Keeping and breeding Parson’s Chameleons

Keeping and breeding Parson’s Chameleons

Haltungsberichte Newspaper articles

The keeping and breeding of Calumma parsonii parsonii has become quite successful in Germany in recent years. There are regular offspring and keeping is also becoming increasingly popular. In the current issue of Elaphe, the magazine of the DGHT e.V., there is a detailed report on keeping this beautiful, large chameleon species. It was written by three members of the AG Chamäleons.

They keep their animals in self-built terrariums made of aluminium profiles and Forex with a completely ventilated lid, and door as well as a full side area or in spacious winter gardens. Living plants provide sufficient cover. Both sexes are kept individually. Lighting is provided by Reptiles Expert metal halide lamps, Arcadia UV-B tubes, and HQIs. The lighting time is 10 to 12 hours in summer and winter. The enormous drinking needs of the species are satisfied by daily manual watering. In addition, feeding is rather sparse with only one adult food animal, e.g. a grasshopper, per chameleon per day (or the equivalent of several smaller food animals). A cooler winter hibernation, imitating the dry season in Madagascar, ensures a higher life expectancy and is therefore recommended by the authors.

Mating takes place in the German midsummer from July to August. The chameleons are put together for a few days until successful matings have taken place. The females are pregnant for four to six months. Between late December and early February, the female digs an elongated tube into the ground and lays 20 to 69 eggs. The incubation of the eggs takes place on perlite at 23 to 24°C. Weekly the eggs are sprinkled with distilled water. In February, a diapause is carried out at 13 to 14°C without further water supply. The young hatch after 15 to 24 months and are then raised individually. Unfortunately, the sex can only be determined at the age of 9 to 12 months.

All in all, this is a very detailed article with a lot of information for chameleon lovers who are interested in keeping this great species or are looking for one or two tips for breeding. In addition, the article discusses the distribution and habitat of the different colour varieties of Calumma parsonii parsonii on Madagascar.

Parsons-Chamäleons (Calumma parsonii parsonii) – Madagascar’s Gentle Giants
Alexandra Laube, Andreas Augustin und Thorsten Negro
Elaphe 3, 2023, pp. 12-25

Foto: Schlupf eines Parsons Chamäleons, fotografiert von Alex Laube


Presentation in Winterthur about the European Chameleon

Presentation in Winterthur about the European Chameleon

Live lectures

Markus Grimm, a long-time member of the AG Chamäleons and entrusted for many years in Switzerland with conducting expert courses for chameleon keeping, will give a detailed lecture on the European Chameleon on 14 April 2023 in Winterthur (Switzerland).

The European Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) in a way describes the archetype of the chameleon as such and thus has status character for the human conception of chameleons. The rather seldom-kept chameleon species makes some demands on keeping and breeding, which Markus was able to fathom during trips to the habitat as well as in captivity. After a short introduction, which includes systematics, Markus gives insights into the habitat of this chameleon in nature. In addition, the audience will learn the most important parameters for successful keeping and breeding in the terrarium. So it will definitely be very exciting – anyone interested in chameleons should definitely watch this lecture!

Markus Grimm The European Chameleon – Habitat, Keeping and breeding in captivity
DGHT City Group Winterthur
Restaurant “Rössli”
8405 Winterthur (Switzerland)
The presentation starts at 8:00 p.m.

Keeping and breeding Calumma linotum

Keeping and breeding Calumma linotum


The keeping and breeding of small chameleons of the genus Calumma has so far, apparently, only found enthusiasts on a rather small scale. So it is all the nicer that a new report on the keeping and especially the successful breeding of Calumma linotum has just been published. Michael Nash from the USA has been keeping the species for over three years and gives a detailed account of his experiences.

He keeps his animals in the terrariums commonly used over here with a completely ventilated lid and either vents in the front bottom or the entire front as ventilation, living plants, and living substrate. T5 tubes with and without UV-B are used for lighting. For food he uses fruit flies (Drosophila spp.) to a good 50%, and otherwise among other things small crickets, house crickets, blowflies, and mantid nymphs.

The best breeding successes are achieved by keeping them individually and putting them together for a few days to mate during the imitation rainy season. To induce mating behaviour, dry and rainy seasons are imitated. The dry season is mainly characterised by a massive night-time drop in temperature to 10°C and less irrigation. During the imitated rainy season, temperatures rise to around 26°C during the day and 18-21°C at night, and there is also increased irrigation during the day.

The females lay 2-3 eggs after an average of 22 to 40 days of gestation. So far, it has been noticed that mated females of the species are capable of fertilisation for an unusually long time, namely up to five clutches. The eggs are first incubated at 16 to 21°C for two to four weeks. This is followed by a diapause of 30 to 45 days at 10 to 15°C. The eggs then lie in daytime conditions. Afterwards, the eggs lie at 22°C during the day and between 16.7 and 19.5°C at night. If the eggs do not show any embryonic and vascular development during shearing after the diapause, it is possible to imitate a second diapause – at the latest, after this, the first egg development should be visible. After 5 to 7 months, active young hatched under these incubation conditions. The author has successfully hatched eleven clutches so far.

All in all, a very readable husbandry report, which hopefully supports other keepers in breeding and long-term conservation of this interesting, small species in the terrarium.

Keeping and breeding Calumma linotum
Michael Nash
Responsible Herpetoculture Journal 7, 2023
keine DOI vorhanden

New publication: A book about the tiger chameleon

New publication: A book about the tiger chameleon

Book publications

Until now, there was no book that dealt with the keeping of the tiger chameleon. You had to painstakingly search for individual reports on keeping tiger chameleons from various sources and puzzle together small pieces of information to form a larger unit. With the newly published book by Markus Grimm, who has been a member of the AG Chamäleons for almost 20 years, this has now changed. Markus Grimm was responsible for the first breeding of the tiger chameleon in 2004 and teaches courses on chameleons in Switzerland.

The first quarter of the book is about chameleons in general. The distribution and the diversity of the different species and their habitats are presented. A brief overview of possible diseases of chameleons in terraristics as well as tips on what should be considered when buying a chameleon completes this part of the book. Then it’s on to the tiger chameleon itself. The distribution and habitat of the small chameleons on the Seychelles islands of Mahé, Praslin and Silhouette are presented. This is followed by herpetoculture: basics such as terrarium size, ventilation and climate technology are explained as well as CITES listing and corresponding keeper obligations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In the biology of the tiger chameleon, some information is repeated and specified for the species. The sex determination of the tiger chameleon is explained in detail so that even a beginner should be able to select suitable animals for a small breeding group after reading the book. The author gives concrete recommendations on food quantity and food insects. Many personal experiences of the author form the main focus of the book. The book concludes with a detailed section on the reproduction of the tiger chameleon in the terrarium. Mating, pregnancy and egg-laying are discussed in richly illustrated detail. The author also dispels the myth that Archaius tigris only lays its eggs in leaf axils. It does show this behaviour frequently, but there are also tiger chameleons that bury their eggs in the ground like other egg-laying chameleon species of the Indian Ocean. Egg incubation and hatching as well as the rearing of the young complete the species presentation.

The book is aimed at anyone who is considering keeping Archaius tigris. The large font makes it easy to read. In some places, the lack of picture descriptions, some technically vague information and a lot of detached photos disturb the reading flow a little. The first quarter of the book also sometimes gets lost in other chameleon species. However, it then finds its way back to the tiger chameleon to deliver the world’s first book of its kind on Archaius tigris. The advanced chameleon keeper will certainly enjoy the last third of the book most, with many details on the propagation of the species and rearing of the young. For the novice keeper, the book offers a great deal of very valuable information for good, chameleon-friendly husbandry.

The book is only available in German. It is self-published and can be ordered from the author.


The tiger chameleon (Archaius tigris) – keeping, care and reproduction
Markus Grimm
131 pages, Self-published
ISBN 978-3-033-09238-9
currently at the introductory price of 20 CHF/€ excluding shipping
otherwise 22,90 CHF (currently 22,90 €) excluding shipping
Order directly from the author