Isopods, Springtails, and earthworms!

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am very anti-earth worms as feeders. The risk is too high for parasites and they're just not something chameleons typically eat in the wild. I could be just paranoid, but it's not worth the risk imo (not to mention that there is no appreciable reward to balance out the risk). Especially when there are sooo many other options that are safer. I have a couple earthworms in my bioactive vivariums, but I would not consider feeding them

Isopods are high in calcium and can make good snacks, but most species are too small for chameleons unless the chameleon is young or a tiny species. Isopods are smaller than a grain of rice, so I don't think they are goin to do you any good
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am very anti-earth worms as feeders. The risk is too high for parasites and they're just not something chameleons typically eat in the wild. I could be just paranoid, but it's not worth the risk imo (not to mention that there is no appreciable reward to balance out the risk). Especially when there are sooo many other options that are safer. I have a couple earthworms in my bioactive vivariums, but I would not consider feeding them

Isopods are high in calcium and can make good snacks, but most species are too small for chameleons unless the chameleon is young or a tiny species. Isopods are smaller than a grain of rice, so I don't think they are goin to do you any good

Dwarf isopods/ baby isos are about the size of a rice grain lol. There are a ton that are larger than a grain of rice though. My p. Hoffmanseggi are almost the lenth of the tip to first knuckle of my thumb if not the same length. P. Ornatus "south/ yellow dot" are a fairly large size too, and as a bonus, breed pretty easily.

Hey all! I was wondering if anyone had nutritional information on these three similar to this page. https://dubiaroachdepot.com/guidance/dubia-roaches-vs-other-feeder-insects#data. (it's a sweet reference by the way) Also bonus question, I hear some concern about earthworms and parasite can this be mitigated if your breed your own?

I have read elsewhere to try and keep isos to a 1 in 7 / 1 in 10 ratio as a feeder if possible. I don't use earthworms/ night crawlers at all though I have been debating adding some into my bio active enclosures lately.

FB_IMG_1549485710331.jpgFB_IMG_1549486203046.jpg
 

iMi

Established Member
I am very anti-earth worms as feeders. The risk is too high for parasites and they're just not something chameleons typically eat in the wild. I could be just paranoid, but it's not worth the risk imo (not to mention that there is no appreciable reward to balance out the risk). Especially when there are sooo many other options that are safer. I have a couple earthworms in my bioactive vivariums, but I would not consider feeding them

Isopods are high in calcium and can make good snacks, but most species are too small for chameleons unless the chameleon is young or a tiny species. Isopods are smaller than a grain of rice, so I don't think they are goin to do you any good

I also didn't know about the parasite risk, even from store-bought earth worms, until recently. Your advice is sound, but I would offer a friendly challenge to a couple of points. First, nutritionally they are fantastic. Rich in calcium, high in protein and low in fat. So, there is certainly a reward. Plus, they are great as dusting critters with sticky coating and large surface area. Is it enough to offset the risk? I would say probably not...

Two, I believe Vailed Chameleons do in fact eat critters off the ground from time to time, especially after rainfall. In fact, someone here on the forum stated they have personally observed this behavior in the wild. They dwell in trees and shrubs. Plus, they are ambush predators. Opportunistic in nature, so I don't think we can completely rule out the possibility they eat earthworms in nature.

I agree with the OP that if there was a way to ensure parasite free earthworms, they would be great addition to the feeder staple.
 

Bigsky

Established Member
I also didn't know about the parasite risk, even from store-bought earth worms, until recently. Your advice is sound, but I would offer a friendly challenge to a couple of points. First, nutritionally they are fantastic. Rich in calcium, high in protein and low in fat. So, there is certainly a reward. Plus, they are great as dusting critters with sticky coating and large surface area. Is it enough to offset the risk? I would say probably not...

Two, I believe Vailed Chameleons do in fact eat critters off the ground from time to time, especially after rainfall. In fact, someone here on the forum stated they have personally observed this behavior in the wild. They dwell in trees and shrubs. Plus, they are ambush predators. Opportunistic in nature, so I don't think we can completely rule out the possibility they eat earthworms in nature.

I agree with the OP that if there was a way to ensure parasite free earthworms, they would be great addition to the feeder staple.
I feed night crawlers to my bearded dragons, and have had no problems with them. What parasites are you concerned about?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Interested to hear more about worms being used as feeders. My chams have hunted things on the ground outside, I dont see why worms would be off the table. I think parasites are something that's a bit overblown. I do use isopods as a regular feeder and keep 8 different species of them.
 

iMi

Established Member
I feed night crawlers to my bearded dragons, and have had no problems with them. What parasites are you concerned about?

Since someone brought up the issue here a few days ago, I googled the problem and found quite a few details about various parasites that utilize the worm as an intermediary host. However, as I believe you have pointed out earlier, even if there is a risk to native species there may not be any measurable risk to our exotic animals as they may not play a part in the parasites lifecycle.

They are not in their native habitat. So, I have questions, too.

I would really like to learn more about this... until then, I think I'll air on a side of caution.
 

Brook

New Member
Huh that was some good info and I really appreciate everybody's input. hypothetically If isopods and earthworms where used is there any concern about to much calcium?

PS Special shout out to dshuld for the chart.
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
Huh that was some good info and I really appreciate everybody's input. hypothetically If isopods and earthworms where used is there any concern about to much calcium?

PS Special shout out to dshuld for the chart.

I've been feeding 2 to 3 known isos a week with no problem based on the 1 in7/ 1 in 10 ratio I mentioned before. I've watched my chams snag some that pop up randomly on top of the known with no issue too.


Thank you, this is the site that they came from. Theirs is one of the longer lists I've found.

http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/crested-geckos/diet-nutrition/feeder-insects
 

Brook

New Member
I've been feeding 2 to 3 known isos a week with no problem based on the 1 in7/ 1 in 10 ratio I mentioned before. I've watched my chams snag some that pop up randomly on top of the known with no issue too.

Out of interest where are you getting this ratio from and why?
 

Brook

New Member
I am very anti-earth worms as feeders. The risk is too high for parasites and they're just not something chameleons typically eat in the wild. I could be just paranoid, but it's not worth the risk imo (not to mention that there is no appreciable reward to balance out the risk). Especially when there are sooo many other options that are safer. I have a couple earthworms in my bioactive vivariums, but I would not consider feeding them

Isopods are high in calcium and can make good snacks, but most species are too small for chameleons unless the chameleon is young or a tiny species. Isopods are smaller than a grain of rice, so I don't think they are goin to do you any good

Hey just curious, I saw the parasite thing tossed around a couple times/ is there somewhere i could get info on this?
 

PhunkeyPhish

New Member
I have a couple toads that I have had for 6 years predominantly on an earth worm and red wiggler worm diet and have never had an issue with parasites. I think it is important where you get your worms from though. When my colonies get low I always order from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm. They have a great product and do their best to make sure their worms are healthy and parasite free. I inquired as to what precautions they take and it sounds like they mainly keep a very closed system and only feed an organic worm meal they designed (which they also sell and I feed). While I don't have a cham now, I have house sat one and plan to get one in the future and will likely feed these worms. (I originally came to this site for information on different feeders, especially silk worms).

Thanks for the resource dshuld, this is great!

- pp
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a couple toads that I have had for 6 years predominantly on an earth worm and red wiggler worm diet and have never had an issue with parasites. I think it is important where you get your worms from though. When my colonies get low I always order from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm. They have a great product and do their best to make sure their worms are healthy and parasite free. I inquired as to what precautions they take and it sounds like they mainly keep a very closed system and only feed an organic worm meal they designed (which they also sell and I feed). While I don't have a cham now, I have house sat one and plan to get one in the future and will likely feed these worms. (I originally came to this site for information on different feeders, especially silk worms).

Thanks for the resource dshuld, this is great!

- pp

You're welcome. Only place I've bought bulk worms from is http://www.bestbuyworms.com/ They are local for me so we bought a bunch for the garden from them.
 
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