
Thanks for all the encouragement and feedback! I pulled the trigger and purchased a pair of C. boettgeri last weekend but only took a female home as only one of my two spare Exo Terra enclosures was suitably setup for a chameleon.

171724945.jpg
Took this photo just after I arrived home with her.

Her current setup:
Enclosure: 12x12x18 Exo Terra glass terrarium
Bioactive with ABG type substrate covered with leaves/live moss and hydroball drainage layer
UVB: Zoomed 5.0 linear tube
Temperature: 23° ambient. No basking lamp; approx. 26° Celsius near top. 20 - 21° at night
Humidity: 50% daytime, 70% evening
Misting: 1 minute twice per day, at lights on and 30 minutes before lights off.

Will post a photo of the enclosure later in the day.

@Syreptyon could you share boettgerri enclosure parameters? Specifically, I'm curious to know what your misting schedule was like, temperatures (did you use a basking lamp?), substrate, feeding schedule and supplementation.

I have been placing small, quarter-inch crickets in the enclosure but have not directly witnessed her feeding yet. Although it's still a ways off, I'm also concerned about in situ egg-laying as the substrate can become quite damp following each misting. I have not seen any online accounts of captive breeding with this species but there was a thread by @Ekona in which he described finding C. nasatum hatchlings in his bioactive enclosure.

Edit: I forgot to ask - does anyone know how to distinguish between males and females of this species? I originally thought this was a male but the shop owner said it was a female. He showed me some of the males and they looked nearly identical though with darker "horn" coloration.
 
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Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for all the encouragement and feedback! I pulled the trigger and purchased a pair of C. boettgeri last weekend but only took a female home as only one of my two spare Exo Terra enclosures was suitably setup for a chameleon.

View attachment 254741
Took this photo just after I arrived home with her.

Her current setup:
Enclosure: 12x12x18 Exo Terra glass terrarium
Bioactive with ABG type substrate covered with leaves/live moss and hydroball drainage layer
UVB: Zoomed 5.0 linear tube
Temperature: 23° ambient. No basking lamp; approx. 26° Celsius near top. 20 - 21° at night
Humidity: 50% daytime, 70% evening
Misting: 1 minute twice per day, at lights on and 30 minutes before lights off.

Will post a photo of the enclosure later in the day.

@Syreptyon could you share boettgerri enclosure parameters? Specifically, I'm curious to know what your misting schedule was like, temperatures (did you use a basking lamp?), substrate, feeding schedule and supplementation.

I have been placing small, quarter-inch crickets in the enclosure but have not directly witnessed her feeding yet. Although it's still a ways off, I'm also concerned about in situ egg-laying as the substrate can become quite damp following each misting. I have not seen any online accounts of captive breeding with this species but there was a thread by @Ekona in which he described finding C. nasatum hatchlings in his bioactive enclosure.

Edit: I forgot to ask - does anyone know how to distinguish between males and females of this species? I originally thought this was a male but the shop owner said it was a female. He showed me some of the males and they looked nearly identical though with darker "horn" coloration.
Here's my setup as your formatted yours for an easy comparison:

Enclosure: 18x18x24 Exo Terra glass terrarium
Substrate: Homemade ABG mix, combined with Josh's Frogs bioactive substrate. Heavily planted vivarium, significant leaf litter, and infinite springtails and isopods (dairy cow and regular grays)
UVB: Arcadia 6%
Temperature: No basking lamp either. Around 80F near to top during the day, down to 70-ish at the bottom. approx. 26° Temp drop at night (easy in MN this time of year)
Humidity: 50+% daytime, ~80% evening
Misting: I usually mist three times a day for 45-75 seconds. It doesn't take much for the glass enclosure to be drenched and keep the plants watered.

Supplements are harder because there are so few keepers. However, as montane species, I go very light on supplementation and just use Repashy Calcium Plus LoD a few times a month. However, she rather likes to feed herself on the microfauna thriving in the substrate anyways so it can sometimes be difficult to tempt her with extraneous food items.

Bioactive substrate should be sufficient for their egglaying, but you definitely want to take the eggs out or they'll be killed by the wet conditions and microfauna in the enclosure.

Aaand I think the easiest way to sex them is by looking for a hemipenal bulge. Both males and females are reasonably colorful.
Oh, one last note. Mine is actually ostensibly a C. linotum, which is debatably the same species as C. boettgeri, but there's no real scientific consensus on this yet. They are pretty indistinguishable, but linotum come from the Amber Mountain Region, whereas Boettgeri is from Nosy Be I believe. So it is possible that our chams are slightly different genetically, but their care should be the same
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also: judging from the pictures of the boettgeri you posted... The one in your first post is absolutely male. The one you posted today looks more likely female
 

skoram

Established Member
Here's my setup as your formatted yours for an easy comparison:

Enclosure: 18x18x24 Exo Terra glass terrarium
Substrate: Homemade ABG mix, combined with Josh's Frogs bioactive substrate. Heavily planted vivarium, significant leaf litter, and infinite springtails and isopods (dairy cow and regular grays)
UVB: Arcadia 6%
Temperature: No basking lamp either. Around 80F near to top during the day, down to 70-ish at the bottom. approx. 26° Temp drop at night (easy in MN this time of year)
Humidity: 50+% daytime, ~80% evening
Misting: I usually mist three times a day for 45-75 seconds. It doesn't take much for the glass enclosure to be drenched and keep the plants watered.

Supplements are harder because there are so few keepers. However, as montane species, I go very light on supplementation and just use Repashy Calcium Plus LoD a few times a month. However, she rather likes to feed herself on the microfauna thriving in the substrate anyways so it can sometimes be difficult to tempt her with extraneous food items.

Bioactive substrate should be sufficient for their egglaying, but you definitely want to take the eggs out or they'll be killed by the wet conditions and microfauna in the enclosure.

Aaand I think the easiest way to sex them is by looking for a hemipenal bulge. Both males and females are reasonably colorful.
Oh, one last note. Mine is actually ostensibly a C. linotum, which is debatably the same species as C. boettgeri, but there's no real scientific consensus on this yet. They are pretty indistinguishable, but linotum come from the Amber Mountain Region, whereas Boettgeri is from Nosy Be I believe. So it is possible that our chams are slightly different genetically, but their care should be the same
Thanks so much for sharing this information!

26° temperature drop is quite impressive. I understand there are similar nighttime drops in Madagascar but it still makes me uncomfortable given how cold 54°F/12°C feels. What kind of temperature drop do you provide in the summer?

Bioactive substrate should be sufficient for their egglaying, but you definitely want to take the eggs out or they'll be killed by the wet conditions and microfauna in the enclosure.
This is my thought too. I am extremely curious to know how Ekona got nasatum hatchlings from in situ incubation in his bioactive enclosure ...
 

skoram

Established Member
Also: judging from the pictures of the boettgeri you posted... The one in your first post is absolutely male. The one you posted today looks more likely female
They are so tiny I had a difficult time discerning between a hemipenal bulge and a skin fold or bump from the curling of their tails ... I don't suppose they exhibit any other differences?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
They are so tiny I had a difficult time discerning between a hemipenal bulge and a skin fold or bump from the curling of their tails ... I don't suppose they exhibit any other differences?
There are other differences including color/vibrance, but I find the hemipenes to be the most reliable indicator. Check this paper out for more details than you probably wanted haha: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284654929_Systematic_revision_of_the_Malagasy_chameleons_Calumma_boettgeri_and_C_linotum_Squamata_Chamaeleonidae
 

skoram

Established Member
There are other differences including color/vibrance, but I find the hemipenes to be the most reliable indicator. Check this paper out for more details than you probably wanted haha: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284654929_Systematic_revision_of_the_Malagasy_chameleons_Calumma_boettgeri_and_C_linotum_Squamata_Chamaeleonidae
Although there were a few words I could not understand, having no professional background in biology, that was actually a fascinating read - thank you! However, I think it left me with more questions than answers.

Based on this article, one thing seems certain: the specimen I received is also C. linotum. Coloration is one of the biggest indicators along with the shape and length of the rostral appendage and tubercle scales on the legs. The section below (and the accompanying photo in figure 2A) almost perfectly describes the coloration of my linotum.

Males from Montagne d’Ambre were more colourful, with a true blue rostral appendage and greenish turquoise extremities (Fig. 2A). The colour of the legs is induced only by the coloured tubercle scales. The body is pale green or light brown with two dark brown spots and (occasionally) a beige lateral stripe on each side that stops at the base of the tail. The tail is the same colour as the body and (in stress colouration) possesses black annulations. The head is also greenish or brown with a dark stripe from the snout crossing the eyes to the occipital lobes. The skin around the mouth and the throat can be white.

These characteristics can be more clearly seen in a video I took recently:


So it seems clear that this is a C. linotum but it is a male or a female? Coloration indicates male but a hemipenal bulge is not very evident. I've seen photos of boettgeri, nasatum and linotum with clear hemipenal bulges but I know this is not always the case with male chameleons.

I'd be grateful to hear the thoughts of others with knowledge or expertise with nasatum/boettgeri complex chameleons. @Chris Anderson

P.S. Below is a photo of his/her? temporary glass enclosure. I will be moving some of my chameleons around in the very near future and plan to create a much more appealing natural environment for this and another linotum. I am also debating going a size larger (i.e. 18x18x18).

220726099_02.jpg
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Although there were a few words I could not understand, having no professional background in biology, that was actually a fascinating read - thank you! However, I think it left me with more questions than answers.

Based on this article, one thing seems certain: the specimen I received is also C. linotum. Coloration is one of the biggest indicators along with the shape and length of the rostral appendage and tubercle scales on the legs. The section below (and the accompanying photo in figure 2A) almost perfectly describes the coloration of my linotum.

Males from Montagne d’Ambre were more colourful, with a true blue rostral appendage and greenish turquoise extremities (Fig. 2A). The colour of the legs is induced only by the coloured tubercle scales. The body is pale green or light brown with two dark brown spots and (occasionally) a beige lateral stripe on each side that stops at the base of the tail. The tail is the same colour as the body and (in stress colouration) possesses black annulations. The head is also greenish or brown with a dark stripe from the snout crossing the eyes to the occipital lobes. The skin around the mouth and the throat can be white.

These characteristics can be more clearly seen in a video I took recently:


So it seems clear that this is a C. linotum but it is a male or a female? Coloration indicates male but a hemipenal bulge is not very evident. I've seen photos of boettgeri, nasatum and linotum with clear hemipenal bulges but I know this is not always the case with male chameleons.

I'd be grateful to hear the thoughts of others with knowledge or expertise with nasatum/boettgeri complex chameleons. @Chris Anderson

P.S. Below is a photo of his/her? temporary glass enclosure. I will be moving some of my chameleons around in the very near future and plan to create a much more appealing natural environment for this and another linotum. I am also debating going a size larger (i.e. 18x18x18).

View attachment 255045
Gorgeous cham! Looks nearly identical to my own. I feel pretty darn confident that that is a female you have there.

As for the enclosure, I say bigger is always better. I would be sure to add significantly more foliage in there as well as some specifically horizontal twigs/wines/etc. Try to vary the diameter of the items in there for her to climb on, too. She will benefit from denser greenery so she can hide when she likes and you will want to utilize the upper half of the enclosure a fair bit more. I find them to be surprisingly active and my girl loves to crawl around everywhere from the high to the low.

Here's an unruly photo of my enclosure from a little bit ago:

1577940086493.png
 
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