"Gut-Loading" Your
Feeder Insects
Chapter 4:
Dietary Guidelines

"Gut-loading" refers to what and for how long you feed the bugs you offer to your chameleon. Most insects are under-nourished and dehydrated when you purchase them. Remember, your chameleon "is what it eats" and they will not obtain any nutrients from a meal like that! Your insects (pending on type) will require a very specialized menu in order to survive and thrive.

Quick recipe for "gut-loading" your bugs:

Week 1: Collard greens, oranges, tropical fish food flakes
Week 2: Mustard greens, melon, crushed dry iguana diet
Week 3: Crushed alfalfa pellets, carrots, crushed high quality cat food

Contrary to popular belief, captive insects are extremely delicate and will die in a matter of hours if the conditions and not optimal! This is not only costly but also unsanitary, so follow the guidelines below to prevent unnecessary death.


  • You can place superworms in the same container as crickets; however, you MUST keep waxworms in a separate container and keep them refrigerated! Other insects will EAT waxworms, and unless chilled, they can pupate into moths!

  • I would suggest keeping your superworms in a separate container, as they are burrowing bugs, they can be difficult to find when mixed in with crickets, not to mention the risk of crickets escaping when you are moving all the egg crates around trying to find them!

  • For worms in general, any deep container will do. No lid is needed, as they cannot go anywhere. Use a lid however if you have a curious cat who might tip the container over! Just ensure there are lots of air holes in the top.

  • Make sure you have enough egg crates and other applicable substrates for the bugs you bring home. Ask the salesperson for "bedding" when getting waxworms or superworms. You will need more however, for superworms, as they need to "burrow". You can use plain oatmeal or wheat germ.


Previous Section:
Bringing Your Feeder Insects Home