|Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis), especially males, are usually more|
expensive to purchase.
INITIAL PURCHASE INVESTMENT
1. The Chameleon:
- Veiled: $20-100 (depending on age)
- Panther: $140-600+ (depending on locale and age)
- Jackson’s: $50-100 (depending on CB/WC and age)
- Baby screen cage: $30-60 (depending on size)
- *Baby glass terrarium: $40-80 (depending on size)
- Adult screen cage: $80-110 (for a 2’x2’x4’ cage)
- *Adult glass terrarium: $200-300 (depending on size)
- UVB bulb: ~$20 for a Reptisun 5.0/10.0 linear fluorescent (cheaper on Amazon.com) or up to $70 for an Arcadia 6%/12% or Megaray bulb (no cheap alternative source, sorry!)
- Heat bulb: $2-6 for a regular household bulb/pack (about 40-60w will usually suffice)
- Light fixtures: Linear fluorescent fixture ~$10 (from home improvement store) and ~$5 spotlight fixture for heat bulb (also at home improvement stores)
- Phosphorous-free calcium without Vit D3: $6-12
- Phosphorous-free calcium with Vit D3: $6-12
- Multivitamin: $6-12
- *OR Rapashy Calcium Plus low D (all in one): $8.99
- Spray bottle: $1-20 (I recommend a pump sprayer from a hardware store)
- Dripper: Free-$15 (DIY ones will be much cheaper than store bought ones)
- OR automatic misting system: ~$100-200 (Mitsking or Aquazamp)
- Plants: $30-100+ (depends on size of cage and how much you get, but the cage should be well filled with pathways and plant cover for your chameleon. Live plants are strongly recommended.)
- Branches: Free! You can use branches from any non-toxic tree outside, it's not necessary to buy artificial vines and branches. They are sturdier, too.
Live insects (Crickets, hornworms, butter worms, super worms, silk worms, roaches, etc.): $20-60+ depending heavily on what you get, how much, and how often. However, it is often MUCH cheaper to buy online in bulk and then house your insects at home, even breeding them.2. Lights:
Containers to house insects in: $5-12 (depending on how many and what size)
The UVB bulb must be replaced every 6-8 months so $20 bi-yearly.3. Supplements:
The heat bulb will also burn out and need replacing
Will run out, so they will also need replacing.4. Gut loading food
Food for the feeders. A variety of healthy fruits, vegetables, and a high-quality dry gut load. Price will vary significantly with how well you gut load and what ingredients you use. Dry gut loads can be purchased on line that offer excellent nutrition or can be made at home from appropriate and healthy ingredients ground together.5. Vet bills
Like all animals, chameleons can get sick. It is prudent to have at least $100-200 saved away in case of an emergency. Chameleons will often times not show signs of sickness until the issue is very advanced, and by then it probably is an emergency.
Fecal tests should be done a minimum of twice a year to check for parasites. Most vets will do this for $15-20 (in my experience, at least)
All in all, when you buy a pet chameleon you can expect to spend at least $200-300 on the initial set-up alone, without the price of the chameleon, and it can go up significantly depending on the extras or upgrades you do (like the automatic misting system or the upgraded UVB lights and reflector fixtures).
With some online savvy many of these things might be found for even cheaper on places like Amazon.com or Ebay.com. Additionally, places like Craigslist.com could be a great resource for gently used cages, light fixtures, and other things that can save you a lot of money. It's a good idea to disinfect anything previously used heavily, to make sure nothing (like parasites) are transfered to your pets. For more classifieds, look at the classifieds section on Chameleonforums.com and on Faunaclassifieds.com.