The Arabian chameleon, Chamaeleo arabicus, is hardly ever bred in Europe at the moment. So it is all the more pleasing that this week a whole clutch of chameleons hatched successfully in Switzerland and Germany! Congratulations to Franziska von Ballmoos-Gasser, where the pictured hatchlings live. Franziska had given the parents to Rolf Attinger in winter 2021, where they successfully mated in 2022. After Rolf died unexpectedly, Franziska took back the animals and several eggs. Some of the eggs were given to a good friend of Rolf in Germany, the rest remained in Switzerland. Now 9 agile, good-looking youngsters have hatched in Switzerland and 14 in Germany. The aim is to join Rolf’s success with the species and to continue breeding the species with the same joy. At some point in the future, legal offspring of Chamaeleo arabicus should be offered in Europe. We sincerely hope that everything will continue to work out and that many more keepers will be able to enjoy the species!
The hatching of two pairs of twins of Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) in Latvia has been reported from Riga. The parents live at Riga Zoo and the young hatched in March 2022. The twins were two male and two female Veiled Chameleons, each pair in one egg. They came from a clutch of 85 eggs, of which 48 eventually hatched. All four young animals were active at first and accepted food. At the age of two months, one of the juveniles died, the remaining three were still alive in February 2023.
The article also gives a brief overview of cases of twins in reptiles from the existing literature.
A review of twinning in lizards and a report of Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) twin births
Alessandro di Marzio, Elza Birbele, Lucia Puchades, Andris Lazdiņš
Herpetology Notes 16: 471-476, 2023
Photo: One of the twin pairs at hatching
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
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!
A great breeding success was achieved by AG-member and former AG-speaker Timo Weiß this week: His Chamaeleo namaquensis offspring hatched successfully. Congratulations!
The Namaqua chameleon is one of the few existing chameleons that actually occur in real deserts. It lives in the wild in Namibia, South Africa and Angola on the African continent. Unlike many other chameleon species, it inhabits mainly the ground and low shrubs.
Photo: One-day-old juvenile on the hand of the successful keeper
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
Responsible Herpetoculture Journal 7, 2023
keine DOI vorhanden
The breeding of leaf chameleons outside Madagascar has been successful since the 1990s. Nevertheless, there are only a few keepers who can prove breeding success in the long term or who have been dealing with individual leaf chameleon species for years. Michael Nash from the USA has now published a detailed husbandry and breeding report on Brookesia thieli.
He keeps his animals in the terrariums we commonly use with completely ventilated lids and either vent in the front bottom or the entire front as ventilation area, living plants, and bioactive substrate. T5 HO and halogen spotlights are used for lighting. The best breeding results were achieved by keeping two or three males together with four females. The author was able to make exciting observations on the defensive behaviour of males, where the animals not only open their mouths but actually protrude their mouth cavities. For food, the author uses Zelus renardii, a type of predatory beetle from North America, in addition to the usual small food such as micro crickets, bean beetles, and various flies. This is sold as a beneficial insect and is used, for example, in the Mediterranean region to control certain pests in olive plantations. In addition, Brookesia thieli particularly liked winged termites offered by the author, which might also be an interesting food animal that has hardly been used by chameleon keepers so far.
To trigger mating behaviour, dry and rainy seasons are imitated. The dry season is characterised above all by a massive night-time drop in temperature to 13°C and less irrigation. During the imitated rainy season, temperatures rise to around 26°C during the day and 19-21°C at night, and there is also increased irrigation during the day. Females lay 3-5 eggs after an average gestation of 30-60 days, with up to three clutches per female per season. The best incubation success was achieved at 21-23°C during the day and 19-20°C at night. The author notes that hatching rates increased after supplementing the diet with preformed vitamin A every two months.
Overall, this is a very readable husbandry report with many interesting details. Hopefully that the data will support keepers in the breeding and long-term conservation of this exciting leaf chameleon species.
Keeping and breeding Brookesia thieli
Responsible Herpetoculture Journal 5, 2022
keine DOI vorhanden