Urgent!! Jackson's chameleon is Dark Brown, Gaping

Mendez

Member
My Jackson's is about 9 months old now, at least I think, could be a little younger. But today I fed him a lot of Black Soldier Fly larvae and now he is super dark, almost black all over. Thought all those bsfl maybe upset his stomach and so fed him some dubias and he ate them turned green for a split second and went back to dark color. He isn't really trying to get warmed up like usual. He is in the outer edges of the basking spot and just perched there. I'm really concerned that something is wrong. I've seen him dark green before when basking to absorb light but never like this. The gaping concerns me because that's supposed to help cool him off but he isn't really under the light. My room is pretty humid, maybe lung infection? ANy ideas, I'll start looking for a vet if continues. I'll upload that How to ask for help sheet right now
 

Mendez

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jacksonii Xantholophus, male, approximately 9 months old, Handling - LOL, basically never. He is small and feels vulnerable around me, so I don’t force him to be held.
  • Feeding - Feed dubias, bsfl, crickets, hornworms etc. I gutload using apples, romainne lettuce, carrots
  • Supplements - Calc w/o D3 everytime I feed crickets or dubias. W/D3 every 2 weeks. Vitamin w/o D3 once a month
  • Watering - I have a little dripper which I fill every morning. I mist the cage down at least 4x a day. I mist for about a minute, unless I see my chameleon drinking, then I’ll just mist until he finishes drinking which can be anywhere between 1-5 minutes. He is drinking, I have seen him drink.
  • Fecal Description - His poop is black with white. The consistency is moist, not goopy, and definitely not dry. Looks normal for a chameleon poop, in my opinion. He has never been tested for parasites.
  • History - Well, I got him from a pet store--which I know is bad--plus I don’t know his genetics. It was not a Petco or Petsmart, and they seemed to be taking god care of the baby jacksons, even though I thought it was irresponsible to be selling jacksons at that age (approx. 1 month old). He was the last one, and so I took him home. Some places on his legs look like they have been gnawed on by some crickets, but now his wounds look almost healed. The pet store I bought him from no longer sells chams, so hopefully more stores will start to do the same.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen cage with an opaque Press n’ Seal on three sides of the cage to keep humidity up. Since he’s still small, the dimensions are 16x16x30.
  • Lighting - For UVB, I use zoomed reptisun 5.0. For the basking light use a 60 watt bulb incandescent from HomeDepot. The basking light is a bulb while the uvb is a tube. I turn the lights on at sun rise, and then turn the lights off 12 hours later when it is close to sun set.
  • Temperature - The lowest temperature is 72 degrees while the highest temperature is 82 degrees. There is a gradient, so if he wants, he can get whatever temperature he desires. The lowest overnight temp drop has hit 60-65, I also use a reptile fogger which cools down the cage a little while adding a little humidity. And, I also have a portable A/C unit which keeps my room from overheating.
  • Humidity - Humidity remains around 50-70%. But mainly stays between 50-60%. As mentioned above, I use press and seal around 3 sides of the screen to keep up humidity. When I check the cage and the hygrometer reads 50% I will spray the live plant and the cage to keep up the humidity. I use a hygrometer which is connected to the thermometer I mentioned above.
  • Plants - I have 1 live plant which takes up the majority of the cage. The plant is a Schefflera Arboricola.
  • Placement - Cage is located in my bedroom--2nd floor. I have a portable A/C unit that is not pointed at the cage, but rather at a wall, so my cham can thermoregulate properly. Low traffic area. The top of the cage is close to 5 feet off the floor. It is on a table.
  • Location - Geographically, I live in Folsom, California. Folsom is very close to Sacramento--the capital of California.

Current Problem - Described above in previous post

Thanks for the help!
 

Mendez

Member
I read a post here a while ago about sometimes bsfl not digesting in the chams tummy. If he ate a lot, could it be that?
 

Mendez

Member
https://photos.app.goo.gl/z89srGb3g7DyoYra6
https://photos.app.goo.gl/8hwN7NFcMhUYHnCr6
He fine now!!!!!! I have no clue what just happened but after him perched in the same spot for an hour or so and being super dark, I checked up on him and he was happily climbing around his cage. This is super odd behavior that I haven't seen before. Maybe did he finally digest the bsfl? Thoughts, I'd like to know for next time.
All I did was open up my room door to let fresh air in. I also have a heater set 71 degrees but I also turned that off too. But I have had these conditions for the whole winter so far and hes never been like this. He never tried to warm himself up so it wasnt heat and he didn't try to cool off by leaving basking.
 

Mendez

Member
WHat?!!! I checked again, and hes kind back to the same dark color. He's not as bad as before. Okay, I need help
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
turning black is often so a chameleon can absorb heat. darker pigments absorb heat faster and the gaping could mean he's temperature regulating.
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
uhhhhh maybe give him something to drink, flush down the bsfl and roaches and help lubricate the digestive track
 

Mendez

Member
I didn't spray him recently, and I turned the a/c off for the winter and put in a heater with a thermostat set at 71 degrees, not pointed anywhere close to the cage
 
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