You could feed them to your cham, but they give off a stinky smell (which everyone knows) but the real name of it is cyanide. So I wouldn't feed them to chameleons.
can chameleons safely eat stink bugs? maybe.....

Hi, I registered to find out if others can say if it's ok for chameleons to eat stink bugs (what a potential great free food source!).

We have a 6 month old panther chameleon who is thriving on crickets and mealworms. While cleaning his enclosure we typically put him in a large fica tree. We noticed that he was hunting and CRUNCHING a stink bug (very distinctive noisy crunch). There was no smell emitted. while we were worrying about the effects, he caught another. We saw no sign that these 2 bugs in any way negatively affected him.

As a chemist, I have checked on the web to see the chemical composition, and there is some research:

"A 2006 study done at Clemson University used Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to determine at least two of the compounds present in the stink bug odor: the aldehydes trans-2-decenal and trans-2-octenal. These two compounds are used in the food industry to add flavor and aroma to products. The trans-2-decenal, also known as decenaldehyde is described as having a “powerful waxy orange aroma” by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

trans-2-decenal (decenaldehyde)


The trans-2-octenal is described as having a nutty flavor and an odor described as waxy or like a cucumber. In the world of food chemistry it is can found used in bakery items or dairy products."

Since these do not seem poisonous, we put another in his cage and he hunted it preferentially to the crickets and meal worms. He has certainly developed a taste for stink bugs, and it doesn't stink when he eats them and so far no problem.

I will certainly be careful introducing this food into his diet, but it seems advantageous for both of us! You gotta love these beautiful chameleons!

Please let me know your thoughts!

My cham just ate a stink bug... I did not feed it to him. I guess it found it's way into the warmth of his enclosure and he grabbed it up. With how bad they smell I would assume that it didn't taste so great. lol. Did you guys ever decide whether or not it was okay for chams to eat them? Thanks

It was a brown marmorated stink bug.
Mine ate one tonight, bringing me to this thread... It was on the outside of the screen and only caught my attention because I heard his tongue hit the screen trying to get it. Felt bad for the misfire so I let him have it.

My two cents on the matter after having done it is this. Lots of people on various outlets have said NOT to feed ANY insect that MAY have come into contact with any pesticides or herbicides. Technically I broke this rule as I live close to a large city.

I have however, fed stink bugs to my cichlids (Electric Blue Jack Dempsey) for an extended period of time on a regular basis and saw no ill effect whatsoever. In fact it promoted breeding in them having live food naturally hitting the water like it would in nature.

It had no smell when he chewed it, only a lot of crunching as mentioned earlier. It absolutely drew his attention and he gladly took his time enjoying his catch so to me, it didn't seem to bother through taste.

I'll certainly keep an eye on him and if all goes well he'll get all he likes!
Top Bottom