Diet And Supplementation
Chameleons are known as insectivores and should be fed a balanced variety of insects. While crickets are a mainstay of their diet chameleons also eat roaches, locusts, meal worms, butter worms (which are good for calcium), flies, silkworms, grasshoppers, super worms, and wax worms ( the last two in limited quantities as they are high in fat).
Be careful of wild-caught insects because of the possibility of pesticide exposure. Avoid feeding fireflies or bugs you haven’t researched just to stay on the safe side. Before feeding insects to your chameleon, they should be “gut loaded” (fed fresh vegetables, vitamins, and minerals) to ensure your pets good health.
Many chameleons will also eat certain plant life (including live plants in their enclosure). It is important that only healthy plants are used for food. You can offer small amounts of fruits and vegetables too. Your chameleon may enjoy collard greens, kale, dandelion leaves, butternut squash, diced zucchini, red pepper, blueberries, thinly sliced apples or pears, and bits of melon. Before you give your chameleon anything to eat that you are not sure of making sure you research it first.
Monitor your chameleon’s feeding habits and adjust quantities of food as needed. If you see, several insects are left uneaten try backing off the amount of food you provide. Never leave live insects in the cage for extended periods of time as bugs may bite your chameleon.
Vitamin supplementation is essential but exactly what, and how much, is controversial. I am not an expert here but having had a veiled chameleon who suffered from too little, and later on too much, supplementation. I;m willing to offer what I have learned through my research. As mentioned earlier, you should gut load your insects before feeding them to your chameleon.
It is also important to dust insects with soft reptile calcium powder (without D3 added) and uses it for your daily feedings. Calcium with D3 added to it should be used very sparingly as you can overdose chameleons on D3. D3 should also be used VERY sparingly with animals that are frequently exposed to real sunlight. They get their D3 from the sun, and you certainly don’t want to overdo it. Chameleons that are under a good UVB bulb most of the day are also getting a fair amount of D3. Use calcium with D3 once a week at the very most. Some experts say that once a month is more like it. If you use a multivitamin supplement use one that doesn’t contain any vitamin A (consider using beta-carotene instead) and use it no more than once a week or so.
Chameleons are shy, fragile, and fantastic animals. If you do your due diligence in researching where to buy, and how to care properly for your chameleon, you may well have many years of joyous interaction with one of the most incredible and intriguing creatures on earth. Chameleon care is much easier when you know the facts before you bring one home.