Care and maintenance for the camaleon (III) | Pet care.

Diet

Currently the chameleons power is no longer a problem. A range of different insects for chameleonscan be purchased at any pet store that is dedicated to reptiles. It should not be fed with insects captured in nature because the risk of possible contamination with insecticides, as well as for ecological reasons
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The cheapest way to get live food is to raise it yourself, although this may be an activity that requires a lot of dedication and that often requires plenty of space, as well as an initial investment in vessels and food for insects. However, if you raise your own insects, you will know the good and the nutrient which will be the live food that provides their chameleons. Since the assortment of insects that you can be bred in captivity is low compared with the number that are in nature, should pay special attention to Chameleon a varied and complete diet. Only so they can have a balanced diet.
There are many books about the breeding of live food, but there are none about "rational food parenting", because many of the descriptions in the literature are very complicated and laborious for the normal fan of reptiles.
A cheap type of live food that can serve as a supplement to the main living meal (crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches) consists of large flies. The easiest way to get a pet is buy a pack of larvae in a shop selling fishing bait and keep them in a warm place so the larvae pass into State of pupa or Chrysalis, which after 14 days emerged flies. The flies are then kept in plastic containers (with a volume of about 3 liters, at least) for at least three days and are fed with a mixture of molasses, powdered milk, cereals for children and water drinking vitaminizada. Finally they are fortified with a supplement of vitamins and minerals and are given as food to the chameleons. Some species of chameleons go literally crazy by flies.
Excellent live food is green cockroach (other species may be used, but there are possibilities of leaks and contamination so that it is appropriate to use a delicate, more tropical species if any accident occurs), because in certain circumstances can simplify the maintenance of the chameleons. The colony of green cockroaches (possibly of the species Panchlora) is maintained in a terrarium perfectly closed with a substrate of vegetable soil or cat litter of about 10 cm of depth. This substrate has to be always wet. You must be careful when working in the breeding container, because adult cockroaches can fly. On the substrate you put one or two containers of eggs and some shells of banana, which must be changed once a week. In addition, should always give them something of honey. There are many more cockroaches, so many shells of banana or banana pieces should be. You always have to remove the old food, because there is a danger that multiply the mites in the breeding container. You have to keep constant temperature at 38 ° C. The reproductive cycle is very long, but your patience will be rewarded because you will get a very appreciated and attractive live food. You should give them to chameleons with tweezers or a needle of dissection. Parenting is not as productive as it is with other species of cockroaches.
Chameleons generally eat all kinds of live insects, including crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, flies, moths, mealworms, moscarda, black beetle larvae larvae, slugs, isopods, and spiders. As first food for a baby Chameleon is (Drosophila) fruit flies and crickets of smaller size. Some large species of chameleons eat newborn mice. Some live foods cannot be instead recommended, for obvious reasons. For example, females of Chamaeleo pardalis eat tastefully small species of gecko. A captive female Chameleon Panther gue view eating young of Epipedobates tricolor. Chamaeleo fischeri eats small copies of anOLE. True lizards eaters, as Chamaeleo brevicornis and Chamaeleo melleri, will not escape a gecko. Known as the veiled Chameleon, Chamaeleo Chameleon, come Bradypodion pumilum in captivity. In several regions of Madagascar native lso put in their gardens and mansions specimens of Chamaeleo oustaleti pests eat.

The feeding problems

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Unfortunately, some species of chameleons are very demanding with food when they are in captivity. After a brief transition period, it is possible to reject any type of food, except her favorite foods. Never should you let things get to this end. The problem can be avoided by giving the animals a diet as varied as possible. Almost all chameleons like green insects. Until individuals more squeamish to eat, as they tend to be the animals that have to be imported, transferred to the view of a green cockroach or a green grasshopper. Chameleons eat daily, with a day of fasting by week. The amount of food required depends on each species.
It is often said that the chameleons in captivity suffer from obesity problems. However, when these claims are investigated, it is often that the animals in question, perhaps due to the fact that they have drunk little water, have developed fat in the kidneys or something, then dying as a result. We know only a few cases of true chameleonsobesity, caused by excess of vitamins. In one case the animal had been so obese that bone had grown distorted. In general, species of slow movements have more tendency to obesity than more active species. Regarding obesity, should be especially careful with the females. As a general rule, the chameleons eat only what they need.
Based on our observations, time more favourable to feed to the chameleons of land it is in the morning, and for true chameleons is in the afternoon, when the chameleons have warmed enough. The large chameleons have to get used to tongs with which the food given to them or the feeder which can hunt down insects. Not all copies are accustomed to this, and with very shy animals should leave the insects living in the terrarium for chameleons can hunt them to your liking. With small species and small animals, cast inside the terrarium a quantity adequate Drosophila or small crickets once per day.
Unfortunately, there are occasions in which the chameleons have to be force fed. With many species this is relatively easy. In the Chameleon is removed from the terrarium opens his mouth, and can get food or medicine in the back of the maw. If the animal does not open the mouth willingly, it is possible to irritate him rubbing her snout, beating her mouth or squeezing it slightly eyes to force him to open his mouth. If Chameleon persists in rejecting the food, can put you to view one of their fellow human beings. If this is not successful, you should leave quiet the animal.
It is said frequently that the chameleons they exclusively eat insects, or at least which are carnivorous. This is not true. Henkel shot a Chamaeleo brevicornis nature freely grazing the yellow flowers of a shrub. In the terrarium, Seume was the first to observe to a Chamaeleo lateralis regularly eating leaves of Zebrina pendula. Our initial suspicion that this was only a fact isolated a copy of Chameleon was not confirmed. The same plant is regularly eaten by other chameleons Panther and carpet. We can therefore recommend to Zebrina pendula as very suitable plant for the terrarium. In addition, there has also been to the Chamaeleo brevicornis eating leaves of fern in the terrarium. The examination of the contents of the stomach of chameleons wild has also revealed the presence of plant remains and seeds. This shows that you need to study the issue more thoroughly.

Supplements

We now turn to an issue that is often discussed in the literature; supplements of calcium and vitamins. Avoid copying many common formulas and instead briefly describe our own formula for the benefit of those who do not yet have one. Anyone who has taken and bred chameleons successfully for years should continue to use its own formula, because there is certainly not a universal formula.
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All - and we really mean everyone, without exception - animals that serve as food for the chameleons should be well covered with a mixture of calcium and vitamins. In addition, every week is given to chameleons up to 5 drops - according to the size of a polivitaminico liquid compound, directly in the mouth. To drinking water (in small chameleons and young, to the water that is sprayed) adds les more polivitaminico liquid, a teaspoon of tea of Calcium Gluconate for each five litres of water, and less than a drop of iodine solution twice per week. In addition, the chameleons must have a dish with coat of arms of cuttlefish or a supplement of calcium for reptiles. Seen examples of chameleons eating calcium actively and repeatedly.

Water

Basically, we satisfy the needs of the chameleons with spraying water. There are only two exceptions. Larger animals, from the size of a Chamaeleo lateralis adult (total length about 15 cm), are given water with a pipette twice per week. To the chameleons not drinking water voluntarily we sprinkle them water directly in the mouth. The animals in quarantine terrariums there to give them water at hand, because you don't want to spray them to avoid that autocontagiarse with pathogens. To the chameleons in quarantine should give water on alternate days. Have you become accustomed to use a separate pipette for each Chameleon and clean it every time you use it. Only thus the spread of disease can be avoided. Not forget to put a drinking fountain for the chameleons. Many are accustomed to drinking water in a trough or container. On the other hand, some chameleons drink only water current, apart from drops. This has proven to be very useful the use of a source for Interior (used for installations of hidrocultura). Also many chameleons drink water dripping. Use a jar type IV (are available in hospitals) emptied and the appropriate regulator in infusion. The bottle is filled with water and hangs on the terrarium, after infusion controller attaches and adjusts to the speed of dripping. It is not necessary for water to drip all day; an hour at dusk is enough. Unfortunately, there are usually not enough space on the top of the terrarium and also the room in which the terrarium is just having the appearance of an intensive care unit. Some chameleons can get used to drinking water in automatic feeders that are sold to small animals, but unfortunately there are very few. Anyway, you may want the owner do some tests.
Some advice about plants. There are plants, such as some ferns, favoring the formation of big drops in the bottom of the foliage after spraying, since drops are hanging from the leaves for a fairly long time. These plants are especially suitable for terrariums. Almost all chameleons like to drink in the leaves. Unfortunately, also like to defecate there, causing the plants rot.
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