Chameleon concerns

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I'm considering Chameleons.
I live in warm, humid south Florida and my plan is to purchase a large outdoor bird aviary or a "cat run" type cage.
I have room for it to be large.
I kept Jacksons years ago.
I want a tropical species that would do well in my environment.
I'm thinking Jacksons again. But like the larger and more colorful ones also.
I will keep a single species.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
37,778
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Get a Panther. They are friendly and beautiful. The veiled is what I had. They aren't as easy as some of the others and can be harder to tame.
Be sure to share pics when it happens. If I lived in Florida I would for sure have a big outdoor cage for one.
I housed my veiled outside during the warm months here.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,475
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Jackson's are a montane species. They do better with cooler temps.

A panther should do fantastic in your area. You could also look into my favorite and see if you can find a CB mellers. Parsons are pretty cool too.
 

Moozillion

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,349
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana, USA
Cool! I've never kept chameleons, but I've always thought they are really fascinating!!!
I'll be joining the parade of people following this thread! :D
 

wccmog10

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2018
Messages
201
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
Chameleons are really cool. Several years back I had a veiled. He was never very tame, but was still awesome, as long as you were ok not touching him. He would still eat out of my hand, as long as you didn’t try to pick him up. When I was at the zoo we had some Mellers that we got to work with, they were cool too. Watching the mellers nest was probably the coolest nesting I’ve seen. She dug her nest head first with her front legs. It’s the only chameleon species that I’ve seen nest, for all I know they all nest this way- but it was really cool.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,475
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I ordered 2 cages from HAYNEEDLE.
They are wooden and screen "outdoors" aviaries.
I wasn't able to download a photo.
They're about 25"x25"x65"
That's a good size for a baby.

I'm guessing that from your previous Jackson experience that you already know about hydration and drippers?

I've been fighting the urge to get another cham for years. I just don't need anything else to take care of every day. I've got the dogs, the hawks, the ackies, the cribos, 3 puppies, 200+ tarantulas, 4 roach colonies, all the adult tortoises, all the baby tortoises... Yeah, I'll enjoy your chams and live vicariously.
 

Toddrickfl1

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
4,597
Location (City and/or State)
Ga
Theres places in Broward and Dade where you can catch them.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Interesting.
Those YOUTUBE videos of people catching "wild" Chameleons seem to be down in Homestead.
That's close to where the majority of the most exotic fishes are too.
Lots of farming areas and I'll bet that there had been people farming and raising these exotics down there at some point....Some escaped.
I'm going to see if I can find any of those hot areas there. I DID find the spot that has those MIDAS cichlids from just a few clues off of 3 YOUTUBE videos.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I'm steering towards the Veiled Chameleon because of size, the fact that they are omnivorous and can (And do) live in Florida without any artificial help.
I might have to set up a cricket ranch.
Or a @Tom type roach colony. Although I don't actually see that happening.
Having wax worms, mealworms and crickets on hand has to happen first.
Before I get the lizards.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,475
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I'm steering towards the Veiled Chameleon because of size, the fact that they are omnivorous and can (And do) live in Florida without any artificial help.
I might have to set up a cricket ranch.
Or a @Tom type roach colony. Although I don't actually see that happening.
Having wax worms, mealworms and crickets on hand has to happen first.
Before I get the lizards.
I raised several of those in years passed. I like them.

Wax worms and meal worms are ok once in a while, but shouldn't be fed often or in much quantity. Crickets are a decent food source with the right gut loading and dusting, but they die off for no reason, stink, make a lot of noise, and if left with a sleeping cham overnight, they will chew on your animal. I quit keeping chameleons and other insectivores for a long time due to my dislike of crickets. Plus they are difficult to breed, so you have to buy new ones all the time. Roaches are the way to go man. You'll see.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I raised several of those in years passed. I like them.

Wax worms and meal worms are ok once in a while, but shouldn't be fed often or in much quantity. Crickets are a decent food source with the right gut loading and dusting, but they die off for no reason, stink, make a lot of noise, and if left with a sleeping cham overnight, they will chew on your animal. I quit keeping chameleons and other insectivores for a long time due to my dislike of crickets. Plus they are difficult to breed, so you have to buy new ones all the time. Roaches are the way to go man. You'll see.
I did have a cricket "bloom" once in a Jacksons enclosure. The crickets killed the lizard from what I could tell.
I was feeding them freeze dried mashed potatoes and about 8 crickets became several thousand in what seemed like overnight.
I can also get horn worms. They are Sphinx moth caterpillars. But are more or less one dollar each.
I need to handle my roach phobia.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,475
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I need to handle my roach phobia.
You can start with a slow easy species that is very easy to handle, like the dubia. They are MUCH less creepy and much slower than the typical pest roach species running around outside. The juveniles in particular kind of remind me of a large roly poly, more than a roach.

Blatta lateralis is a really good one to feed to smaller chams. AKA red runners. They are soft and easy to handle, but they are fast. Most people don't find them too objectionable.

Hissing roaches are sometimes kept as pets, and their babies make good feeders, although they are slow to reproduce.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
37,778
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I did have a cricket "bloom" once in a Jacksons enclosure. The crickets killed the lizard from what I could tell.
I was feeding them freeze dried mashed potatoes and about 8 crickets became several thousand in what seemed like overnight.
I can also get horn worms. They are Sphinx moth caterpillars. But are more or less one dollar each.
I need to handle my roach phobia.
I did the roaches for a while. If I can get over it you can. I get creeped about the crickets and still could do the roaches. I never had to touch the roaches. I used the large tweezers to pick them up. The Dubia is what I fed. As Tom mentioned about the worms, not a good food source for every day. The horn worms are great too and easy to hatch out from eggs which is also cheaper.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
You can start with a slow easy species that is very easy to handle, like the dubia. They are MUCH less creepy and much slower than the typical pest roach species running around outside. The juveniles in particular kind of remind me of a large roly poly, more than a roach.

Blatta lateralis is a really good one to feed to smaller chams. AKA red runners. They are soft and easy to handle, but they are fast. Most people don't find them too objectionable.

Hissing roaches are sometimes kept as pets, and their babies make good feeders, although they are slow to reproduce.
These are available commercially?
Slow and maybe wingless would be good.
 

ZEROPILOT

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
21,382
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I found out the mystery of the wild Florida Veiled Chameleons.
Certain "farmers" started releasing Chams in old fruit orchards in south Miami so that they could later return and just scoop up babies to sell at reptile events.
Apparently these wild living animals are hard to acclimate to captivity and are often full of parasites, etc.
I even found an individual that sells these ranched Chameleons. But I'm going to pass on them.
But, the good news is that it confirmed that Veiled Chameleons can and do live outdoors in Florida.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,475
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
These are available commercially?
Slow and maybe wingless would be good.
Yes, but I think you have to get them in FL. I'm pretty sure we can't ship roaches into FL.

Adult males have wings, but they cannot fly at all. Adult females are shiny and kind of pretty, with no wings. Juveniles and babies are sort of grayish brownish color and have no wings. Get 100-200 juveniles to start a colony. Don't waste your money on adults. They usually don't reproduce well after you move them. Best if they mature into adulthood in your bin. It takes months for it to get up and running good, but eventually, you'll never have to pay for food insects again. I produce so many that I feed the surplus to my chicken flock by the thousands. This is after I feed all the tarantulas, scorpions and ackie monitors.
 

New Posts

Top