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Beginner Chameleons?

Discussion in 'Chameleons' started by uniweb2, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. uniweb2

    uniweb2 Active Member

    In about a year, we're going to get a screened in porch, and I plan on getting some type of chameleon, as I have wanted one ever since I was like 12 yrs old! What is the best beginner ARBOREAL chameleon that is relatively small?
  2. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    I don't believe the words chameleon and beginner should reside in the same sentence.

    If you do your research, you'll find that the Veiled Chameleon is going to be the best "beginner" chameleon.
  3. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm with DragonScale there, they are easily stressed and very "look but don't touch"

    Are you looking to have it living on the whole porch or in a cage on the porch?
  4. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I agree, Chams are high stress,not for beginners, please do your research before choosing one. Think about things such as how you would keep the right temps, and hummidity and uvb lighting.Plan on getting only one, as males will fight, you don't want unplanned breeding etc.
  5. BigBadBaz

    BigBadBaz Well-Known Member

    You can look at bearded dragons though. I don't have one yet, but the reason I'm going for a beardy is because everyone on this forum told me it's a good beginner reptile.

    I believe anoles are also good and smaller, but I don't know much about them.

    Although I don't know if either of these suggestions meet your requirement of "aboreal".
  6. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    I wouldn't handle anoles too much, they are flighty, have a fragile structure and are known to be biters.
  7. Wildflowernw

    Wildflowernw Elite Member

    The Rudis is a small sized chameleon. But not a dwarf at all.

  8. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    True, And they will always try to stay hidden from you. They are very shy and don't really like animals that are 500 times their size being in close proximity!
    I have a veiled that will not eat until I leave the room! You can't watch them exhibiting natural behaviour unless you remain almost perfectly still for several minutes! And once they begin moving around, You have to keep on staying still!

    Actually my veiled is an animal that I have regretted getting!
    It's a lot of work for the well being of an animal that turns into a statue when you are around.

    I've had mine for two years now. I know a lot more about my other reptiles just by the behaviour they have shown.
    After two years, My chameleon is still a stranger and I guess will always be.

    I am also thinking, being kept on the porch, What happens when the porch door gets left open? You know it's going to be left open at some point! Murphy's law!;)
  9. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I on the other hand am very lucky with both my panther chams, they both tolerate me being in their space, the female more so than the male,are used to daily life,are kept in the main living space of the house,they are both handfed,but also allowed to hunt on their own.,they tolerate handling when necessary (vets/cleaning etc)
  10. Wildflowernw

    Wildflowernw Elite Member

    Ha Ha Ha, My male Panther does just about anything to "Hide". Now he's gotten a lot better since I put him out on my desk. Its an L shaped and he's at one end so right now he sees my left shoulder. So he goes about his business as long as I don't look at him. But if I open the door to get a pic instead of going through the screen he flips sideways on a branch, makes himself real skinny.

    My female Jackson is the most docile. Eats out of my hand. She was my first cham but 'Those who know' don"t recommend them as a starter kit.


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  11. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    hehehe he's thinks you can't see him too funny, my male only tolerates me when he sees food or water coming his way,I was trying to get him out to take him to a show as a display animal, and he actually tried to bite me, he stayed home that day LOL
  12. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    Yeah, I am on the same page as everyone else here. Not a beginner species, and even the experts pull their hair out. While they are beautiful animal, they are not the best for most people. Also this I don't know for sure but don't some cham's have a short life span like 5 years?
  13. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Most Chams have short lifespans 5-7 yrs, there is even one species that lives only a year Labord's Chameleon (Furcifer labordi)
    lives most of it's life before hatching, and only 4-5 monhs after hatching.
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    At work, our herp keepers are repeatedly trying to put a veiled chameleon on exhibit,. and it just isn't working. less than a week, and they take it off, because it won't eat, dropping weight, etc.

    If you are looking for something easy and arboreal, I have had great luck with my Leaf-Tail Gecko (and there are several species of them). They have some awesome camouflage, don't mind being watched or handled, and are good eaters.

    On a porch, there might be too much foot traffic for a cham to ever get settled. I think that would be a little stressful. They tend to need out-of-the way spaces.
  15. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    You could also try a crested gecko.
  16. Wildflowernw

    Wildflowernw Elite Member

    I think we all concur that you should do your research.
  17. uniweb2

    uniweb2 Active Member

    Thank you guys! just so you know that I'm not a complete beginner, I have kept many different reptiles before. currently, I'm slave to a dwarf clawed frog, a fat tailed gecko, a leo, a beardie, a curly tailed lizard, and a crested gecko. I just thought it was about time I should keep something a bit more intermediate. yes, I have done a lot of research, but I wanted advice from people who have kept chams before. thanks again! :)
  18. TheRoachRanch

    TheRoachRanch Elite Member

    Believe it or not I had my best luck w/ a WC Senegal Chameleon back in the late 80's. I got him in a burlap back and I swear he was only about 4" MAYBE. Either way he lived to just a little more than 4 years old. I was able to tame him pretty easily and he ate directly out of my hands.

    If you have some experience keeping herps than you should be fine w/ Chameleons. Just keep the lizard in a quiet room to acclimate it.

  19. xanthoman

    xanthoman New Member

    Chams are shy , delicate and exotic creatures and keeping a Cham is not at all like keeping a snake, bearded dragon or gecko. when keeping Chams, you have to do what works best for the Cham , not for you. they require knowledgeable, specialized care, and failure to provide it, will almost certainly lead to the demise of the animal. it is strongly recommended that you spend a year keeping vieleds (which can get moderately large) before attempting to keep other chameleons, (not that one cant succeed with other chams as starters, but its the exception, rather than the rule, the depth of your previous herp experience will definitely play a role) keeping of chams require a fairly large and varied selection of feeders (many of which need to be raised yourself) that have been properly gutloaded with a fairly complicated diet . even keepers with many years of experience that have theoretically done every thing right, often have problems. chams do not make good casual pets, chams require specialized dedicated care and a fairly large expenditure of cash, so be prepared for that going into it, if you are not , chances of establishing yourself as a long term cham keeper are small , but they are among the most unique and interesting creatures on the planet , so rewards can be great if you are dedicated enough to succeed
  20. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    I would say Panthers and Veileds are the best to start with. Though not as your first reptile. Get a few years with a different species before making you way to chamelons. In large areas where their alowed to free roam almost all Panthers and most veileds will become rather friendly and seek their keepers out. A Lot of times while working in the reptile room our female panther will move around her area following me. The life span given above is for males, females will live about half as long. A long lived Panther female is 3 years at best, with 2-2.5 being average. If the area you have is warm and well planted, a chamelon would have a great time there. Take a look at Chameleons! Online E-Zine they have all the chamelon information anyone could want.

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