Jackson's Chameleon Care Guide (Chamaeleo jacksonii xantholophus)
Jackson's chameleons are great for all levels of chameleon keepers. They are live-bearing and easy to reproduce.
Jackson's Chameleon Size
Jackson's chameleon hatchlings are 3 to 4 inches when born. Adult females are about 7 to 8 inches in full length, and males are 8 to 10 inches. Some males can reach up to a foot in length.
Jackson's Chameleon Life Span
Male Jackson's chameleon to live eight to 10 years, females will live approximately four to five years.
Jackson's Chameleon Caging and Substrate
As with all chameleon species, we recommend your chameleons be housed separately in screen cages that are a minimum 18x18x24 per chameleon. Housing reptiles individually are the best way to reduce the stress of captivity.
We recommend using any nontoxic plants that are suitable, along with sticks of various sizes. We use large wood chips that are too large to be accidentally consumed, you can also use paper towels or a cage carpet as the bedding. Remove feces, dead insects weekly or as needed. Once a month, remove the chameleon and decoration to give the enclosure a thorough cleaning using a reptile-safe disinfectant.
Jackson's Chameleon Lighting and Temperature
Recommended daytime temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, nighttime temperatures can drop to around 60-65 degrees. Use a UVB full spectrum bulb as well as a heat bulb. Place branches for basking 4 to 6 inches away from the heat lamp, this will keep the chameleons from getting too close to the heat lamp, and prevent burns.
Exposure to natural sunlight is beneficial to chameleons. When chameleons are outside, be careful not to leave unattended. And if the chameleon turns light in color or begins panting or gasping, This is a sign of heat stress, and you should move it to the shade and hydrate.
Jackson's Chameleon Food
Jackson's chameleons will eat crickets, wax worms, butter worms, roaches, mealworms, and phoenix worms. It is best to provide a varied diet of high-quality insects. Also, be sure to "Dust" the food 2-3 times a week with a vitamin/calcium powder to ensure proper bone growth and overall health.
Offer no more than 6 to 8 insects per feeding. Feed Daily. Each food item should not be larger than the space between the chameleon's eyes. We prefer to feed in the cage, which allows chameleons to hunt and get exercise. A hanging feeding dish placed under a branch for easy access is also fine.
Jackson's Chameleon Hydration
The humidity should be around 50 to 80 percent. Don't struggle to try to raise the humidity in a screen cage as it'll never work, focus instead on spraying/misting the cage and plants to 2-3 times daily to provide plenty of drinking opportunities. A well-hydrated chameleon will possess full eyes, skin, and casque (top of the head). Offering water before feeding will ensure that the tongue is lubricated and functioning properly. Puffing out their eyes and rubbing them on a branch is entirely normal and how they clean them.
Jackson's Chameleon Breeding
At approximately 1-year-old, Jackson's chameleon will be ready to breed. You Can place the female into the male's enclosure and allow them to breed for 2-3 days. If the male seems disinterested, show him another male or his own mirror image, you can also offer a "rainstorm" to stimulate breeding.
Jacksons Chameleons give live birth with gestation lasting seven to eight months for the first babies. After which, another clutch will be born every three months after that. Reintroduce the female to the male's cage about two weeks after she gives birth to keep her stored sperm counts high.