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Old 04-26-2017, 09:43 AM   #1
Panther or veiled for 1st time owner?

Hello guys,

I've been keeping reptiles for ~10 years now and have decided to take the leap into chameleon ownership. The other species I've worked with are the new caledonian geckos (gargs, cresteds, leachies), blue tongue skink, boas, pythons, and frogs (tree frogs / pacman). I keep a reptile room with temps ~75f-78f and humidity ~45-60%.

From my research, I've pieced together the following about each species:

Veiled- cheaper, larger, hardier to temperature and humidity changes, esp. lower humidity, more territorial, longer lifespan (?), and quality animals only available from basically 2 large scale breeders

Panter- more expensive starting price, slightly smaller, more sensitive to low humidity, more sensitive to higher temps, less territorial on average, shorter lifespan (?), more small and large-scale breeders working with them

Honestly, the appearance of the panthers and their generally less territorial temperament appeals to me, but I'm not sure exactly how much more sensitive they are (compared to veileds). In my price range, I'd be able to afford a ~3 month old of either species, but if I go with a panther, I would need to go with a lower-end animal (which I don't necessarily mind). I've read that panthers can be good starting chameleons, but have also read that beginners should absolutely start with a veiled.

What is your opinion / experience? Are panthers that much more sensitive and un-suited to a beginner, or can they be considered? If one does start with a panther, specifically what things are they more sensitive or what are common "mistakes" with them IYO?

I am willing to start with a veiled if necessary, but want to know if they are as sensitive as I've been told and if any of the information I've found is incorrect about them or veileds.

Thank you for your time and help!
Old 04-26-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
Dyscophus antongilii

What follows is NOTHING but my opinion, based off of my personal experience. So, please, take that for exactly what it is worth: a grain of salt and or less then $0.01 in USA currency.

I would personally go with a Chamaeleo calyptratus as my first Chameleon. They are just "extremely hardy" by Chameleon standards.

As you stated they are more "forgiving" with lower humidity. Also, like you stated, they are more "forgiving" with temperature and humidity changes in general. I have found that to be completely true.

I would also add Chamaeleo calyptratus "has a much hardier appetite" into adulthood when compared to a adult Furcifer pardalis. As juveniles, they eat extremely vigorously just like many Furcifer pardalis do. Plus, they "spook" less easily then Furcifer pardalis do, in general. Plus, Chamaeleo calyptratus, is much "easier" to keep hydrated.

I am NOT sure, if, I have answered your questions. But, I tried. Seriously, I will gladly expand on my responses if you want. Plus, answer any questions that I might have missed. Assuming I can answer them in the first place.
Old 04-26-2017, 01:31 PM   #3
A big difference you haven't mentioned is how susceptible they are to stress. To much stress can make any chameleon take a nose dive, but the panthers are more prone to this problem.

From my personal experience, I have never lost a veiled that didn't arrive in poor health. I can't say the same for panthers.

If your heart is set on a panther, I recommend Kammerflage Kreations. They specialize in panthers and I have always gotten amazing animals from them. I purchased two males from them last time I ordered, a Nosy Be and a red-bar Ambanja. Both were stunning and did really well.
Old 04-26-2017, 01:32 PM   #4
They also often sell older holdback animals that are hardier than babies.
Old 04-26-2017, 04:02 PM   #5
Thank you both for your input!
Dyscophus- I had not heard anything about panthers not having as good of an appetite as adults. That is very good information. I have dealt with problem feeders in other species (BP and hognose snakes) and HATED it... I love reptiles that have good appetites when fed appropriately, so that is a big factor for me to consider.

Elena- Stress differences did not come up in any of my reading (forums, breeders' websites, etc.) so that is great info as well. Are you referring to stress from being handled, seeing other chameleons, etc.? This would be my only chameleon, but I did want to handle it in moderation to get it used to it for when I have to do cage maintenance, take it outdoors, etc. I am planning on this primarily being a "watch it" pet vs. one to be regularly handled.

Overall, you guys' responses seem to be going along with most of the information I found online that veileds are overall more hardy.

I would like to post a follow-up question for you guys (and anyone else that may know): Do you know of any reputable breeders / sites that sell quality veileds? I have only been able to find 2 large breeders (FLChams and and no small or medium-scale breeders.

Thank you again for your help!
Old 04-26-2017, 07:26 PM   #6
Chameleons can be stressed by many things including handling, seeing other chameleons or brightly colored/fast moving objects, being disturbed in any way. Being shipped or moved to a new home is also stressful and it takes time for them to adjust. Whatever species you choose, give the new cham plenty of settling in time before beginning handling. Do so infrequently and not for very long. Also, don't handle your chameleon until it is reliably feeding. Adult panther chameleons tend to be more comfortable being handled than veiled, but there are exceptions. Very young chameleons should be left unhandled until they are at a sturdier life stage. This is another reason why it is often a good idea to have your first chameleon be 6 months or older. You will have to spend a little more, but the animal will be hardier. Also, older animals will already have started to get their color, so you can choose one that will have whatever look you are going for.

FLChams is a reliable source for veiled chameleons. I'm not familiar with
Old 04-26-2017, 08:06 PM   #7
Dyscophus antongilii
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Thank you both for your input!
In my humble opinion, Elena, gave you the most valuable information. Chameleons are prone to stress. I thought and wrongfully might I add, that, I was implying how easily Chameleons get stressed. I apologize for the miscommunication. I want to thank Elena for her time and help.

Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Dyscophus- I had not heard anything about panthers not having as good of an appetite as adults.
In my personal experience, adult Furcifer pardalis are picky eaters. It does not seem to matter, in my personal experience, how varied the diet was durning the juvenile period. They are just far more picky as adult when compared to Chamaeleo calyptratus.

Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
That is very good information.
I occasionally come in handy.

Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
I have dealt with problem feeders in other species (BP and hognose snakes) and HATED it...
I will be the first to admit, that not many species are as unpleasant, when, compared to a problem feeding Python regius . I only had one problem feeding Heterodon nasicus. It was a neonate and "outgrew the problem". Have you ever had an adult Heterodon nasicus that was a problem feeder? If so, can I ask what you did about that?

Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
I love reptiles that have good appetites when fed appropriately,
Me and you both!
Old 04-26-2017, 09:23 PM   #8
Being good feeders, as babies and as adults, is one of my main criteria in selecting a new species to work with. I have passed on a lot of cool projects because of this concern, most recently rhino ratsnakes. All the species I currently keep are commonly known as easy to feed, though I'm finding my blood pythons slightly more challenging than I had expected.
Old 04-28-2017, 08:54 PM   #9
Dyscophus- I ended up rehoming the hognose to a local person with reptile experience and a mouse breeding colony. My hugonose was male and it was only after purchasing him that I found information stating that males can especially be problematic feeders. He would take live food, but I had no local sources and did not want to breed mice (I've heard they smell horrendously) so I rehomed him. I purchased him at about 4 months old supposedly eating unscented f/t. He ate well for me for maybe 3 months, then went on hunger strikes off an on. He was ~2 when I finally rehomed him. I think he was afraid of my hands or the tongs, which would put him off feeding f/t.

elena- I am lucky that all of my other reptiles are great feeders... So far my boas and carpet python take the cake though. Nothing beats them zooming 1 foot plus out of hte tub / cage when being fed. I am trying f/t ASFs on my two problem BPs now and it seems to be working. I feed them an ASF, wait 20 minutes, then offer a small rat, which they take since they are then in food mode. I'm hoping to get them back up to weight, then wean them off the ASFs, which are crazy expensive. I once thought about breeding BPs...but no longer lol. I only own 3 and don't see myself ever getting another.

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