Hornworm (goliath) Breeding

Since these worms are so expensive, but so great for hydrating, and good treats for our wonderful scaley friends, I figured It would help some to breed them, especially if you have more than one cham, or more than one cham at different ages, since these things grow so fast.

This is what I do, if you do it different or dont agree, please feel free to add.
Its a baby cham cage that I no longer needed.

Inside is a small scheffelara plant. This is for the hornworm moths to land on and lay eggs on later.
To feed the moths, you need to get a hummingbird feeder with the premixed sugar water in it. (dont mix it yourself, as someone else did, got the mixture wrong, and they died)
To get them to breed, you must get a tomato plant, and place it near the cage, NOT in, because they can eat it, and it is toxic, thus making the worm/moth toxic to your chams. (and yes, the moths can be fed to your cham too, but I would wait until you have a bunch of eggs laid)

It takes several weeks for the moths to emerge.

Now, the bin inside the cage, is a small plastic bin filled with ecoearth (you can use regular topsoil if you want, I just didnt have any)

When you have hornworms, they must have 24 hour access to food, they eat silkworm chow, which can be purchased from site sponsors or other members. Once the worm has reached a length of roughly 3-4 inches (which may only take less than 2 weeks) OR the worm is beginning to look a bit dirty and raggedy looking, or the feet have begun to disappear within the fat rolls (HAHA) take that worm and place it in a tub of dirt, that is just slightly damp.

Do not give the worm in the dirt anymore food. Eventually, the worm should bury itself in the dirt. I had some who did it almost immediately, and some who it took over 3 weeks to pupate, even after they had buried themselves.

Once the worm is pupated (turned into a brown cocoon, Leave it alone. I only dig mine up when transfering them to a smaller bin.

Then place the dirt and pupae in the cage, place the tomato plant(s) next to the cage.. and wait. once emerged, the moths will drink suger water, mate, lay eggs, and then you can either collect the eggs and place them in another tub, or just leave them and wait for them to hatch. Up to you.

And then the cycle begins again.

When you order hornworms, they arrive in a cup that you have to turn upside down so the poop will fall on the lid and so they can eat.
I leave them in there until it gets too crowded or they run out of the food.

Then i remove them, and place them in a tub, with dirt on one half of the tub, and the other side bare, so when they feel the need to dig, they can.

Once in this tub, i just place slices of the silkworm chow in the bare side, and let them do their thing.


This is awesome. I am going to try it. Can you add some pics with your tutorial?
Salty- I will post pictures for you over this weekend!

Sandra- No i did not know they would eat grape vine leaves, good to know. I will get some!

Scales- Glad your cham loves the worms and you found the blog helpful!
sandrachameleon;bt1195 said:
Did you know these larva will also eat the leaves from grape vines?

YAY:) lol I can do this no problem at all now...looks like I got a summer project.

how much of the diet can these make up?

thanks camimom and sandra:)
I like to feed mine leafy greens, like spinach, a little romaine lettuce, and mustard greens,they get real nice and fat that way, I don't like the silkworm chow because its artificial, and processed, and I don't know what they put in it. :)
If youre not feeding off the larva, you dont need to keep the tomatoe plant outside the cage really. The toxicity doesnt pass to the eggs - Im quite sure of that since the person I get eggs from feeds some tomatoe leaves to his larva kept for breeding. you just need to keep tomatoe leaves away from those larva that will be eaten by the chameleons :)

Thezillaman21;bt1238 said:
how much of the diet can these [grape vine leaves] make up?
I believe you can offer them quite a range of different plant leaves and skip using the chow stuff altogether. but Im not a breeder of them, so I cant say for sure.
I like to offer grape vine leaves to my growing larva because they are high in calcium and I happen to have access to lots. I also offer dandelion leaves, arugula/rockette, mustard greens and other salad greens that I happen to alway grow far too much of. :)

I found silkworms bred better if a portion of their diet was mulberry based. It could be hornworms breed better if given the chow or tomatoe greens.

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