Chameleons are one of the most wanted pets, especially by reptile lovers all across the globe. Chameleons are a type of colorful lizard with distinguishing features like small bodies, rotating eyes, and extrudable tongues. What makes chameleons super fascinating and is their most defining trait, is how they can change color.
Selecting a pet chameleon can be difficult for beginners, mainly because there is a large variety of them to choose from. There’s the popular Veiled Chameleon, Parsons’ Chameleon, Jackson Chameleon, the Panther Chameleon and so many more.
The Panther Chameleon is one of the most widely popular species today. Many people wish to keep them as pets and give them a home. Before you make the decision to house a Panther Chameleon, it would be wise to find out if it makes a good pet.
Knowing what to expect from your pet in terms of characteristics, personality traits, diet, and other requirements can help you in choosing the right chameleon type for your home.
About the Panther Chameleon
Native to the eastern and northern parts of Madagascar, the Panther Chameleon, or Furcifer pardalis, is a bright and vibrant reptile. They were first imported to the United States in the 1980s. Today, this is an accessible breed of reptiles and is growing increasingly common.
In fact, it is popular as one of the most colorful chameleon species, making it appealing as a pet. The reason for their high demand is that they can exhibit neon shades that make the Panther Chameleon a stunning creature.
In the wild, they can grow up to 21 inches in length, however, those held captive usually remain smaller. Generally, you can expect males to be larger than females.
In order to find out if panther chameleons can be a good pet for you, let’s take a look at the different features and requirements of this reptile:
For reptile-enthusiasts who wish to own a head-turning chameleon, this one is a great choice. If you’re looking for a pet chameleon that surely changes colors, we recommend the panther chameleon for you.
The males generally take on shades of red, yellow, green, bright turquoise, and more. They are more creatively colored than the females who mostly have hues of pink. Rose, peach, violet tones also show on the female when they are receptive to breeding. Otherwise, they often exhibit colors like black, red, and orange.
Interestingly, these chameleons don’t change their color to match with the surroundings. They do it as a way of communication, and the colors also indicate their overall health.
Any potential pet-owner always wishes to know the expected life-span of their new companion. The Panther chameleon typically has 5 years of life expectancy when in captivity. On average, 4-7 years may be expected.
With good care, albeit rarely, some panther chameleons do live up to 8 or 9 years. The females may live longer if they don’t reproduce.
How easy is it to keep this chameleon species at home? And does it have any extra requirements?
Years ago, it was difficult to care for this exotic creature. But with time and understanding, you can now easily keep the panther chameleon as a pet as long as you provide them the ideal environment, diet while understanding its needs.
Before you decide to bring this reptile home, you should know the appropriate space it needs to thrive comfortably. An enclosure that is at least 24 inches wide, 36 inches tall, and 24 inches in depth is required for the panther chameleon. This space will accommodate it throughout its life-stages.
Plus, they need a lush habitat that mimics their life in the wild. Wood branches, live as well as artificial plants, as well as pathways of branches for climbing, will make this breed feel safe and happy.
An absorbent substrate to add humidity in the enclosure is also required. We recommend Orchid Bark for this purpose.
Panther chameleons also need an ultraviolet light source in their enclosure. This UV light should be kept on for ten to twelve hours every day.
If you believe you can provide your panther chameleon with this essential habitat, then it can definitely be an appropriate pet for you.
Of course, your pet panther chameleon will be interacting with humans. You must be eager to find out how this species behaves with people.
You should keep in mind that the panther chameleon is a territorial creature. Although they are not aggressive, they do have the tendency to get stressed when over-handled. It is a general consensus that this chameleon type is for watching rather than handling. The panther chameleon is simply not fond of being handled a lot.
Also, you should ideally house just one panther chameleon. If you keep two males together, they might get territorial and even attack each other.
However, the panther chameleon is generally very docile and it does not attack people. Still, they can get stressed easily and it is best to avoid that. If children are handling the chameleon, it is recommended that an adult supervises them.
All chameleons are solitary by nature and like their me-time. You can expect them to stay still most of the time. You will also notice them climbing on branches or just lounging around. As they are diurnal, panther chameleons are the most active during the day-time.
The main reason people love to own the panther chameleon is that they are so easy to care for.
Before making your mind up about keeping a panther chameleon, you must know what they eat and if you can provide it.
This chameleon species is an insectivore. You can keep them satisfied and happy by feeding them black crickets, brown crickets, cockroaches, locusts, mealworms, butterworms, silkworms, wax worms, and flies. Their main staple diet must consist of crickets, and you are good to go.
Some panther chameleons also like to eat plant matter such as turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens.
Remember, you must gut-load the insects before feeding them to panther chameleons. You should feed the insects fresh veggies and as well as minerals and vitamins.
Potential health issues
Panther chameleons are often prone to calcium and vitamin A deficiencies. A poor diet can cause such a deficiency, so you just have to make sure your pet is well-fed and cared for.
Similar to other chameleon types, the panther chameleon is susceptible to mouth-rot or stomatitis, which is an infection of the mouth.
Metabolic bone disease is one of the most serious illnesses that can affect all chameleons. Their bones become brittle and weak, and if not treated timely, the condition can be fatal.
With proper care and a vigilant eye on your panther chameleon, you can easily avoid these health risks. In case your pet appears stressed, you should immediately consult a vet.
Panther chameleons can be kept in captivity and can make good pets. Not only is this chameleon species extremely beautiful to look at, but it also has a docile and harmless nature. You should make sure to provide it a healthy habitat and keep its temperament in mind, to avoid putting your pet chameleon under stress.
We hope this guide helped you decide if the panther chameleon is the right pet choice for you.