Jackson’s chameleon is among the most popular pet choices of hobbyists and experienced reptile keepers. Before bringing this chameleon home, remember you need to handle it with care, as it can get anxious while touched or petted by humans. The life expectancy of chameleons ranges between 5 to 10 years in captivity. Read here about how to care for your chameleon.
Jackson’s chameleon are highly territorial creatures and should be housed individually in a well-ventilated enclosure. Be sure to provide enough branches and non-toxic plants for your chameleon to climb, walk, and hide. Some of the options are ficus trees, hibiscus, dracaena, and pothos.
The enclosure can be lined with paper towels or newspapers for easy cleaning. They’re essential for keeping the cage clean to prevent bacterial and mold growth. Soil and wood chips should not be used as they are challenging to clean and can lead to serious health problems if ingested by the chameleon.
Jackson’s chameleon needs a daytime temperature of 75 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit and should be provided a basking spot of 84 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature can be best accomplished by using a basking or incandescent light placed outside the cage to prevent burns.
The night-time temperature should drop by 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit and heating may not be required if your home temperature is between 65- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use a thermostat to regulate your pet’s temperature throughout the day.
Jackson’s chameleons require exposure to a full-spectrum ultraviolet light source for their good health and wellbeing. The UV light should be kept on for 10 to 12 hours a day, and the bulb should be replaced every six months or based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Exposure to natural sunlight is also essential, and chameleons greatly benefit when they are outdoors. However, keep an eye on your chameleon’s changing colors when outdoors, as overheating will change its color to bright green or some other color, indicating it needs to go inside.
It is crucial to maintain adequate moisture levels in the enclosure to keep their body fully hydrated. Chameleons rarely drink water from a bowl, but they will lick water from leaves. Misting the plants in the enclosure twice a day or using a cool misting system to maintain 50 percent humidity is essential.
Before feeding your chameleon, always offer water to allow for proper lubrication of its mouth and tongue. Chameleons are insectivores, so feed them various insects such as crickets, mealworms, silkworms, dubia roaches, flies, super worms, and grasshoppers.
The fed insects should be gut-loaded and free of pesticides and other lawn chemicals as they are deadly for your chameleon. Depending on your chameleon’s age, the feeding schedule will vary. Also, remove any uneaten insects from your chameleon’s enclosure as they may attack and injure your pet.
Before feeding your chameleon, dust the insects with calcium and give it a vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure it gets proper nutrition. Also, include various vegetables and fruits in their diet.
Jackson’s chameleon is a fascinating creature, interesting to look at, and relatively easy to care for. Anyone who has the time and commitment can own Jackson’s chameleon.