Female Chameleons  
Chapter 5:
General Care


First of all, how can you tell a male from a female chameleon apart?

A male veiled chameleon will have little bumps on the backs of his heels on his hind feet. These are called, tarsal spurs. As they mature, males generally are larger and have taller casques and more pronounced gullar crests.

A male Panther Chameleon can be easily identified by their dorsolateral ridge extension on each side of the head over the eyes to the snout so it looks like a shovel. Females have a smaller ridge. Females though are gray, light green or brownish depending where the live. Of course the color depends on things like breeding season, age, moods of the chameleons or the temperature of the area they are in at the moment.

Egg Bin/SandboxYour female will lay infertile eggs a few times a year. How do you know when she is ready to deposit her eggs? The first sign is that she will stop eating. You will notice the bugs in her enclosure are not being eaten and that there is less fecal matter. You may then notice her crawling on the ground, or scratching at the enclosure. When you notice one of these indicators, place her in a large container filled with sandbox type sand, ensuring it is moist enough that she can dig a burrow and it will not collapse on top of her. The sand should be at least 1.5 feet in depth. They like to dig down deep and sit in the hole while depositing their eggs. If the sand is not deep enough or moist enough they will not lay them. The container should be deep and relatively wide (2.5 feet). DO NOT offer her food while in the container. The bugs will bother her and she will not want to eat anyways. Do give her heat and UVA/UVB lamps. Make certain the heat lamp is not to close or it will dry out the sand and may cause her to dehydrate. You may want to switch to a lower wattage while she is in a more confined enclosure. You can mist her and offer her water however, do not disturb her! Do not keep checking on her to see if she has deposited the eggs, she will require privacy.

At night, you may put her back in her regular aquarium. I do not recommend letting them sleep on the moist sand as it cools down considerable at night. At that point, you can run your fingers through the sand to see if there are any eggs. If not, repeat the procedure for a couple of days. Ensure you offer the chameleon water and give her liquid calcium orally daily!!!! This will help to keep her strength up.

If your chameleon does not deposit her eggs or only some of them, you can gently feel her belly to detect the presence of any eggs and take her to a vet immediately!! They may give her a drug called oxcitocine that helps contractions. If that does not work, they will have to perform a C-section.

Female chameleons reach sexual maturity anywhere from 4½ to 5 months, but the occasional female may become ready as soon as 3½ months!


Please note:

While your female is attempting to lay eggs it is curial to administer water and liquid calcium and possibly some baby food. The eggs will absorb the majority of the nutrients she ingests, therefore weakening your chameleon considerably. If you wait too long, your pet can either suffocate (eggs keep developing and compress lungs) or she will become so weak she cannot lay the eggs or recover after the C-section. Nutrition after the egg laying process is very important as well!

It is very important that you are observant if you opt to choose a female chameleon. Once the onset of the above symptoms you only have a few days to provide your chameleon with the appropriate conditions and nutrients so she successfully deposits her eggs. If not, take her to a vet immediately!

 

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