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Chameleon Chamaeleonidae

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1 Chameleon Chamaeleonidae
By Emily Thielke

2 Types There are many different types of chameleons. By current classification there are more than 160 different species of chameleons in the world these are just a few: Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) Flap-necked Chameleon/Graceful Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis) Four-horned Chameleon (Chamaeleo quadricornis) Cameroon Sail-finned Chameleon (Chamaeleo montium) Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) Jacksons Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksoni xantholo-phus) Leaf Chameleon (Brookesia superciliaris)

3 Pictures

4 Common Chameleon The most common Chameleon available for purchase seems to be the Veiled Chameleon Fun Fact: Veiled Chameleon’s are also known as the Yemen chameleon

5 Veiled Chameleon’s as Pets
Life Span: approximately 5 years in captivity. Size: Males can reach inches in total, while females tend to be quite a bit smaller at inches. Temperament: Territorial and aggressive to other chameleons, and should be housed individually, docile towards people, however, handling tends to be stressful. Appearance: The veiled chameleon has a large, tall helmet-like structure on the top of their head that is present in both males and females, though larger in males. Their bodies are banded in shades of green, yellow and brown.

6 Sexing Veiled Chameleons are some of the easiest sex
Males have a calcar or heel spur that females do not have. This spur exists even in hatchling veiled chameleons, and is a reliable indicator of sex in this species

7 Males Male veil’s have a much higher casque than female
Often display different color patterns too. Males bright, canary yellow stripes with green stripes running vertically across their bodies dots of various colors within the stripes the most commonly colored dot is blue

8 Females Females are generally an overall soft green color, without large yellow stripes

9 Color Changes Veiled chameleons, when startled or threatened may darken in color and "play possum” Color changes can also be rapid, as when reacting to a threat, or gradual. Chameleons change color for many different reasons: Health status Perception of a threat or incursion into its territory Presence of a mate Status of its shedding Age Sex Season Temperature Light Other environmental factors

10 Reproduction Chameleon’s reach sexual maturity within four to five months, at 8 to 12 inches long Male veiled chameleons will display to females by laterally compressing their bodies, rocking back and forth, curling and uncurling their tails, and displaying extremely bright color The females indicate sexual readiness by displaying robin-egg blue dots on their body may be all over the body, or only in a small area Observing the females behavior when introduced to a male is also important in regards to breeding…

11 Are they ready? If the female is ready and receptive:
she will "ignore" the male after she catches sight of him and will begin to crawl away slowly, retaining her coloration If she is not receptive: she will let both you and the male know by hissing loudly, gaping, rocking back and forth on a branch, and drastically changing her color to black with yellow and green stripes or spots Other color variations have been noticed Note the blue-ish dots all over her body

12 Eggs Egg laying occurs between 20 and 30 days after mating, with clutch sizes ranging from 35 to 85 eggs!! (some have even been reported to have up to 100) Eggs appear white and oval with tough-skin and are buried in warm sand Gravid veiled chameleons will take on a "baseball"-like appearance in their abdomen as the date of oviposition draws closer. Some even look like they could explode!

13 On day 15, move the female into an egg laying chamber
Fun Fact: Wild Veileds generally do not produce more than 30 eggs at a time On day 15, move the female into an egg laying chamber Females will refuse food before egg laying, but you can feed a willing female by placing an opaque feeding dish in with her It is important that the insects cannot escape from the dish Once the eggs have been laid, she will pack the sand down on top, leaving no trace of her activities Example of size

14 After laying her eggs the female should be removed from the chamber and placed in another where she will not encounter stress Make sure she drinks plenty of water as she will be exhausted and dehydrated after egg laying After taking care of the female, dig up her eggs and incubate them

15 Incubation Be extremely careful not to rotate or change the position of the eggs when removing them to the incubation container This is essential because each egg contains an air pocket. Each embryo is oriented in the egg and if the air pocket moves, the embryo may suffocate Veiled Chameleon eggs should be incubated at 75° to 80°F [24° to 27°C] (differs from species to species) It is very easy to incubate the eggs with too much humidity (usually above 85%)

16 Babies Not all chameleons will hatch at the same time.
Veiled chameleon eggs can take from 4 to 9 months to hatch For first four months check the eggs once a week Humidity, temperature, rotting eggs The first days up to  two  weeks are  the most critical Not all chameleons will hatch at the same time.  Typically, Veiled chameleons in a single batch of eggs will hatch within a week of each other, often within two days

17 0-4 weeks The size and weight of the branches is important for baby chameleons Misting with water 3 times a day is also essential Feed wet cricket food/gut load to help with hydration

18 5 weeks to 4 months Feed : pin head or fly sized crickets, small wax worms and termite larva DO NOT let food exceed the width of its head Dry and wet gut insects can also be fed to help with hydration as well as remember to mist with water Dust insects with calcium powder twice weekly

19 Adult Feed: Crickets, king mealworms, grasshoppers, roaches, wax worms and silk worms Blossoms and leaves from dandelions, hibiscus, ficus, romaine and escarole Dust insects with calcium powder twice weekly for ovulating females

20 Housing Several babies can be housed temporarily in a 15 gallon terrarium Minimum cage size should be 2 x 2 x 3 feet for and adult pair Semi-arid (Having low precipitation but able to support grassland and scrubby vegetation. Steppes have semiarid climates) setup is ideal

21 A wired cage is best for air exchange
Potted plants such as ficus provide visual barriers and add humidity Mist leaves and branches once or twice daily Not only does this aid the plants in the terrarium but it is how the Chameleon will get its water, by drinking from the droplets on the leaves

22 Substrate Using paper towels or newspaper to line the cage makes cleaning easiest Potted plants can be placed on a plain paper substrate for easier cleaning as well DO NOT use wood chips or any other substrate that could be accidentally ingested and cause blockages.

23 Cage Furnishings Lots of sturdy non-toxic plants and branches
Ficus trees are often used in chameleon housing, but require some caution as the sap can be irritating Other plants include pothos, hibiscus, and dracaena. Artificial plants and vines may also be added A good selection of branches (of different diameters) should be provided Make sure the branches and perches are sturdy and secure

24 Lighting Chameleons need an ultraviolet (UVA/UVB) light source
Keep the UV light on for hours per day Replace every 6 months Also benefit from spending time outdoors in natural sunlight just make sure shade is available and the weather is warm enough

25 Humidity and Hydration
Veiled chameleons need a moderate humidity level (50%) Misting the plants twice daily will help with humidity levels, and a drip or misting system is also recommended

26 Common Illness Metabolic Bone Disease: Treatment:
This is one of the most important diseases to pay attention to It occurs when your Chameleon is not receiving enough calcium and Vitamin D for their bones to grow properly. Treatment: Provide full-spectrum lighting, gut loading the feeder insects with healthy foods, and dusting the insects with a calcium/multi- vitamin powder.

27 Vitamin A Deficiency: Treatment:
This results in eye problems, respiratory problems, neurological dysfunction and difficulty shedding. Treatment: Give a solution orally (usually by the veterinarian) dusting with multi-vitamin powder (2 times a week), gut load insects green leafy vegetables, carrots and sweet potato.

28 Egg bound Female Chameleons commonly get egg bound as well
Can be caused by: Lack of suitable site to lay her eggs Stress Poor nutrition Hormonal problems Medical management can include Increasing humidity and temperature Administering calcium gluconate injections Fluid therapy Providing a suitable substrate for egg laying The other option is surgical removal of the eggs

29 Most radiographs can be taken without chemical restraint
Normal Views are dorsal/ventral and lateral

30 Parasites Ticks and Mites are common ectoparasites
Nematodes, cestodes, coccidian, flagellates and amoebae are all intestinal parasites of chameleons Clinical signs of parasitism may include: general un-thriftiness weight loss or poor weight gain anorexia Regurgitation vomiting and abnormal stools May be found in multiple areas of the body and subcutaneously Appear as raised areas under the skin are often mistaken for abscesses. They MUST be surgically removed by a veterinarian.

31 Clinical Procedure IM injections should be given in the front limbs (if needed to be given) If administered in the hind legs the renal portal system delivers the agent to the kidneys and is quickly filtered out The most common technique used for collecting blood samples from chameleons is ventral tail venipuncture and jugular venipuncture Should use a tuberculin syringe with gauge needle Total blood volume taken should be about 5-8% of the total body weight and should be collected in a green top tube

32 Administering oral meds in reptiles is difficult
Restrain head (restraint is key) Gently pry open the mouth Chameleons receive SQ fluids between lateral scales

33 Anesthesia No fasting is required
Because they are ectotherms they can be slower to induce, difficult to maintain and slower to recover Injectable drugs go IV or IO to reduce the risk of hitting organs Inhalants are usually isoflurane and sevoflurane

34 Fun Fact: Tongue Their tongues can be anywhere from 1 to 11/2 times the body length of the Chameleon and can rocket in and out with blinding speed A 51/2" tongue reaches full extension in 1/16th of a second, which is fast enough to snatch a fly in midair.

35 Fun Facts: Eyes Chameleon's eyes are the most distinctive among the reptiles. It has scaly lids shaped like a cone, with only a small, round opening in the middle for the pupil The chameleon can rotate and focus its eyes separately to look at two different objects at the same time! When the chameleon sees prey, both eyes can focus in the same direction to get a clearer view.

36 Internet Referances Retrieved on 2/25 – 3/6

37 Book Referances Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates
Retrieved on 2/25-3/6 Exotic Animal Care and Management Vicki Judah and Kathy Nuttall Copyright 2008 Thomson Delmar Learning Reptiles, Amphibians and Invertebrates An Identification and Care Guide Patricia P. Bartlett, Billy Griswold DVM and R.D. Bartlett Copyright 2001 Barrons Educational Series

38 The end


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