Wild caught insects


Chameleon Enthusiast
I know the threads on this topic are myriad, and the opinions for and against, more so. However, here the law hasn’t permitted chemical pesticide use where I live for a decade, so there’s no worries there. Moreover, I agree wholeheartedly with my vet that the benefits of increasing the variety of a chams diet by feeding wild caught insects far outweigh the risks of parasites. So, here’s my question: has anyone compiled a safe/not safe list of common insects by region?

If not, I’d like to start a thread that everyone can contribute to: name any wild caught bugs that you have safely fed, and what general area (e.g. northeast, Midwest, or just your usda hardiness zone). And, if you have some nutritional info on the specific bug, please share. Likewise, if you know of bugs to avoid, please share the name of the bug and why to avoid it: e.g. it stings, is toxic, can cause injury, or always has high parasite load. Perhaps we could even formalize it a little...

1. Bug: common name (scientific, if you know it)
2. Safe or not? And Why? It would be great if everyone could cite a scientific article here, but that’s unrealistic. It would, however, be helpful to know why you feel the bug is safe or not. Even information like, ‘I read somewhere that...someone told me...it’s common knowledge that..., etc,’ can be helpful for readers attempting make an informed choice.
3. Your personal experience with feeding them
4. any other information, nutritional, anecdotal, scientific or otherwise.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Further to my last,

5. From which geographical region did you get your bug (usda is helpful, but any idea of location will do)


Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s a start:

1. Bug: European earwig Forficula auricularia

2. Safe or not: Safe with two caveats:
A. I have read that people fear those hind pincers—though I’ve never been pinched, bitten etc.
B. This species of earwig is a generalist and will eat everything from flowers, to leaves, to other insects. Therefore the usual precautions about toxic plants should be taken (catch em, and feed them good greens for a day or two before you feed them off)
3. I feed them several times a week during the warm season. To catch them, I simply put a bunch of straws around the garden, and the next morning they’re almost all full of the gross little things. I put em in a smooth sided tub, feed em usual gut load for a couple days, then feed them to my chams (veileds).

4. I don’t know about their nutritional information, but a wild guess based solely on superficial similarities to crickets makes me suspect similar nutritional values — heavily dependent on diet, of course

5. I live in southwestern Ontario, Canada, Usda hardiness zone 5b


Chameleon Enthusiast
The thing with the wild caught insects are not really a good choice especially for the captive bred chameleon..due to the parasite that might find in higher ratio inside the bug and also the pesticide if u are in a metro area...unless you are live in a rural outer areas.
pesticide, fertilizer, or fungicides can easily kill your cham!
Captivity bred chameleon can only tolerate so much of the parasite in their digestive system.and please do not feed any insects that seem sick, injured, or disoriented,they can easily cause harm in the captivity bred of chams..even death.
Also even the wild caught insect seems perfectly fine n suitable to become a meal for ur cham..there is more to it to worry on what the wild insect been eating..could be any toxic plant(sap ,leaves or fruits)...these are just my opinion n experience....happy feeding for all of you.


Avid Member
Im In Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
Back when I had my 1st veiled cham, i was always able to find grass hoppers around my property. No pesticides, (my grandmother was eastern eurpean, so she aint wasted any money, lol) He loved em, he was a great hand feeder. Got to the point where it was like he almost expected them everytime I came up to his enclosure.
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