Senegal chameleons are one of the four most popular pet chameleon species. They are smaller chameleons from West Africa, yet they are just as lovely and delicate as the other kinds. These chameleons, like many lizards, do not accept a lot of handling, thus they may not be the best pets for small children.
Because the Senegal chameleon is a sensitive reptile, its surroundings must be ideal for it to survive in captivity. As a pet, it should be kept in a mesh or screened enclosure. Air circulation and ventilation, as well as an abundance of climbing choices, are ideal in a cage with screens as sides, but make sure the enclosure is of sufficient height. Senegals will climb vertically rather than side to side in a cage. A 29-gallon high tank is normally advised if a screened or mesh enclosure is not an option for your chameleon.
The heat bulbs must be able to keep the basking area at 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature in the rest of the cage should not go below 70 degrees. Different heat bulbs and wattages may be required to achieve these temperatures depending on the temperature of the room, the size of the enclosure, and the style of enclosure.
UVB illumination is a type of light that boosts metabolism, appetite, and activity while also synthesising Vitamin D3, which is essential in the calcium absorption process for your chameleon. It serves as a substitute for the invisible UVB rays that a chameleon would typically receive from the sun if it were outside. Without UVB lighting, your chameleon will likely develop metabolic bone disease, not grow properly, and suffer from weakened or broken bones.
To avoid thermal burns, set your UVB light about 12 inches away from the tallest point in the cage that your chameleon can reach. Ideally, the UVB light should not be obstructed by anything, particularly a plastic or glass covering, since this will significantly reduce the amount of UVB rays that reach your chameleon.
The cage should also have plenty of vines and artificial plants to climb on, as well as a dripper system, unless you are vigilant enough to spray the enclosure multiple times per day. Chameleons drink water from plant leaves, not from a bowl, so make sure there are wet leaves in the cage for your Senegal to sip from on a daily basis.
Although mesh cages are ideal for chameleons, they are terrible for sustaining the high humidity levels required by Senegals. Dripper devices, automatic misting systems, and fogger systems come in handy here. Without a high humidity level in the cage, your Senegal chameleon will become dehydrated, lethargic, and may have difficulty shedding.
A captive Senegal chameleon enjoys eating crickets, mealworms, and other insects that are widely accessible in the pet trade. It catches prey by extending its long tongue from its mouth. The tongue adheres to the insect before retracting inside the chameleon’s mouth. In nine out of ten attempts, a healthy chameleon concentrating on catching its supper will successfully catch the insect.
While they are visually appealing, Senegal chameleons are not suitable for inexperienced lizard keepers. In addition to their dislike of being touched by humans, chameleons can be hostile toward fellow chameleons. Because of these characteristics, it is preferable to keep multiple Senegal chameleons in separate enclosures and be satisfied to watch them rather than play with them.
Senegal chameleons, like many reptiles, are prone to several different types of health issues.
- Respiratory infections: Usually a result of temperatures being too low in an enclosure or the chameleon being exposed to a draft or drastic change in temperature.
- Stress-related ailments: A lack of appetite and respiratory infections may be a cause of stress.
- Calcium deficiency: Low calcium levels can be due to a lack of UVB lighting or too little calcium in the diet.
- Vitamin A deficiency: Low vitamin A levels are usually the result of a poor diet.
- Stomatitis: Mouth rot
- Intestinal parasites: Worms and protozoans are common problems for chameleons.
- Metabolic bone disease: This is usually what happens when a chameleon can’t absorb calcium properly. This painful condition weakens the animal’s bones so that its legs appear wobbly. It also will have a poor appetite and may appear lethargic.
Visit Our Instagram Page for daily fun facts!