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talk to the frog / Care Sheets / Rudis Chameleon (Trioceros sternfeldi)
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1842 posts

# Posted: 20 Nov 2010 03:07 · Edited by: Sandy_Bear

Common Name : Rudis Chameleon

Other Common Names : Mountain Dwarf Chameleon

Species Scientific Name : Trioceros sternfeldi

Former Species Scientific Name :
Chameleo rudis

Origin : Tanzania

Enclosure Size : Recommended cage size 18 x 18 x 36 (50 gallons). Vertical set up required. A fairly active species that will utilize as much space as given. Tank must be heavily planted, and many “hides” should be provided should the Rudis Chameleon become startled. A tank with good ventilation should be provided for the Rudis Chameleon.

Substrate : None is required as this is an arboreal species. Substrates may be added to help increase the humidity in the tank, however should be changed very often to avoid bacterial problems for the Rudis Chameleon. I recommend changing the substrates every two weeks. Any live plants added to the terrarium should be washed clean of their original planing soil, and re-potted in coco-fibre, or “sterilized soil”. (To sterilize soil, a small amount can be placed in a microwave safe dish, add some water to it to make the soil very wet. Microwave on high for a few minutes until temperatures are +82 C (180 F) or higher. For large amounts of soil, place in a turkey roaster a large amount of soil, add water, bake for a couple of hours until the internal temperature reaches +82C (180F) or higher. Allow sterile dirt to cool to room temperature before replanting with it.)

Temps : 65F-80F; 65-70 in the “cool spot” and 80 in the “basking spot”

Humidity : 80-90% (never let it drop below 70%)

Lighting : Full Spectrum: UVB 5.0. 12 hour day-night cycle is needed also

Diet :
Insects (babies: fruit flies, pinhead crickets-1/8” crickets; Adults: small crickets, moths, small caterpillars, etc)
Juveniles are to be fed daily, adults every other day.
Cup feeding is discouraged when more then one Rudis Chameleon lives in the same tank. Tongue and bite injuries can occur when more then one chameleon is trying to eat the same insect.

Water : Mist four times a day, Rudis Chameleons will lick the water droplets off of plants. Rudis Chameleons should be misted for at least 5 minutes at a time. Some need to be misted for long periods of time before they will start to drink the droplets.

Life Span : 5-10 Years if properly cared for

Average Adult Sizes for both sexes : 3 1/2” SVL or 7” long

Supplements : lightly dusted every other feeding. Be careful not to over supplement food items, you can poison your Rudis Chameleon that way.

Sexing : females are more green, males have more blueish and yellows. Females tend to be a little bit larger then males.

Breeding : This is a live bearing species of Chameleon. Gestation is approximately 4 months. New born babies are less then an inch long.
Couples will breed 5-7 times before the female becomes gravid and rejects the males advances.

Diurnal or Nocturnal : Diurnal

Tank Maintenance : Tank should be cleaned with a 3% bleach solution. Put Rudis Chameleon in a separate container while cleaning. Should be spot cleaned weekly, should be properly cleaned monthly.

Tank Mates : Rudis Chameleons can be housed in groups of 1 male with a few females. Never house males together as fighting may occur. Several females may be housed together. The more chameleons you house in one tank, then larger the tank will need to be. It is preferable by most Chameleon keepers to keep 1 Chameleon per cage. Never mix different species of chameleons together or other exotic reptiles or amphibians with your Chameleon.

Handling : The Rudis Chameleon, like all chameleons, are a hands-off species. Rudis Chameleons are ornamental, just like fish. They will tolerate minimal handling if it is necessary, such as tank cleaning, or a health check up. Handling causes a lot of stress on chameleons, so do not do it often.
Also should you need to handle your Rudis Chameleon, make sure you wash your hands well before and after handling the animal.

Similar Care Chameleons : Read up on the care for Jackson's Chameleons, their care is similar to the Rudis Chameleons.

Common Health Problems:

Mouth Rot : Keep an eye for Mouth Rot. This condition can become very serious, very quickly and can lead to death. Consult a veterinarian right away. Keep an over the counter brand of mouth rot or rot guard type product until you can get in to see the veterinarian. Mouth rot takes a long time to cure, and you don't want it to progress worse in the mean time.
Mouth rot is a pocket of puss that causes the area around the mouth/tooth area to become red and swollen. Your chameleon will probably be hungry but not want to eat due to the pain that is caused in the mouth. The puss from Mouth Rot will have a cottage cheese and gooey appearance.
Mouth rot is a bacterial problem that is easily preventable; keep the terrarium clean, address minor injuries (like a scratch) right away so the injury does not become a major problem later. But most importantly, make sure that the terrarium is clean, well ventilated, and has proper humidity and temperatures.

Eye Issues : Symptoms are discharge, swelling or cloudiness. Check the lighting on your terrarium. Improper lighting can irritate the eyes of your Rudis Chameleon. Next get a magnifying glass out and examine the eyes of your Rudis Chameleon, you are checking for debris that may be causing irritation. Take an oral syringe and fill it with dechlorinated water and flush the eye out.
Supplement your feeders with Beta-carotene supplements and leafy green vegetables.

Tummy Trouble : caused by bacteria or parasites. Symptoms often include stool that is runny, smelly, caked/smeared around the vent area and a loss of appetite. Consult a veterinarian that is trained to deal with exotics asap!
Wild Caught (WC) animals are more likely to arrive with a heavy parasite load. If you purchase a WC animal, you should bring it to the vet with a fecal, so the vet can check the Rudis Chameleon for parasites and treat him immediately.
Feeding wild insects, as opposed to farm bred insects, will increase your Rudis Chamelons' risk of being affected by parasites. If you decide to feed WC insects, you should bring fecal samples to your vet to check for parasites several times a year.

MBD : Metabolic Bone Disease, which is caused by a lack of calcium (or the inability to absorb it) and insufficient UVB lighting. Prolonged mistreatment will lead to deformities and soft bones. Swollen limbs and lethargy are common symptoms. UVB bulbs only last 6 months, so make sure that they are changed twice a year. Consult your exotics vet ASAP!

Respiratory Disease : This is caused by not having proper gradient temperatures in the habitat. A basking spot of 80F and a cool spot dropping down to 65-70F is a must. Symptoms often include swollen eyes, difficulty breathing and a runny nose, this is due to the habitats temperature being too cold. Make sure that you have 2 reliable thermometer in the terrarium, one for the cool end, and one for the basking area. Adjust your temperatures accordingly. Bring the Rudis Chameleon to your vet to make sure that his health has not been permanently damaged.

Signs of a healthy happy animal :

Consistent behaviour
Clear, alert eyes
Shows colours changing from dull to bright
Healthy Skin
Eats and drinks normally
Well formed droppings, clear vent
Full, slightly rounded body and tail
Clear nostrils; breaths easily.

Signs of an unhealthy animal :

Sunken eyes
Dull or brown coloration for more then two days
Bumps, soars or abrasion on skin
Runny droppings, or red streaks in droppings for more then two days
Eating or drinking less: noticeable weight loss
Discharge from eyes, nose or mouth
Swollen joints
Paralysis of limbs or tail

Always bring your Rudis Chameleon to the vet if you are unsure about their health or behaviour!
This care sheet is not a substitute for a veterinarians opinion.

1842 posts
1842 posts

# Posted: 20 Nov 2010 03:17

Chameleon Checklist :

Home :
Appropriate Size Screen Enclosure (Exoterra Flexarium, Exoterra Screen Terrarium, ZooMed Repti-Breeze) or Glass Terrarium (Exoterra or ZooMed or similar)
Reptile Carpet, coco-fibre, or bark bedding
Live, non-toxic plants (or artificial)
Natural or artificial climbing branches of varying sizes
Misting spray bottle or Fogger
Reptile cage hygrometer and thermometer
A water bowl, (to help increase humidity, not for drinking)

Food & Water :

Feeder Insects, (crickets, meal worms, wax worms, butter worms, roaches, etc)
Cricket Keeper, Cricket Food & Gel
Supplements: Vitamin & Minerals, Calcium, & Calcium with D3
Water Dechlorinator (Prime)
Drip watering system

Lighting & Heat :
Daylight UVA/UVB bulb and fixture (5.0 UVB bulb)
Basking Spot lamp and fixture (low wattage, start with 25 watts)

Extras :
Good book(s) about chameleons
Join a good forum about chameleons:
“Chameleon Forums”

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