Worms as staples??

KatiLemons

Established Member
I know that most worms should be used as "treats" which is what I am doing now with Superworms . BUT I read in the new Reptile Mag that " 1 hornworm equals 20 crickets" So does that mean that I can just feed my cham a couple hornworms a day? Levi doesn't seem to really like crickets as much as the worms! :eek:I have also read that reptiworms can take place or crickets! I have been thinking about starting a Dubia Colony.? Let me know what you have heard or what you have experienced!! I NEED the advice!:)
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Best not to have an all worm diet because they can't be gut loaded as well as crickets can. Dubia can be gut loaded and are good feeders that can be used a staple though. No single worm type should really comprise more than about 20% of the diet. The hornworms are equivalent to the volume of 20 crickets, not necessarily the nutritional value of 20 crickets. And a few hornworms a day would be like 50+ crickets a day! Are you trying to make your cham a rolly poly? I like ice cream better than salad but probably not a good idea to replace what I should be eating in salad with the equivalent of ice cream. ;) Hornworms aren't bad in moderation, but I don't believe they have enough nutritional value to be a true staple. I would recommend reading some of sandrachameleon's blog posts about feeding as she has some great info that may answer all of your questions.
 
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Texas Ranger

Avid Member
From what I have seen. You can use silkworms as more of a diet additive than hornworms. But as ferret said, Its still a worm. But out of all the worm choices, I think silkys and horns are the best worms IMO. But supers can be gutloaded. But its still a worm. Adding a choice of feeders is always the best. I offer crickets, dubias, horns, silkys, supers, butterworms.
Also yes, a dubia colony is nice to have. And very easy to start and breed.
 

KatiLemons

Established Member
So I do see my cham eat some crickets in his cage but have not witnessed him eatting any from the cup. He practically runs to me when I have a worm! I am a little but of a worry wart and I was wondering if you had to choose a type of worm to feed along with free roaming crickets for a "staple" what would you choose? The reptiworm add seems to give off the impression that they are just as nutrioscious as crickets! I'm worried that if I spend a ton on Roaches that he isnt gonna like those either!
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
If you offer a worm as a staple your Cham is going to stop eating crickets because worms are always preferred (like me and ice cream). You shouldn't be feeding worms at every feeding imo because of this. Mine love worms so they get them as treats just once or twice a week. And once my batch of worms is gone I wait a few weeks at least before getting another batch. And each time I get a different worm - I alternate horns, silks, gutloaded supers and butters and only give them occasionally so all my guys still eat their crickets no problem. Mine didn't like reptiworms. Can't do roaches...gross me out. But they're good feeders and can be used in place of crickets as a staple.
 

Texas Ranger

Avid Member
I was told if I was going to add a worm as part of a "staple" to use silkworms. Thats what Screameleons recommends. But like I said the more you have the better. You could start out with just a few dubias. And see if he likes them. Just get the a few of the size he can eat. If he likes them then you could get a colony going. But you know some days mine love dubias then some days they hate them and want crickets. Then back to dubias. And round and round we go.
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know that most worms should be used as "treats" which is what I am doing now with Superworms . BUT I read in the new Reptile Mag that " 1 hornworm equals 20 crickets" So does that mean that I can just feed my cham a couple hornworms a day? Levi doesn't seem to really like crickets as much as the worms! :eek:I have also read that reptiworms can take place or crickets! I have been thinking about starting a Dubia Colony.? Let me know what you have heard or what you have experienced!! I NEED the advice!:)
No it does not mean just offer your chameleon one hornworm a day. Offer a variety of feeders, ensuring no one feeder makes up more than 20% of the chameleons diet (preferably less), and you will probably be fine. Crickets and roaches are frequently used because they are easy to gutload. But silkworms and superworms are also fairly easy to gutload, hornworms can be gutloaded too, and butterworms are pretty good even if you dont gutload them much. Dont use all "soft bodied" feeders as your chameleon does need some "roughage" and dont use all "crunchy" foods to avoid impaction.

If you want to learn what most of the commonly used feeders are, and why, see: https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/sandrachameleon/74-feeders.html

You can read over a years worth of detailed information on what I feed my panthers in my blog, if that's helpful to you:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/sandrachameleon/food-diary/

If you do use a significant number of larva/worms, do remember to gutload them: https://www.chameleonforums.com/blo...just-crickets-roaches-gutload-your-larva.html
 
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KatiLemons

Established Member
I have bought 100 sm/md Dubia roaches!!! I figured that I would try it out! I will probably get a colony started if he likes them! They are way more expensive then crickets but if Levi likes them then its totally worth it.:D I also bought a value pack from www.lindasgonebuggie.com so that he will get a variety of worms and insects!!
 

reptoman

Avid Member
I have bought 100 sm/md Dubia roaches!!! I figured that I would try it out! I will probably get a colony started if he likes them! They are way more expensive then crickets but if Levi likes them then its totally worth it.:D I also bought a value pack from www.lindasgonebuggie.com so that he will get a variety of worms and insects!!
Keep in mind that dubias live a long time (1-2 years) and will be a self sustaining food source as long as you keep them fed and heated properly. They will pay for themselves in no time.
 
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KatiLemons

Established Member
Keep in mind that dubias live a long time (1-2 years) and will be a self sustaining food source as long as you keep them fed and heated properly. They will pay for themselves in no time.
Thats great to hear. I know my experience with crickets is that alot of them die pretty fast..... and they stink so I will probablycut back on the crickets. Can i gutload Dubias with cricket gutload. The stuff i have is a homemade dried mixture of veggies, fruits and natural supplements (i.e. bee pollen ect.) But its in a powder form?
 

reptoman

Avid Member
You can but you should also use fresh veggies as well. These make them better for hydrating your cham. i usually put a pile of yellow squash, shredded carrots, apple, kale etc in the dubia bin and its gone within a couple hours.
 
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