Two female, juvenile panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis) from an official confiscation are looking for new and above all chameleon-knowledgeable keepers within Germany. If you are interested, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
La Provincia has published an article on Veiled Chameleons in Gran Canaria. The animals have been found in the wild there since at least 2016, but are not actually native. They are trying to get rid of the unwanted chameleons by collecting them.
After a study on sperm collection in chameleons was already published this year, further results from the largely same team of authors now follow. The aim is to further research the basics of assisted reproduction, i.e. medical assistance in reproduction, in chameleons.
At Louisiana State University, 24 Veiled Chameleons were kept under standardised conditions for over a year. All animals came from a dealer who had taken them from the population of wild Veiled Chameleons in Florida. All were kept individually in ReptiBreeze, equipped with automatic sprinklers and artificial plants. Temperatures were around 28-29°C during the day with spots to seek higher values. 12 h UV-B irradiation per day was offered. Crickets and zophobas were fed. Before the start of the study, all 24 chameleons were clinically examined and several parasite treatments were carried out. Only after a month of acclimatisation did the actual study begin.
The first experiment tested what dose of human choriogonadotropin (hCG) is needed to increase the hormone levels of testosterone in the blood by 50%. Eleven Veiled Chameleons were randomly assigned to one of three groups. The three groups received injections of 100, 200 or 300 IU hCG under the skin at two-week intervals. Blood samples were taken before the first hormone injection and at 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, four hours, eight hours, 12 hours and 24 hours afterwards.
The second experiment tested the effect of hCG treatment on sperm production. 13 Veiled Chameleons were randomly assigned to a treatment or a control group. Once a week for one month, the animals in the first group were treated with 100 IU of hCG, while the second group was only injected with the same volume of isotonic saline. After a four-week break, the groups were switched and the experiment repeated. Blood samples to measure testosterone levels were taken before treatment and on day 15 and 30 afterwards. Semen was collected by electroejaculation under anaesthesia on the day before treatment and 30 days after.
The results showed that the testosterone level in male Veiled Chameleons increased significantly directly after the administration of hCG and remained elevated for about 24 hours. However, it did not matter which dose of hCG had been given beforehand. It could also be shown that the testosterone level increased significantly after the administration of hCG compared to the control group, which only received saline solution. The number of successful electroejaculations could be increased under hCG.
Effects of exogenous human chorionic gonadotropin administration on plasma testosterone and semen production in the Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
Sean M. Perry, Sarah R. Camlic, Michael Lierz, Mark A. Mitchell
Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery 33 (3), 2023, pp. 180-191
The term microbiome has been very popular for some years now. In humans and animals, it refers to the totality of all microorganisms that colonise a living being. Most of them colonise the gastrointestinal tract. In the case of chameleons, there is only very limited literature on this topic. A master’s thesis from South Africa now deals with the bacterial composition of the microbiome in South African dwarf chameleons of the genus Bradypodion.
60 cheek swabs were collected from wild chameleons in KwaZulu-Natal. Of these, 20 were cheek swabs from Bradypodion melanocephalum, 20 from Bradypodion thamnobates and 20 from Bradypodion setaroi. After sampling, the same 60 animals were transported in cloth bags to the research base, where the animals were kept in 3.3 l boxes for 24 hours to obtain faecal samples. Since not all of the original 60 chameleons defecated, faeces were collected from additional chameleons.
The samples were all genetically tested. 40.43% of the samples contained Firmicutes, a similarly large proportion of the samples contained Proteobacteria with 36.86%. Bacteroidota followed with some distance, which could be detected in just under 16% of the samples. Verrucomicrobiota, Fusobacteriota, Actinobateriota, Spirochetes, Desulfobacteroa, Cyanobacteria, Thermoplamatota, Deferribacterota, Synergistota, Campylobacterota, Deinococcota, Halobacterota, Euryarchaeota, Elusimicrobiota and Myxococcota were found in significantly smaller numbers (up to 2%).
The microbiome of dwarf chameleons of the species Bradypodion melanocephalum, Bradypodion thamnobates and Bradypodion setaroi is similar to that of other reptiles. It consists mainly of proteobacteria and firmicutes, which may contribute to digestion. One particular bacterial species also suggests that the diet of the studied dwarf chameleons may include beetles of the genus Dendrophagus. The microbiome of all three dwarf chameleon species was very similar in the cheek swabs – this is called phylosymbiosis – while there were differences in composition between the species in the faeces. In all three dwarf chameleon species, significantly more different bacteria were found in the faeces than in the cheek swabs. A comparison between males and females did not reveal any significant differences in the microbiome of all three chameleon species. The author assumes that the bacterial species depend on the different habitats of the respective species. It is still unclear to what extent the microbiome is related to bacteria that a chameleon may ingest with feeding insects or from the soil of its environment. A detailed list of the bacterial species found can be found in the appendix of the publication.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to dwarf chameleons (Bradypodion): The composition and function of the microbiome
Matthew G. Adair
Master of Science dissertation at the university of Johannesburg, 2023
DOI: not available
A keeper has contacted us as AG Chamäleons because he is looking for new keepers for his three Trioceros jacksonii jacksonii. Two males and one female (2.1) are for sale. One of the males was bought in 2020 already adult. Together with a female that unfortunately died, it then had offspring, of which two still remain with the owner. The two offspring are a male and a female born in November 2020. All three chameleons eat very well and are not used to daily handling. If you are interested in adopting the animals, please send an email to email@example.com.
Addendum 27.09.2023: All three animals have found a new owner.
The European Union plans to ban mercury-containing lamps and light bulbs without exception from 2027. In terrarium keeping, this will affect almost all lamps that are also used in chameleon keeping, such as fluorescent tubes and metal halide lamps. Some are already banned. These lamps are indispensable, even vital, for keeping chameleons. So far, EU legislation under EU 1194/2012 had always made an exception for “special purposes” such as animal husbandry. This time, however, no exception is provided! Such a ban would make countless animal husbandries impossible, for private keepers as well as in zoos and species conservation projects. Therefore, a number of associations, including the German Society for Herpetology and Terrarial Science, of which AG Chamäleons is a member, sent an open letter to the EU Commission yesterday.
The open letter can be downloaded and read free of charge here. Please support the cause and share the open letter widely so that other keepers become aware of the current situation. We need strong associations like the DGHT to represent our concerns at EU level! Please also write to your MEPs so that they get wind of this issue.
The decision has now been made: we will meet for the 2024 conference in beautiful Fulda in Hesse. The venue is the Stadtgasthof Drei Linden in Neuenberger Str. 37 in 36041 Fulda. The rooms have recently been renovated, the food on site is good and there is also a beer garden and playground for children. IMPORTANT: Room bookings at the Stadtgasthof Drei Linden are only possible from January 2024! It is a ten-minute walk from the inn to the historic centre of Fulda. So if you don’t want to stay overnight directly on site, you’ll find all the options in Fulda itself. Fulda has an ICE train station and can be reached from all directions in Germany within a few hours. More information will follow as soon as the conference programme has been finalised.
On Saturday, 16 September 2023, Laura and Bobby Bok will give a talk on herpetological trips to Turkey. The herpetofauna of Anatolia is astonishingly diverse – not without reason it is also called “Asia Minor”. Reptiles from the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the deserts of Arabia meet here. From turtles to the smallest gecko – there is a lot to tell from Anatolia!
Laura und Bobby Bok Türkiye from Trabzon to the Taurus
DGHT city group Ulm
Il Mio Ristorante
Europastraße 15 (Am Mutenhölzle)
Begin at 6.30 p.m.
On Saturday, 16 September 2023, Uwe Prokoph will give a lecture on a herpetological journey to the Western Sahara and the south of Morocco. Although the landscape there seems rather hostile at first glance, there is a lot to discover, especially in reptiles!
Uwe Prokoph Desert Wonderworlds
DGHT Stadtgruppe Kassel
from 6 o’clock p.m.
Together with Jutta Dwinger, AG member Lars Dwinger will be giving a presentation full of pictures in Schleswig-Holstein on Friday, 15th September 2022. Last year, the two travelled to the north of Madagascar, which is known for its extreme biodiversity.
The journey begins in the Marojejy National Park, which stretches across the gorges and steep slopes of the mountain range of the same name. There you can see extremely rarely photographed chameleons, but also a great variety of frogs, snakes and geckos. Afterwards, the journey led via the east coast towns of Sambava and Vohémar to the dry forest of Daraina. The next stop was the world-famous Tsingys in Ankarana National Park. Even in these two dry forests, there is a lot of small and big life. The final stop was camping in the middle of a chameleon paradise: The Montagne d’Ambre in the far north of Madagascar. Between tiny earth chameleons that just fit on the tip of a finger and the gentle giants of the rainforest, the two Hamburgers encounter many fascinating creatures on this trip.
Lars und Jutta Dwinger Foray through four national parks in the north of Madagascar
Vereinsheim des SC Condor
Berner Heerweg 188
Start of the presentation at 6 p.m.
Picture: Brookesia betschi in Marojejy, photographed by Jutta Dwinger