Gutloading/Dusting/Varied Feeders


Established Member
Hi All,

I've been reading a lot of posts about the ingredients in a good dry gutload. Some of these recipes are so elaborate that they contain 20+ ingredients in order to ensure the prey items have had a chance to consume a feed that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals a chameleon might need.

If I am being honest, gutloading is probably the one area of husbandry I have been slightly slacking in, so I am looking to improve. I have begun feeding more varied fruits/veggies to my superworms and dubias, but my dry gutload is just whatever junk they sell at the store, or oatmeal for the superworms. I know volumes have been written on the subject, but I have a couple of questions I have not seen asked and have not been able to find the answers to:

1) Is it necessary to feed an A+ grade dry gutload with all the works if I am dusting the feeders? Should I even be dusting the feeders if I am using a gutload that supposedly provides the insects with the necessary vitamins? I keep a Jackson's, which I have read are suseptible to overdosing on vitamins, so I am slightly concerned about overdoing it. Does anyone have thoughts/experience with this? Is this an either/or, or should I be doing both?

2) I primarily feed dubias and superworms, but fairly regularly feed hornworms, hornworm moths, black soldier fly larva, and waxworms. I'll feed mantises too when I can get my hands on them. I would imagine that different species of feeders naturally vary in the nutrients they supply the chameleon. Is the importance of gutloading lessened by offering several species of feeders? Some insects, including hornworms, silkworms, and stick bugs can only feed on one or two host plants, and they are considered good feeders without feeding on standard A+ dry gutload and several types of veggies. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for the input.



Chameleon Enthusiast
I can answer at least question two, for that question I make my own dry gutload and combine a small amount of supplements into the gutload. If your gutload is somewhat balanced and considered a good gutload then no you don't need to dust on a regular basis. Using vitamins I wouldn't at all, and then Calcium with d3 I dust once a month (I have a panther so our dusting schedule is slightly different) and I dust a couple feeders, maybe one or two with regular calcium about every other feeding. But some people don't dust at all if they have a good dry gutload. I just like to be sure.

Also Indian stick bugs can be fed I think 5 different types of non-poisonous plants, so I think if you change up the plants they get a pretty good gut load, they also appreciate the change.


Chameleon Enthusiast

no, You do not need an elaborate 20 ingredient gutload. That some of us provide such doesnt mean it is necessary to make it complicated for it to be useful.
Some gutloading IMHO is important, but you dont have to be obsessive about it. A handful of things provided on a rotation (doesnt have to be a fixed rotation) will do a reasonable job. What those few things are will depend on what prey it is. But some favourites of mine are alfalfa, carrot, dandelion, spirulina, butternut squash and some nuts and seeds.

Yes, a variety of feeders that are gutloaded greatly IMHO reduces the need for supplements.

You are right jacks need take less supplementation than panthers or V, so Id say it might be even better to provide nutrients via varied prey with good gutload, as opposed to relying heavily on supplements.

(Silkworms will eat more than mulberry, by the way, if that's what you mean by only host plant. Indian walking sticks will also eat a fair variety of greens)
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