Jackson's chameleon: description, photo, care, content
Jackson's chameleon (lat. Outwardly, it resembles a small fairy dragon decorated with three horns, therefore it is also called a three-horned chameleon.
The species was first described in 1896 by the British zoologist George Bulenger and named after Frederick Jackson, Kenya's first governor, zoologist and tireless explorer of the African continent.
Jackson's chameleons live in moist forests in Tanzania, southern and central Kenya. They can be found at altitudes from 1600 to 2400 m above sea level. Currently, 3 subspecies of this lizard are known. In 1972, 36 specimens of the subspecies Trioceros jacksoni xantholophus were introduced into Hawaii for commercial purposes. However, after a long journey, they were so in poor condition that the owner of the pet shop took pity on them and let them die in nature.
Once free, the surviving chameleons quickly acclimatized and gave rise to a new population. Later they were brought to Florida, where they also took root well. Now in the Hawaiian Islands, these creatures are protected by law and cannot be taken outside the islands.
Description, size, life span
The color is green, but can change it depending on the state and mood. On the head there are three horns (three-horned chameleon): one straight and thick (rostral horn) and two bent. Females do not have horns. The back is sawtooth, the tail is flexible and serves to cling to branches.
Hatched chameleons are 5-7 cm in size. Females grow up to 18-20 cm, and males up to 25-30 cm. Life expectancy is up to 10 years, however, females live much less, from 4 to 5 years.
This is due to the fact that females bear cubs 3-4 times a year, and this is a lot of stress, reducing life expectancy. So, if you decide to buy a Jackson chameleon, then it is better to stop on the male, he lives much longer.
Lifestyle and behavior.
Given chameleonis arboreal and moves mainly along tree branches. Despite his slowness, he can quickly get to the place of interest to him.
The day begins with sunbathing to boost metabolism.. This specificity, by the way, is due to the fact that the chameleon tolerates daily temperature fluctuations well. During the day, the optimum temperature is around 28 ° C. Whereas at night the chameleon easily experiences a drop in the thermometer to the level of 4–3 ° С.
Next animalshunt during the day.
Males are also forced to guard their territory. They try to push uninvited competitors with horns from a branch. In addition, these lizards use their teeth during the struggle for territory.
Females do not show such aggression
In the natural environment, chameleons have quite a few enemies. Avoid the danger of being eaten by camouflage.These reincarnation masters can merge with the background of almost any environment.
Home Maintenance: Terrarium Design
Professional reptile breeders speak of Jackson's chameleon as one of those reptiles that will suit a novice too. But the content will be successful only with strict adherence to some simple rules. These are territorial animals. It is categorically impossible to settle two males in one terrarium. Such experiments never end successfully, chameleons fight until one of them dies. It is acceptable to keep a couple, but in this case the chance of having offspring will noticeably decrease. A single chameleon content is preferred. They do not experience the inconvenience of lack of communication.
The terrarium needs a vertical, with a height of at least a meter. Width and depth - approximately 60-80 cm. Be sure to set a vertical snag or piece of wood bark so that the pet can walk. Mandatory shading. Chameleons sometimes like to hide. You can do with artificial greens, but living looks more beautiful and regulates humidity. Dracaena or ficus is suitable for planting in the ground (both plants are poisonous, but the pet will not bite them). UV lamp is a mandatory attribute of a terrarium. Jackson's chameleon is viviparous, they need ultraviolet rays. A special lamp for reptiles is perfect, with which you can solve the issue of heating. Twice a day, the pet’s home should be moistened with a spray bottle. The substrate is not needed. You can cover the bottom with plain paper, this will facilitate cleaning.
You can feed Jackson's horned chameleon with feed insects, bloodworms, special reptile food, which includes valuable additives. Feel free to treat your pet with local insects: cockroaches, larvae, crickets. It is important that the size of the prey does not exceed the distance between the eyes of the chameleon.
According to this indicator, you can safely navigate, selecting insects for feeding. Cricket - a delicacy for reptiles bio-onto.ru House cricket frozen and canned. Remember: in the natural environment of Jackson's chameleon, torrential rains are frequent, air humidity does not fall below 50%. Without enough moisture, your animal will suffer, get sick and may even die.
Heating and lighting
The recommended temperature during the day is 27 degrees, at night it can drop to 16 degrees. At the top of the terrarium, you need to place a heating lamp and a UV paw, so that the chameleon can bask under it.
During the day, the chameleon will move from the heating zone to a cooler zone, and adjust the body temperature in this way. The temperature under the lamps is up to 35 degrees, but make sure that the lamps are not too close to avoid burns.
UV rays are very important for viviparous chameleons, so a UV lamp is a must. You can also take it to the sun during the summer, just watch its condition. If it has become very light, stained or hisses, transfer it to the shadow, these are signs of overheating.
In the habitats of the Jackson chameleon, it rains throughout the year, air humidity 50-80%. The terrarium should be sprayed from the spray twice a day, the branches and the chameleon itself. Necessarily need a drinker and artificial waterfall, or a system to automatically maintain humidity.