Range: East and Northern coasts of Madagascar, some surrounding small islands
Habitat: Hot, humid forest
Wild Diet: Insects
Zoo Diet: Adult crickets, superworms (dusted with nekton rep and osteoform) - every other day; grasshoppers in season
Overall the social structure of panther chameleons is poorly understood. Like most chameleons they are known to be solitary and territorial regardless of age or sex. Males tend to have larger home ranges than females. Males are often intolerant of other males invading their resident shrub or tree and will defend their territory by engaging in a display, pursuing, and possibly severely injuring an intruding male. Hostility increases during breeding season. It is not known whether female panther chameleons are intolerant of other females in general or only at nesting sites. Chameleon eyes do not contain the rods and melanin pigments necessary for night vision and are thus the panther chameleon is diurnal.
Females will move through the territories of several males. After mating she will change color to black with red stripes to indicate her gravid status, gaping and hissing at any male who fails to note her color. She will go down to the ground and dig a tunnel that is as deep as she is long and lay her eggs. This is accomplished in broad daylight and is therefore very hazardous due to the lack of coverage and camouflage. After laying her eggs, she fills the tunnel and taps the ground with her feet. She may mate and lay several clutches per year. The young begin to hatch after approximately 240 days and claw their way to the surface. The last may not hatch until 7 weeks after the first. The fingernail-sized hatchlings are ready to hunt from the moment of emergence.
Gestation: Incubation - 240 days
Litter: 30-50 eggs