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Reptiles/chameleon has developed a black spot on its side


Black spot
Black spot  

Black spot close up
Black spot close up  
species - chamaeleo calyptratus (female); habitat size - 100x50x40 (lenghtxheightxwidth); substrate - exo terra forest bark; humidity - ~30%; basking temp 35C/ ambient 23C; lighting - Exo Terra Sun Glo 100w and UVB Exo Terra 100 5.0 13w (coil); vet history N/A; food - crickets, Nauphoeta cinerea cockroaches, superworms; feeding every day; supplement every time when feeding with "VIGOREPT"; last time ate 10 min ago; water is given in a fountain and is filled up once in a while when it evaporates a little; defecated today; captive bred; shed ~1 month ago; no animals living in the same terrarium.

It seems that a black spot has appeared on the right side of the chameleon. At fist there were a few little spots and strokes, after a day or so it became like what you can see in the pictures. What could it be and how should we treat it? She hasnt suffered any trauma recently

Hi Jane,

Thank you for including the excellent photos and other details.

My first thought is that it may be the start of an infection, possibly bacterial or fungal. It does not look like a burn or a bruise to me. Otherwise she looks very healthy.

Is she in a well ventilated enclosure like a screen cage? Skin infections and respiratory problems can arise when there is poor ventilation. This is usually combined with high humidity although your current humidity level is not high.

The two possible treatment options that I would suggest (aside from seeing a veterinarian if possible) are povidone iodine or preferably chlorhexidine. Both of these are common antiseptics in human medicine used for surgical preparation and to treat wounds and burns. I think you should be able to find one of them at the pharmacy. You will need to apply them directly to the affected area. Each of them are effective against both bacteria and fungus.

I hope you are aware that she may lay eggs at some point even without being with a male. You will need to provide a suitable spot for her to deposit the eggs. Without this she could become egg-bound.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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