Feeder Bug Breeding - Help Wanted!

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
Hey y’all!

So I live an hour away from the nearest GOOD feeder stores, and tired of taking a whole afternoon stuck in traffic getting bugs! i posted to my neighborhood page to see if others would be interested and I have an overwhelming response, so I decided to try my swing at breeding some bugs! Here are a couple of things I am currently doing, but wanted to post to see if anyone has any additional input!

1. Superworms and Mealworms - breeding this guys seems easy enough. I have them in a closet set to about 75, changing their potato or carrot slices everyday, and I read they didn’t need a light cycle. I do leave the door open during the day just to give them some fresh air 🙂 I use ground up oatmeal from Costco for their bedding, with a little bit of Mealworm premixed diet from the store, just to give variety. I know I will have to check for beetles and move them from shelf to shelf to keep them from eating the eggs. I feel like this is all I really need to do for these guys but let me know if I need to watch for anything or do anything that’s worked for you! 🙂

2. Dubia Roaches - I feel like these are going to be a little harder to breed, but I will try! Right now, I have them in a breeder box, but I was thinking about switching them to a 20 gallon Rubbermaid container so they can have more room. I change their food and water crystal everyday. I know it has to be hot and humid, so I am getting them a light and I have a heat element I will also use to get the temp up. My worry is the humidity. What works best for you besides just spraying water? Will leaving a wet sponge help or would it just grow mold? Also, I don’t have substrate but thinking about doing some substrate and isopods. Any input would be greatly appreciated!!!

3. Hornworms - expert level I feel like, and something not a lot of people do. Finding any information about these guys seems to be scarce, so I feel like I am on my own to experiment. I have 3 different formulas to try and see what the hornworms I have will eat, a homemade version, a Dubia diet power formula, and a diet they came with from the reptile store. I am going to see if they will eat any of them and see how they develop. I will share my experiences and document, and hopefully get some good breeder information going! Also, have an extra 2 x 2 x 3 chameleon enclosure for when they turn into moths, and loading up on dollar store Tupperware containers for the eggs. Might check Amazon for the deli cups since they are pretty easy to get too, but maybe more expensive. I am kinda excited to see some moths!! If anyone else breeds these guys, ANY advice would be great!!

Alright y’all, sorry for the long post. I hope this helps those looking to breed, and also helps others feel confident to start breeding their own bugs! 😄

*** quick note, I do NOT feed my chameleons mealworms or superworms. These are just for the “clients” I have talked to who all have bearded dragons and lizards. I feed my guys Dubia Roaches and Black Soldier Fly Larvae and give them a couple of hornworms a week for hydration, and because they love those guys. 😄 just in case anyone wants to come for me LOL
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
I just realized I didn’t include pictures! The blue is the mealworm container and the white one is the superworms container. Also the breeder box I have the dubia’s in at the moment, and the hornworms haven’t been set up just yet. 🙂 The moths will be in this enclosure, with probably some pepper plants, a hummingbird Feeder and hopefully they will lay eggs!
 

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redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great job! There is such a high demand for feeders.. Plus, read current info on meal and super for food. :) Not so bad (just a heads up as other might have the links to share) but variety and healthy gut loading is the key.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
1) i would use bran. Oats tend to get a blue mold, and grain flies. And if here is a high head count, they turn it into oatmeal in a humid environment

2) dubia you set up as a compost bin. Put in dubia, used cardboard egg cartons, and veggie scraps from the table. Do not use water crystals, you "may" end up with a dehydrated piece on a bug leg, that will expand 1000x fold inside the cham, and if the cham is not an adult, it may not pass. The Crystals are indigestible by 4 legged creatures.

3) ditch them and get silkies, and find a mulberry bush :) Then you just need to get a lot of eggs for cheap, and feed them just enough to grow.
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
Great job! There is such a high demand for feeders.. Plus, read current info on meal and super for food. :) Not so bad (just a heads up as other might have the links to share) but variety and healthy gut loading is the key.
100%! I like to do fresh gutloading, but I know that might be hard to do. I do have a "mulch" of high calcium veggies and fruits in my freezer for my tortoise, so I may use that to help gutload too. :)

I will read about the meal and superworms on the resource page. I know chameleons don't do well with them due to the exo skeleton but if there is stuff that I should know before selling to lizard owners, I will research it!
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
1) i would use bran. Oats tend to get a blue mold, and grain flies. And if here is a high head count, they turn it into oatmeal in a humid environment

2) dubia you set up as a compost bin. Put in dubia, used cardboard egg cartons, and veggie scraps from the table. Do not use water crystals, you "may" end up with a dehydrated piece on a bug leg, that will expand 1000x fold inside the cham, and if the cham is not an adult, it may not pass. The Crystals are indigestible by 4 legged creatures.

3) ditch them and get silkies, and find a mulberry bush :) Then you just need to get a lot of eggs for cheap, and feed them just enough to grow.
So I heard about the oats having grain flies so before I put the mealworms in it, I baked them to kill any eggs and to kill anything that may be in it! I will say, the oatmeal smell is so good lol I will look at getting bran though! I will be heading to Costco later so I will see if they have any!

I didn't know that about water crystals but that is good to know! What would you use to hydrate them? I will definitely set up a good compost area for the dubias! I will also make sure it is nutritious for them and on the gutloading list. :)

I WISH I COULD FIND SILKWORMS! I have tried everywhere, even expo's but they aren't in season. Also I haven't been able to find Mulberry plants at all, like I checked plant stores and big box stores but all they can do is ship them, and in the heat of Texas right now, probably wouldn't be a good idea lol. I will maybe try ordering during the winter time and start that farm asap! They were definitely on my list though!
 

redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's what I like about the chameleon forum. There are so many different things that pop-up, members that are experts at raising stuff, so experience is not lacking.

Plus, I have learned so much with different substrates and food from others here.

"I WISH I COULD FIND SILKWORMS! I have tried everywhere, even expo's but they aren't in season. Also I haven't been able to find Mulberry plants at all, like I checked plant stores and big box stores but all they can do is ship them, and in the heat of Texas right now, probably wouldn't be a good idea lol. I will maybe try ordering during the winter time and start that farm asap! They were definitely on my list though!"

I still have eggs from my Thread "silkworm journey" these have been placed in diapause (was taught about it here). So if your in the U.S. (i feel safer sending via USPS). Put address in the "Conversations" mail. I can pack and get them out today.
They will start hatching in a few days once delivered.

I used the mulberry mix off amazon and ebay.. works great
 

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nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I heard about the oats having grain flies so before I put the mealworms in it, I baked them to kill any eggs and to kill anything that may be in it! I will say, the oatmeal smell is so good lol I will look at getting bran though! I will be heading to Costco later so I will see if they have any!

I didn't know that about water crystals but that is good to know! What would you use to hydrate them? I will definitely set up a good compost area for the dubias! I will also make sure it is nutritious for them and on the gutloading list. :)

I WISH I COULD FIND SILKWORMS! I have tried everywhere, even expo's but they aren't in season. Also I haven't been able to find Mulberry plants at all, like I checked plant stores and big box stores but all they can do is ship them, and in the heat of Texas right now, probably wouldn't be a good idea lol. I will maybe try ordering during the winter time and start that farm asap! They were definitely on my list though!

I just hydrate by rotating veggies in an out. I dont really have a dry gut load anymore...
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wouldn't keep supers or mealworms on bran or oats, they bind a lot of nutrients and can grow aflatoxin mold. I use eco earth/dirt/whatever and then feed them as I would any of my other bugs. Carrots do a great job of offering nutritious hydration.

The no mealworms exoskeleton thing is nonsense, and at this point should probably be a sticky under myths or something lol. Most people here do feed superworms as treats... mealworms are also fine as part of a varied diet. Chameleons eat a large amount of beetles in the wild, whatever exoskeleton mealworms have, beetles have a much harder one. Mealworms are also fairly nutritious.

Dubia are easy, egg flats, 90 temps, food/moisture... just use carrots for hydration they're cheap, ventilation
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
That's what I like about the chameleon forum. There are so many different things that pop-up, members that are experts at raising stuff, so experience is not lacking.

Plus, I have learned so much with different substrates and food from others here.

"I WISH I COULD FIND SILKWORMS! I have tried everywhere, even expo's but they aren't in season. Also I haven't been able to find Mulberry plants at all, like I checked plant stores and big box stores but all they can do is ship them, and in the heat of Texas right now, probably wouldn't be a good idea lol. I will maybe try ordering during the winter time and start that farm asap! They were definitely on my list though!"

I still have eggs from my Thread "silkworm journey" these have been placed in diapause (was taught about it here). So if your in the U.S. (i feel safer sending via USPS). Put address in the "Conversations" mail. I can pack and get them out today.
They will start hatching in a few days once delivered.

I used the mulberry mix off amazon and ebay.. works great
OMG You are amazing!! I sent you a conversation with my info! :) Also, I will order the Mulberry mix so I am ready when they get here! You're awesome!

I also love this forum! I recommend it to anyone who needs help with chameleons or even other reptiles!
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
I wouldn't keep supers or mealworms on bran or oats, they bind a lot of nutrients and can grow aflatoxin mold. I use eco earth/dirt/whatever and then feed them as I would any of my other bugs. Carrots do a great job of offering nutritious hydration.

The no mealworms exoskeleton thing is nonsense, and at this point should probably be a sticky under myths or something lol. Most people here do feed superworms as treats... mealworms are also fine as part of a varied diet. Chameleons eat a large amount of beetles in the wild, whatever exoskeleton mealworms have, beetles have a much harder one. Mealworms are also fairly nutritious.

Dubia are easy, egg flats, 90 temps, food/moisture... just use carrots for hydration they're cheap, ventilation
Ugh that's nuts to think every video out there recommends bran and oats!! I love this forum because I get information like this, which is good and I want to make sure my animals and others are getting healthy feeders!

Great idea with using carrots! I use that for the mealworms and superworms for hydration, so that makes sense to use them for the dubia's too!

I believe the "hard to digest" part of the mealworms is still under resources, so that's why I always thought that, but good to know these should be okay! I also avoided superworms because I heard that can bite, and they seem so violent lol!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ugh that's nuts to think every video out there recommends bran and oats!! I love this forum because I get information like this, which is good and I want to make sure my animals and others are getting healthy feeders!

Great idea with using carrots! I use that for the mealworms and superworms for hydration, so that makes sense to use them for the dubia's too!

I believe the "hard to digest" part of the mealworms is still under resources, so that's why I always thought that, but good to know these should be okay! I also avoided superworms because I heard that can bite, and they seem so violent lol!
Yeah most people use oats/bran, in the end does it matter all that much? Maybe not, but I figure the other option is better, safer, and as easy so why not.

Yup carrots, or just pouring water in the substrate are my main methods of hydration. Carrots make a good food too!

Don't blame you for that, we were all saying it at some point. @JacksJill @AmandaS think we should get that changed or altered at some point eh?
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
Yeah most people use oats/bran, in the end does it matter all that much? Maybe not, but I figure the other option is better, safer, and as easy so why not.

Yup carrots, or just pouring water in the substrate are my main methods of hydration. Carrots make a good food too!

Don't blame you for that, we were all saying it at some point. @JacksJill @AmandaS think we should get that changed or altered at some point eh?
Very true! I will leave the guys I have placed right now and will look at transitioning the substrate! I appreciate all the information so much, thank you! :)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just read through the thread and didn't see this; hope I didn't miss it.

Superworms won't pupate unless isolated from each other. Speculation: cannibalism? 🤷‍♂️
They need to be put in individual sauce cups (with pinholes punched) or compartments in a parts box or something.

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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just read through the thread and didn't see this; hope I didn't miss it.

Superworms won't pupate unless isolated from each other. Speculation: cannibalism? 🤷‍♂️
They need to be put in individual sauce cups (with pinholes punched) or compartments in a parts box or something.

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@kinyonga and I have already proved this not to be totally true. I have a self sustaining super colony, well as far as breeding goes... of course I still need to feed them... and I know kin has in the past in her tortoise enclosure. That said, they do need some space, they won't pupate in a small container together.
 

KatotheChameleon

Established Member
Just read through the thread and didn't see this; hope I didn't miss it.

Superworms won't pupate unless isolated from each other. Speculation: cannibalism? 🤷‍♂️
They need to be put in individual sauce cups (with pinholes punched) or compartments in a parts box or something.

View attachment 306689__________View attachment 306690
I totally forgot to mention I did do this! I have them in a tackle box like the picture on the right. :) I used a drill to drill a lot of small holes, it was tedious lol
 
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