Natural diet of Panther Chameleons

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by Sean1978, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. Sean1978

    Sean1978 New Member

    Has anyone studied what insects specifically are available to panther chameleons in the wild? I have my panther book and it goes into some detail about prey preference between grasshoppers and crickets. I'm pretty sure that the study determined that the chameleons would basically alternate between the two.

    Here's what I was thinking about. How often do Panther Chameleons eat crickets in the wild? Crickets seem to prefer the same type of environment as cockroaches (dark and under cover) and I can't really see them wandering into the trees or grass tops to get eaten.

    It seems to me like the most likely insects in the elevation range of the chameleon would be either live plant eaters or predator insects. Cockroaches and crickets feed on dead and decaying matter generally right?

    I'd like to know exactly what insects a wild Panther would eat over the course of a day.

    It would be nice if you could provide a Panther with native species of common insects.
  2. joefarah

    joefarah New Member

    This is the first really interesting question I've seen on here in months...
  3. Vibrant Chameleons

    Vibrant Chameleons Established Member

    I'm quite positive the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach would definitely be in the Panther Chameleons regular diet.
  4. ChromaChameleons

    ChromaChameleons New Member

    This question is definetly worthy of some reputation points...
  5. Sean1978

    Sean1978 New Member

    Read a bit about them already. They eat decaying wood in the forests from what I understand. I wouldn't see them getting out of cover, they seem like they would be easy prey for birds.

    If they ate a lot of grasshopper type animals would the not be basically "guy loaded" with vegetation?

    When I lived in Florida as a child we had flying cockroaches and burrowing crickets, but they would only come out at night. Do panthers hunt at night? All of the pictures in the panther book I'm reading of the places were they did studies looked pretty grassy.

    Anyone here been into a wild grassy field? In the summer here in NC they seem to be populated by dozens of grasshoppers and grasshopper-like insects. I'd say most of the are pretty small.

    I think Mantids and dragonflys would be the predator insects around here. I wonder how different (nutrition wise) animals like this are from crickets and cockroaches.

    Most of the non-ground level insects seem to feed on live vegetation. I'd say most ground level insects are darker in color and eat mainly dead plant matter.
  6. Vibrant Chameleons

    Vibrant Chameleons Established Member

    Mantids and Walking Stick Bugs would also be readily available for their diet.
  7. NWD

    NWD New Member


    I'm sure they eat anything they find which if you've been I'n a forest before you know is very diverse also when chameleons get hungry you will often see them searching the bottom of the cage so I'm sure a hungry chameleon would venture near the forest floor for some roaches and crickets.
  8. Lizardlover

    Lizardlover New Member

    A large part of their diet would probably be orthoptera (crickets, grasshoppers and relatives) by crickets the article was probably referring to some type of arboreal cricket, sometimes Katydids (leaf eating orhtoptera) are called crickets or "bush crickets". I cant imagine hissers being part of their diet at all due to the fact that they normally live in the leaf litter, out of site. Mantids and phasmids probably make up a good part of their diet as well as other smaller chameleons, anything really that would be encountered up in the trees would be fair game. Chameleons don't really hunt at night but thats not to say that they wont, I remember a documentary on BBC where they found a female oustaleti feeding at night, seems like the main food source in Madagascar are little green grasshoppers I've seen as a prey item in many documentaries. Think about this NWD, the top of the cage to the bottom relative to the top of the tree to the floor is alot different, theres also not leaf litter to conceal ground dwelling insects, not to say it doesn't happen, but I dont think its likely. Theres actually an identical thread to this from ColorCham427 if you care to look it up.
    #8 Lizardlover, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  9. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Nice link jcal!
  10. jcal

    jcal Member

    thanks. now if only i could find some of those bugs
  11. JackP308

    JackP308 Established Member

    Ive read the pill millipede is very common in their diet. Which the 1st link above has several types of that millipede. We got some giant millipedes in the basements around where I live. Don't think Ill be catching them anytime soon though.

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