New online resource developments!

By Christopher V. Anderson


Anderson, C.V. (2005). New online resource developments!. Chameleons! Online E-Zine, October 2005. (

Over the past months, there have been a few online resource developments that I feel should be expressly presented to the chameleon community. While I'm sure there may be more that I've failed to include, these are a couple new resources I feel should be examined by those interested in them.

To start with, artificial lighting has always been at the forefront of important topics with chameleon keepers unable to allow their animals year round exposure to natural sunlight. Comparison of artificial bulbs for their effectiveness and information on how well they hold their most important characters before needing to be replaced have always been concerns. More advanced questions regarding how far different bulbs radiate their UVB rays and in what concentrations along with concern over filtering light through mesh enclosures are also important factors in providing proper lighting. Thankfully, these questions and comparisons have finally been done by a group of individuals in the UK, including two chameleon keepers! The UV Lighting for Reptiles site (located at provides comparative test results for various common reptile bulbs. The data is presented in such a way as to allow the viewer to make educated decisions on their lighting purchases. As such, review of their data should include your own knowledge about the size and design of your enclosure, the importance of independent gradients of both heat and UV accessibility in your enclosure and your species' needs. When used properly, this site has provided the chameleon community (along with the rest of the reptile industry) with the information needed to optimize our use of artificial UV lighting.

Next, a website has been put together as a cooperative effort to provide the most complete and current information to chameleon hobbyists It is a site that consists of 4 high quality subsites, each with their own niche as a chameleon information resource. Its goal is to provide a centralized reference point for chameleon keepers to turn to in order to seek out the most current and useful information available.

I'm pleased to say that this site, the Chameleons! Online E-Zine is one of these subsites. As you're reading this article, you likely understand how the E-Zine fits into the goal of but as is described on the site, the E-zine seeks to provide the most up to date source of chameleon information available.

A second subsite of is just in the process of being updated and re-released. The Chameleon Care and Information Center (CCIC)-located at originally released in 1998 to provide a wide range of chameleon information including over 70 species profiles. It is currently being rewritten and released in an effort to provide a more complete information resource. Recognizing that many other online resources are extremely valuable, the new species profiles are intended to provide links to other sites with good information on each species, as well as provide its own profile. In doing so, the CCIC will in theory provide a reference by which those looking into various topics can easily link to other sites with further information in order to achieve a more complete chameleon information resource.

A third subsite is the Captive Chameleon Bloodline Tracking Database (CCBTD)-located at has just been revised to fix criticisms of the original program and incorporate recommendations toward improvement. The original release article for this site can be viewed here in the May 2004 issue but numerous changes have been applied since this article. It should be noted that efforts have been made to make the system more easily accessible to the public and more user-friendly. Efforts to move away from the image of "the chameleon police" have also been taken so as to emphasize its effort merely to provide the means for breeders to outline their bloodlines for the buyer to make decisions on locale purity and quality. Further, in hopes of encouraging breeders to more freely register, animals that pass away are only visible to their owners and in progeny family trees as a reference to the bloodlines. This database is designed to help breeders manage their bloodlines, advertise the quality of their bloodlines, allow buyers to access information on animals they are interested in and increase breeder cooperation in order to help establish stronger captive breeding programs.

Finally, the fourth site of is The Melleri Discovery-located at This site is the most complete site created to date and it's exclusively on the Meller's Chameleon, Chamaeleo (Trioceros) melleri. It was created through an email list of melleri keepers and is designed to help those interested in working with this species to be fully prepared for the common complications this species often presents.

I hope you all find these new resources to be useful. I'm sure as they continue to progress, they'll continue to be excellent sites.

Christopher V. Anderson

Chris Anderson is a herpetologist currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of South Florida after receiving his B.S. from Cornell University. He has spent time in the jungles of South East Asia, among other areas, aiding in research for publication. He has previously traveled throughout Madagascar in search of, and conducting personal research on, the chameleons of the region. He has traveled to over 35 countries, including chameleon habitat in 6. Currently, Chris is the Editor and Webmaster of the Chameleons! Online E-Zine and is studying the kinematics and morphological basis of ballistic tongue projection and tongue retraction in chameleons for his dissertation. Chris Can be emailed at or


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