Silkworms for Juvenile Panther

Hello!
I have a handsome 4 month old Panther Chameleon and I made the dumb decision to buy 200 silkworm eggs. Haha

3 problems:

1. I’m not sure what the minimum and maximum size of the silkies is that I can feed him. I know the “between the eyes” rule but how accurate is that for worms?

2. If he’s currently eating about 12-15 crickets a day how many silkworms can I feed him if I’m using them as a staple? I plan to still give him some crickets for fiber but don’t want these worms to outgrow him.

3. I have raised these worms from eggs and have developed a small attachment to them. It will be interesting to feed my pet with my pets.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So still offer a variety.. I would say if you are doing 15 feeders a day. Then make half silk worms. He Should be able to handle the 1 inch long silks without a problem. His stool may get a little runny so watch that. Compare them to your crickets that you are feeding. :) The silks are not hard for them to bite in to so your mainly wanting to make sure you don't feed a 2 inch one because the diameter is going to be bigger and he will have a hard time getting it down.
As far as raising them from eggs great job... Now ya gotta feed them lol. Close your eyes when you give them to him lol.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh and make sure if they are running around the cage they are not chewing on the live plants. Not good for the silks or your cham. :)
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have no issues dusting the silkworms, I have just the opposite issue, where too much sticks to them! I have to blow them off before feeding, or else it will be a cham version of the cinnamon challenge.

Silkworms, especially smaller ones, are squishy. The girth of the silkworm shouldn't be wider than the space between the eyes, but like I said, they are soft so they compress a bit. Use good judgement, if they look too big, they probably are.

Silkworms are a bit "heavier" than crickets, so your cham might not eat as many silkworms as it would similarly sized crickets. I'd offer as many as he'll take... my bet is a 4 month old can knock out a dozen smalls without breaking a sweat.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you all for your replies! The parts I have issues with is if am going by width then the worm could probably exceed 2 inches.

That said, I will use my best judgement. Thank you all!
You're thinking of the length, which isn't an issue as much as how fat the silk worm is. How fat around it is is what you need to think about, not how long. I'm not sure the size of your cham but 1.5" is probably a good sized silkworm. Do you have normal silkworms or the blacks/zebras? The normals get a tad larger.
 
You're thinking of the length, which isn't an issue as much as how fat the silk worm is. How fat around it is is what you need to think about, not how long. I'm not sure the size of your cham but 1.5" is probably a good sized silkworm. Do you have normal silkworms or the blacks/zebras? The normals get a tad larger.
They are normal silkworms. I fed him a couple of 1-1.5 inch worms today and it honestly felt a little wasteful. He ate them with ease as they are so small around.
 
Then let them get a little larger in a few days. Hard to gauge size without being there, but you are the best judge.
Thank you for your help. This is a new world for me ;)

Side note, I’m planning on buying 500 more eggs and see that there are many different kinds (zebra, gold, pink, etc). Which do you recommend I try or is there no difference besides color of cocoon?
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your help. This is a new world for me ;)

Side note, I’m planning on buying 500 more eggs and see that there are many different kinds (zebra, gold, pink, etc). Which do you recommend I try or is there no difference besides color of cocoon?
You could also let some of your worms mature and cocoon to have the moths mate and lay eggs. I just had about six mating pairs lay over a thousand eggs. The eggs went into ziplock bags in the fridge, they'll "winter" in there for three months and then I'll be able to hatch small batches of worms every week or two for 4-6 months from just the eggs I collected today. It's a lot easier to take care and feed thirty worms instead of 200-500! There are some great how-to threads on raising silkworms, especially a recent one by @snitz427
 
You could also let some of your worms mature and cocoon to have the moths mate and lay eggs. I just had about six mating pairs lay over a thousand eggs. The eggs went into ziplock bags in the fridge, they'll "winter" in there for three months and then I'll be able to hatch small batches of worms every week or two for 4-6 months from just the eggs I collected today. It's a lot easier to take care and feed thirty worms instead of 200-500! There are some great how-to threads on raising silkworms, especially a recent one by @snitz427
Thanks! I'll search for the most recent one by Snitz! I planned on doing this as a bit of a trial... I've read quite a lot of comments about eggs not hatching at all so I'm a little concerned to "bank" on that. However, silkworms seem like an excellent feeder as they don't hop or run super fast... and they aren't hideous. hahaha
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
I just had 4 pairs mate, left the eggs in, one week later, OMG!! they were crawling everywhere, I put in mulberry leaves were able to save most, the baby worms need to stay humid or they will dry out and die, I put mine in a 8" x 12" × 4" clear container, drilled holes in the lid
 
I just had 4 pairs mate, left the eggs in, one week later, OMG!! they were crawling everywhere, I put in mulberry leaves were able to save most, the baby worms need to stay humid or they will dry out and die, I put mine in a 8" x 12" × 4" clear container, drilled holes in the lid
Oh so they don’t NEED to “overwinter”?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
not if they are laid in summer... there is a good chance they'll hatch within 2 weeks, however, they magically sync up to the seasons. So they KNOW when it is getting close to fall and when food will be scarce, and somehow nature knows that they cannot hatch until the following spring. So the fridge tricks them into thinking it is spring. If the weather is warm enough, it may not be needed (I was able to hatch some last week w/o any fridge time).


its easy enough to let a bunch pupate and mate. Worst case scenario, you can still feed the moths (they are relatively small). The zebra and blacks are smaller than normals, as are the moths. My guys love the moths, too.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks! I'll search for the most recent one by Snitz! I planned on doing this as a bit of a trial... I've read quite a lot of comments about eggs not hatching at all so I'm a little concerned to "bank" on that. However, silkworms seem like an excellent feeder as they don't hop or run super fast... and they aren't hideous. hahaha
Another good reason to get some eggs in the fridge is that they only seem to be available from suppliers at certain times if the year. I had to wait months last winter until I finally found someone who had them available, Everyone was out of stock. I don't want to run into that again this winter.
 
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