Weird Behavior K. boehmei

spadefish

Member
I thought the first time I noticed this, it was a fluke. But, now it has happened every day for the last 5 days. Some background: I got this group (was 3.3 but the baby died so now 3.2) at the end of March or so. Within days, they were mating like crazy. I expect the first clutch of eggs in 7-10 days or thereabouts (I am estimating based on tavetana gestation since I can't find any scientific info on the boehmei).

The largest male goes to the bottom of the cage every morning and digs in the same hole. He sticks his head in and seemingly uses his horns as a shovel to remove dirt to creat a tunnel of sorts. Yesterday and today, the same female has joined him in the hole. After about 20 minutes, they leave the hole/tunnel and return to circumventing the exoterra looking for breakfast. They otherwise behave normally. The female is clearly gravid.

It seems like the male is digging the hole for the female to deposit her eggs, but I have never seen this nor read about it in any journal or heard about it happening anecdotally, etc. Anyone have any experience with this? Take a look at the photos. In the photo with just the male, you can see dirt accumulated between his horns from shoveling. There is some glare becase there is schmutz on the glass, but they should be clear enough to tell what I am talking about.
 

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eisentrauti

Avid Member
The male dont digg a hole for the female/s, the male tries to escape. Please seperate all your animals as soon as possible or you will have 0.0 of them...
 

Cainschams

New Member
I agree with Benny. At least transfer the male so the female can have some peace while she is near laying and while in the laying process. Not really sure about the males behavior though. Is he scratching at the glass when he is in that hole.

Whats humidity and temps like?

Also, is that an egg in the last pic to the right of the females head?
 

Vegas Chad

Avid Member
My females dug holes for several days… I left them totally alone with 2 different spots to lay. After several days she finally laid. The females did not do much until I gave them their own cage.
 

spadefish

Member
Jared, that is not an egg. It is a hydroball. The male is not clawing at the glass. Neither he nor the others exhibit any "escape" type behaviors like glass scratching, etc. I haven't seen this behavior since they arrived. I just checked on them and they are all either basking or catching flies. The male didn't go in the hole after the female -- she climbed over him. I watched it from beginning to end.
 

spadefish

Member
Temps during the day range from 75-79 F ambient with a basking up to about 82F. I don't usually let the ambient get about 77 in the exoterra, although for outside, I will let it get to about 88F before I bring them inside. I am keeping about the same as the Tavetanas. Nighttime is about 64-65F or so. Humidity is 50-60% during the day and 80%+ overnight. From what I have read, these guys are found at a lower elevation than the Tavetanas so I am leery about keeping the humidity too high.
 

Cainschams

New Member
Temps and humidity are good. I also will keep the temps cooler inside than I will let them be outside. Inside, stagnant heat is much different than outside with a breeze, shade etc. That is weird behavior. Species like cristatus are known to bury themselves if humidity is too low or temps too high but I would not think that is the problem here. At least for tavs they see lower humidity and some higher temps in the wild than cristatus and other species.

I would definitely let the female do her own thing until she lays. That is about all the opinions I can offer:eek:
 

spadefish

Member
Benny, I wasn't disagreeing with you on taking the female out. She is coming out today. I was sharing my observations. I have been watching them closely and have seen no other behavior which would indicate stress. If i can find the journal article i read about these species living in groups, I will post the cite.
 

pssh

Avid Member
To be honest, how can you determine stress behavior with a species you have never worked with that you have only just received? Not to mention each individual animal also has its own stress behavior that has not been observed singly if they have been living in close quarters with each other.
 

Cainschams

New Member
To be honest, how can you determine stress behavior with a species you have never worked with that you have only just received? Not to mention each individual animal also has its own stress behavior that has not been observed singly if they have been living in close quarters with each other.
Theresa does a great job with her animals. I am sure she can see if one was stressed out from the other. When animals bask, eat and sleep together with no aggression or domination it usually means they are fine. I do agree with getting the female alone while gravid. If these animals were stressed they would have been dead a while ago.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Kara both Theresa & I keep tavatanas, the boehmei are just another tav. Believe me Theresa would know if any of her chams were stressed. She is really one of the most careful. methodical keepers I know.



To be honest, how can you determine stress behavior with a species you have never worked with that you have only just received? Not to mention each individual animal also has its own stress behavior that has not been observed singly if they have been living in close quarters with each other.
 

pssh

Avid Member
I'm not questioning her knowledge as a keeper, just throwing that thought out there.

Even the most predictable of animals can do something unexpected. Plus there is no real way to know for sure if chameleons are or are not stressed, just the presumption. I think it's always a good idea to expect that your animal may happen to be that one oddball out there. Better safe than sorry in my opinion. (And I'm sure you know all about little oddballs laurie :))
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
It's ok Kara, i just wanted you to know that Theresa is very familiar with the boehmei. It sounds like her male is doing something very unexpected.:eek:


I'm not questioning her knowledge as a keeper, just throwing that thought out there.

Even the most predictable of animals can do something unexpected. Plus there is no real way to know for sure if chameleons are or are not stressed, just the presumption. I think it's always a good idea to expect that your animal may happen to be that one oddball out there. Better safe than sorry in my opinion.
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
Benny, I wasn't disagreeing with you on taking the female out. She is coming out today. I was sharing my observations. I have been watching them closely and have seen no other behavior which would indicate stress. If i can find the journal article i read about these species living in groups, I will post the cite.
Well, after my knowledge there is exact one species of chameleons which can be housed stressless together in groups, Archaius tigris. Some work in really big cages when the females arent pregnant. Some work if the animals were kept together since they are juveniles. BUT the sexual interest of the males will drop and drop and drop.
Some people here will write the oposite but please never forget to ask them how long and for how many generations they are practising the group keeping...:rolleyes:
 
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