Unusual Behaviour?

Admiral Quincy

New Member
Chameleon health sheet:
Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon (Definitely male, confirmed by experienced breeder from whom I got him from.) 6-7 months of age. Has been in my care since he was 15 weeks old.

Handling - Handled daily. I know it's said that chameleons shouldn't be handled often, but he loves it. Always perks up when he's being handled.

Feeding - Twice a day, a total of approx 8 - 10 Medium crickets. Gut loaded on apple, carrot, cricket feed from pet shop and bug jel.

Supplements - Calcium w/o D3 daily. Beaphar Vionate vitamin/mineral supplement twice a month (containing D3).

Watering - Daily misting, 2-3 minutes every time. Mist whenever his humidity drops below 45. I see him drinking from his dripper, and after he has been misted. (Not so much anymore, though)

Fecal Description - Firm brown poop, with a firm, spongy like white section to it. Has never been tested

History - Last week whilst cleaning his vivarium we swapped the decor around a bit to make a change for him. Complete rearrangement of vivarium interior.
Other than that it has always been the same for him.
(Took substrate out also when rearranging viv)

Cage Info:

Cage Type - Exo Terra 24"x18"x18". Glass, with a film at the top. (Is aired daily when he is handled. Doors left open when he is out to keep an air flow.)

Lighting - Dual UVB's, not sure on specifics as they came with the tank. - 100W Mist resistant heat bulb, Exo-Terra. Reduced to 60W during summer. Lights on at 9:00AM. UVB's go out at 9:00PM and Basking lamp out at 10:00PM (He likes to sit under it before he sleeps. He wont seem to sleep unless he's had a little while under there before it's off)

Temperature - Sits regularly at 30C. Reduced to 60W Bulb because during summer the 100W made it too hot for him. Right now it is at 28C. The basking spot is at the top of the cage, under the bulb. The temp there varies from 32 - 40C

Humidity - Mist it so that it raises to 80 - 90% humidity, then let it drop to 45 before misting again.

Plants - No live plants. Artificial plants around the vivarium.

Substrate - There is no substrate in there. There used to be coconut husk in there as substrate, but I removed it all.

Placement - Is never in direct sunlight, is in my bedroom on top of my drawers. Away from loud noises and / or impact. A fan is on during summer across the room from him. It's very high up from my room floor. Other than my cupboard, it's the highest point in my room.

Location - England, west midlands. Bromsgrove. Worcestershire.

The problem:

Often, when I walk into the room, I'll see Quincy (the Cham) sat, or prowling around the bottom of the vivarium, he's a dark green / brown color, and doesn't take too fondly now to me putting my hand in the vivarium. However, when he is being handled he perks up, and is a happy wee chappy.
I don't understand why he is always sitting at the bottom of his tank. Originally I thought it was the substrate, which is why I removed it, as I was recommended to. (I was told Male chams have no real benefits from having substrate in the viv).

Why is he sitting at the bottom of the viv and being aggressive when I put my hand in there? He isn't aggressive when being handled. Just when being taken out the vivarium.

He is always wiping his hands around the glass, like he is trying to get out.

What is wrong?
From reading your husbandry, sounds like you're guy might be cookin' :eek:

his basking temp should be no higher than 35c (95f)

He may be cruising at the bottom because he's hot. And are you positive your veiled is a MALE? allot of the times breeders from petstores just sell you a female veiled and call them males so it's easier to sell.

If your veiled has the tarsal spurs on the hind legs, then you indeed have a male.

I question it's sex because females around that age of a cham spend time at the bottom of the enclosure to try and dig / lay eggs.

If he's just pacing the bottom of the cage it just means he wants to get out. Do you free range him then put him back in his cage and he does this? Cause it's exactly what mine does. He even did it before I started free range him and like you I'd stick my hand in and he'd ignore me but then if I left his door open then he would come crawling out. Sounds like normal behavior to me
'Aye, I was thinking to myself that it might be the heat! I left the doors of his viv open when I was typing all this out, and he started to come out and perked up again.
He free ranges under supervision. - Like right now, he's chilling in front of my window enjoying the natural sunlight.
If it's all normal behaviour, then I'll be so relieved to know there's nothing wrong with wee Quincy.
Will try and lower the temps and get a cooler basking lamp in there even still.
I think that size enclosure is way too small for your Veild of that age. Unless he is a little squirt, you should have a much larger enclosure for him. Glass tends to hold the heat of course more than screen, so as others have said he is probably trying to escape the heat. That coupled with no where to move could explain it.
I believe it is the size of his cage, he is getting to the point where he is almost full grown or will be there in no time. That cage is much smaller than what is recommended for adult veileds.He needs something almost twice the size of what you got him in. He needs at least a 24x24x48 enclosure now. Him scratching at the door is him looking for a way out. When you open the door im sure he is happy to come right out and spread his legs.
I agree. Cage is way too small for a sub-adult male veiled. But you're fine for now. If your Cham was a year or 2 old then it would be bad to house him in a small enclosure like that. But your boy is only 6-7 months, so try and save up for a larger enclosure asap.

He needs to be in a 24x24x48". Mainly this is a standard and is highly recommend it.

As for glass or mesh, usually people in the UK do great wth glass enclosures. It's allot colder out there than the United States. Allot of people don't look at your location.

I'd suggest getting a larger glass enclosure if that's been working good with you. Or get a mesh enclosure and add shower curtains to the sides to hold in heat / humidity.

But your Cham trying to get out can be a combination of him being way too hot and in a small enclosure.
Okay, so.
I've lowered the temps. Still at a 60W basking lamp, but I no longer have a heat mat running on there. (I completely forgot to mention there was a heat mat on the outside of the viv, underneath it.) Temperature averages 29C.
33C under his basking lamp.

As for the size of the tank, I have found a relatively inexpensive glass vivarium by Exo-terra that is 45"x45"x60", only I wont be able to purchase that for another two or three weeks from now.

I am still worried, however. I still find him pawing at the glass, right at the bottom right hand corner of his viv. On the other side of his basking lamp.
Could it still be too hot?
The only thing I seem to notice is that he's seemingly as far away from his lamp as he can be.
The temperature (in theory) seems correct. Unless the therm is playing up.

Is this worth a trip to the vets? I don't care about the drive or the money, if it means saving my little friend.

Maybe I should turn his basking lamp off for some hours of the day?

EDIT: PS - Thank you all, for the help and advice!
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He may be cruising at the bottom because he's hot. And are you positive your veiled is a MALE? allot of the times breeders from petstores just sell you a female veiled and call them males so it's easier to sell.


Positive he is male :)
Got him from a licensed breeder in the UK, not from a pet store.
The spurs at his hind legs are easy to spot.
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