In their natural habitat, Nosy Boraha chameleons mainly feed on insects. Pet chameleons should eat a balanced diet for proper nutrition. Here are ideas on what you can or cannot feed your chameleon.
What To Feed Your Chameleon
Chameleons eat a variety of insects, fruits, and vegetables. A baby chameleon requires small-sized foods as compared to adults. Feed them fruit flies and pinhead crickets until they can eat adult portions. Below are the different food options to feed your adult Nosy Boraha chameleon.
Give your pet chameleon a variety of feeder insects. Different feeder insects have varying nutritional values for your Nosy Boraha chameleon.
Some of the best feeder insects for your pet include:
- Worms: earthworms, wax worms, silkworms, calcium worms
- Flies: curly wing flies, fruit flies, black soldier flies, green bottles, blue bottles
- Indian stick insects
Pet shops, breeders, and online distributors sell feeder insects. Get your insects from reputable sources to avoid feeding your pet insects with parasites, insecticides, or pesticides. You can choose to raise your live feeder to be sure they are not contaminated.
Take note of the nutritional value of each feeder insect to avoid feeding your chameleon with excess calories. Identify their fat, moisture, calcium, and protein content. Regulate them depending on their nutritional value.
Gut Loading Feeder Insects
These include insects that have been heavily fed with nutritious plant matter 24 hours before your pet’s feeding time. Chameleons need nutrients from plants to supplement their diet.
Gut loading your feeder insects with nutrient-rich vegetables makes them healthy for your pet. The 24-hour timeframe provides the insect time to digest the food but not to fully metabolize the nutrients.
Some of the most nutritious gut-loading foods you should give your feeder insects include:
- Collard greens
- Yellow Squash
- Sweet potato
Calcium and Vitamin Supplements for Nosy Boraha Chameleon
The Nosy Boraha chameleon requires calcium and vitamin supplements as part of its nutrition. These help in maintaining the chameleon’s bone and organ health. Sprinkle the supplements on the insects you plan to feed to your chameleon.
Give your Nosy Boraha a multivitamin supplement every two weeks. Get multivitamins with limited Vitamin A as it may cause edema (fluid sacs under the chameleon’s chest, neck, and throat). If you notice any swelling on your chameleon, discontinue the supplement and consult your veterinarian.
Chameleon treats stimulate and excite them before their feeding time. Be careful not to overdo the treats as it could make your pet obese. Treats have very high-fat content and low nutritional value; thus, should not be stapled feeders.
Some of the best chameleon treats include:
- Morio worms
- Bamboo worms
- Wax worms
- Butter worms
Fruits and Vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables are good supplements for a chameleon’s diet. Choose to feed your pet nutritious fruits and vegetables with high calcium and a low phosphorus ratio.
Some of the fruits and vegetables to feed your pet include:
- Lamb lettuce
What To Avoid Feeding Your Chameleon
Avoid feeding your chameleon citric fruits such as lemons and oranges, as they are too acidic and bitter for your pet. The core and seeds of many fruits are also toxic to reptiles, though the fruits are safe. Peaches, apricots, and apples have a poisonous core for your chameleon.
Cabbage, figs, spinach, and iceberg lettuce are vegetables that should not be fed to your chameleon. They are toxic to the chameleon and can cause health issues. Avoid gut loading your insects with these foods.
Do not feed your pet any foods that contain more phosphorus than calcium, such as dairy products, meat, and animal foods (dog food, fish food, and cat food). Phosphorus lowers calcium absorption in your chameleon’s body, resulting in metabolic bone disease. Chameleons only need small amounts of phosphorus obtained through gut-loading feeders.
Get a Chameleon Pet Today!
You can enjoy having a Nosy Boraha chameleon for your home or office. They are easy to maintain and only require the proper diet and environment to thrive. Feed your pet feeder insects, vitamin supplements, and occasional treats. Avoid cabbage, spinach, citric fruits, and foods with high phosphorus, such as dairy products.