Among other types of chameleons, the panther chameleon is one with a wide range of colors because they originate from Madagascar in Southern Africa. They don’t grow much, and they have a shorter life span. They take some time to adapt to their environment.
If you are interested in buying a chameleon but don’t have much room for a pet, go for a panther chameleon because they won’t grow much, and you can easily fit the cage in your room.
Why the name Panther Chameleon?
Panther chameleons have black spots on their bodies which are similar to the big panther cat. The Latin term for the Panther big cat is Furcifer Pardalis, in which the Furcifer means forked, which refers to the feet of the chameleon, and Pardalis means Spotted like a panther.
Is Panther Chameleon friendly?
Chameleons are not pets that like human interaction and touch. They require a quiet and stress-free environment. Compared to other types of chameleons, Panther Chameleonare not an aggressive pet.
When you buy them, at first they often feel threatened and become aggressive due to the change in environment. Because of this reason, they may bite. Other than that they are the best pet you can have.
Are Panther chameleons aggressive?
Chameleons are not aggressive by nature. But when they feel threatened, or any other male chameleons are in their territory, they will be aggressive.
If you see any of the below-mentioned behavior in your chameleon, your pet is probably aggressive, and you should give them some space and time.
When a chameleon feels threatened, they hiss; when they hiss, just back off and leave them alone.
Chameleons usually don’t stare; they frequently rotate their eyes in every possible direction. If they stare at you, it is a sign of aggression, and they are ready to attack you.
Changing color is a normal phenomenon in chameleons, but if they change into dark colors when you are near them, don’t try to handle them. They may bite you.
How much does it cost to take care of Panther Chameleon?
Panther chameleons are the costliest among all the types of chameleons because of their amazing color patterns.
The cost of the Panther Chameleon is around $300-few thousand dollars depending upon its type, age, and size. Apart from that, there are other expenses like food, gut loading, supplements, lighting, plants, and medical expenses, it could cost you around $1500 per year.
Apart from these, the lighting and the automatic humidity system might be turned on for more than 15 hours, which will also increase your electricity costs.
Features of Panther Chameleon
- Changing color: Panther chameleon has a wide range of color patterns compared to other types of chameleons. They can change their skin color within 20 seconds. The males change color faster than females in all species. Chameleons can also glow under UV light!
- Tail: Panther chameleon has strong Prehensile tails which act as a fifth tail when climbing trees.
- Tongue: Unlike any other species, the chameleon can stretch out its tongue twice the size of its body size. When the tongue is inside the mouth of the chameleon, it is in a folded coil manner around the hyoid bone.
- Teeth: They have tiny teeth that are difficult to see with our naked eyes. Though they are tiny, the teeth are very sharp
- Nose: The chameleon’s sense of smell is not very developed. They have a poor sense of smell and they rely on their other senses to survive.
- The Eyes: Chameleons can rotate their eyes at almost 342 degrees, and the eyes move independently from each other. They have a blind spot at 18 degrees.
- The Ears: Panther chameleon can hear you if you speak at a specific frequency of 200-600 hertz. The membrane at the side of their head helps the chameleon to hear low-frequency sounds.
- The Feet: Panther chameleon feet are Zygodactylous meaning there are two toes pointing inward and three toes point outwards. Because of the divided feet, they are able to crawl in branches and can balance without falling.
The protrusion on the Panther chameleon is made up of muscles and fat. They are supported by the bone as well to give stiffness to the structure. It is not visible in the newborn. Once the chameleon attains certain age the Casque starts to develop.
The Casque is used to conserver water. When the chameleon requires water then the water stored in the casque drips to the mouth of the chameleon.
Not all panther chameleons have casque. Females also have Casque but they are not stronger when compared to the male chameleons.
Dietary requirements of Panther Chameleons
All chameleons eat live crickets, worms, snails, cockroaches, and locusts. A few chameleons like fruits and vegetables, but it differs according to the type of chameleon and their nature. Out of all the insects, only a few are good and nutritious for chameleons. They are:
- Dubia Roaches
It is suggested to provide these insects as the main course, and there are some other insects that you can feed your chameleon occasionally to maintain adequate fat content in their diet. They are:
You can provide water for your panther chameleon by misting the leaves in the terrarium with a plant mister or by spraying the water on leaves. Panther chameleon can’t drink water from still/standing water. Mist / spray on the leaves around two times a day. If you don’t have enough time to do this regularly, you can buy a dripper.
Supplements for Panther Chameleon
It is not enough to provide tasty food for your chameleon: you have to make your pet healthier as well. In this case, you would require additional vitamin and calcium supplements. The essential supplements required for your chameleon are:
- Calcium without D3 – 3 to 4 days a week for the male and 4 to 5 days a week for the female
- Calcium with D3 – Once a month
- Multivitamins – Once a month
Male and female panther chameleons
Male panther chameleons are quite a bit larger than female panther chameleons. They also have more color patterns than female panther chameleons. The male panther chameleon has a hHemipenal bulge at the base of its tail.
Size of Panther Chameleons
Panther chameleons don’t grow much. The maximum size of the male panther chameleon is 18 inches, and that of the female chameleon is 14 inches.
Reproduction in Panther chameleons
Most Panther chameleons will be sexually mature after five months, but it is always recommended to breed after 9-10 months.
If the male chameleon is ready to mate, it will change to bright color while the female chameleon will be a subdued color. During mating season, their color will remain consistent.
When the Panther chameleon is not ready to mate, and a female chameleon is placed in its territory, the male will threaten the female to leave his territory.
The male won’t mate without the female’s willingness. When the female signals her willingness, the male will mount the female chameleon and insert one of the two hemi-penises into her.
Female Panther chameleons lay eggs by digging a tunnel in the sand. The number of eggs a female Panther chameleon can lay is between 20 and 200. The baby chameleons take 6 to 9 months to hatch.
Breeding of Panther Chameleons
Don’t breed chameleons too often. It is not good for your female chameleons since they become weak during pregnancy, and it reduces their lifespan. Breed your chameleons every 3 to 4 years. Pregnancy is one of the reasons why female chameleons have a shorter life span than male chameleons.
Pregnancy is an important phase for female chameleons where they frequently become protective and stressed. If you are attentive and take care of her properly, your chameleon and the babies will live healthy lives.
The disease which affects female Panther Chameleons
Chameleons reproduce by laying eggs. Sometimes, the chameleons may have the problem of being egg bound or egg retained. This is a situation where the egg is stuck inside the female chameleon.
It can also occur when the chameleon lays a clutch of eggs but not all of them are released. This is a rare and dangerous situation. This may lead to death for your chameleon pet.
If you suspect your female chameleon is egg bound, take her to your vet immediately.
The most common diseases that chameleon get affected are
- Metabolic Bone Disease
- Thermal burns
- Egg retention
- Parasitic Infections
- Tail rot
- Respiratory infections
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Skin diseases
Lifespan of Panther Chameleon
Usually, male chameleons have a greater life span compared to female chameleons. This is because females undergo the gestation period and if not taken care of during that period then it will affect the later stage of the female chameleon’s life span.
Panther chameleons have a shorter life span. The average life span of a male chameleon is 5-7 years and for the female chameleon is around 2-3 years.
Is it legal to have Panther Chameleon?
Yes, You need permission to own a chameleon. It is illegal to take a chameleon from the wild. But they are allowed to be kept, bred, and sold.
To own a chameleon, you need permission or CITES papers. But some chameleons are not even allowed to be bred, bought, and sold with CITES papers. They are just illegal to keep as a pet.
But CITES lists all the types of chameleon in endangered lists which means you won’t be able to pet them. But the IUCN states that these chameleons are stable in the environment and chameleons are the least concerned.