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How Long Do Panther Chameleons Live?

If you are a fan of panther chameleons you may be wondering how long they live, and the best way to care for them (Click here to see my best enclosures for Panther Chameleons to keep them happy), but how long can they live?

How long do panther Chameleons live? They live 7 to 8 years on average. However, females are expected to live less than this mainly because of laying eggs (more on this later). How they are treated makes a big difference in their life expectancy, as you can expect.

Now that you know roughly how long they live, let me go on to explain why the female is not expected to live as long, how breeding affects their life, how long till they get their colors and much more.

Why do Females live a shorter life, on average?

female panther chameleons life span

female panther chameleons life span

As discussed earlier panther chameleons can live 7 to 8 years. However, like us humans, how we treat our bodies plays a big factor in that. Therefore you can expect a well looked after panther to live longer, remember the figure I stated is an average.

I also mentioned that females live younger, on average. This is because their bodies receive a lot more stress. Mainly due to breeding. They breed every year and this takes a toll on their bodies.

The interesting fact about females, and life expectancy. Is the stress their bodies with breeding even if there is not a male around, really? Yes, really.

This is because, even if there is not a male to fertilize their eggs, they just go ahead and lay the unfertilized eggs.

How long until a Panther gets its colors?

With a relatively short life, you may be wondering how long they take to get those beautiful colors that you may have heard about.

It will take at least 18 months for them to get these colors. However, it can be quite confusing for some owners. Why? Because by the age of approx 6 months they will be displaying some lovely vibrant colors.

And, you may be fooled into thinking that they have fully developed their colors. But, this is not the case. They are not fully there yet. Again, in a few more months, say about 9 or 10 months, you may be fooled again for similar reasons. But, until they are at least 18 months, they have not fully developed their colors.

How often should they be fed?

So far you have learned how long panthers live for and why the female has the raw deal. But, what about feeding them, to keep them happy and maximizing their life expectancy?

According to this site, they should not be fed too much. This may sound like a weird thing to say, I guess. But, they suggest that in the wild, they cannot guarantee regular food, due to the restraints of hunting, etc.

Therefore in captivity, it is not recommended to overfeed them. Therefore, the recommendation is approx four times a week.

How often do Panthers lay eggs?

Earlier we talked briefly about how the female has the raw deal. With the extra stresses of laying eggs, etc. But how often is this egg-laying?

Once the female panther chameleon reaches sexual maturity, they are expected to lay eggs each year. And, unfortunately, are expected to die only a few years after they are done with egg-laying.

To give you an idea, they are expected to drop between five and eight clutches of eggs in their lifetime. And, each clutch can have quite a few eggs. But, to be more precise, each cutch can have anywhere from 15 to 35 eggs (give or take a few).

The eggs take quite a while to hatch as well. according to Wikipedia, they typically take 240 days to hatch, wow! Quite a while. If you think about it logically, the female spends the majority of her adult life either laying, mating or hatching eggs.

Can a panther Chameleon Change Color?

Yes, a panther Chameleon can change color (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s Color Actually Mean). However, many people have an unrealistic understanding of what triggers a chameleon’s color changes.

Contrary to popular belief it is not based on camouflaging themselves to their environment. And, they can’t instantly change to any color to match their surroundings, even though it makes entertaining television thinking this happens, right?

Their color changes are based on their mood, temperature, and lighting. And, regarding them being perceived to change to any color. In reality, they have certain colors within their range actually. For example, if yellow is not in their range, they will never turn yellow, regardless if they standing next to a yellow object, no what I mean?

Female Signals to a Male

From time to time a female may come across an over-excited male, you know the type, eager to get his “mate on”. But, how does this damsel in distress deal with this beast on heat?

Simple, she literally raises her alarm! When I say alarm, I mean visually, rather than sound. Basically she will change color to some weird contrasting hues.

I am talking about black with pink, for example. In the panther cham’s world, it means something to the over-excited male. They usually get the hint at this point.

In some cases, it’s not because she is just not interested. She may also be gravid (carrying eggs) at the time.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to panther chameleons. If you have any questions that you feel have not been answered, then feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Are Panther Chameleons Aggressive?

Yes, panther chameleons are aggressive. Especially male chameleons. In fact, not only are they aggressive to their own species, but they are also like this with other lizards.

The male is known to get so worked up about rival males that even his own reflection on a glass enclosure has been known to spark aggression. At this point, he will flare up his bright colors to show a clear warning sign.

Once these colors are displayed, If another male panther cham is in the vicinity it is likely to follow up with a fight for territory.

Q: What is an Ambilobe Panther Chameleon?

The Ambilobe is a sub-species of the panther chameleon. But, what is a sub-species? If you have researched chameleons before you may know that there are not only species of chameleons, such as the panther there are also sub-species such as the Masoala Panther Chameleon (Click here to learn more about them, Facts, Diet, Care, etc). They are ultimately still Panthers but may have certain color variations that are different, etc.

Q: Why are the called Panther Chameleons?

You may be wondering why the panther Chameleon is actually this, that is fair enough, I had the same question in my head until I discovered this. Let me explain…

According to this site, A Panther Chameleon’s scientific/particular name is “Furcifer Pardalis”. The “Pardalis” in their name stands for Leopard in Latin. This is because their skin has an interesting pattern that is spotted like a leopard.

In Africa, panther chameleons have black markings and black leopards are known as panthers. Hence the name Panther Chameleon.

Q: Do panther chameleons like to be held?

No, Panther Chameleons do not like to be held. As much as you may love the idea of holding them. They tend to get stressed out by this. Therefore many owners have the understanding that they are not really a touchy-feely pet. And, they understand that should be just observed and enjoyed from a distance.

Q: How long is a panther chameleon tongue?

Their tongue is approximately twice their body length. It’s actually one of those weird facts about chameleons.  The share size of it is amazing.

You may not be amazed right now, because it may be hard to compare to our tongues. But, lets put it like this. It’s almost like you walking around with a tongue that is about 12 foot in length, are you with me?


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