Can gutloading be done this way? Also pic of Rio :)


Hi everyone

So I've started gut loading with dandelion leaves as I have researched they are the best for calcium and low in phosphorus etc...

Hes very fussy and doesn't like fast moving bugs, so locust are the only hard bodied insects he will eat... and gut loading them seems to be a strenuous activity...

Usually I will try gut load the evening before, but on some occasions I notice they haven't touched the leaves or they do and I can see they have already pooped it out by the time I go to feed!

I now just tear off a piece of the leaf and place it in the locusts grasp, as long as its not a far distance for him to strike it tends to go straight in along with the locust... is this ok to gut load like this, Im almost tempted to poke a bit in whilst he's chewing... hes extremely tame and doesn't mind how close I am.

Attached is a picture of Rio just in case you wanted to meet him :)



Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there, When I saw you mention Locusts I guessed you must be U.K as am I- I can't answer about that method , all I do know is that my locusts didn't eat much until I gave them a heat lamp 20 w and a heat mat for nights, maybe you already heat them but really speeds them up and they eat much more when warm- they really plough into the food straight away- within minutes it can be gone-no waiting around for them if you are in a hurry.I have quiet a few so I keep them in a 18" high 12" wide exo terra with plastic mesh inside as a climbing frame up to the exoterra canopy at the top- the heat mat is stuck on the back of the glass, I add gut loading food at 8-9 am ready for 10-11 am feeding , insects have short intestinal tracts so the food doesn't stay in there that long I think. On today's menu was dandelion, grape leaves and home grown squash flowers and leaves. Yummy.:) Rio looks like a very splendid boy.


Established Member
Very interesting approach to gut loading. Well, not exactly "gut" loading, but in theory it sounds pretty much the same unless the ingestion of the dandelion by the feeders changes the nutritional composition of the dandelion itself. That's the big question, and if it doesn't then there is no reason to not do it.


Chameleon Enthusiast
The problem with this method is that dandelion greens alone are merely one component of a healthy gutload and you need to offer more items that offer a wider range of nutrients. The delivery method isn't a problem, but you will have trouble getting the variety of items you should be feeding your feeders to be delivered that way.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes locusts need heat. Also dandelions should only be fed as a small potion of their gutloading because they are high in oxalic acids which bind calcium and make it impossible to absorb with too much on board.
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