Panther Chameleons are awesome reptiles and awesome pets. In my opinion they don´t get enough credit for being one of the most friendly and calm reptile pets.
If you just got a panther chameleon or if you plan on getting one, of course you want to know how old a panther chameleon gets. You probably hope that it gets pretty old so that you have a very long, happy time with your new friend. Unfortunately most panther chameleons do not get that old.
In this article I am going to explain to you how long panther chameleons live, why panther chameleons most of the time do not get that old and what you can do to increase the lifespan of your panther chameleon.
How Old Do Panther Chameleons Get?
In captivity most panther chameleons only get 2 - 4 years old. Yes, only 2 to 4 years old. So why do most of them have such a short life? Is that their true life expectancy? The answer to that is - no. They can live longer than that, but not way longer. There are male panther chameleons that got 9 or 10 years old. 10 years is a very long panther chameleon life.
How To Increase Your Panther Chameleon´s Lifespan
So now you know that most panther chameleon do not get very old, but they actually can get older than that. What can you do to make sure that your panther chameleon has a very long life? What are the mistakes that most panther chameleon owners do that lead to such a short life? You are about to find out!
You Want A Panther Chameleon That Lives Very Long? Get A Male Chameleon!
It sounds a little bit harsh, but it is the truth. Male panther chameleons are known for getting older than female panther chameleons. This is mostly because most female chameleons lay eggs every year. If you think now that this is not a problem for you, because you have no male panther chameleon that could make your female chameleon lay eggs, I have to disappoint you.
Most female panther chameleons just lay unfertilized eggs every year. This process is very exhausting for the little chameleon and it really shortens it´s life expectancy. However since most people get a male panther chameleon anyway, because of the amazing colors they have, this might not be your problem.
Don´t Feed Too Much
Since we just talked about females laying eggs, there are breeders who say that feeding less will prevent your chameleon from laying eggs. Simply because when you are feeding too much, a panther chameleon still has a lot of energy left even after hunting and climbing all day. This can lead to producing unfertilized eggs. So if you have a female, this might be a way for you to make sure that it has a very long life.
However not only female panther chameleons should be fed less, the male ones too. The problem is that most chameleon keepers, or reptile keepers in general, think that the animal has to eat a lot in order to stay healthy. Very often this isn´t true. You shouldn´t feed your panther chameleon a lot. They don´t get a lot of food in the wild either.
So don´t feed too many feeder insects and don´t feed them too often. In fact, I only fed my panther chameleon four times a week only a couple of feeder insects. My chameleon was very active it´s entire life and it got 9 years old.
If you feed to much your chameleon will get fat on the inside. All the organs get fat and it will slowly kill your pet. Don´t do this.
Don´t Feed Too Big Insects
A mistake that I made as well back in the day. I bought those huge locusts and sacrificed them to my mighty panther chameleon. This was a very bad idea, which I found out later.
After doing that for a while I noticed that my panther chameleon´s poop looked weird. What I found out was disgusting and very dangerous for the chameleon. The poop wasn´t really poop, it was a complete locust. It wasn´t digested.
It sounds disgusting and it was disgusting. However this is a clear sign for a bad digestion caused by feeding too huge feeder insects. I started feeding smaller insects and everything was fine again. If I would have continued to feed this way, it would have ended badly.
Further you should feed medium sized insects because big insects can cause injuries to your panther chameleon´s mouth. Those injuries can lead to infections and such infections can lead to your panther chameleon´s death.
Get The Right Lighting
Panther chameleons love light and they actually need it to survive. As all reptiles, panther chameleons are cold-blooded creatures that need the environment to control their body temperature. If you don´t have the right lighting, if you don´t have the right temperature in your panther chameleon tank, your panther chameleon will suffer.
They need a certain temperature to be able to move, to hunt, to digest. So get a proper lighting for your panther chameleon tank. As a heat source, I recommend to get a simple bulb like this.
Besides that, panther chameleons need a source of UVB to create vitamin D3 in their bodies. Vitamin D3 is necessary to process calcium which is necessary for solid bones and growth. Without that their bones get soft and the panther chameleon will have a deformed body after a while. This disease, called metabolic bone disease, will definitely lead to your chameleon´s death. And trust me, it will suffer.
So get a good UVB bulb! Get this UVB bulb, it is known for being the best of the best UVB bulbs you can find.
Zoo Med ReptiSun
The best UVB bulb you can find on the reptile market!
Get The Right Supplements
While we are at it, you should get a good calcium supplement for your panther chameleon. You just learned why calcium and everything related to it is so important. Dust they feeder insects with calcium every time you feed your panther chameleon. Get a great calcium supplement here!
Gut Load - Do It Right!
I can´t stress it enough, gut loading is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to feeding your reptile. If you don´t know what gut loading is, it simply is feeding the feeder insects with healthy food. The feeder insects will take in a lot of vitamins which will be absorbed by your chameleon when digesting the insect.
So how to make sure that the feeder insects stay healthy and are loaded with good vitamins for your chameleon?
I recommend to get a cricket box with a cricket pen. In this box the insects will have a lot of space, they won´t attack each other and therefore will survive a long time. Feed the feeder insects with fruits and vegetables. This way they will take in the vitamins. Make sure that the food doesn´get moldy. Take it out after one day. Last but not least, feed the insects to your chameleon.
Your chameleon will get a very healthy meal every time you feed it. This will contribute to an increased life expectancy.
Chameleons are know for being stressed easily. In my opinion panther chameleons are one of the most laid back dudes in the reptile world, but still, you should avoid too much stress.
Stress is excessive handling for example. Or not having enough places to hide for your chameleon inside your panther chameleon tank. I recommend to get a ficus (for example) for your tank. There are a lot of leaves which will make your panther chameleon feel safe.
What You Should Know
If your panther chameleon shows dark colors every day it might be a sign for a bad tank setup, a disease or stress. You should check your chameleon and the tank set up thoroughly. Acting quickly can prevent suffering and worse things.
There are a lot of more things to know when it comes to keeping panther chameleons, but I wanted to give you some quick tips that will have a huge impact on your chameleon´s life expectancy.
I really hope this article helped you. If you need any help, leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.