phoenix worms for vieled babies?

mightyzug

New Member
hello all... i am experienced in keeping reptiles, but not chams, and i have just got my first vieled (baby) today. :)

i have read most of the threads already here on the phoenix worms, the general feeling i get is that they are really great on paper but not so much in reality. great for young chams and as a supplement / treat for bigger chams but not a main food source. well i plan on using them as a temporary staple if my cham will eat them (since he IS a baby) but only for a few months then he can graduate to bigger better foods.

the main complaint i have read about these is that they are too small, even the large size being too small for some folk. so my question is what size would those of you who have used these suggest for a baby vieled (no more than 2in. SVL) ??
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I feed silkworms to my sub adult cham. They are really high in calcium and he loves them. The only thing that I had a problem with was that some of them went through my chams body undigested. On top of that, it was still alive. you can fix this by punturing the worm with a clean needle right before feeding to the cham. It will squirm for a little while and then die.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
I wouldn't suggest these worms as a staple feeder.

Firstly, although they are very rich in calcium, they are basically impossible to gutload so you can't use them to transfer other nutrients to your cham.

Secondly, there is the digestion problem that Marc pointed out.
If your cham chews the worms before swallowing that will be enough to break the skin and digest it, but sometimes they swallow the odd worm whole.
Pricking them with a pin does the trick, but it also kills the worm, so unless your cham eats it quickly while it is still wriggling it will die and be left uneaten.
(I must add that in my personal experience I've hardly ever had undigested worms, but then I don't feed these worms more than once a week).

And finally, I don't think these worms provide much hunting stimulation and tongue exercise for chameleons. They basically just squirm around in the bottom of the cup until their demise.

Don't misunderstand me though: there is nothing wrong with them as an additional feeder. They're certainly very easy to keep and they do have the calcium advantage. Also when they pupate into flies they become excellent flying prey to help stimulate activity in your cham.

I just don't think they make a good staple feeder.
Your staple feeder should definitely be something you can gutload (with the exception perhaps of silkworms, whose mulberry chow is a good natural gutload).

In my opinion, there isn't much to beat the humble cricket as a staple feeder for young chams. You can gutload them, they come in the right sizes (pinheads for babies; small for toddler chams), they make for great hunting fun for your cham and I've never seen a young Veiled that will refuse them.
 
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mightyzug

New Member
thanks for the input ya'll but like i said i have read just about everything that comes up on this site when you search the phoenix worms so i have already read most of that... i do have the crickets to feed him for now but i will have to use the worms (if not these then some other worm or feeder that wont jump) exclusively for at least a week while i am away and my gf has to feed him. plus the way my enclosure is set up makes escape pretty easy for the smaller crix that the pet shop gave me. also i have read that the phoenix worms are nutritionally complete enough that you don't have to bother with dusting or gutloading them like other feeders. keep in mind too that he is a baby and the phoenix worms would be a temporary food source, probably lasting no more than a can or 2 before it gets put back in the treat category :)

most importantly i am concerned about making sure i get the right size worms since so many who do use them have said they are too small. i AM looking into ordering / farming other food sources but for the meantime my pet shop only carries crickets and phoenix worms, so the little guy will have to make do with them for at least a week or so... any ideas on what size worms i should try??
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
The place that supplies them where I live doesn't give me any size options, so I've never had to worry about that question. It's just a tub o' grubs, various sizes.

According to the WormMan.com site, you can get them in extra small, small and medium. He places mediums at 1/2 inch long.

Personally, none of the grubs I've had have ever grown that large before they've pupated and become flies. But that could be due to differences in fly cultures, growing medium or temperatures out here. The scientific documentation on these worms is still a bit patchy.

So if I say that extra-small would equate to the smallest grubs I've ever seen, and medium would equate to grubs a little before pupating, then in my experience, extra-small would probably be too small for anything but hatchlings, and the mediums wouldn't give you much time before they pupate.

So I would recommend that you get the 'small' worms, or to translate that into what other breeders might offer: mid-lifecycle worms...
 

mightyzug

New Member
i checked them out a little more and you are right the medium is about 1/2 inch. they also have large that are about 3/4 inch, or slightly larger than the crix i got from the pet shop. i think i am going to try the medium just to see if my cham likes them since it seems to be a matter of preference... if they spoil too quickly then i will know to get the smaller ones next time
 
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