Plastic Mesh

Light/heat placement
Heat retention
Ventilation
Humidity
Drainage
Cleaning
Stress Factors
Additional Comments









Light/heat placement - Hard

Mesh blocks at least 40% of UVB light emited from reptile UVB strip lights. Either the bulb need to be inside the enclosure or two bulbs used outside.

It is difficult to create a basking spot without the area of mesh directly under the bulb becoming too hot. If the chameleon climbs on the mesh and hangs under the basking bulb (which they are prone to do) there is a danger of thermal burns.

T
he mesh under the bulb tends to absorb a lot of the heat produced thus restricting the heat reaching the basking spot and the rest of the enclosure.

Good for use with Mercury Vapour bulbs suspended overhead in a warm room but this depends on the species kept (Panther Chameleons do not tolerate the high levels of UV given off by Mercury Vapour bulbs).


Maintains heat - Very Poor

Unless used in warm/hot room, mesh cages can be very difficult to keep areas outside the basking spot at a comfortable temperature.
Producing a Thermal Gradient is very easy providing the cooler end is not too cold for the chameleon to use. Good ventilation/airflow naturally creates a gradient.


Ventilation - Good

Not usually as good as aluminium mesh though.

Warning: Some fine weave mesh cages have poor airflow, especially when damp which is detrimental to your chameleons health.


Maintains humidity - Variable

Humidity is directly related to the amount of ventilation. When using mesh cages more regular spraying and the use of real plants helps create more acceptable levels of humidity. "Soft Trays" can be used to cover several sides but at the expense of air-flow.


Adding Drainage - Easy

Plastic mesh cages usually have mesh floors which makes drainage easy


Cleaning - Ok

Can be stripped out then easily cleaned. Not easily cleaned on a daily basis though.


Stress Factors

Zips get stuck resulting in the whole cage shaking whilst you struggle to undo it. Restricted vision due to the thickness of mesh reduces the all round vision problem that the finer aluminum mesh can suffer from therefore could be more suitable for nervous individuals.


Additional Comments

Great for taking outside in the sunny weather for natural UV exposure. Less stress on the Cham as it is still in its original enclosure.
Can be hard to see through (see stress factors above for positive) and crickets have been known to eat their way out.
Probably better suited for use in warmer climates or in temperature controlled reptile rooms. Common mistake is to use in cold rooms where the chameleon spends all its time under the basking spot, effectively making the rest of the enclosure useless.
Often the cheapest form of caging but the hardest to heat.


Aluminium Mesh - black flyscreen such as the Terry Thatcher range

Plastic - vision vivariums or purpose built

Glass

Wood

Freerange

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