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Panther Chameleon Care

(Furcifer Pardalis)

Panther Chameleons come from Madagascar.  There are many different panther locales throughout Madagascar. You will notice a name before the word “panther” occurs when you see them for sale. For example “Nosy Be Panther” the name before the word “panther” dictates the natural local on Madagascar the chameleon is from. So Nosy Be Panthers come from the island of Nosy Be off Madagascar on the northwest coast.

Housing/lighting:

For Babies

Baby panther chameleons will need an all screen cage from 16x16x29 – 18x18x36 (LxWxH). Anything bigger or smaller then this should be avoided. Depending on the size and sex of the chameleon you get, will determine if you should go for the larger or smaller cage. If you buy a male then the larger cage will be a better choice, males grow up fast and like to roam. Although chameleons are pretty good a catching there food, I would not recommend taking a short cut and just buying one large cage thinking your saving money.

Sub adults too Adults

At this stage in life you want to look at long term housing for your panther. The minimum cage size for an adult male Panther Chameleon is 24x24x48. An adult female Panther Chameleon is 18x18x36.

It should be made clear that housing chameleons together in the same cage should never be done. Panther Chameleons are solitary animals and only meet when it is breeding season. They do not live in groups, there for they should NOT be housed in groups. Males are VERY territorial towards rival males and become highly aggressive towards one another. Keeping a male and one or more females in the same cage should also be avoided. Males will stress out females with consistent breeding attempts. Gravid females will not take to having a male in the same cage or for that matter with in visible sight of her. Cages can be placed side by side but a visible barrier must be put in-between the two cages. This will prevent one chameleon from seeing the other. Cages should also be out of view of any other animal.

Enclosures should be decorated with a variety of fake or live plants, vines and sticks for climbing. Panthers need both heat and full spectrum UV. Temperature gradients can range from ambient 70s to 90 degree basking zones.

Water:

We recommend a dripper bottle that drips water onto the leaves and branches in the enclosure. Chameleons will drink off of the leaves. Panthers prefer humid conditions. Mist daily to keep up humidity levels and/or use a humidifier if necessary.

Food:

Panther Chameleons are insectivores. They are extremely entertaining to watch feed due to the length and speed of their sticky tongues. Feed your chameleon appropriately sized prey—food items that are to large can harm your chameleon.

Chameleons will eat numerous types of insects. When feeding crickets, make sure your source of crickets is clean. Never feed crickets bought from a store that does not clean the cricket container. You may gutload your crickets with commercial cricket diet and/or we suggest offering your crickets fresh fruit, greens, and water. Remove all old food from your cricket container. Mold can be toxic to your lizards. We suggest using a moistened paper towel/sponge, citrus, or carrots to provide water for your crickets.

Whenever possible try and provide a variety of appropriate sized prey items for your chameleon including super worms, silk worms, roaches, grasshoppers, and a variety of other bugs (not fireflies). However we strongly suggest not using bugs found outside, as they may have pesticides that can kill your chameleon. Also, use waxworms in limited amounts, if at all. They contain little nutritional value, and although relished by lizards, contain high amounts of fat.
 

Supplementation:
 

There are many different and often contradictory opinions/views on supplementation. Calcium, D3, and vitamin supplementation are necessary for your chameleon. However, supplementation will depend on what you feed your Panthers, the bulbs you use, and how much natural sun they receive. Many sources recommend supplementing small chameleons daily and decreasing to once or twice per week for adults. But both too little and too much supplementation can lead to problems. Therefore, we recommend going over this with your vet to find a schedule that suits the specific needs of your lizard. We suggest you supplement your young chameleons daily with a ratio of 1 part Rep-Cal Herptivite to 3 parts Rep-Cal calcium with Vitamin D3.