Can Chameleons Eat Superworms? Number and Feeding Frequency

A correct diet for your pet chameleons composed of vitamins and minerals assures a healthy pet. Various insects fed to your chameleons provide nutritional value, enhancing their health. However, most people constantly find multiple alternatives for the chameleon’s diet, such as superworms.

Veiled chameleons eat superworms which are a good source of nutrients. However, the worms are addictive to chameleons and should be fed to the chameleons at most twice a week. At best, the superworms should be gut-loaded and dusted before being fed to the chameleons. Avoid dead and frozen superworms.

Can Chameleons Eat Superworms

What are superworms?

Superworms are large-sized worms similar to mealworms but considerably larger. They are about 5cm (2 inches) long and remain in the larvae stage for as long as 5 months. You can raise superworms right at home for your pets.

They are approximately 5 times bigger than mealworms, with more chitin and less meat. They are well-known for their high fiber, fat, and calcium nutrient content. Besides that, breeding mealworms is quite similar to raising and caring for superworms.

What is the nutritional value of superworms?

Superworms have high nutrient contents that are helpful to chameleons, as shown in the table below:


Can chameleons eat superworms?

Yes, superworms are an excellent food for chameleons. Their high nutrient composition of fat, calcium, proteins, and fiber makes them suitable for chameleons.

Various insects make up a staple food for chameleons. They include silkworms, crickets, roaches, and superworms. Therefore, superworms are part of the staple food recommended for chameleons.

However, superworms should be introduced to chameleons at any age but in limited amounts. This reduces the risk of choking or impaction. It also reduces the chances of addiction, as superworms are very addictive to chameleons.

How many superworms per chameleon?

Veiled chameleons are obligate carnivores, depending on meat (insects) alone. The reptile community has noted that chameleons have a high preference for superworms. However, unlike other insects, you should gut-load and calcium dust the superworms to help in the chameleon’s diet.

Below is the number of superworms to feed to your veiled chameleons at varying ages:

Chameleon ageNumber and size of superworms per week
1-3 months old, young veiled chameleons2-3 < 1”
3-6 months old, young veiled chameleons3-5 1”
6-10 months old, Juvenile veiled chameleons4-6 1.5”
10+ months old, mature veiled chameleons7-8 2”
Age of chameleons and the number and size of superworms they can eat

Some chameleons prefer superworms to other feeder insects. However, superworms do not form a complete diet for chameleons. Therefore, many pet owners prefer feeding other insects, such as crickets in the morning, then superworms as treats later in the afternoon to provide complete nutrition for their pets.

Pets like chameleons only feed on the larva stage of the superworms and other worms such as mealworms. Adult insects such as beetles for superworms, mealworms, or silkmoths aren’t usually edible. When feeding chameleons on superworms, be careful to avoid obesity in the chameleons since superworms have lots of fat.

How often should I feed chameleons with superworms?

Superworms should be used as treats for veiled chameleons at most twice a week. It is important to avoid feeding them to chameleons regularly as they are addictive. This addiction makes chameleons avoid eating other insects.

How to gut load and dust superworms

It is necessary to gut load and dust any insect fed to chameleons with a calcium supplement. Gut loading entails deliberately feeding the insects to be preyed on with adequate nutritious foods to transfer the nutrients to their prey. On the other hand, dusting entails supplementing the superworms with calcium supplements.

1. The gut loading process

Superworms, unlike other insects, should be gut loaded before being fed to chameleons. Gut-loading superworms entails providing their ideal diet comprising vegetables, fruits, carrots, and apples with high moisture and nutrient content. They can also be fed with oat and wheat bran.

You can also purchase commercial superworm food from your local or online store with high nutritional value. Commercial superworm food is a popular gut-loading food meant for feeder insects that provide nutritional value to your pet chameleon. It is prepared with proportional contents of vitamins D, A, and E, calcium, and phosphorous.

The feeder insects (superworms) should be fed well with the gut loader as early as 24 hours before being fed to the chameleon.

2. The dusting process

Dusting is a relatively simple and convenient process before feeding the superworms to your pet chameleons. It entails putting them in a container with a lid or a plastic bag, sprinkling some calcium powder on them, and later shaking them gently.

You can later feed your pet with the dusted insects to ensure it gets all the benefits of calcium powder. The calcium powder helps your pet reduce the chances of metabolic bone disease.

How do you store superworms?

Unlike other insects, storing and feeding superworms to chameleons is easy. They are easily stored in large containers with air holes made on the lid and kept at room temperature.

You are supposed to cover the superworms with a layer of wheat bedding or oatmeal food. The food and bedding are excellent food sources that keep the superworms healthy. In addition, it is necessary to place a potato slice on the container to provide moisture.

How do chameleons feed on superworms?

Superworms are well known to burrow and hide under stuff. Therefore, it is advisable to put them in a cup that can easily be seen just after dusting them. This is a great way to ensure your pet feeds on the insects without struggling.

Chameleons eat them simply by picking them up with their mouths and chewing them before swallowing. 

Can chameleons feed on dead superworms?

It is not advisable to feed your veiled chameleons on dead superworms. Dead superworms will lose the moisture and nutrient components helpful to the chameleon’s growth.

In addition, superworms will, in most cases, die of illness or infections. Since the cause of the death is not usually known, transferring the illness or disease to your pet chameleon is a risk. As such, you should always avoid feeding your chameleons on dead superworms as they are not beneficial and are, instead, risky.

Can I store superworms in a refrigerator?

It’s common to store live feed in a refrigerator. However, this is not the case with superworms since they hibernate in the cold. Hibernation prevents them from pupating into adults since superworms do not pupate in extreme cold.

Not to forget, hibernation causes the death of superworms because they cannot maintain their body temperature, and energy is lost through hibernation, dying from excess cold. As earlier noted, dead superworms are unsafe for your chameleon’s health.

Bottom line

The high nutrient value and edibility of superworms make them a staple food for chameleons. They can be offered as part of their meal or as a treat. However, always ensure you dust and gut load them to improve their nutrition beforehand. 

In addition, feeding your veiled chameleon with multiple insects is a great way to ensure that all nutritional needs are met. Now get started feeding your veiled chameleons with superworms today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can chameleons eat any type of bug?

Chameleons can eat crickets, cockroaches, and most worms (pachnoda grubs, bamboo worms, silkworms, superworms, earthworms, wax worms, meal worms, butter worms, morios, buffalo worms, and calcium worms).

Can chameleons eat mealworms?

Chameleons can eat mealworms. In fact, mealworms, crickets, and dark leafy greens should make up a chameleon’s primary diet.

What pets eat superworms?

Due to their high nutritional value, superworms are good food for reptiles, birds, hedgehogs, tarantulas, and other exotic pets.


Veiled Chameleon. The Veiled Chameleon.

Louisiana State University. Assessing the Nutritional Value of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia illucens) Used for Reptile Foods.

University of Minnesota. Backyard Poultry / Caged Birds / Fish / Reptiles / Amphibians.

Leave a Comment