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siberian_wolf

How To: Care for your Chameleon

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For those of you that are unser of what a chameleon is (Is it not just part of the song Karma Chameleon, lol) please follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chameleon

Housing

Chameleons are best suited to a good sized terrarium (aka. Vivarium - same thing). You can work out what size would be best suited for your chameleon by using the size of your largest chameleon. For example a pair of Jacksons Chameleons are around 9 inches in length and would need a terrarium about 36 inches wide, 72 inches long and 54 inches high.

Chameleons come from rainforest areas where there are plenty of leaves, plantation and greenery. Their terrarium should be large enough to house plenty rainforest type plants. You do not have to use real rainforest plants as you can buy fake/plastic plants from most pet and plant stores.

Light is also a vital requirement for any reptile. A 250W actinic lamp can light up 3.4 square feet of the terrariums surface area, up to the height of 20 inches. The use of two full-spectrum florescent bulbs will provide the correct amount of lighting needed. You must also provide adequate heating, huminity and ventilation.

Equipment required to moniter and maintain heating, humidity, etc are: an electric trip timer, thermometer, hygromenter and a water spray bottle.

Feeding

Chameleons are insectivores meaning they live on a diet that only consists of insects/invertebrates. It is advised and cheaper if you breed your own colony of insects required in the chameleons diet. Chameleons will feed on insects such as: Locusts, Crickets, Flies, and any other insects which move around in a similar fashion.

Chameleons, in captivity, will not be able to get all thier required nutrients from the insects you feed them. Use supplements such as Nutrobol to ensure that your chameleon is getting all the nutrients it needs to live a long and healthy life. Supplements are usually in the form of powders which you can sprinkle/dust over the top of the insects before feeding it to your chameleon. Please be aware that a lack of vitamins and minerals can lead to health problems and deficencies.

Water is another vital requirment in a chamleons. Water can be provided using a shallow dish. Some lage chameleons, such as the carpet chameleon, needs water given to them via a pipette at least twice a week.

Sexing

It is known to be very easy to determine the sex of a chameleon. If you was to look at the side of your chameleons tail you would find that the males tail is thicker at the base than the females tail. With smaller species of chameleon a magnifying glass may be required for this method. Other ways to sex a chameleon is to look at the different colours of the throat sac (Gulgar pouch), body size, body colouration and head ornamention. In a few species, the male chameleon will have heel spurs.

Handling

When you handle you chameleon, you must make sure that you do not try/attempt to make it do anything (this includes making it leave its enclosure), as this WILL cause unecessry stress. Do not try to pick it straight up, slide your hand gently under your chameleons chin and try to tempt it to walk onto your hand in its own time - do not try to push it onto your hand as this will also cause stress. Another important point to remember is never slide your hand or finger along your chameleons spine as this known to a sign of aggression towards a chameleon. Ensure that you handle your chameleon over a surface and support it at all times. Do be careful when handling as chameleons feet are adapted to climbing trees with great ease and they do have a very strong grip!

When not to handle

You must not handle your chameleon during the breeding season, when stressed out, if they have young/eggs, when showing signs of aggression or when they are ill.

Dangers involved

The dangers involved with having a chameleon are:

1) Getting Bitten

2) Catching disease

3) Getting scratched

4) Pinches from their grip when handling

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fab Amy, added to rep :D

Marc's cousin used to have one of these, it HATED me for some reason and i never even touched it lol it used to "blow up" lol lol

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yeah not cheap are they - couldn't cope with the live feeding either lol

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thats very true. you can get specialised housing for then which are made from green mesh instead of glass and its about 90 for a small one

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