Putting a good diet and feeding schedule in place will ensure that your pet chameleon gets all the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to stay strong and healthy.
One of the things you may be wondering is whether you can add superworms to their diet, use them as a treat, or if they are not safe for chameleons.
Continue reading to find out about superworms and whether they are good or bad for your chameleon pet.
What Are Superworms?
Superworms are large worms, very similar to mealworms, but considerably bigger. They grow to around 2 inches (5cm) and can remain in their larvae stage for up to five months.
When compared to mealworms, the superworm is approximately five times bigger. They have more chitin, which means they contain less meat. They are excellent sources of fiber, fat, and calcium.
Can Chameleons Eat Superworms?
Knowing that superworms are filled with fat, fiber, and calcium, you may be wondering if they are a good food for your chameleon pet, or should they only be offered as a treat.
Staple insects for chameleons include crickets, roaches, silkworms, and superworms. So, they are part of the staple food recommendations for a chameleon.
What Chameleon age Before Feeding Superworms
You can feed superworms to a chameleon of any age, but ensure you purchase the right size to reduce the risk of choking or impaction.
It is advisable to wait until your chameleon is a juvenile before introducing superworms, as they can become very addictive. This also reduces the risk of impaction or choking.
Superworms comprise of:
- Moisture – 58%
- Protein – 20%
- Fat – 18%
- Fiber – 3%
- Calcium – 2.370mg/kg
Due to their high fat content, you may want to keep superworms as a treat, rather than a staple daily food to reduce the risk of your pet becoming obese.
Where To Get Superworms?
Superworms can be purchased online or from pet shops. It is very important to ensure that the superworms you purchase are from a reputable source, this will ensure you purchase the healthiest and best quality superworms.
You can purchase cans of superworms online, which are made with farm-raised worms, without any preservatives or colors.
How Many Superworms Should I Feed?
You can swap our superworms for crickets (or roaches) at meals or give a superworm or two as a treat. You should feed no more than two superworms, along with three crickets for a meal and no more than two or three superworms as a treat now and then.
If you feed as a treat, always feed after the meal, not before.
Superworms also have a good moisture content, making them ideal for dehydrated, or recently shedded chameleons.
How Often Should I Feed?
Superworms can be given as a treat up to two times per week. Don't feed superworms too often, chameleons love them and become addicted, which can make it harder to get them to eat any other insects.
How To Gut Load Superworms?
It's imperative that any insect you feed your chameleon is gut loaded.
Superworms eat vegetables and fruits, including sweet potato, carrot and apples, which are all excellent in nutrition and moisture. You can also feed them oats and wheat bran.
You can also purchase commercial superworm food to add to their nutritional value. The commercial superworm food is a premium gut loading food for any feeder insect, providing optimal nutrition for your chameleon. It is designed with the correct ratios of calcium to phosphorus, along with Vitamins D, A and E.
Feed to feeder insects as much as they can eat 24 hour before you feed them to your chameleon pet.
Do I Need To Dust Superworms?
Any insect or worm you feed to your chameleon should be gut loaded and dusted in calcium supplement.
Dusting is quick and easy and done as you are about to feed the superworms to your pet chameleon.
Simply place in a bag or container with a lid, sprinkle on some calcium powder, and give them a gentle shake. Feed immediately to your chameleon, ensuring it gets all the benefits of the calcium powder, reducing the risk of metabolic bone disease.
How To Store Superworms?
Superworms are probably one of the easiest feeder insects to store and feed to your chameleon pet.
They can be stored in a large plastic container with air holes in the lid and stored at room temperature.
Cover the superworms in a thick layer of oatmeal or wheat bedding/food, providing bedding and an excellent food source, keeping them alive and healthy. Placing pieces of potato on the top of the container will provide a hydration.
In conclusion, superworms are actually a staple food source for chameleons, which can be offered as part of their meal or as a treat.
Ensure you gut load them and dust them in calcium before you feed, increasing nutritional values and ensuring your pet gets the vitamins and minerals that they need to remain healthy and strong.
Adding a variety of insects to your pet’s diet will ensure that their nutritional needs are met.