Wild Bugs

Ofsthun

New Member
I was sitting here reading through all the post over the last couple of months since I was able to post and I was just wondering what your thoughts are on Panther Chams eating wild bugs like: Moths, fly's, crickets, etc. I live in Texas (not back there yet) and I will be moving to Shreveport, LA soon and I was thinking about puting my cham out on my patio for an evening meal. I understand that feeding chams within a couple of hours of them going to sleep isn't good and that's not what I'm asking this is more of a speculation of what other cham owners think than me looking for a pinpointed answer.

So please feel free to express your opinion and debate if you want but please don't turn this into an argument.

Thanks
 

hybrid

New Member
The only thing Ive heard is to keep your insect gathering away from places that get pesticidal treatments..........

Other than that, there are only a few insects not so good I think.......like the catapillars on tomato plants.........
 

Heika

New Member
you will also have to worry about the wc bugs carrying parisites

So do farmed ones.

I feed wild bugs. Not wild flies, crickets or roaches. They like to eat and get into too many nasty things. Grasshoppers and moths, and a few other tasty looking bugs? Yeah, without hesitation.
 

Ofsthun

New Member
Well the big one is all the small moths we have in Texas. I saw pictures of one cham eating moths but I just thought I'd see what other cham owners think and points of view are.
 

Heika

New Member
Yum..

moth1.jpg
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
I understand that feeding chams within a couple of hours of them going to sleep isn't good

Well, if you were force feeding the chameleon, I would agree, and also note that it isn't such a good thing at any time. But since chameleons are voluntary feeders for the most part, are they not to be trusted to an evolutionary track record that indicates they seem to know when its OK to feed, and when not ? I am not suggesting that we only offer food just before bedtime, but I also don't think the normal feeding choices of an opportunistic feeder need to be second-guessed. Nothing against "old wives", but I believe you have repeated something that has no basis in logic, possibly originally stated as an attempt to impart human feeding habits on a wild animal. Tsk tsk.
 

lele

Avid Member
Well, if you were force feeding the chameleon, I would agree, and also note that it isn't such a good thing at any time. But since chameleons are voluntary feeders for the most part, are they not to be trusted to an evolutionary track record that indicates they seem to know when its OK to feed, and when not ? I am not suggesting that we only offer food just before bedtime, but I also don't think the normal feeding choices of an opportunistic feeder need to be second-guessed. Nothing against "old wives", but I believe you have repeated something that has no basis in logic, possibly originally stated as an attempt to impart human feeding habits on a wild animal. Tsk tsk.

Hi Jim,

My understanding as to not feeding chams for a few hours before lights out is that the food will just in their cool stomach undigested for many hours and this can cause some problems.

I agree with you that a wild cham (or other animal) will know when and when not to feed (hummingbirds seem to have a 20 minute cycle during set hours of the day) as their internal clock is set to the day length, unlike most of us who do not rise and set with the sun ;) The latter being part of the problem with late feeding chams. I am sure that the majority of us who have our chams indoors have our lights set to natural day length, but those who work at night, sleep late and don't want the light waking them up, may not have them on the "normal" schedule. This way a cham might eat a superworm 5 minutes before lights out because it does not know when "lights out" is going to be (since we are in control of that). Like some others, I have all my basking lights go off about 1/2 hour before the UVB. Cy and Darwin pay attention and will go to sleep spots in this time. My little side-blotched lizards don't seem to care and will often stay up for a while longer. Actually Darwin ( beardie) is in the bedroom and I am not an early riser, but I just keep a blanket over part of his tank so his lights don't bother me and he is on a normal schedule

Hope that all made sense! :)
 

Cherron

New Member
I work second shift and definitely like to view my chams so they are on my scheudle.. lights on at 1pm and off at 2am. My apartment is heavily draped since I sleep all day so the light from the windows doesn't disturb their (or my!) sleep schedule. They definitely know when the lights are going out, even though they aren't on a very natural schedule. They work their way to their sleeping spot half an hour or so before it is lights out. I don't stagger my lights either. Works for me.. works for them :)

Occasionally I will throw something in the cage a bit before bedtime.. a moth that made it in to my apartment or the occasional cricket escapee. I don't think that it will have any ill effects unless you are feeding a huge or difficult to digest meal just before the lights go off every night.
 
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lele

Avid Member
back to bugs...

Ofsthun - besides parasites and pesticides (btw, even if you don't use them neighbors may or a nearby farm or other agricultural industry) you need to be aware of toxic insects. The rule of thumb is warning colors: black, orange and red are primarily the warning colors in nature that animals understand. Depending on the insect this is not obvious in every stage. For example the tomato and tobacco hornworms that feed in the local tomato, potato or Solanaceae (family of plants which contain toxins) patch are all green, but as a moth, it has pumpkin color markings on its abdomen that only show when they are flying or frightened, thus showing their abdomens (I am NOT referring to those reared on artificial diet). Monarch butterflies are another but show the warning colors in both their larval and adult stages. DO NOT feed lightning bugs (aka fireflies) as they are extremely toxic and a single one can kill some herps. There is much written on this subject. The toxicity comes from the bioluminescence, which is what produces the "light."

Boxelder bug
Milkweed bug and beetle
lady beetles
are just a few of the better known that show the distinct red/orange & black coloration.

So if in doubt, don't feed it. Most of the moths you see at your light at night are OK. Many moths do not feed as adults so no chance of ingesting pesticide. Parasites are not a concern. Any parasite that may be in a caterpillar (that you are not aware of) are eating the inside of the cat and are of no harm to your chameleon.

Hope this helps and does not confuse. Just stay away from red/orange/yellow (not as often) and black colors.

lele
 

lele

Avid Member
I work second shift and definitely like to view my chams so they are on my scheudle.. lights on at 1pm and off at 2am. ... They work their way to their sleeping spot half an hour or so before it is lights out. I don't stagger my lights either. Works for me.. works for them :)

you are a perfect example :D I often find Cyrus, Darwin and Luna, when she was still with me, sometimes decide to go to bed early or seem to know that it is almost lights out. Since yours have no cue to what the light is doing outside I am sure they've readjusted their clock - so to speak - or just plain get tired and decide to go to sleep. Lights or not. They are still on an internal biological clock. Then there are the times Cyrus looks at me when the basking light goes out as if to say "do i have to go to bed NOW, ma???" ;)
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Lele,

My understanding as to not feeding chams for a few hours before lights out is that the food will just in their cool stomach undigested for many hours and this can cause some problems.

Sorry to have to question the above, but what understanding ? Since when does a chameleon stop digesting at "lights out"? Certainly digestion slows as temperatures drop, but the animal has dealt with this instinctively for millenia ! Unless we have changed the environment and cycle so drastically from what occurs in the wild, the logic just isn't there. They are free-ranging opportunistic feeders in the wild. Without picking apart your use of the word "normal", I would put forth that as in the above example, the late-shift hobbyist almost always has their animals on a normal photoperiod. It was also not contingent to the original statement, or your above support of the erroneous conclusion. If one were to have things such that they decided to "wake up" their chameleons upon return from a late shift, say at 2 AM for an hour, then return them to sleep, I can understand seeing that as a poor disruption in the animal's "normal" cycle, as would be all things associated with it. If given a normal photoperiod, I guarantee the animal is completely capable of regulating itself, as it has for millenia. I also maintain that providing the captive husbandry cycles are adequately mirroring the wild cyles in duration and temperature, it matters not when the chameleon chooses to feed providing it has the available choice throughout the cycle. Can you site for me any study anywhere that supports a "don't allow your chams access to food before bedtime" as being problematic for digestive reasons ? There is no basis in data or observation for that conclusion (not to be confused with "don't throw a load of crickets in with your critter soon before lights out", as in a closed-cage environment, the crickets are more likely to munch on the chameleon given the opportunity). In an abnormal or interrupted cycle, where we have disrupted the animal's sense of what time of day it is relative to end-of-light, then many things could go haywire. But the original statement was that late-day feeding was problematic for the chameleon, and it was to be denied that choice. I say phooey :D!
 

Ofsthun

New Member
Cherron, I am usually on the same schedule as you so my cham is on that schedule as well so that's why I thought about the idea that on the weekends I could change up his feeders with a couple of moths from the back patio.

I'm really enjoying this conversation and I am learning more than if I had asked a specific question looking for one specific answer. There is a lot of good information in this thread so far so please keep the comments coming.
 
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