OK, here's the....

How MUCH supplements to give. We all have read about the best schedule for supplementing and the types of supplements. However I haven't read anywhere about specifically how much to give. For example: my 3 month old male BB ambilobe eats between 15-20 crickets a day. I give calcium 5 days a week. Sat no sup's. Every other Sun cal w/ D3, and the opposite Sun a multi vitamin. So my question is: Do I dust ALL 20 of them? 1 or 2 of them? Half of them?.... Maybe I've missed something but I haven't read anything specifically addressing that. :confused:



New Member
i once read on here that they should be lightly dusted to just make them a lighter shade. If they are all white and lots of dust comes out of the container when you put them in the cage, they're over dusted. Your dusting schedule sounds good. I dust all of mine with plain calcium w/o D3 everyday and then i mix the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin together and dust twice a month on the 1st and 15th. My cham is currently rejecting crickets right now so i've been lightly dusting meal, wax, and silk worms which he eats from my hand.


Staff member
I dust all of mine because there are always some that run under the dripper and get it washed off or scurry around in the leaves and brush it off. By dusting all of them I know my cham is at least getting a decent amount even as some of the crickets have gotten theirs off. As long as you're dusting lightly (don't make them white) then you shouldn't have to worry about oversupplementing, especially with plain calcium. They will just excrete the extra as long as it's not really excessive. Your dusting schedule sounds good.


New Member
so you dust ALL the crickets your cham eats in a day?
If you're talking to me, yes, but I'm not sure if he's eating them or they're hiding and he used to eat them from my fingers but refuses now and only worms from my hand. And he refuses to cup feed so ya and also i agree with the dripper thing or misting, when i see them scurrying around the cage, they look like i never even dusted them.


New Member
Interesting question, "lightly dusted" isn't very specific especially when diets, measurements, opinions, and feeders differ. Is frequency more important than quantity? I know different minerals and vitamins are regulated differently. For example, Vitamin A is an important supplement for many reptiles including Chameleons. From my reading it comes in two popular forms. Beta Carotene and Performed Vitamin A. Beta Carotene is easier regulated by chameleons after consumption. So, over supplementation of Beta Carotene isn't as harmful or influential. Performed Vitamin A on the other hand, can over accumulate without correct dosaging causing health issues your are trying to avoid. Is this the same with the popular calcium and d3 supplements we are using.

Maybe there is enough room for error and it doesn't matter, but it brings up a good question.


Chameleon Queen
Beta carotene (prOformed) can not cause an overdose...it is converted to vitamin A as needed....however, its controversial as to whether any/all chameleons can convert it or not. As you said...PrEformed vitamin A can build up in the system.

Its fairly hard to overdose the calcium...although if you really went overboard with it and the D3 from supplements it might be possible. D3 from supplements can build up in the system and lead to health issues. D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't lead to an overdose as long as the chameleon can move in and out of the UVB.

In addition to this, vitamin A, vitamin D3 and calcium along with phosphorus need to be in balance for good bone health and for other systems in the chameleon. Excess prEformed vitamin A may prevent the D3 from doing its job and lead to MBD.

Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Some of this has been said already...but I hope it will help...
Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

As I said before, Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...


New Member
I feed my chameleons in the morning and at night. I dust the crickets for the night feeding. :confused:

it is recommended not feeding for at least 4 hours before lights out because chams need heat (bask) to digest their food and they don't get a chance to do this if fed to close to lights out which means their food may not get properly digested.


Avid Member
it is recommended not feeding for at least 4 hours before lights out because chams need heat (bask) to digest their food and they don't get a chance to do this if fed to close to lights out which means their food may not get properly digested.

Good advice. I usually feed at 10:30am and then 5pm. Lights run from 8am-8pm. I wish I could fall asleep by 9pm, but no such luck lol. Especially since I wake up at 5am.
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