There is a lot of food that chameleons can eat. One of the foods that are plentiful and can be easily found in your backyard is earthworms. You may wonder if your chameleon can eat earthworms.
So, can chameleons eat earthworms? Yes, chameleons can eat earthworms. It’s packed with nutrition that the chameleon can benefit from. When feeding the earthworms, avoid those that are caught from the wild, as they could be contaminated with parasites. Instead, buy earthworms that are raised to prevent your chameleon from getting sick.
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Is It Safe For Chameleons To Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms do not have any toxins, so it’s safe for chameleons to eat.
However, you’ll need to be careful with earthworms that are caught in the wild. They could have gape worms in them. Gape worms are a parasite that will live in the earthworms until it’s eaten by something.
If a chameleon eats an earthworm that has gapeworm, they will be infected with the parasites. The gapeworm will attach itself to the throat of the chameleon. As they reproduce, they will start to restrict airflow, which will cause the chameleon to have a hard time breathing. If the problem isn’t taken care of soon, the chameleon will die from suffocation.
Is It Healthy For Chameleons To Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms are healthy for chameleons to eat due to their high nutrition value. It has a high level of protein, carbohydrates, and iron. Earthworms also have a decent amount of copper, manganese, and zinc.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding earthworms to your chameleons:
Provide Protein Content
On a dry matter basis, earthworms contain about 60-70% protein. This nutrient is essential for the overall health of the chameleon. They need protein for muscle development and for other organs in the body to function properly.
Prevent Metabolic Bone Disease
Earthworms are a good source of calcium. Chameleons need plenty of calcium in their diet to prevent metabolic bone disease (MBD).
MBD is a dangerous disease that is common among chameleons kept in captivity. It can lead to bowed or swollen legs, arched spine, bumps along the bones of the legs, spine, and tail.
This disease is irreversible, so it’s important to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Keeps Chameleon Hydrated
Earthworms have a high content of moisture in them. This makes a great treat for keeping your chameleon hydrated.
Can Baby Chameleon Eat Earthworms?
Yes, baby chameleons can eat earthworms. Make sure to give them a small-sized worm.
A large earthworm could cause them to choke on it.
By starting to feed them the worm at a young age, they will more likely eat them when they are an adult.
Earthworms are high in protein, which baby chameleons need. They grow very fast and require a lot of protein to support their growth.
How To Feed Earthworms To Chameleons
When it comes to feeding earthworms to your chameleons, it’s straightforward. All you need to do is place the worm into a cup and place it near them.
When the chameleon sees the worm, they’ll slowly start to walk to them.
If this is your first time feeding them earthworms, they may seem not interested in them. After all, chameleons are arboreal creatures and earthworms aren’t something they will ever see.
After a while, due to curiosity, they may eat the earthworms. Be sure to always feed them healthy earthworms to prevent your chameleon from getting sick.
How Many Earthworms To Feed Chameleons
Earthworms aren’t one of their staple food, so they should be given to them in moderation.
These worms have a lot of moisture, which could cause them to have diarrhea.
To avoid any digestive issues, you should give them an earthworm once or twice per month.
Other Worms That Chameleons Can Eat
Mealworms make great food for chameleons. It’s high in protein and calcium that they need to stay healthy. You can either feed them live or freeze-dried mealworms.
Hornworms are abundant during the spring and summer months. They will eat mostly tomato plants, munching on the leaves. Due to the solanine found in tomato plants, it is toxic to the chameleons. It’s best if you want to feed them hornworms, buy those that are raised as feeders, or raise them yourself. Make sure to only feed the hornworms to plants that are safe such as lettuce, kale, and other leafy greens.
Silkworms are nutrient-rich, yet low in fat. They are a high source of calcium, protein, iron, magnesium, sodium, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3. The silkworms have a soft body, so it’s safe for the chameleons to eat.
Earthworms make a good treat for your chameleons. It’s nutritious and edible for them to eat and digest. Due to the high amount of moisture in the earthworms, you should feed them to your chameleon in moderation.
Donovan got his first pet chameleon at the age of 7. Ever since then, he cared and raised over 10 different species of chameleons. Beside raising chameleons, he enjoys gardening and the outdoors.