Hairy Catapillars

Phatturk

New Member
In my area near Chicago we have these hairy brown and orange caterpillars every summer. I have asked around and no one seems to know the name of these things but I was wondering if there are toxic caterpillars out there? They hatch in the 1000's from these huge web nests in the trees. Any help would be appreciated. Let me know if I need a pic and I will get one.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Lele is the resident caterpillar expert around here, and I'm sure she can provide a more comprehensive response than mine.

But the simple answer is: yes, there are many caterpillars out there that are toxic. Obviously, their toxicity with regards to chameleons has not been completely studied. For instance, your caterpillar in Illinois might be toxic to birds in the area, but how does it affect a chameleon from Madagascar? No one has answered all these questions, and I don't think it would be safe for you to try test it out on your pet.

Also, in nature, warning colours (such as orange, red, black and yellow) are used to notify other creatures that the caterpillar might be toxic to eat. So the one you have certainly sounds a bit dodgy.

Another reason most people wouldn't feed that caterpillar to their chams is the fact that it is hairy: that could irritate the mouth and/or throat of the cham.
 

jboysen15

New Member
They are called tent caterpillars. They destroy entire forests and are immune to pesticides. The only way to kill them is to cut out the nest and drownthem. I wouldn't feed them to your cham with all the available(cheap) options.
 

Phatturk

New Member
umm as far as I can tell that is not the same caterpillar as we have around here it looks just slightly different. I wouldn't feed them to my Cham unless I find out that they are high in nutrients or something. But I can assure you my Cham would eat it and kill it without drowning it. :) JOKES!
 

plop9025

Established Member
Are these toxic to chams? I have the same around my house and was wondering if they were feedable.
 

mary prefontaine

New Member
moths and other night insects

i have a bug napper and used to put it out at night to feed my jackson chameleons but i hear that some wild caught inects can give your chams worms is this true? my vet never suggested it to me but that was a while ago and i dont quite remeber what she said. i just know my jacksons used to love catching them, now i have a panther cham and i would like to try it on him
 

SuperRad

New Member
i have a bug napper and used to put it out at night to feed my jackson chameleons but i hear that some wild caught inects can give your chams worms is this true? my vet never suggested it to me but that was a while ago and i dont quite remeber what she said. i just know my jacksons used to love catching them, now i have a panther cham and i would like to try it on him
as far as getting parasites from feeders, your chameleons immune system should be healthy enough that parasites are not transmitted via feeders and are killed by the chameleons natural acids.
But there is always a risk with live feeders even though it's very minimal. .
 
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