Madagascar Import Available Now!

Panther Chameleons, Care Sheet

Panther Chameleons, Care Sheet

Article by Petr Necas & Bill Strand (Download the Quick Guide as a PDF)

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taxonomy

Taxon

Furcifer pardalis

Common Names

Panther Chameleon (English) Sakorikita (Malagassy)

Original name

Chamaeleo pardalis

Author

Cuvier, 1829

Original description

Règne, animal, 2nd ed., 2: 60

Type locality

Ile de France (= Mauritius, erroneous), restricted to Madagascar

Typus

HNP 6520

 

 

 

 

 

Taxonomy

A formally monotypic species with no recognized subspecies, however, recent studies reveal many (4 big, up to 11) entities within this species, defined geographically, that show a different level of relativeness, some so distant from each other to be possibly considered a separate species and/or subspecies.

Historically, many synonyms were introduced, such as Chamaeleo ater, niger, guentheri, longicauda, axillaris, krempfi.

The term “locale” is used in captive management only; it has no taxonomic relevance and refers to the distinct subpopulations named usually after a village within its (often not isolated and well defined) range, differing from each other through unique colouration and patterns, mainly males. The distinguished “locales” are as follows: Ambanja, Ambilobe, Ampitabe, Androngombe, Ankaramy, Ankarana (E and W), Andapa, Anki- fy, Antalaha, Antsiranana (Diego Suarez), Beramanja, Cap Est, Djangoa, Fenoarivo, Mahavelona, Mangaoka, Manambato, Mananara, Maroantsetra, Marojejy, Nosy Be, Nosy Boraha, Nosy Faly, Nosy Mangabe, Nosy Mitsio, Sambava, Sambirano, Soanier- ana Ivongo, Toamasina (Tamatave), Vohimana. Captive projects include often deliberate crossbreeding of “locales” that lead to genetically unidentifiable animals and should be omitted.

Member of the genus Furcifer.

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

 

Life Space

 

Range

Distributed along NE, N, NW and E coast of Madagascar, south reaching the vicinity of Tamatave, including many offshore islands (e.g. Nosy Be, Nosy Boraha, Nosy Faly, Nosy Mangabe, Nosy Mitsio…).

Introduced in Madagascar at Andasibe, long ago in Reunion and Mauritius (populations might be even originating from drifted single specimens, not man-induced) and recently in the USA (Florida).

Altitude

0 – 950m a.s.l., typically in lowland coastal areas

Macro-habitat

Tropical dry forests and agricultural land incl. heavily disturbed habitats

Micro-habitat

Trees and shrubs, living fences, agricultural plants.

Perching Height

0–10m above ground (babies in grass and low bushes, semi-adults in bushes, adults in trees and bushes). In forests (rarely) in the canopies of trees

 

Daily Activity

A whole day in the shade of big trees,

Morning and late afternoon 1-2 hour basking on a sun-exposed branch, Sleeping within bushes and canopies of trees,

In case of rain hiding in the middle of bushes or in tree canopies close to stems

 

IUCN Status

Not specifically protected. Exported from Madagascar yearly in hundreds to thousands of specimens without visible impact on native populations; protected through difficult accessibility or restricted traffic on remote areas and islands.

 

Conservation

Living in many protected areas, including Réserve Naturelle Intégrale de Lokobe, Réserve Spéciale de Manongarivo, Réserve Spéciale d’Ambatovaky, Parc National de Marojejy, Réserve Spéciale de Nosy Mangabe, Parc National de Zahamena and Parc National de Sahamalaza.

CITES

CITES Ap. II

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

Climate

Climate Type

Tropical humid climate

Dry seasons

November to April

Rainy seasons

May to October

 

Temperature

The climate of the inhabited region is relatively stable throughout the year

29-32°C (84-90°F) at daytime (5-7 degrees less in shade), at night 18-23°C (64-73°F) Day: 84-90°F (29-32°C) with 72-81°F (22-27°C) in the shade

Night: 64-73°F (18-23°C)

Humidity

Up to 100 % at night all year long, below 60% at daytime

 

 

 

 

Life Cycle

Parity

Oviparous – egg-laying

Gestation period

Approx. 1 month (3 to 6 weeks), depending on the temperatures and size

Egg Laying Site

Egg deposition sites are situated on the ground, often on sun-exposed places or in shade, typically in sandy soil

Eggs are deposited at the end of a shallow (10-12cm deep) tunnel.

Clutch size

In the wild: 10-46

Captive females lay repeatedly eggs even without fertilization

Incubation Period

6-12 months depending on temperatures (the warmer the shorter)

Hatching Period

August to December, but hatchlings can appear any time of the year, as the females can

lay several clutches throughout the year

Size at hatching

Approx. 7cm (0.51g), depending on incubation

Maturity reached

At 6 months

Maximum size reached

At 14-18 months (up to 21in)

Mating period

January – May, some populations in the NW breed throughout the year

Longevity

In the wild: 3 years

In captivity: females 2-3 (max 5) years, males 4-5 years (max 8)

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

Morphology

 

General

One of the largest chameleon species equipped with all typical chameleon features like zygodactylous feet, prehensile tail, independently moving eyes in lid turrets, long prehensile tail, skin capable of colour change, the head with low casque, rough crests consisting of enlarged warty or pointed scales form a bifurcated false horn in males.

Size

Males usually 16-18in (up to 21in), females significantly smaller

 

Sexual dimorphism

Males possess higher casques, higher and more pronounced crests and rostral horn Excited males show very variable colours and patterns depending on the place of origin, females are usually uniformly brown with a weak pattern.

Males have a swollen tail base

 

 

 

Diet

Diet size

Invertebrates, usually under half-inch size, never over an inch size

 

Main diet

Hymenopterans (bees and wasps) Dipterans (flies)

Lepidopterans (butterflies, moths and their caterpillars) Coleopterans (small beetles)

Orthopterans (locusts, grasshoppers, mantis)

Omitted widely available diet items

Black beetles

Special/occasional diet items

Snails and small vertebrates like small birds and geckos

Additionally digested items

Pollen Dust

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health issues

 

Internal parasites

Roundworms Tapeworms Flukes

Treatment: Consult a veterinarian

 

RI (Respiratory infection)

Symptoms: heavy breathing, visible ribs, gaping, sitting with head up, bubbles in the throat

Cause: arise often in captivity as a result of too high humidity at daytime combined with high temperatures

Treatment: Antibiotics to be prescribed by a veterinarian

Mouth rot (Stomatitis; Gingivitis ulcerosa)

Symptoms: white cheese-like deposits along the jaws, swollen jaws

Cause: arise often in captivity as a result of injuries of jaws and mucous in combination with husbandry issues

Treatment: Antibiotics to be prescribed by a veterinarian

 

MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease

Symptoms: casque and head deformities, rubber jaw, broken bones of extremities, fractures of ribs

Cause: A captive condition resulting from an imbalance of vitamin D3 supplementation, lack of Calcium + magnesium in food and/or insufficient UVB exposure

Treatment: proper diet and UVB exposure. In heavy cases – veterinarian

 

Obesity

Symptoms: Heavy body, inactivity, swollen cheeks and casques, puffy extremities Behavior: Picky eating, slower-moving, puffy belly resting on or overflowing branch Cause: Overfeeding

Treatment: reduce diet

 

Dystocia (Egg retention)

Symptoms: Inability to lay eggs

Cause: arise often in captivity as a result of overfeeding or inadequate care Treatment: Oxytocine and supportive measures administered by a vet, often necessary to solve surgically including sterilization (that can lead to masculinization of the female’s appearance)

 

Eye infections

Symptoms: Swollen turrets or their parts, closed eyes, eye-opening blocked by transparent or milky pus

Cause: Under/overdose of vitamins or physical trauma

Treatment: Antibiotics to be prescribed by a veterinarian

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caging

 

Caging type

Individual

Cohabiting of adults not recommended

Cohabiting of young juveniles up to 3 months of age possible in densely planted cages with close observation

If kept individually, placement cages in a distance of more than 3m from each other

with sight contact possible, recommended

 

Cage conditions

Day Temperatures: 77-81°F (25-27°C) with basking spot up to 86°F/ 30°C, Night Temperatures: under 60-70° (15-22°C)

Humidity levels: nighttime up to 100% towards morning, daytime under 60%

UVI: 5-7 at the basking spot

Cage size

Female: 18 x 18 x 36in / Min 16x16x30 Male: 24 x 24 x 48in / Min (18x18x34) The larger the better for both sexes

Cage type

Full-screen cage or Glass terrariums with ventilation

 

Cage interior

Dense foliage from live plants with an extensive network of thin natural branches Freely exposed horizontal branch for basking in a safe distance (head and body length from the heat source)

Bottom with no special requirements can be from bare to bioactive

 

Lighting

Light bulb white light = 12 hours per day

Heat bulb white light (not red) = according to surrounding temperatures Linear UVB bulb = 12 hours per day / Coiled UVB Bulb for small terrariums Nighttime: No heat/light source – including blue and red bulbs!

 

 

 

Water management

Fog (ultra-sonic humidifier) at night (from 1 AM till dawn)

Morning Mister: Short misting session (2 minutes) 30 minutes before lights go ON; Purpose is to create a layer of dew on leaves for the chameleon to find when it wakes up. Afternoon Rain Shower: During the rainy season simulate a rain shower by switching off heat lamps for 30 minutes and then run the mister a couple of minutes; Do not bring the heat lamp back on for 30 minutes after a shower is over.

Evening Misting: Wait until all lights are off and the chameleon has settled in. Run mister for two minutes to raise humidity.

Dripper: best in the morning hours

Use cool or ambient temperature water. Do NOT heat or warm water. Do NOT “bathe” or “soak” your chameleon.

Provide dense plant cover so chameleon can choose to get in or out of misting action. 

Legend

Sub-legend

Description

 

 

Feeding in captivity

 

 

Food

General rule: as variable as possible

Overfeeding risk: Usually not an issue, but possible. Consult “Obesity” in the health section for symptoms.

Food items size: preferable smaller size under 1/2 inch

To feed: flies, crickets, roaches, super worms, hornworms, fly larvae, wax worms and wax moths, silkworms and silk moths

Food to consider: wild bees

Supplements

Each meal: Pollen & Calcium without D3

Bi-Weekly: Multivitamin mix &(Indoor only) Calcium with D3

Hydration

Hydration is to be facilitated by a combination of night fogging, morning and evening misting and daytime dripping.

Urates to be assessed and in case of deviations, hydration methods to be adjusted

 

 

 

 

 

Reproduction in Captivity

Egg deposition

The female digs a tunnel and lays eggs at the end. The tunnel is covered with the substrate.

 

Laybin

Artificial: a large container filled with 20-25 cm deep moist (not wet) sterilized substrate (sand, sand with soil, coconut soil etc.)

Semi-naturalistic: Fill a gallon glass jar with 10 cm of the substrate (best is fine sand)

Naturalistic: include live potted plants to be the laying opportunities for the females

 

Way of incubation

Artificial: eggs transferred to containers with the special substrate (see below), filled in

2-4cm layer, eggs are positioned separately from each other in shallow holes so that 1/3 to 1/2 of the egg is above its surface

Semi-naturalistic: eggs left in a potted plant pot, water is added if necessary

Naturalistic: eggs left in a potted plant pot, the plant is watered as usual.

Incubation substrate

Artificial: Vermiculite, Perlite

Semi-natural: sterilized sand, soil, coconut soil Natural: soil in the plant pot

Incubation temperatures

Artificial: Eggs hatch if incubated at constant as well as variable temperatures ranging from 20 to 30°C, safest range from 23 to 25°C

Semi-naturalistic: keep the eggs at room temperatures

Naturalistic: temperatures oscillating daily by 3-4°C

Incubation time

5-12 months. Lower the temperature = longer incubation

 

Raising the young

Depending on size, up to 5 months young can be kept together, then need to be separated and raised individually. Monitor any aggressive behaviour.

Food size should not exceed the length of the head

Food amount should not be limited: feed ad libitum

Share This :

Search

Categories

Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved and you'll be given a link. You, or anyone with the link, can use it to retrieve your Cart at any time.
Back Save & Share Cart
Your Shopping Cart will be saved with Product pictures and information, and Cart Totals. Then send it to yourself, or a friend, with a link to retrieve it at any time.
Your cart email sent successfully :)

CHAMELEONSCANADA.COM

Your satisfaction is prime for us. We don’t just say it, we guarantee it!

Chameleons Canada prides itself on offering premium wild-caught reptiles from Madagascar.

10 years importing high-quality animals from Madagascar. When you are pre-ordering from us, your deposit is secure.

We do not finance our imports with your money. Your deposit is 100% refundable if we can’t get the species you ordered.

Most of our stock comes from the wild unless is indicated as CB. As a part of being a responsible owner, we recommend regular Vet visits.