Furcifer pardalis

Panther Chameleon

Author: Petr Nečas 

Climate Reference Locality Weather Forecast

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Origin: Madagascar (East/North)
Average total length: Males 15in (40cm), Females 8in (20cm)
Longevity in captivity: Up to 10 years, Average 3-5 years
Longevity in the wild: Up to 4 years
Temperature at daytime: Mid 70s F (23-26°C)
Temperature basking spot: Low 80s F (27-30°C)
Temperature at night: Maximum low 70s F (21-23°C), Ideally 60s F (15-20°C)
Humidity at daytime: 50-70%
Humidity at night: 100%, fog
Food: Insects only, No vegetables, No fruits

Indoor Housing

Size: The bigger, the better, Minimum 36x18x36in (90x45x90cm)
Cage type: Full mesh or hybrid (combination of mesh and glass or panel)
Lights: UVB source (inside or outside), Daylight source (Window or LED) (inside or outside), Heat source (outside)
Hydration: Fogger at night, Hand misting morning and evening
Ventilation: Full mesh, Small fans when using a hybrid cage and/or air is stagnant
Interior: Live plants (no fake), Natural branches (no fake vines, no ropes, no bleached wood), no substrate


UVB light source: T5 HO 12 hours a day, 5-12% according to cage height
Visible light: Full spectrum or natural light, 12 hours per day
Basking spot: Low 80s F (27-30°C), 1 hour max 2 times a day
Temperature at daytime: Mid 70s F (21-23°C)
Temperature at night: Max Low 70s F (20-22°C), Ideally 60s F (below 20°C)
Humidity at daytime: 50-70%
Humidity at night: 100%, fog
Hydration: Fogger at night, Hand misting, Dripper
Food type: Crickets, Soldier Flies, Roaches, No vegetables, No fruits
Food volume: Juveniles no limit, Adults max 2 crickets daily
Supplementation - Each meal: Plain Calcium, Bee Pollen,
Supplementation - Once in two weeks: Calcium with D3, Multivitamin
Cleaning: Clean up poop and food, remnants, sanitize hands

Sex Determination

In the Panther Chameleons, the sexes differ in many features from each other. They show the s.c. Primary sexual dimorphism, which is expressed through the presence of sexual glands (testes with ductus deferens in males and ovaries with oviducts in females) and copulatory organs (hemipenes in males, hemiclitoris in females).

The problem for sexing animals is, that some of these organs (first group) are situated in the body cavity and some (the second group) in special pockets at the base if the tail, none of them are invisible from outside.

There is a technique how to evert the hemipenis, but in young animals and in animals which are dehydrated, old or out of breeding season, it does not work reliably, plus, it might be painful for the animal and is definitely rather stressful, especially if done by an inexperienced owner, therefore not recommended.

Fortunately, there are several Secondary sexual characteristics, which allow us to define the sex rather reliably, especially in adult animals:


The male possess significantly swollen rostral crests that meet above the snout to form a concave rostral protuberance - a false horn, while the females possess a faint ridge only.


The males are much bigger than the females, they can reach up to 20in /11in resp., usually stay smaller.


The females are built more compact with smaller heads and less rugous scales


Due to the presence of male copulatory organs, hemipenes, the tail base behind cloacal is thicker/swollen in males


The conical scales on the gular crest are relatively much bigger in males


The excited males show a wide variety of colors from red through green, blue, pink, yellow, to white, while females are colored usually in tones of brown, red and pink.


For reliable sex determination, the size and colors and male swollen canthi rostrales horns are a good guidance in all ages starting 3rd month of age.

There are many color forms of the Panther Chameleons, as a rule, the females look almost same but adult males display various, often very bright colors and colorful patterns.


The left column relates always to male, the right to females
It shows the differences (top down) in:
General habitus
Head form
Tail base
Gular crest