Feeding your pet chameleon
Chameleons are not what I’d call reluctant or picky eaters—most are aggressive and opportunistic feeders. But which foods are best? I’ll go into great detail on my “What do chameleons eat” page, but at a high level here’s what you need to know.
Simply put, crickets are the most ideal feeder insect, and should be the primary food for your pet chameleon(s). My chameleons are fed a diet that’s comprised of about 90% crickets. I’ve yet to come across a chameleon that refused crickets.
The remaining 10% is made up of hornworms and roaches. I like hornworms because they help hydrate newly imported chameleons (which are usually dehydrated), and they’re a nice hydration boost for established chameleons as well. Roaches are savored by many chameleons, and while they’re good at hiding, there aren’t many placed to hide in a screened cage with no substrate.
Madagascan chameleons tend to relish roaches more than other species—perhaps because they’re used to eating Madagascar hissing roaches on their home island.
Check out my page “What do chameleons eat
” to learn more about specific feeder insects and supplementation.Pet chameleon care checklist
Here’s a simple summary of what your pet chameleon needs to thrive:
- Adequately-sized screen cage (Reptibreeze is the type I recommend)
- Climbing vines (Exo-terra makes great ones)
- Plants and foliage (live or artificial plastic or silk)
- UVB lighting (ReptiSun 5.0 is what I recommend)
- 65w halogen basking bulb (optional, but recommended)
I hope my chameleon care sheet has helped prepare you for your entrance into the wonderful world of pet chameleons. There’s no reason you can’t be successful keeping these incredible creatures now that you’re educated about their needs in captivity.