gutloading vs dusting vs vitabugs + calciworms, your thoughts?


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Hadn't seen this before.

90 day feeding trial near the end of the video with groups of bearded dragon hatchlings fed dusted insects vs vitabugs + calciworms vs gutloaded only insects.

Wasn't aware that vitabugs were sort of designed to be used alongside calciworms (calciworms 2x per week, vitabugs the other days).

Buying insects is outside my budget- I have to grow all my own- I'd never be able to afford to buy as I feed a lot of insects to lizards.

So I guess for me the result of watching video is me now very curious about what they are feeding the "vitabugs".

I've always thought the science behind them was a little hyped as it has been known for decades that insects raised completely on a high quality diet will have a higher nutritional makeup than those that are simply gutloaded. But they mention lots of caratanoids going into these vitabugs.

I'm wondering what thoughts are out here on this video. Anyone used the same feeding schedule (calciworms 2x per week and vitabugs the other days) with chameleons? Wondering if it would be possible to eliminate supplementation using this schedule as seemed to be working for the bearded dragons.

Also wondering if the accelerated growth rate of the vitabug group was really more the result of the calciworms (soldier fly larvae). I'd like to see a comparison of 2x per week calciworms + dusted crickets. Or home raised well fed insects that were dusted plus 2x per week calciworms.

Would be cool to try with chameleons but out of my budget. Anyone who buys insects to feed ever try the vitabug + calciworm and no supplementation thing?

The video


Avid Member
The first thing that pops into my mind is the carotenoid levels they mentioned. Wouldn't this and the other nutrients be from gutloading, apparently on a continuous basis from a young age to have a cumulative effect? Reminiscent of Rob Pilley's article on his outdoor thamnobates group. Where he bought crickets at a very young age and raised them on nutritious fodder their entire lives before feeding them off. Speaking of which, how's your thamnobates coming along? (Ok, this was an intentional segue to be a little nosey. Sorry;)


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Yeah I'm sure they aren't doing anything new, only feeding a highly nutritious food for life and then calling the resulting insects by a name for their brand.

:D Thamnobates! Thanks for asking!

Mine are doing great. First female to breed is now pretty big/fat. I just bred my second female to another male (my favorite male- he's got big spikes on his back) the other day- took her a while to get up to size where I felt she was ready. Third female growing but still far too small for breeding. I think they could grow faster- I set them up outdoors where they only get dappled sunlight during the heat of the day and full sun only in the morning and afternoon. I think they could take full sun most of the day as long as there was shade available also to escape the heat. Basing this not only on growth rate since late march when they were moved outdoors, but also on coloration- they seem kind of dark to me a lot of the time. I moved one cage over the other day for an hour or two into the sun during the heat of a warm day and she looked very good while there. I've got plans to move their table one of these days.

Also after waiting a few months, the magazine article written by their breeder in South Africa finally arrived a month or so ago. Was an interesting read and fun to see the setup they came from.
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Awesome! Great to hear. Thanks for the observations as well. I'm working with a pair of Howick and Mooi River and they're doing so well I couldn't pass up a couple pairs of the Nottingham Roads when they came in. Trying to get up the nerve to go full sun myself. What localities do you have? I ordered that magazine issue also but my payment didn't go through for some reason and I haven't pursued it any further. I'll have to re-attempt.

Again, I apologize for the tangent to all whose looking for info on the original topic. Maybe we could continue this conversation elsewhere fluxlizard? Either way, good luck!
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