Catching wild bugs

spottea

Member
Does anyone have any good places they go to catch wild insects for their chameleon food? Here in SoCal, and preferably south Bay area is preferable. I was thinking about Bolsa Chica, but then wondered if it was even allowed to do that, seeing as it's a wetlands preserve. I don't need that many, just looking to,provide some fun, buzzy bugs for Pico to catch.
Thanks.:p
 

Enzo Veiled

New Member
Eh...

Catching wild bugs would not be ideal for your chameleon. Some bugs could have a natural toxin to them that can be harmful to your cham. Also they could have chemicals on them from failed pesticides. Stick with your local pet store for crickets mealworms, calciworms etc. juuusttt to be on the safe side!
Better safe than sorry! :D
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
Set up a BRIGHT light at night and they will come to you. I used a 48 inch flourescent bulb, hung it vertically, and put a large funnel at the bottom, and had a cup of moths for chams breakfast feasts.

If it flies, walks, squiggles I don't worry about pesticides. Urban myth IMHO. I fear captive feeders more...
 

Saldarya

Established Member
Set up a BRIGHT light at night and they will come to you. I used a 48 inch flourescent bulb, hung it vertically, and put a large funnel at the bottom, and had a cup of moths for chams breakfast feasts.

If it flies, walks, squiggles I don't worry about pesticides. Urban myth IMHO. I fear captive feeders more...

One of the best freaking ideas I have read in a while...simple and effective!! Going up this weekend because God knows I have a ton of insects here in S. Louisiana!!
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Does anyone have any good places they go to catch wild insects for their chameleon food? Here in SoCal, and preferably south Bay area is preferable. I was thinking about Bolsa Chica, but then wondered if it was even allowed to do that, seeing as it's a wetlands preserve. I don't need that many, just looking to,provide some fun, buzzy bugs for Pico to catch.
Thanks.:p

There is potential risk to using wild caught insects. Parasites, pesticides, and one that is often overlooked:the bug may have eaten something good for it but BAD for chamelones (like tomatoe leaves). And I suppose there is also the risk of you accidentally offering a bug that is in and of itself toxic.

Yet although I breed plenty of insects, have several stores locally and online from which to buy, I do still use wild caught insects. Not from a suburb or city area (which I consider poor collection areas, high risk), but rather an organic farm in the country and a park/wilderness area.

Im still knowingly running the risk of bringing home parasites to my chameleons. But frankly store-bought insects can have parasites with them too. I believe that chameleons normally likely have some small level of parasites with them all the time. If the chameleon is otherwise healthy, and the particular parasite(s) not too awful, well then likely no harm done.
I do have fecal tests done with some regularity and have enough money saved to ensure any treatment costs are easily covered, if required. I also monitor weights and pay attention to "attitude" and "activity".

As there is some risk a wild caught bug ate something that will stay in its system long enough to cause harm to my chameleons. I try to mitigate this by keeping and feeding the wc bugs for at least a day to clear anything in their guts. This does not entirely remove the risk.

So far I've not had anything too serious result.

For me, the perceived benefits of occassional use of certain wild-caught bugs (different nutrients, chameleon interest/excitement) makes the risks worth it. I use a fair number of moths, termites, grasshoppers and some harvestmen. But I mostly rely on / use bugs I breed myself, plus store bought crickets. There are lots of bugs you can breed easily, with little effort or cost.

Links to info related:
http://web.archive.org/web/200605032...com/husbandry/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs...utloading.html
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs...parasites.html
Can I feed these to my veileds?
Wild Caught Insects/Parasites
What wild caught food is toxic?
http://www.foodinsectsnewsletter.org...15sept2011.pdf
 
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