This section contains some of the types of insects you should be feeding your chameleon in order to keep him/her happy and healthy along with information to keep your insects in top shape. The information on this page was provided to us by ReptileFood.com, who provide a nice assortment of insects which can be ordered online for your convenience.
Crickets are excellent food chameleons, particularly since they are readily available to anyone in the pet trade. Crickets represent the base food source for any of the insect consuming pets and are the most widespread of all feeder insects. Any size required is readily available to nourish anything from the larges insect-eating lizard to the smallest hatchling. You can’t go wrong by feeding crickets.
Feeding and watering your crickets is vital to their survival. This will greatly prolong their life. Cricket care is an easy and painless process. Many of the same rules that apply to reptile/bird care also apply to cricket care. Crickets should be kept at a temperature between 70-75°F degrees and relatively low humidity. An 18 gallon roughneck Rubbermaid container is ideal housing for most sizes of crickets. Small crickets can be kept in large critter keepers. If you have the room it works out well to have the crickets kept by the reptile or amphibian tank that way the crickets are stored in a convenient place and transferring them to your pet will be much easier. This will help make the clean up more convenient and few crickets will escape while you are harvesting them for use. Crickets are shipped in specially designed boxes that include egg crate to increase the amount of standing room. It is recommended that you use the new egg crate in your cricket container for additional standing room. Crickets will begin to stress if they are kept too closely together. Avoid using any type of aerosol near your cricket container. Mite strips, air fresheners, bleach and ammonia are all deadly poisons to crickets. Clean your cricket container between shipments with warm water and a mild detergent only.
There is no need for bedding material; a bare container will suffice. Harvesting crickets will be much easier if there are no obstacles in the way. A good diet for insects can consist of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, fish flake, low-fat kitten chow, bee-pollen, and potato flakes. Commercial (insect) food with concentrations of calcium and other essential vitamins are also available, but not a necessity. The bottom line is, feed your insects well. Treating your crickets like pets is a good way to save money and you will be much happier with your purchase.
Flightless fruit flies are high in protein and resemble a mealworm’s nutritional makeup. They come in two sizes; Drosophila melonagaster are about 1/16th inch in size and Drosophila hydei sturdivant measure in around 1/8th inch in size. The flies are shipped in vials that contain between 50 and 100 flies. The vials contain a blue medium that serves as the flies’ food and water source. The best thing about these flies is that they will continue to reproduce in the vial. If conditions are right, each vial will produce over 500 flies in six weeks.
Fruit Fly Care
Fruit fly vials should be kept around 70ºF. Higher temperatures can be tolerated but promote bacteria growth within the vial. The plastic seal around the cap of the vial can be removed so you will have instant access to the flies when you are ready to feed your pets. The flightless fruit flies will automatically breed and lay eggs in the blue substrate that also serves as their food and water source. The gestation period varies, depending on what culture you ordered, D. melanogaster take an average of 12 days while D. hydei can take up to 25 days. It is important to allow your adult flies two days in the vial before being fed to a hungry critter. These adult flies will be busy laying more eggs and ensuring that you will have a very successful vial. But it is also important to remove the adults within five days of hatching to avoid complications caused by dead flies in the substrate. The vial will produce an average of five hundred flies and will last up to six weeks. The vial will stop producing flightless fruit flies when all of the blue substrate is gone.
Flightless fruit flies have generally become the staple food for feeding small reptiles, amphibians, and spiders. Fruit flies are the perfect food source for those delicate small reptiles that require extra care and attention. The vials are easy to care for and there is a no hassle storage method already prepared for you.
Mealworms are a great staple food for chameleons. They require little care and are a good nutritional food source for a wide variety of pets. Mealworms are easy to keep while feeding to your pets, and are readily available in sizes that accommodate any type of insect consuming pet.
Mealworms should be stored in a much colder environment than room temperature. Recommended temperature is 45-50ºF for housing mealworms. Average refrigerator temperature is usually sufficient and will greatly increase the amount of time mealworms can be kept. Mealworms should be kept in a plastic shoebox size container with two inches of bedding material. You can provide water for your mealworms by removing them from the refrigerator, allowing them to warm up for an hour and then placing thin slices of potatoes, fruits or Cricket Water on top of the bedding for them to consume. After a couple of hours remove the excess water source and return the container back to the refrigerator. They will not need much nourishment because the cooler temperatures keep them in a hibernated state.
Even though mealworms are kept in a slight state of hibernation they will still grow and shed their skin. Minor cleaning of shells is recommended and will keep the excess shells out of your pet’s environment. Taking care of your feeder insects will help keep them healthy and in turn will lead to a healthier pet.
With a soft body and small head wax worms are one of the best foods as a diet compliment and for recuperating sick or malnourished animals. Large quantities can be difficult for baby animals to digest so feed sparingly. Wax worms are the best for beefing up any pet that will ingest them. We recommend treating your pet to a few wax worms several times a week to keep them healthy and happy.
Wax worms need to be kept in a temperature range of 50-55ºF. In most cases, the proper temperature can be found on the door of your refrigerator or in the butter dish area. The pine shavings in which they arrive will suffice for the time you will have them optimal the temperature keeps them in a hibernated state. Wax worms will remain dormant until you feed them to your pet. After warming to room temperature they will become more active. When kept at the proper temperature wax worms will last several weeks. Unhealthy or dead wax worms will turn completely black and should be immediately removed from the container.
Wax worms are very nutritious and create diversity in your pets diet. Wax worms are a very high quality food and are easily digested. They have no shell and are soft bodied. Highly nutritious, wax worms are a great source of protein, moisture and fat.