Superworm Question.

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
A couple of days ago I was skimming through Philippe Vosjoli's book Care and breeding of Chameleons and I ran across this passage:
"There have been some scattered reports of adult animals going off food and dying after being fed a diet consisting primarily of super (giant) mealworms for a period of about 2.5 to 4 weeks." (page 93-94)
The reading of this resulted in two things happening.
First, Kitty got no zophobas yesterday (he was very disapointed, going down and searching his food dish several times throughout the day).
And secondly me wondering if he is referring to zophobas or the genetically modified "giant" mealworms (which I have never introduced).
Any thoughts? I'm not particularly worried as he has a pretty varied diet but I'm wondering how many zophobas others are feeding daily, weekly?
I know when my guy is being difficult he will always take zophobas. How careful should we be with this?

Not sure where I read it, but I also heard that mealworms have a hard outer layer of skin that is difficult on a cham's digestive system, so they should be fed sparingly. How sparingly? I am not sure, but deff. not every day. I would say if he refuses to eat it is ok to give him some, just don't let him get used to having those every single day. Or it seems like he is already used to it, slowly ease him off of them.
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I believe that is true. I am specifically asking about zophobas.
Incidentally, I always feed freshly shed zophobas (I keep enough that these are always available.)

The shell of zophobas/ king worm isn’t as difficult to digest as a meal worms. I have read this many, many times from numerous places.

As for chams dieing from them? Who knows. My veiled is weird eater and goes on “feeder kicks” and will only eat specific feeders and nothing else – sometime for several weeks. So there has been times he has only had king worms and he has digested them quite well judging by his fecal matter.


I am coming to discover this with Kitty as well.
It seems they hit a certain age and start to drive you crazy!
He won't eat a cricket out of the feeder cup anymore....has to be free range.
So now there are crickets all over the place (very few in his belly).

I'm glad I'm not the only one experiencing difficulties with fussy eaters. Ever since he was about 6 months old, my Veiled has become an incredibly choosy regarding feeders.

I've been wondering how much of it is seasonal, and how this behaviour would be expressed in the wild.

Do they only seek out certain insects at certain times? Obviously certain feeders would only be available to them at specific times of the year in the wild. So is their fussiness a response to some sort of natural 'feeder' instinct?

It has been very hot here recently, although nothing outside of the range of the natural habitat of the Veiled. But I've wondered if that has made him give up on certain feeders.
Also, the days have started getting shorter as we approach autumn here. Could his appetite be linked to a preparation for winter?

I'm going to start keeping a log of seasonal conditions and appetite to see if I can determine any relationship. I'd be interested to find out what other keepers have observed.
Well there is no doubt that the seasons affect my veileds personality (not sure about eating habits). He is 3 years old this month and the past 2 summers have shown that he patrols his territory more often, displays his colors a lot, more aggressive when I come close or put my hand in his cage – will actually butt his casque at my hand / gape /no biting though (thankfully!). He is probably looking for a female or something like that – I know I am the same way in the summer months too :rolleyes:

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