How to look after a Jacksons chameleon
How to look after a Jacksons chameleon is for jacksons, but also hoehnellis, sternfeldis and other montane species which come from high up in mountain ranges so they experience cooler temperatures, high humidity and high levels of uv radiation. Until recently a lot of people thought that they did not require high levels uv and kept them under substandard coil tubes. I find that a 12% t5 linear tube works well with these species but a cooler basking lamp is a must. I aim for 25-27c for adult montanes depending on the size of the species in question, this will of course be lower (if used at all) for babies, until their roughly 5:6 months and decent size I avoid using basking lamps and prefer to keep ambient at 20-21c during the day with no basking lamp as they can sit under it and dehydrate when small.
Whilst offering this high level of uvb it’s important to provide lots of foliage cover for them to get away from the uv once they have had enough. Lots of live plants also helps to keep the humidity up which is another important factor in montane care. Ideally humidity should peak at 90-95% when misted then dropping off to between 50 and 60% before the enclosure is misted again. It’s important to allow the enclosure to dry out before lights out to avoid respiratory issues. Mesh enclosures are a must for these types of chameleons they require the high airflow to stop the high humidity becoming an issue.
As with all chameleon species a varied and well gutloaded diet is needed. Supplement requirements for montane species are greatly reduced I use sticky tongue farms miner all indoor twice a week and reptivite no d3 once a fortnight.
A lot of montane species are oviparous or live bearing. This is a fascinating event to witness and is quite often missed as the female will usually start laying as soon as it begins to get light. The babies can be difficult to raise with little room for error on humidity or supplementation.
Another very important factor in keeping your montane chameleon happy is a good night time temperature drop as they would experience in their natural environment. I aim to get a good 10c below the daytime temperature. This can be tricky in summer months but you must endeavour to reduce the temperature as much as possible during the night. I use a cool mist humidifying fan in front of an open window. In the very warm months I add ice cubes to the water tank which helps to bring the temperature down to a couple of degrees below even the outside temperature!
Please check out my chameleon supplement guide here https://www.prettyscaleythings.com/2020/01/15/supplement-guide-for-chameleons/ remember jacksons and other montane species need less supplements than panthers or yemens.