Latin name: Furcifer pardalis
Male, from the Ambilobe locality. Blue bar meaning this type typically has a prominent blue bar running laterally mid-body.
This individual is eating live medium crickets dusted with vitamin and calcium powder.
Panther Chameleons are one of the most popular chameleons to keep as pets because of their color-changing ability and extremely vibrant colors they can produce. They are native to the coastal rain forests of north and northeast Madagascar.
They are sexually dimorphic and sexually dichromatic. Males are larger than females, reaching lengths of up to 7" in length whereas females stay closer to 4" in length. Males also display much brighter and a wider array of colors than females.
Males live longer than females with males averaging 7-8 years and females living up to 5 years. This is because females produce and lay several large clutches of eggs in their lifetime, whether they mate or not which takes its toll on their bodies.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 95 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end.
Humidity: 60%-80% Mist 2x daily or have an automatic misting system.
Misting enough that water is dripping from the leaves of the habitat is crucial as this is where the chameleon will drink most of their water from. Providing a drip cup is also a great way to accomplish this and can be done in conjunction with misting. A gentle fan periodically blowing on the Chameleon's habitat is also recommended for increased airflow.
Tank size: 15-20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 40+ gallons for adults (4'x2'x2'). For adults, the bigger and taller, the better.
Tank type: Vertical and screen-sided-at least two sides of the tank not including the top. Tanks with 3 or more glass sides often don't provide enough airflow.
Lighting: A dimmable heat lamp up to 150 watts will be needed for the basking area . Thermostats are also helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting is required for this species and should be on 10-12 hours per day.
Substrate and furniture: Soil or bark substrate 1"deep. Keep in mind that a healthy panther chameleon spends almost no time on the ground.
Provide lots of climbing structures and false plants for hiding places. If your chameleon feels like it's hidden, it will be happy and stay healthier. Not enough cover will be stressful as it will feel like predators can see it.
A small water dish can be provided on the tank floor but isn't required since chameleons get most of their drinking water from rain and dew on the leaves in their habitat.
Handling: As we mentioned before, chameleons like to feel hidden! Too much handling can stress them out and have very adverse affects on their health. It is best to keep handling to a minimum and enjoy watching them instead.
Diet and feeding: Offer live crickets/feeder roaches 2-3 times per week. Gage the number of insects your chameleon will eat based on the number they leave behind. We recommend starting with an offer of 5 feeder insects and then adjusting from there. Fattier food items like worms can be offered 1x weekly for variety and as a treat! Always remove uneaten feeder insects if they have not been consumed after a day.
*All food items must be dusted with both vitamin and calcium powder prior to feeding.*
Food size: The feeder insect should be able to fit width-wise between your chameleon's eyes.