Help with food.

Hi everyone,
I've recently been trying to improve my chameleons husbandry and I'm struggling with what food I can feed her... I live in the countryside and the closest way for me to get food is off of a local reptile place, but they only sell Crickets, Locusts and Mealworms... I've been told not to be feeding my chameleon mealworms but they are something she really likes and will sometimes refuse to eat her locusts and crickets because she wants the mealworms. I was wondering if there are any other worms that my chameleon can eat on an every other day basis? It might be important to add that I'm from Northern Ireland so insects might be limited.
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s a good list to start with.
9C803754-9D40-42F6-8FCB-00DFD90CEE2C.jpeg

I don’t know what sourcing these bugs will be like for you in Northern Ireland, but variety is definitely an important part of taking care of your chameleon . I really like to use silkworms. Also anything that flies will make your chameleon go crazy hunting them down. Black soldier flies, green or blue bottle flies, house flies, moths. They love them

also make sure whatever you’re feeding is also being fed well, so your bugs are as nutritious as possible for your Cham
477EB6D2-B0A7-4255-B643-01E21803B187.jpeg


And mealworms are fine used in moderation 😊
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Other Worms: (not necessarily every other day, but as part of a nutritious breakfast... No, wait... as part of a varied diet. Yeah, that's it. 😁
Silkworms​
Some other caterpillars​
BSFL (Black Soldier Fly Larva)​
Hornworms​
Waxworms​
Superworms​

Mealworms don't deserve the bad rap—it makes no sense, and the naysayers have been debunked.

The evils of mealworms

Personally, I prefer Giant Mealworms. They grow larger (hence have less chiten %), and have a longer shelf (in the fridge) life. I feed a few to both my lizards (panther chameleon, bearded dragon) as part of their varied diets every week.

Also, given a choice between feeding mealworms and nothing, I'm going to feed mealworms. (y)

Have you tried any of the feeder species of roaches? Dubia Roaches appear to be available in NI.

Hi DocZ. We just cross-posted. I was debating with myself whether to include that feeder poster, but the bad/wrong info about mealworms deterred me—didn't want to send any confusing/conflicting messages.

Bottom line—mealworms are fine occasionally and/or as part of a varied diet.
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello! Try buying bugs online. Dubiaroaches.com offers many bugs that the others above have mentioned.
 
Here’s a good list to start with. View attachment 312978
I don’t know what sourcing these bugs will be like for you in Northern Ireland, but variety is definitely an important part of taking care of your chameleon . I really like to use silkworms. Also anything that flies will make your chameleon go crazy hunting them down. Black soldier flies, green or blue bottle flies, house flies, moths. They love them

also make sure whatever you’re feeding is also being fed well, so your bugs are as nutritious as possible for your Cham View attachment 312979

And mealworms are fine used in moderation 😊
Thank you so much. I've screenshotted both of these and I'll do my best to find out where I can get these. I have always been sceptical about letting my chameleon eat flies or moths as I don't know where they have been or if they could have diseases ect.
 
Other Worms: (not necessarily every other day, but as part of a nutritious breakfast... No, wait... as part of a varied diet. Yeah, that's it. 😁
Silkworms​
Some other caterpillars​
BSFL (Black Soldier Fly Larva)​
Hornworms​
Waxworms​
Superworms​

Mealworms don't deserve the bad rap—it makes no sense, and the naysayers have been debunked.

The evils of mealworms

Personally, I prefer Giant Mealworms. They grow larger (hence have less chiten %), and have a longer shelf (in the fridge) life. I feed a few to both my lizards (panther chameleon, bearded dragon) as part of their varied diets every week.

Also, given a choice between feeding mealworms and nothing, I'm going to feed mealworms. (y)

Have you tried any of the feeder species of roaches? Dubia Roaches appear to be available in NI.

Hi DocZ. We just cross-posted. I was debating with myself whether to include that feeder poster, but the bad/wrong info about mealworms deterred me—didn't want to send any confusing/conflicting messages.

Bottom line—mealworms are fine occasionally and/or as part of a varied diet.
The only reason I feed my chameleon mealworms in the first place is that it is locak for me to get and it is eastly for me to dust them with suppliments compared to the locusts. I've seen the bigger mealworms before but I assumed they would be worse for a chameleon than the regular ones but I'll definitely look into that. I'll also look into those other bugs you have suggested. Thank you so much!
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have always been sceptical about letting my chameleon eat flies or moths as I don't know where they have been or if they could have diseases ect.
Buying from vendors or raising your own feeder insects are the best ways I know of to reduce that risk.

Regular routine fecal exams (annually or semi-annually) are also good practice.
 
Buying from vendors or raising your own feeder insects are the best ways I know of to reduce that risk.

Regular routine fecal exams (annually or semi-annually) are also good practice.
Okay, I'll keep that in mind and can these fecal exams be done it any vet or does has to be one that specialises in reptiles?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
The only reason I feed my chameleon mealworms in the first place is that it is locak for me to get and it is eastly for me to dust them with suppliments compared to the locusts.
OK. I was trying to convey that there's no need to feel guilty about it.
If you can alternate with locusts & crickets, all the better.

I've seen the bigger mealworms before but I assumed they would be worse for a chameleon than the regular ones but I'll definitely look into that.
One of the 'concerns' about mealworms is their alleged chiten content (which is actually lower than the perennial goto—crickets). Lets compare a few...

1634832821527.png

Source: https://dubiaroachdepot.com/guidance/20-dubia-roach-benefits

They don't complain about chiten with Superworms because the... 'chiten to guts ratio' is lower than that with mealworms. But then they complain about the higher fat content of Superworms.

And look at the chiten content of locusts!

With the Giant Mealworms (which aren't that high in chiten anyway) you get a slightly lower chiten ratio than with regular mealworms.

Then some will complain about the fat content of superworms, and go on to suggest BSFL as a staple, when BSFL contain almost 25% more fat than superworms!

No-one should blame you for any consternation—we've all been there at one time or another.


Okay, I'll keep that in mind and can these fecal exams be done it any vet or does has to be one that specialises in reptiles?
They can be done at any vet, but treatment should probably be handled by the most experienced (with chameleons or reptiles) reasonably available. IDK if vets may/may not accept tests from other vets, so it'd probably be a good idea to have the test done by a herp vet if possible.

Finding a Herp Vet near you
 
OK. I was trying to convey that there's no need to feel guilty about it.
If you can alternate with locusts & crickets, all the better.


One of the 'concerns' about mealworms is their alleged chiten content (which is actually lower than the perennial goto—crickets). Lets compare a few...

View attachment 312989
Source: https://dubiaroachdepot.com/guidance/20-dubia-roach-benefits

They don't complain about chiten with Superworms because the... 'chiten to guts ratio' is lower than that with mealworms. But then they complain about the higher fat content of Superworms.

And look at the chiten content of locusts!

With the Giant Mealworms (which aren't that high in chiten anyway) you get a slightly lower chiten ratio than with regular mealworms.

Then some will complain about the fat content of superworms, and go on to suggest BSFL as a staple, when BSFL contain almost 25% more fat than superworms!

No-one should blame you for any consternation—we've all been there at one time or another.



They can be done at any vet, but treatment should probably be handled by the most experienced (with chameleons or reptiles) reasonably available. IDK if vets may/may not accept tests from other vets, so it'd probably be a good idea to have the test done by a herp vet if possible.

Finding a Herp Vet near you
Yeah, it seems that locusts are worse than mealworms. I've also heard that mealworms are difficult for a chameleon to digest... I'll try and locate the best reptile vet near me and see about getting here checked regularly.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, it seems that locusts are worse than mealworms. I've also heard that mealworms are difficult for a chameleon to digest... I'll try and locate the best reptile vet near me and see about getting here checked regularly.
That's the chiten fallacy. Like I said, both my lizards relish them (probably as yours does), and like most, I monitor their droppings. No problems.

Are they causing your cham any digestive issues?
 
That's the chiten fallacy. Like I said, both my lizards relish them (probably as yours does), and like most, I monitor their droppings. No problems.

Are they causing your cham any digestive issues?
I noticed that she hasn't been doing a number 2 in a while but today she did. There was a long bit that was coated in a goo almost and was yellow and white. Then there was one bit that was a small oval shape and was brown. There was a brown splat almost as well. I also have one concern that I've just seen. My cham was in her sleeping spot and was sleeping as her eyes were closed. This was about 10 minutes before her light went out Is this normal? I know that chameleon show sickness by sleeping during the day
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I noticed that she hasn't been doing a number 2 in a while but today she did. There was a long bit that was coated in a goo almost and was yellow and white. Then there was one bit that was a small oval shape and was brown. There was a brown splat almost as well.
The white & yellow is urate (chameleons don't urinate as such) and quite normal. In fact, the yellow tinge usually indicates the cham is sufficiently hydrated.
chameleon yellow urate

The brown was/is... 💩 😁

I also have one concern that I've just seen. My cham was in her sleeping spot and was sleeping as her eyes were closed. This was about 10 minutes before her light went out Is this normal? I know that chameleon show sickness by sleeping during the day
Perfectly normal. Some bed down as much as an hour or more before 'lights-out.'
Eyes closed during the middle of the day is cause for concern.
 
The white & yellow is urate (chameleons don't urinate as such) and quite normal. In fact, the yellow tinge usually indicates the cham is sufficiently hydrated.
chameleon yellow urate

The brown was/is... 💩 😁


Perfectly normal. Some bed down as much as an hour or more before 'lights-out.'
Eyes closed during the middle of the day is cause for concern.

The white & yellow is urate (chameleons don't urinate as such) and quite normal. In fact, the yellow tinge usually indicates the cham is sufficiently hydrated.
chameleon yellow urate

The brown was/is... 💩 😁


Perfectly normal. Some bed down as much as an hour or more before 'lights-out.'
Eyes closed during the middle of the day is cause for concern.
Okay that's good, but the 💩 wasn't all that oval, solid looking consistency which was what I expected. It was between runny and hard... if that makes sense.
My chameleon falling asleep before lights out was unusual for me, I'd never seen her do that before, but I'm glad thats its normal for her to do.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay that's good, but the 💩 wasn't all that oval, solid looking consistency which was what I expected. It was between runny and hard... if that makes sense.
If it helps, take a look at: Chameleon Poop 101

My chameleon falling asleep before lights out was unusual for me, I'd never seen her do that before, but I'm glad thats its normal for her to do.
I'd view it as a positive. She's become comfortable enough to asleep in your presence. ;)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
she's quite feisty.
Then, IMO, you've got a winner. ;)

I've got a really feisty panther, and I was resigned to pretty much leaving him alone.
Time & patience. It's been a haul, but he's actually coming around quite nicely. He'll walk up my arm on his own, tolerate a little chameleon juggling, and this week he's allowing me to pet him a little. :)
 
Then, IMO, you've got a winner. ;)

I've got a really feisty panther, and I was resigned to pretty much leaving him alone.
Time & patience. It's been a haul, but he's actually coming around quite nicely. He'll walk up my arm on his own, tolerate a little chameleon juggling, and this week he's allowing me to pet him a little. :)
Wow that is a fiesty chameleon. Mine has a fit when it comes to lifting her out. But once I do she is straight up into my neck for a cuddle or she will sit in her tree branch on the window being nosey
 
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