Yes, it was me. I was told by a reliable person that his chams had a hard time digesting them, and were.. well.. pooping them out undigested. Just wanted to hear if anyone else had any different thoughts on them.
I just bought some about a week ago... and actually a customer of mine recommended I try them for the little ones. So far, I have had no ill effects from my smaller chameleons eating them. They end up turning into flies too, which is kinda nice for those who have pygmies/leaf chameleons. I saw one of my leaf chameleons snatch one out of the air once it had turned from larvae to a fly. They seem to like them.
The only thing I'd be careful of, is that they seem to be very high in calcium, which isn't a bad thing, but I think it should be more of a treat, rather than a staple due to possibly giving too much calcium with our regular regiments of dusting and gutloading other feeders.
I picked up a pamphlet on these things at the last Hamberg show. The amount of calcium in these things is absolutely outrageous. They have like 20 times that of what a silkworm has......Its quite amazing. If that data is true, I'd try and stay on the safe side and feed in moderation.......and I'd only feed them to babies and pregnant females. No way does an adult male need that much calcium.
P.S. Another interesting fact....I'm not sure if its true because the only basis I have for it is a big fat guy covered in tattoos telling me this. lol. Anyway, he was very animated about if you dont feed them off quick enough they turn into hornets!!! But jenna....if you've seen them turn into fly's that pretty much shoots that theory down. I was kind of afraid to buy them when he told me that. I mean....how are you supposed to know how close they are to morphing??
I went looking online for any information on the Phoenix worm but I wasn't having any luck finding such a thing. I am guessing this might be a name given to them by the people supplying them for feeders?? I found "Worm Man's Worm Farm" www.wormman.com and Worm Man says they are the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly. He has some nutrition info too. I then looked up the fly and found some information about the life stages. Here is the site I went to: http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG369/notes/black_soldier_fly.html Hope this helps.
They turn into Soldier Flies. I purchased mine at http://www.azdr.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=66 and they came in nice little containers. These worms/larvae are REALLY very, very tiny. They are more for your smaller chameleons. Maybe I'll try to take some pictures of one on a penny or something to show you just how tiny they are later.
They wiggle A LOT and are consistently and constantly moving around, which is really attractive for catching the chameleon's eyes. I put a few in my peacock chameleon cages and they didn't seem much interested in them (but this is when they were first acclimating, so I'll try again), however, my new baby veiled and my leaf chameleons seem to like them. And your right, the calcium content is very high, which is nice for your growing baby chameleons. Another nice thing, is that you don't need to feed them (at least where I obtained them) and if they start to not look so plump anymore you add a few drops of water for them.
These Phoenix worms are really too small for large panther chameleons or larger chameleons, however, the flies are slightly smaller than a housefly, which means it might be an entertaining treat for your larger chameleons once they morph. They are perfect size for leaf chameleons. I have a tiny bowl inside my terrarium eco-system I made for my leaf chameleons so they can't get out into the dirt. I actually didn't see one of the worms change to a fly, but I looked inside the tiny bowl one morning and there he was! One of my leaf chameleons saw him too and snatched it right away lol. So I might experiment in placing 20 or so into a container inside one of my larger chameleon's cages and wait for them to turn into soldier flies and see how they like it. If anything else, I'm sure they would be relieved of the boredom .
As far as knowing when they are close to morphing, I have no idea. I've only had them a bit over a week. According to the company I purchased these from, the larvae lasts about 2 weeks. So, based upon that, I'm guessing two weeks after purchase they might morph to flies. They also come in extra small, small, medium, and large sizes. I wanted a larger size when I ordered, but this particular company only had extra small and small sizes available at the time. So those are what I have. I suppose a larger size larvae would definitely have a shorter time prior to morphing. The largest I've seen out of mine was about 1/4 inch long and the rest were smaller. The woman at AZDR actually called me when they were out of the large and she said she would put as many as she could find that were larger in my order (which was very nice for her to call and take time out to find larger larvae's by hand! I was impressed with the service).
Another nice thing... they seem to last a long time. Each of my containers (I bought 3) has 150 larvae in it. It really seems to go a long way and I still have worms in each of my 3 containers.
So, that has been my experience so far with phoenix worms. I will take some and experiment morphing them into flies for the larger chameleons and see if they enjoy trying to catch them as they fly .
I tried them for my panther. He ate them only after there was no more crickets. Just dont get small they were way small even for a 3 month old panther. Also them not climbing is bull. Use a tall cup they move alot. They cant stick to walls.
I used these. To me they sounded like the perfect feeder; they last long, they are very high in calcium, no need to feed them. It was too good to be true. Like others pointed out, they are very small. When i offered the p. worm with any other feeders, my chameleon completely ignored them, even though they squirm alot. So i stopped using them but kept them for backup. A month later i opened the lid and to my surprise, the worms were still alive and three flies emerged. I put the three flies in the cage, and within thirty minutes they were gone. I never once noticed any digestive preoblems, though at the time i wasn't looking. In my opinion, they aren't that great, certianly not the miracle feeder the distributior makes them out to be--believe it or not.
I tried them with Hermie bc our local pet store said that chams just love them ... hermie snatched one and promptley spit it back out half chewed up and wouldn't touch another one (they look pretty gross half chewed up too lol). So I guess he's not so much of a fan. Too bad since they are high in calcium... but silkworms? Now THOSE are another story, he'll eat them like there is no tomorrow.