Monthly Archives - March 2020

Chameleon Eating Habits

Chameleon Eating Habits

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We deal with chameleons refusing to eat anything but certain feeder insects to chameleons refusing to eat certain feeder insects to al out hunger strikes. Today I give an introduction to chameleon eating habits so we can understand how to work with these conditions!

The Best Resource on Chameleon Behavior

Gaping Jackson's Chameleon

Here is the link to the Chameleon Behavior section if you want to check the different behaviors and find what your chameleon has.

Chameleon Behavior


If you want to go directly to the Behavior section on eating issues, click below

Refusing to eat

Mark Scherz

Ep 138: Species Talk With Dr. Mark Scherz

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Dr. Mark Scherz comes on and talks with us about his work in defining the species of Madagascar. What makes a species? It is if they can breed or not? And how does this affect us chameleon keepers? With such subtle differences do the chameleons get confused? He fields these questions and helps us understand evolutionary biology. This is the first of two parts. In the second part, which will launch next week, we dive into the details of the new species within the Calumma nasutum group.

Mark Scherz Blog and Website hub

Mark Scherz website

Do you see all those link icons? Go to the website and click on these to find his Instagram, Tumbler, Facebook, and other digital outreaches!

Awesome Madagascar Wildlife Posters

uroplatus poster

Mark has a poster for the frogs he encountered in Madagascar and the Uroplatus he encountered. Click. above to check them out!

The Official Paper of the Episode

Calumma nasutum paper

We don't dive too deeply into the paper in the first part of the two part series but here is a sneak peak.

Squamates Podcast

squamates podcast

You know I love podcasts! Well, Mark does too and he has his own. Check it out!

chameleon keeping during a global pandemic

Chameleon Keeping During a Global Pandemic

The world is going through a tough time so I figured we may need a couple more chameleon touchpoints. So here is a daily short talk for people who enjoy podcasts. This is your daily communication from a chameleon keeper in Self-Imposed Social Isolation with a completely unofficial, informal, unscripted talk for podcast listeners. Maybe a little spirit lifting as we all support each other weathering this difficult time? Stay strong friends!

I'll just share thoughts and if you have questions you would like answered feel free to send them to and I'll do Q&A sessions! This is not in place of the official show episodes which will continue on as scheduled!

March 14, 2020, Self-Imposed Social Isolation: Working From Home

Here is a video of Italians making the best of their entire country being locked down. It is a heartwarming example of humans coming together to find a silver lining.

March 15, 2020, Self-Imposed Social Isolation: Shopping


And if you are interested in Calumma brevicorne or Trioceros melleri I have linked to the gentlemen to speak with below.

March 16, 2020, The Cracks Start to Show

SISI 3 Profile Image


So, you are wondering what a Metal cover of a Disney tune is? Feast your ears below!

March 17, 2020, Things Get More Serious

March 17 - Things get more serious

Check out the Song Salad Podcast Episode I was a guest on and the Modern Day Magic Dragon song was created in real time!

March 18, 2020, An Eerie Silence

An Eerie Silence

March 19, 2020, Productivity


March 21, 2020, Briana O'Brien Joins Me!

Briana O'Brien joins me

Briana O'Brien of Kammerflage Kreations joins me and we just talk the current events and how it is affecting us. This isn't an interview, just a discussion! We do slip in a very cool news item, but we didn't mean it! Yep, we uncovered that we are on the verge of a new branch supply company, ReptiBranch, run by Briana's husband and previous podcast guest Alec O'Brien. I'll be checking these out!

March 22, 2020, Dr. Sean McNeeley talks chameleons and coronavirus

Sean McNeeley

Dr. Sean McNeeley is on the front lines as a doctor in charge of a medical center dealing with the coronavirus preparations. He is level headed and a voice of reason. We are lucky to be able to claim him as part of the chameleon community. Today we talk about his breeding projects and get a perspective from him as to his day-to-day during this time.

March 23, 2020, Figuring out UVB for Chameleons

Figuring out UVB for Chameleons

We in the chameleon community are working to uncover the needs of chameleons with respect to UVB. We are exploring the minimum levels necessary and the psychological effects of higher levels. Today I talk about the thought process in working out these UVB mysteries.

March 24, 2020, A Reading from Mountain Dragons by Jan Stipala

Mountain Dragons Reading

Sit back, relax, and enjoy an excerpt from the forward of Jan Stipala's Mountain Dragons. Here we get a behind the scenes look at searching for chameleons in Kenya!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy you can find them available here.

Mountain Dragons

March 25, 2020, Analyzing Vitamin D3 in Chameleon Supplements

Vitamin D3 for chameleons

This episode is for people who are trying to understand vitamin D3 safe levels. I review the data we have and go over an exercise to translate that into real world supplement powder levels. There will be no quick answers here! Let's push for D3 from UVB, but let's also understand dietary D3 as much as we can. This episode is NOT for people wondering what supplement they should use. I focus in on one aspect of supplementation. This episode is for people who are wanting to understand supplementation to feel more comfortable helping people with their supplementation.

March 26, 2020, Chameleon Care Sheets

Chameleon care sheets

Care sheets are a high level summary and should be treated as such! Today I talk about how beginners should view care sheets and then speak from the of making a care sheet.

Here is a link to the page here on the Chameleon Academy where I store the care sheets. If you are a breeder and would like to pass them on to your customers feel free to do so as long as you do not modify them in any way. You can use them with the confidence that the link to the website that is on the care sheets will be constantly updated with the latest in information.

Chameleon Academy Care Sheets

March 28, 2020, Chameleon Eating Habits

Chameleon Eating Habits

We deal with chameleons refusing to eat anything but certain feeder insects to chameleons refusing to eat certain feeder insects to al out hunger strikes. Today I give an introduction to chameleon eating habits so we can understand how to work with these conditions!

March 29, 2020, Chameleon Feelings

chameleon feelings

Today I answer a question posed by Suzanne Collins who was wondering what feelings chameleons have. She wanted to make sure the chameleon she got would be happy. This is a question we will be answering for a long time. We treat things we love with human love. But this is not chameleon love and we need to learn what they need!

Here is a great resource to listen about how to identify stress in chameleons!

And here is a reference for learning what specific chameleon behaviors mean

Chameleon Behavior

March 30, 2020, Advising on Glass vs. Screen Cages for Chameleons

Mar 30 Profile Image

We all get that question "should I get a glass or screen enclosure for my chameleon?" How we answer that says a lot about us as advisors. Today I talk about how to balance your experience, the community's biases, and the enthusiasm of the person asking the question.

March 31, 2020, Selecting Chameleon Plants

Selecting chameleon plants

Where do you start when trying to figure out what plants to get for your chameleon cage? In today's episode I give you a starting point and some hints for making it work well!

But here is the PERFECT place to start!

Chameleon Cage Plants

April 1, 2020, Screen Walking Chameleons

April 1 Profile Image

Today we talk about the annoying habit chameleons tend to have of walking their screen cage sides. There are many reasons why this could be happening! Listen in and see if any of these options match your condition.

A great reference for understanding this behavior is in the Chameleon Academy behavior section!

Chameleon Behavior: Screen Walking or Glass Pawing

April 2, 2020, Advice to Enthusiastic Beginners

April 2 Profile Image

I am not sure how to title today's episode! I started off by intending to answer a question about anything I regret over the last four decades and ended up offering advice on how to grow in your chameleon journey! So, we will just have to go with it!

April 4, 2020, Crossbreeding - should we?

panther chameleon

There are a number of issues to consider when answering the question about crossbreeding in the chameleon world. There are many strong opinions out there. I give my opinion, but also present the consideration so you can make your own decision.

April 5, 2020, Spring and outdoors basking

Spring and outdoor basking for chameleons

The seasons are warming up for those of us in the Northern hemisphere and it is time to think about getting your chameleon some natural sunlight. I share some experience and advice to have that happen safely.

April 6, 2020, Female Veiled Chameleon Feeding

Female Veiled Chameleon Feeding

We are making progress in our drive to determine the feeding schedule and husbandry to maintain healthy female veiled chameleons through their lives - especially including egg laying. By controlling their diet and conditions we can reign in their body's enthusiasm for making eggs. By providing greater than ideal conditions their body creates more eggs than are healthy. As this is a more serious topic it has been given its own post. Please continue the conversation at this post:

Ep 136 Profile Image

Ep 136: Strengthening the Reptile Community

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Our place in the Reptile Community

In today’s day and age we are very familiar with community. In fact, there has been no time in history when there has been more community! We are able to tie together chameleon hobbyists, scientists, and veterinarians from around the world and share ideas and enthusiasm. This week I talk about the chameleon community and how we fit into the larger reptile community.

For all the community building the internet allows us it has a huge drawback. People end up being a screen name. If I was walking down the street and bumped into 80% of the people I interact with on social media I would not recognize them. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. We have a digital relationship which has its place and through which much can be done. But it is a shadow of what a face to face relationship can be. This is why reptiles shows and regional society get-togethers are so meaningful.

Today I want to introduce you to a special type of event, and that is the herpetological conference. These used to be common place before the internet age. They never went away, but they are once again now starting to gain some momentum and pop up back up in different corners of the globe. I’d like to suggest you consider one of these events. There are a number happening in different countries. At the release of this episode, we in the US are preparing for the Herpeton Herpetocultural Conference coming up at the end of April 2020 in San Diego, CA.  It will be four days of talks about a wide range of reptile topics with some of the most active names in the reptile community. I will be one of the speakers and will be talking on the importance of multigenerational breeders and of them leaving a digital footprint.

Herpeton Conference

Herpeton 2020

If you are within flying distance of San Diego then I invite you to join me and a host of speakers that I have looked up to throughout my reptile keeping life at Herpeton. Click the above image to go to the Herpeton website. You can register for the conference there.

And, definitely let me know if you are going to attend. I will be arranging a chameleon community get together so we can make our connections. Yes, it is important that we get to know other communities, but we ought to do that within our community too! And, heck, maybe we can do a goodwill outreach and do something nice for the leopard gecko people. You know, maybe a cricket gift pack or something. Check out for registration information. They sold out last year and so I am encouraging my listeners to sign up early for the completely selfish reason that I want a lot of chameleon people there. That way Allen has no choice but to schedule more chameleon speakers for the 2021 conference!

USARK - Protecting the rights of Herpetoculturists


USARK, the United States Association of Reptile Keepers, is fighting for our rights to keep reptiles and amphibians in the United States. I will be looking into organizations in Europe to highlight so that we can get a sense for our community as a global community. But for those in the US, you do not realize how under attack we are until you go to the USARK home page and read the long list of legislations that are being fought every day across the country. Please visit for a sobering look at what is going on. This is the reason why we need to be aware and be willing to financially support this organization. Without it, we will be defenseless. Once you look at this page you will realize how much is going on without us even knowing about it.

dew on chameleon plant leaves

Keeping Plants Watered

I’ll bring in experts to help us really dial in our plant skills, but I can cover one of the biggest killers of cage plants – dehydration. One thing that seems counterintuitive is when we look at our cage covered in water droplets from the misting we do every day and then our plants die. One thing to check off the top is whether any water is getting to the roots. Pothos is the biggest victim of this because they have such big leaves that are so beautiful at catching the mist! But they are so dense that the water does not necessarily make it to the soil. This is the main reason why a chameleon habitat can be perfectly healthy for chameleons, but deadly for plants. It may be that only the chameleon is getting a drink!

Check the soil moisture!

dry soil in goldfish plant

This GoldFish Plant gets misted every day and you can see the dew on the leaves. But a close look at the soil shows that there is no water that gets to the roots! This Goldfish Plant will die of dehydration while, all the while, providing water to your chameleons.

dry soil in pothos

The greatest victim of dry soil is our favorite chameleon cage plant - the Pothos. The reason why it is so effective as a chameleon cage plant is the huge leaves. Unfortunately, those large and dense leaves can easily shield the soil from any misting. This picture shows this exact dynamic. Notice all the dew on the leaves and the completely dry soil!

The Solution: Extra Watering For the Plants!

watering can

A simple garden watering can can be the solution to all the watering issues. Watering the plants thoroughly once a week with a watering can should solve most of the watering issues.

Dripper on top of cage

Sometimes with all the network branches in our cages it is difficult to reach the plants in back with a watering can. So a strategic placement of a dripper on top of the cage can reach those trouble areas. The slow drip is actually better for parched soil than the flow from a watering can. You can fill a dripper and put it above a different plant each day. That way you provide water for your chameleon and keep your cage green at the same time.

water squirt bottle

Another way to get at difficult plants is with a squirt bottle. This can go through branches or even a screen cage wall!


If you are having trouble keeping plants alive check the soil. Too dry and too wet are both problems. If it is too dry then the above solutions can be used. If too wet, then you'll have to move the plant, increase the drainage in the plant pot, or decrease the misting sessions. There aren't always easy solutions. If you need help with plants dying then this is the post to hang out at!

Chameleon podcast episode 135

Ep 135: Season 5 Kick-Off

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First Order of Business! The name of the podcast has changed!

Podcast Name change

Yes, the podcast name has changed from the Chameleon Breeder Podcast to the Chameleon Academy Podcast. I will be slowly transitioning all the previous episode show notes to this Chameleon Academy website. The website will still be active, but it will start redirecting people to this website for the episode show notes that I have transitioned. It will be a HUGE job so it will take a while! But, to be clear, you are able to listen to all the episodes, from 1 to 135 here at this time!


The iPhone app will be changing to the Chameleon Academy branding. There is nothing that you need to do at this time. Just be prepared for a different look to come when the app is refreshed!

NEW! There will be an Android app in the next few weeks. It is has been commissioned and development is ongoing. I will announce it when it is available, of course!

Welcome to Season 5 of the Chameleon Academy Podcast!

We have a great season ahead! In today's podcast I talk about the direction we will be going. I will have the standard wide range of episode topics that you are used to, but we will be hitting certain topics hard to try and get some results in our personal husbandry! If you have already listened to the podcast and are here wondering what the next step is then you have come to the right place! The two themes we will work on are Keeping Plants Alive and Understanding UVB.

Plants Alive! Keeping your chameleon cage green!

accent plants for a chameleon cage

In the Plants Alive! challenge you have the opportunity to select a personal goal for 2020 which relates to your level of plant experience. The object is for all of us to level up in 2020. Whether that means just keeping plants alive at all or becoming an expert on one species you are specifically interested in. We will be doing it all together on the Chameleon Academy Facebook page so we can all benefit from each other. I have a post dedicated to this challenge so you can get the details and get started with choosing your goal here: Plants Alive! Challenge.  And what if you don't have a goal or want to be doing this just yet? Well, feel free to drop by the Chameleon Academy Facebook page and just watch us with our projects!

Campaign to Understand UVB

UVI 3 at basking branch

We will also be focusing our efforts on learning about UVB. My goal is to provide clear, understandable presentations in all media types so UVB will be a more understood topic in the community. There is nothing for you to do at this time other than wait for regular educational outreach and just study the material presented! If you are anxious and want to jump in immediately then there are a number of educational opportunities available. We have been studying UVB for a number of years! The first thing to do is jump on over to the Replicating the Sun page in the academy and get those concepts under your belt.

Herpeton Conference

Herpeton 2020

Click the above image to go to the Herpeton website. You can register for the conference there. Take a look! I was there last year and was very much looking forward to going this year. I was then asked if I would be willing to talk about chameleons at the conference and, of course, I was honored to do so. So I will be there representing the chameleon community and would love to have a chameleon community get-together one of the evenings. Please let me know if you are going!

Arcadia ProT5 UVB light fixtures

John Courteney-Smith, MRSB, the Head of Science and Innovation at Arcadia Reptile joins me to talk about his new UVB fixture. Arcadia produces high quality UVB lights and it is encouraging that they are now producing a fixture to drive those lamps....although they have been doing it for years in the European market! So, this is the first tie us across the pond are enjoying the benefit of their expertise. I am excited to test these fixtures. Although I had one of the smaller products to look at during the interview I received my production lamps just a few days ago before the release of this episode. My excitement lies in the fact that it is exceedingly difficult to find out what protection circuitry is in the fixtures available to us so we can't know which ones will drive our light properly and which ones will shorten the effective life.  I, of course, will share my personal testing results!

At this time, you can find the ProT5 lights at LightYour and Reptile Basics in the US. Apparently, they are already in wide spread availability in Europe!

You can learn more about the ProT5 light fixtures at the Arcadia website