Hornworms??????

dkollaritsch

New Member
I grow organic tomatoes and always have hornworms I pic off them and throw to the catfish....is it OK to feed these to my chams?? I heard that tomatoes are poisonous to chams, but I noticed the food they sell to feed the hormworms is dried tomatoe and tobacco chow?? What are your thoughts on that???
Thanks!
 

Brian S

New Member
NO! The chow is a special blend but i'm not sure what it is. Tomato and tobacco leaves are poisonous to chams. DO NOT FEED THEM TO YOUR CHAMS!!!!!!
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
The food that Hornworms eat in the wild gives them their toxic properties. That is part of the hornworms defense. The ones that are bred in captivity are not toxic because of their controlled diet. Mulberry Farms explains this on their website. This is kind of like poison dart frogs that are sold on the market. The ones in the stores are not toxic because of their controlled diet. Thus, making them safe to sale to pet owners.
 

dkollaritsch

New Member
Back to the fish!!!

Good to know...that is what I thought! To bad, cause I sure have a ton, because I don't use any pesticides.
Thanks!
 

roo_71

New Member
I am pretty sure that you can take wild worms and feed them the commercial chow to clean their guts of anything toxic – how long this takes (or if its actually true) I don’t know but I would think it would take less time with smaller worms. I read the Mulberry farms site info and they are not specific about anything since it would obviously hurt their business a bit to mention that their guts could possibly be cleaned out. I would PM Lele about this, she would know. Post back what you find out.

-roo
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
maybe you could try to take the ones from the garden and breed them in captivity. Then feed your cham the ones that were bred. It might be very risky though. If you decide to do this, let us know if it works, it would be very useful info. But still, I wouldn't reccommend putting your cham in a risky situation.
 

Heika

New Member
I seem to remember that Chameleon Journals said that wild hornworms could be fed after their guts were cleaned, too. Sure wish that site would go back up.

Heika
 

lele

Avid Member
I seem to remember that Chameleon Journals said that wild hornworms could be fed after their guts were cleaned, too. Sure wish that site would go back up.

Heika

yeah - what happened to cham journals??

dkollaritsch- as for hornworms...if you get them in their early instars (an inch to inch 1/2 max) you can TRY to get them to begin eating the chow, the younger they are the more of a chance you have to get them to switch.

Hornworms are the caterpillar stage of the large sphinx moths. The ones we use as feeders are the most common tomato and tobacco hornworms from your garden. They molt 6 time before becoming the adult moth - hawk or sphinx moth.

I wrote an article on them for chamnews. Check it over and let me know if you have any questions. It's 2:00am and I need to go to bed. I'll check back tomorrow ;) here's the link: hornworms
 

Fate X

New Member
how do you feed these fat worms to your chameleons?

i tried pulling the horn off with my fingers and that sucker is really on there.
when i pulled the horn off the hornworm spit up some nasty lookin orangish fluid.then at the spot where the horn was there was some clear fluid leaking out but lucky ate it anyway.

do people recomend pulling the horn off? it looks dangerous for the chams digestive tract if you ask me.

is cutting the horn off ok?
 

roo_71

New Member
Cutting the horn off is fine and the orange stuff may have been some sort of defensive measure. What’s probably more important is remove the mandibles (jaw parts) – the worm can attach itself to the inside of the chams mouth and choke it. I have heard this happening to a fellow keeper with her mellers cham.

A note on shipping horn worms …

I got some a couple weeks ago and they were shipped with the food end up and during shipping the food got loose from the mesh and bounced around in the container and smooshed all the worms. People who get these worms will know what I am talking about. So in todays order I mentioned to have them shipped with the food end at the bottom to prevent what happened last time.

-roo
 

TylerStewart

Right Wing Extremist
Site Sponsor
I got some a couple weeks ago and they were shipped with the food end up and during shipping the food got loose from the mesh and bounced around in the container and smooshed all the worms. People who get these worms will know what I am talking about.
-roo

Ha ha ha, I have a picture of a box of 250 medium to large hornworms I bought once that were shipped this way and the same thing happened. It looked like someone opened the box, jumped on the worms for 5 minutes and taped it back up... It'll gross everyone out, but I'm gonna find the picture tonight.
 

Fate X

New Member
my pod broke off also,what happened is the staple broke away from the mesh/chow . i had 3 dead worms that were crushed.what i did was move the chow back to the top of the container then i used a drywall screw to re-anchor it.now i just take the lid off to get rid of the crap.


lucky ate the worm with the mandibles intact.
 

Brandy

New Member
i breed them and ocasionaly one of the cats jumps on the shelf where they all are i always roll back in my chair and roll over worms that were knocked off. Picking smooshed hornworms out of your chair wheels is not fun at all!
 

Fate X

New Member
Cutting the horn off is fine and the orange stuff may have been some sort of defensive measure. What’s probably more important is remove the mandibles (jaw parts) – the worm can attach itself to the inside of the chams mouth and choke it. I have heard this happening to a fellow keeper with her mellers cham.

A note on shipping horn worms …

I got some a couple weeks ago and they were shipped with the food end up and during shipping the food got loose from the mesh and bounced around in the container and smooshed all the worms. People who get these worms will know what I am talking about. So in todays order I mentioned to have them shipped with the food end at the bottom to prevent what happened last time.

-roo



how do you remove the mandible?
 

garfield1

New Member
Hornworms

I fed wild hornworms right off of my tomatoes plants in my backyard for years. Each year when the tomatoes were back in season, I would begin to see the little hornworms on the leaves. I would just wait until they were the right size and fed them to my Jacksons. I never had a problem and as I stated above, did this succesfully for years.
 

roo_71

New Member
I fed wild hornworms right off of my tomatoes plants in my backyard for years. Each year when the tomatoes were back in season, I would begin to see the little hornworms on the leaves. I would just wait until they were the right size and fed them to my Jacksons. I never had a problem and as I stated above, did this succesfully for years.

I don’t doubt it. I tend to question everything and always wondered where the proof was that horn worms that ate tobacco/tomato leaves would harm a chameleon. Heard it a billion times but never saw anyone back it up with any scientific data. Sure the leaves may be toxic to us(?) and other critters but are they toxic to chams?

how do you remove the mandible?

Needle nose pliers? I personally don’t do anything to them and just feed them as is. The comment about the Mellers chameleon is absolutely true though … so role the dice if you dare. Some chams will just bite down once and hold a prey item in their mouth for a moment before chewing again. So this MAY give the worm the chance to bite the cham in the mouth and cause the choking ... my veiled and carpets just chow them down right away so I dont really worry too much about choking.

How often should a hornworm be fed to your cham?

The Davison book mentions that they are an excellent feeder and somewhat fatty … so sparingly I guess.

-roo
 
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