Grasshoppers. Store bought or Wild caught?

Herpcentric

Member
Ok. I’m going out of town for Labor Day and bringing Peaches(beloved cham) with me. It’s going to be in Comanche Springs, Texas. Really dry and arid. And loaded to the hilt with grasshoppers! I’m out volunteering at the Observatory there, and also studying these lil guys —
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It’s a 5,000 acre plot of land free of pesticides to protect the Harvester ant population that the horned toads eat. I know that I can feed her grasshoppers, but don’t know how nutritionally good they are for her. Or if it’ll even be safe to feed her wild caught hoppers or if I should just stick to store bought? I’m hoping that with how big the property is it’ll be fine. But better safe than sorry!

Also if I can catch a boat load of these hoppers, can I some how preserve them in the freezer/fridge to thaw and give as a treat? Or will she not eat them once dead?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wish you could find grasshoppers for sale in stores around me! However, there are definitely a fair number of members here who feed wildcaught hoppers. I think you would be fine to do so. Do not feed anything dead to a chameleon, though.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
The grasshoppers would be a great food item, just make sure they aren't Lubbers (Lubbers are the classic warning colors: black/red or yellow/black). If they are all green and/or brown, you should be good to go! I'm jealous, I've been trying to catch and breed grasshoppers here in Maryland, but they're not as easy to find and definitely not pesticide free! I saw them everywhere in New Mexico.

How long will you be there? If it is just for a few days, you might be better off leaving the cham home.

That's a cool ass lizard! What is it?
 

Herpcentric

Member
The grasshoppers would be a great food item, just make sure they aren't Lubbers (Lubbers are the classic warning colors: black/red or yellow/black). If they are all green and/or brown, you should be good to go! I'm jealous, I've been trying to catch and breed grasshoppers here in Maryland, but they're not as easy to find and definitely not pesticide free! I saw them everywhere in New Mexico.

How long will you be there? If it is just for a few days, you might be better off leaving the cham home.

That's a cool ass lizard! What is it?
That is a Texas Horned Toad, and they are endangered. Highly x.x but thankfully they are making a come back! Had to have permission from the State, and State Parks and Wildlife to be able to handle and study these lil guys. And Ill be careful of the ones I catch.

Now when you say yellow/black, and black/red, do you mean their body color in general or their wing colors?
 

Herpcentric

Member
Oh! Now, we do have Katydids out there, but I’ve gotta be really careful with those guys because they get as big as your palm!
 

Herpcentric

Member
Ok! So I found a site that lists my native grasshoppers. I’m curious to know if these are save for her?

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I looked up Lubbers, and thankfully I’ve only seen one type out on this property, and they are hard to miss. They are the biggest hopper out there. But concerning these hoppers in specific, are they safe to feed her? These are the main ones I see everywhere, my back yard and the property.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's a toad?!?! Really cool, good luck in your study!

Katydids are GREAT! I think you are talking about the crazy huge ones with red eyes - I'd avoid those as they are big and they bite. I think they are even referred to as the giant devil or something to that affect! The smaller katydids would be great... the conehead you pictured above is actually a Katydid. You can tell the difference as katydid's have long thin antenna, whereas grasshoppers have short stubby ones. I would definitely avoid the painted grasshopper as it has the warning colors, and I'd avoid crickets. I can't tell you much about the others, but I do have some two-striped grasshoppers that I caught that I am hoping I can feed. Once they are big enough to confirm their ID, I'll verify with others to ensure they aren't toxic. But I think any that are all brown or all green (with just a little red) are OK. Lubbers or any with the red/black/yellow combos are the ones to 100% avoid.
 

Herpcentric

Member
That's a toad?!?! Really cool, good luck in your study!

Katydids are GREAT! I think you are talking about the crazy huge ones with red eyes - I'd avoid those as they are big and they bite. I think they are even referred to as the giant devil or something to that affect! The smaller katydids would be great... the conehead you pictured above is actually a Katydid. You can tell the difference as katydid's have long thin antenna, whereas grasshoppers have short stubby ones. I would definitely avoid the painted grasshopper as it has the warning colors, and I'd avoid crickets. I can't tell you much about the others, but I do have some two-striped grasshoppers that I caught that I am hoping I can feed. Once they are big enough to confirm their ID, I'll verify with others to ensure they aren't toxic. But I think any that are all brown or all green (with just a little red) are OK. Lubbers or any with the red/black/yellow combos are the ones to 100% avoid.
Horned Toads are actually lizards. They are also referred to as horny toad and/or horn frog. But because they are flat against the ground like a toad/frog, it gives them their name. Edit: Sorry, it helps to give them their name, but is not the main reason! :D
The Katydid is a Great arid-plains, and they scream like a banshee when you mess with them!
Ok, I’ll be careful with the painters, don’t see many of them usually. And is there possibly anyone I could ask on here that would know more about hoppers?
Thank you so much by the way! Been very helpful. So glad I asked before just feeding her some.

Side note: I’m having to bring her with me because nobody will be at the house to mist/water her and I don’t have a misting system yet. Want one soon thought!
 
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Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's a toad?!?! Really cool, good luck in your study!

Katydids are GREAT! I think you are talking about the crazy huge ones with red eyes - I'd avoid those as they are big and they bite. I think they are even referred to as the giant devil or something to that affect! The smaller katydids would be great... the conehead you pictured above is actually a Katydid. You can tell the difference as katydid's have long thin antenna, whereas grasshoppers have short stubby ones. I would definitely avoid the painted grasshopper as it has the warning colors, and I'd avoid crickets. I can't tell you much about the others, but I do have some two-striped grasshoppers that I caught that I am hoping I can feed. Once they are big enough to confirm their ID, I'll verify with others to ensure they aren't toxic. But I think any that are all brown or all green (with just a little red) are OK. Lubbers or any with the red/black/yellow combos are the ones to 100% avoid.

They're actually lizards, so the common name is misleading. These are the ones that squirt blood (or a blood-like substance) from their eyes if I'm not mistaken!
 

Herpcentric

Member
They're actually lizards, so the common name is misleading. These are the ones that squirt blood (or a blood-like substance) from their eyes if I'm not mistaken!
Correct! And it’s so cool! I’ve yet to see it myself though, but I’ve come across many that have shown recent signs of using this defense mechanism!
It is actual blood. But it’s crazy because it’s fresh, but not living blood anymore.. Its a weird concept of how they create this blood. I cant quite remember at the moment if it’s directly from their vein or if they have a vein like amenity that stores the liquid.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Correct! And it’s so cool! I’ve yet to see it myself though, but I’ve come across many that have shown recent signs of using this defense mechanism!
It is actual blood. But it’s crazy because it’s fresh, but not living blood anymore.. Its a weird concept of how they create this blood. I cant quite remember at the moment if it’s directly from their vein or if they have a vein like amenity that stores the liquid.

That's honestly so cool! I'd love to study them, too
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Horned Toads are actually lizards. They are also referred to as horny toad and/or horn frog. But because they are flat against the ground like a toad/frog, it gives them their name. Edit: Sorry, it helps to give them their name, but is not the main reason! :D
The Katydid is a Great arid-plains, and they scream like a banshee when you mess with them!
Ok, I’ll be careful with the painters, don’t see many of them usually. And is there possibly anyone I could ask on here that would know more about hoppers?
Thank you so much by the way! Been very helpful. So glad I asked before just feeding her some.

Side note: I’m having to bring her with me because nobody will be at the house to mist/water her and I don’t have a misting system yet. Want one soon thought!

I know that @Brodybreaux25 regularly catches wild feeders for his cham (Katydids, hoppers, etc), and @Motherlode Chameleon breeds them - so they are the most knowledgeable that come to my mind
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know that @Brodybreaux25 regularly catches wild feeders for his cham (Katydids, hoppers, etc), and @Motherlode Chameleon breeds them - so they are the most knowledgeable that come to my mind
I’ve fed every hopper on that list without issues except for the painted one, don’t have those in Louisiana. I can’t tell you if the painted ones are safe or not so stay away!

I don’t know if you’ve got a plan or not but they are sooooooo much easier to catch at night. All you need is a $20 headlight off of Amazon. They freeze I. The headlights and won’t even try to run. It’s almost unfair. It’s not uncommon for us to catch 100 per hour.CA20761E-F191-4FB5-A674-BE1AE71EFB9A.jpeg0C399051-BAB4-4937-A9A1-A332CB57DB3A.jpegCD8E1915-F495-4621-B74A-79E5CACB1497.jpegC8F625E4-8110-4025-96B7-9F68E0CA67BC.jpeg6E92608A-F1B0-49B6-934E-09FB13F0F50E.jpeg
 

Herpcentric

Member
I’ve fed every hopper on that list without issues except for the painted one, don’t have those in Louisiana. I can’t tell you if the painted ones are safe or not so stay away!

I don’t know if you’ve got a plan or not but they are sooooooo much easier to catch at night. All you need is a $20 headlight off of Amazon. They freeze I. The headlights and won’t even try to run. It’s almost unfair. It’s not uncommon for us to catch 100 per hour.View attachment 244664View attachment 244665View attachment 244666View attachment 244667View attachment 244668
That’s amazing! Love all those Katydids. I would actually love to catch em at night but unfortunately they seem to disappear into thin air when the sun goes down. Maybe they know something I don’t at night?
Glad to know I can feed her a wide variety and not just a couple safe species! Thank you so much! Going hunting soon as I get to the property. Peaches is eating good tomorrow! XD
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s amazing! Love all those Katydids. I would actually love to catch em at night but unfortunately they seem to disappear into thin air when the sun goes down. Maybe they know something I don’t at night?
Glad to know I can feed her a wide variety and not just a couple safe species! Thank you so much! Going hunting soon as I get to the property. Peaches is eating good tomorrow! XD
Lol, exact opposite here! Nothing worth chasing during the day, everywhere at night.

Ever tried a light trap? This would make them come to you instead of you searching them out.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lol, exact opposite here! Nothing worth chasing during the day, everywhere at night.

Ever tried a light trap? This would make them come to you instead of you searching them out.

Have you had luck with loght traps and katydids/hoppers? The katydids st my park are too high ortoo far in the brush
 

bigwigwabbit

Avid Member
Thats Awesome! My Pops used to catch these when he was a little kid he tells me. I guess it was before all the famers started using poisonous pesticides on there crops. F#@%* SUX!!! I didnt realize there was some left. Thats cool keep up the good work and save the horny toad and maybe one day we all can have one as pets once again.
 

bigwigwabbit

Avid Member
This is from my Dad
Yes, sometimes I would catch Horned Lizards, ( Horny Toads ) put them in a cardboard box and feed them Red Ants. They’re really a lizard. Toads are amphibious, they can live in water and on land. Horned Lizards only can live on land.

I just finished reading the articles. The reason they’re endangered and protected is because farmers and ranchers would put out poison for Fire Ants, and the Horned Lizards would eat the Fire Ants and the poisoned ones and die from consuming the poison and poisoned ants.
 
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Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Have you had luck with loght traps and katydids/hoppers? The katydids st my park are too high ortoo far in the brush
Yes but it’s definitely not a high volume method. Light traps are definitely more for moths than hoppers but do work in southeast Louisiana.

What kind of area you working with?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes but it’s definitely not a high volume method. Light traps are definitely more for moths than hoppers but do work in southeast Louisiana.

What kind of area you working with?

Tall hay-like grass and trees that backup to a stream. The area is only like 20ft deep but there’s the possibility of (drug) needles in the brush thanks to the junkies who cut through there. So I dont walk in past the perimeter. Yay Baltimore!
 
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