Cutting mealworms heads off?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by JRM71085, May 24, 2011.

  1. JRM71085

    JRM71085 New Member

    I was told to cut the heads off of the mealworms im going to feed my veiled chameleon? The person said that if I didnt the heads of the mealworms could chew through the chams stomach if they werent all the way dead or the nerves of the head could still be moving? Please help
  2. carol5208

    carol5208 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Don't listen to the pet stores or whoever told you that. That is not true of mealworms, or superworms.
  3. JRM71085

    JRM71085 New Member

    Thanks a lot Carol! Yeah they said if the mealworm wasn't completely dead that the head could start chewing through his stomach?
  4. carol5208

    carol5208 Chameleon Enthusiast

    no that is a myth! Have not ever heard of one single instance of that ever happening, and not even with the big superworms.
  5. DeremensisBlue

    DeremensisBlue Avid Member
    Site Sponsor

    This is an authentic chameleon urban myth. It started in the 90s and the closest thing we could figure out is that someone saw a mealworm crawling through a dead body.
    When chameleons chew they kill the food. No Pinnochio story here.

    And, no, you do not have to worry about uncontrolled nerves guiding the mouth to bore through anything around it. No zombie story either!
  6. radstusky

    radstusky Avid Member

    This comes up so often! Maybe we should get the Mythbusters to debunk this myth once and for all!
  7. AZJ0SH

    AZJ0SH New Member

    With all the hundreds of cham owners on here, I am sure someone would have posted if it was true.

    My father-in-law claims this happened to his iguana back in the 90's, the vet told him one of the mealworms supposedly ate through his stomach lining, releasing all the acids into his body, creating a nasty infection and unfortunately killing the iguana.

    This is all I have ever heard, besides what I read on here.
  8. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    I don't think much of your father in law's practice of feeding mealworms to an iguana, and I think even less of his vet for telling him such baloney.

    Mealworms + wet = drown instantly

    zillions of mealworms + thousands of lizards + over 30 years feeding, sometimes as a staple for some species = zero chewouts happening in my lizards.
  9. AReptile

    AReptile New Member

    Since when do iguanas even eat insects..? That story sounds weird.
  10. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    Considering that Chameleons are so well adapted for their lifestyles, having as good as five arms, four with those amazing hands, 360 degree vision, not to mention the tongue and the colour changing - it really would be a pretty weird thing if eating insects was too much for them :D. As long as your mealworms are going down easy then they can be used as a good treat on occasion.
  11. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    He didn't say how old the Iguana was, and they do eat insects when young. Despite it never happening to you I reckon it is possible, although as a second hand story you have to imagine that the vet would have said that there are difficulties in diagnosing causes of death without a proper autopsy.....

    Still, whatever the truth of the story, it certainly doesn't happen often
  12. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    Yeah- I keep (and have bred) iguanas too since the early 80s- insects are not great for any age iguana.

    The vet IMO didn't know what he was talking about.

    Get a mealworm and an eye dropper and put a drop of water or two on it's head and see how long it lives for yourself. Now imagine if it was swallowed and in the stomach acid of a lizard...

    What almost certainly happened to your father in law's iguana-

    Iguana died from something else, stray mealworms wandering the vivarium were attracted to the carcass and started eating and burrowed into it before the lizard was discovered dead by your FIL. FIL takes carcass to vet, bad vet examines lizard sees mealworms eating around in there and decides they killed the lizard.
  13. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    I don't disagree with you about how likely it is, unless you claim that it's 100% impossible. I have seen mealworms drown already so I won't do it again......

    I just would like to point out that you don't know what the vet said, so your guess really is still just a guess, but based on less evidence.
  14. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    Yeah that's true.
    I don't mean to hack on your FIL - things happen- or his vet- argumentative mood for me this afternoon sorry.
  15. DavidBuchan

    DavidBuchan New Member

    It's not even my FIL, lol, I'm just replying......and we never argued anyway. It was just, like, your opinion, dude...;)
  16. djfishygillz

    djfishygillz Established Member

    I have had superworms chew through my mesh reptaurium... im not saying they can chew through a stomach, but maybe in some instances, if you fed an adult super to a younger baby or juvi it "could" have some kind of negative side effect... i mean even if it just scratches up the stomach, that would be bad. so maybe just feed appropriately sized supers and everything should be dandy
  17. fluxlizard

    fluxlizard New Member

    I've had crickets do that as well.
    Doesn't mean they chew out of your lizard after it eats them.

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