Some specimens of these panther chameleons have been known to grow up to 20 inches in length. Males and females of this species can be readily distinguished from one another due to sexual dimorphism. Approximately half the size and duller in color of males are found in females.
The panther chameleon’s hue, which varies from vivid blue to orange to red to green, depends on their geographic location. Their underlying coloring is characterized by a broad range of spotting, striping, and patterning.
Panther Chameleons: Appearance
panther chameleons are Brightly colored reptiles and highly sought-after in the pet trade. The diverse color patterns of these chameleons are usually referred to as “locales,” called for the geographical place in which they are found. Their coloration varies with location.
Bright blue, red, green, or orange are possible colors for panther chameleons. Between and among regions, there are a plethora of various color phases and patterns. No matter where they are located, females always remain tan and brown with touches of pink, peach, or bright orange; nevertheless, there are subtle variations in patterns and hues among the many color phases. In this species, the males are bigger and have more vivid colors than the females.
Habits and Lifestyle
The panther chameleon is a lonesome and fiercely protective animal. Males may inflate their body and change color as they come into contact in an effort to show who is superior. At this point, most confrontations conclude with the loser retreating and changing to dull, dark colors. Panther chameleons spend their days foraging in the trees and looking for insects.
Panther chameleons can quickly extend their extremely long tongues out of their mouths—sometimes longer than their own bodies. The tongue strikes the victim in around 0.0030 seconds after extending at a speed of about 26 body lengths per second. A suction cup-shaped, muscular structure covered in viscous mucus grows at the tip of this elastic tongue. When the tip of the panther chameleon finds a piece of prey, it pulls it swiftly back into its mouth, where its powerful jaws crush it and swallow it.
Panther chameleons are polygynous, which means that multiple females can mate with a single male. Although it depends on the locale, breeding typically takes place around January through May.
Females change to a dark brown or black color with orange stripes when they are carrying eggs, indicating to males that they do not intend to mate. Due of physical strain, females typically only survive two to three years (i.e., five to eight clutches) after laying eggs. Depending of what they consume during the development stage, females can lay anywhere from 10 to 40 eggs in a clutch.
Normally, eggs are laid in burrows that have been dug and hatch after 240 days. Hatchlings weigh between 0.25 and 0.75 g at birth and are autonomous. At least seven months are required for them to reach reproductive maturity.
Diet of the Panther Chameleon
The main source of food for panther chameleons is insects because they are insectivores. They can see tiny insects up to thirty feet away thanks to their exceptionally sharp vision. Similar to slingshots, these animals use their extraordinarily lengthy tongues. An excellent mechanism for capturing insects and returning them to the lizard’s mouth is the tongue’s suction cup and mucous layer near the tip.
Distribution of the Panther Chameleon
The range of habitat for these chameleons is extremely small. Only the island of Madagascar is home to them; specifically, the northeast and northern tip of the island are where you may find them. They are native to Madagascar. If you’re not in Madagascar, you can find them as pets in homes all around the world and as invasive species on Mauritius and Reunion.
Panther Chameleon Care
Ensuring their enclosure has enough vertical room is the most crucial part of caring for these chameleons. They need plenty of room to climb because they are arboreal. It is crucial to provide a diverse range of foliage, vines, and branches.
Your breeder or veterinarian will advise you on how to maintain the right temperature, light, and humidity levels for them. As they are able to consume a variety of insects, vary the way they are fed. Among the insects that are frequently fed are stickbugs, roaches, hornworms, silkworms, crickets, and super worms.
Behavior of the Panther Chameleon
Because panther chameleons are diurnal, the daytime hours are when they are most active. They forage for insects in the trees throughout the day. They dwell in the trees rather than on the ground because they are arboreal.
Because they patrol and defend their areas from other males, males are especially territorial. The most productive territories, with a diverse range of food sources, belong to the largest males.