Enrichment Ideas?

annefirth12

Member
Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed, which provides them with glycosides that make them toxic to small animals. I wouldn't risk it, and I also wouldn't feed the caterpillar of an endangered butterfly. If you have access to monarch caterpillars you should probably let them grow to adulthood instead.
 
@Hawaiian Rose monarchs are a no-no, and the painted lady butterflies are safe, I have no idea if their caterpillars are, though
I'm very curious about both species of caterpillars. I have a Crown Flower upon which Monarchs lay their eggs. Last few years, ALL the caterpillars are eaten by baby anole lizards. Large Monarch caterpillars are eaten by Mynah birds.
 
I'm very curious about both species of caterpillars. I have a Crown Flower upon which Monarchs lay their eggs. Last few years, ALL the caterpillars are eaten by baby anole lizards. Large Monarch caterpillars are eaten by Mynah birds.
To become Monarch butterflies I have to raise caterpillars inside my bathroom. Raised couple hundred butterflies last 3 years.
 
Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed, which provides them with glycosides that make them toxic to small animals. I wouldn't risk it, and I also wouldn't feed the caterpillar of an endangered butterfly. If you have access to monarch caterpillars you should probably let them grow to adulthood instead.
Yes I heard Monarchs are endangered on the mainland. In Hawaii, a subspecies has proliferated until couple years ago there was a population explosion of Anole lizards, and they ate every caterpillar on my Crown Flower. I raised hundreds of them in my bathroom past 3 years and released them. Anyway, point is all the caterpillars get eaten up by small lizards and birds so I wondered if Crown Flowers contained same chemical as milkweed.
 

annefirth12

Member
Yes I heard Monarchs are endangered on the mainland. In Hawaii, a subspecies has proliferated until couple years ago there was a population explosion of Anole lizards, and they ate every caterpillar on my Crown Flower. I raised hundreds of them in my bathroom past 3 years and released them. Anyway, point is all the caterpillars get eaten up by small lizards and birds so I wondered if Crown Flowers contained same chemical as milkweed.
Yes, apparently the crown flower is a giant milkweed species that contains glycosides and calcium oxalate, which is a mucus membrane irritant and poisonous. It's possible that the anoles ate the caterpillars just because there weren't many other food options because of the population explosion, but I wouldn't try feeding them to your Cham.
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anybody had any out of the box enrichment ideas. I have a close to a year-old female veiled chameleon who loves to explore and roam around.

Here’s what I’ve done for enrichment:
1. Add new plants and branches to her enclosure (I’d like to redo her enclosure at some point but I haven’t had the time to sit down and do that).
2. Vary her feeders based on the limited availability in my area - she’s had black soldier flies and wax moths but she doesn’t seem super excited about flying insects. Maybe I’m just trying the wrong ones?
3. Let her roam around the house on various different safe plants and climb on the blinds (with supervision). Some of these have window views. Her favorite is a 9 foot tall avocado tree that she usually gets at least an hour a day in.
4. Let her bask outside. She’s got a variety of safe plants and trees she can hang out in when it’s warm enough in my area, and she’s figured out that she can climb down the tree and walk to a different one (she has a favorite that she always makes her way over to). This is one of the ways that I think she’s actually gotten smarter - she now can plan her way over to wherever she wants to go and walks down and across the floor towards her goal. We also let her hunt her bugs outside, like putting a hornworm on a leaf and letting her stalk it and catch it.

If anyone has any ideas, I’d absolutely love to hear it!

Thanks all :) (bonus Rosie pictures for tax)
Try house flies those will get her attention.
 

annefirth12

Member
Know what? they aren't that bad! what makes flies disgusting is what they eat-you always think of flies as being on poop. Lab-raised they are as clean as anything else we feed, and there is a healthy plant based gut load for them. and the look of joy on the cham is worth it :)
Oh no I’m sure, it’s more of an issue with the other people who live in my house. It took a while for them to get used to Dubias.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
To become Monarch butterflies I have to raise caterpillars inside my bathroom. Raised couple hundred butterflies last 3 years.
silence of the lambs GIF
 
LOL! Love that movie! Feb. 2020 was the last time I raised them outside b4 anoles ate every caterpillar & chrysalis outside. Tried to attach a video, it didn't load.
 
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