Picky Eater to Silks

gavriel

New Member
Has anyone else had a problem introducing silkworms to their chams? My panther cham Mojo will devour anything I offer him as long as it has crunch.

He hand feeds dubias, superworms, and wild caught prey like dragonflys, but soon as I offer him any size silkworm (1 inch to 2.5 inch) he glances at it and then stares as me as if I'm stupid or something. I offer him a dubia 2 minutes later and he devours them.

I even put a silkworm on a branch so he can eat at his pleasure and maybe check it out first since he is new to them. He wont go near it and even puffs up when it moves around.

The first time I offered him one, he ate it no problem. Ever since then, he absolutely refuses them. I tried introducing only silks for 5 days. He ate one the first day and the other 4 days, refused to eat so to break his starving fit and to see if he just wasn't hungry I showed him a dubia and he scarfed it down like no other.

Is there anything I can do to maybe break his attitude of them? Could it be the color or non crunch of them he don't like?
 

Dave

Avid Member
Honestly Gavriel, I've heard of this before. Silkworms, while most reptiles LOVE them, are not infallible. I have heard of Chams and other reptiles refusing them.

Just out of curiosity, are the Silkworms a regular solid white color or a striped zebra color? Some striped insects can invoke a "poisonous insect" response from the reptile, as many insects are striped and colored in odd patterns to ward off predators in the wild.

I would suggest to seek Hornworms, namely Hornworms that are fed high quality Hornworm Chow, as the high quality chow turns the naturally dark green caterpillars into a light and bright teal green color that is EXTREMELY attractive to all sorts of reptiles. And quite honestly, I dont think I've heard of a single case of reptiles refusing a teal colored hornworm, as it is probably the most visually stimulating insect that we carry, and we tend to suggest it for reptiles and other herps that are currently on a hunger strike or in dire need of hydration. They are also low in fat and high in calcium :)

I hope this answers your question. You may try keeping the silkworms in a cooler with a reusable ice pack and a thermometer, keeping it at 55 degrees, or a wine cooler set to the same temperature. This will slow down the metabolism of your caterpillars, and may give your reptile a chance to be open to eating them once more. In the meantime, order up some new feeders to make sure he keeps eating ;-)

-Dave
SPF
 
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