Can Chameleons Eat Worms? [Safe Worm List]

There are a bunch of things you need to keep on point if you really want to see your chameleon happy and healthy. Guess the most important one among them? Yup, it’s the food that we’re talking about. We guess you already know that cricket is considered a great source of protein and calcium. But what about food like worms? Can chams eat them too?

Chameleons can eat worms, including silkworms, earthworms, calcium worms, etc.  As they’re filled with nutrition, the chams will surely get out of them what they need for proper growth and living a healthy life in the first place.

But the problem is, there are 20000 species of worms. Which ones will be the best meal for your lizards then? And is there any chance of them getting sick after consuming any certain type of worms? Well, this article is all about finding those answers.

How Do I Feed My Chameleons Worms?

If you’ve been spending your days with a chameleon lately, then you’ve pretty much got an idea about how they eat and drink, which are a bit different than any of your regular pets, of course. But depending on the food, their feeding method can vary as well, especially when you’re giving them worms. Well, there are three ways to pull off that job, and they are –

Cup Feeding

If you’re just getting started with adding worms to your charm’s meal list, cup feeding is probably what you should try in the first place. Following a bunch of steps is enough to make it all a piece of cake for you.

Step – 1: Getting the Right Cup

First of all, grab a deli cup. Getting a compostable cup is better compared to the plastic one. Also, make sure that the cup is deep enough as you don’t want the insects to jump out of it.

Step – 2: Putting in the Insects

Take a few insects, as per your pet’s requirement of course, and drop them in the cup. Now take some supplement powder and sprinkle them all over the worms. Then put one of your hands over the cup covering the cup’s top.

Now shake it properly so that the worms and the powder can get mixed. If you’re not comfortable with this process and don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can simply put it all in a plastic bag and do the shaking there. Later on, you can pour the food into the cup.

Step – 3: Tying the Cup to the Enclosure

While snatching the worm, the lizard might knock the cup over. This way, not only the enclosure and the food will get dirty, but the worms might run away here and there too. So, to avoid the hassle, take a cable and tie the cup with the enclosure.

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Step – 4: Placing the Cup at the Right Spot

Place the cup in a place that is below the eye line of your chameleon. Also, put it around the middle of the enclosure. This way, it’ll be much easier for the lizard to approach the food. But if the reptile approaches from the side, they might not be able to make it to the worms.

Free Ranging

It’s pretty much the easiest and most fun way to let your chameleon have the taste of worms. This way, you’d see your reptile replicating moves that it would’ve done while hunting its prey in the wild. That’d be a spectacular scenario, isn’t it? Well, for that, all you have to do is –

Step – 1: Picking the Insects

First of all, grab the worms and put them in a ziplock bag. Any random plastic bag will also do the trick. Like the earlier method, sprinkle some of the supplement powder over the worms, close the opening of the bag and give it a decent shake till all the worms get covered with the supplement properly.

Step – 2: Handling the Worm with Tweezers

Take your tweezers and grab a worm with it, and put it on the side of the enclosure where the chameleon can see it. The lizard will find its way to the worm while crawling slowly. If you’re not among those who feel yucky with the worms, you can use your hand too rather than using the tweezers.

By the way, no matter whatever you’re using, don’t throw the insect on the floor as there’s a chance that they might hide under the plants or pots. So, put them in a place where your reptile will have maximum visibility over them. The only problem with this method is they might escape if your cham somehow misses them and finding them out in those bushes probably won’t be that easy.

Hand Feeding

A big number of chameleon owners admit that this one is the most effective way of feeding worms to the reptile. Not only it ensures proper feeding but also allows the owner to make the bond better between them and the lizard. To go for this one, you need to take the following steps.

Step – 1: Picking the Worms 

Things are pretty much as the previous one. You need to pick the worms and dress them up with supplement power. For that, you should follow the earlier mentioned technique. Yes, we’re talking about putting the worms in a plastic bag, sprinkling supplement powder, and shaking till all of them are fully covered with the powder.

Step – 2: Start Feeding

Grab a worm with your hand. We can totally understand if you’re kind of squeamish about the worm. So, as an alternative, you can use tweezers to get the job done. Hold the worm in a way where your lizard can have a glance at it. Slowly move it toward the reptile and take it close enough from where it can snatch the prey with its tongue.

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Don’t hold it so tightly that the chameleon fails to grab it with the first shot. Two or three failures might make it feel demotivated about eating from your hand at all.

What Kind of Worms Can Chameleons Have?

Like we said before, there are 20 thousand species of worms and not all of them are good enough to be your lizard’s dinner. So, what you can do is be selective about the worms, like you do when it comes to selecting the other types of food.

There are specific types of worms that a chameleon can eat and come with the required nutrients. In this sense, the few worms that are compatible with chameleons include calcium worms, silkworms, earthworms, Morios, buffalo worms, butter worms, wax worms, mealworms, Pachnoda grubs, and bamboo worms.

Will Chameleons Eat Nightcrawlers?

Yes, nightcrawlers are completely edible for chameleons. After all, they’re also a type of earthworm. So, having a bunch of health benefits from consuming them is quite expected, just the way your cham would’ve gotten from eating an earthworm.

They’re full of protein along with other natural content, especially calcium. And if you’re asking about the importance of calcium, this is the element that can save your little reptile from developing Metabolic Bone Disease or which you probably know as MBD. This disease usually takes down those reptiles which fall short on calcium.

But before you just feed your lizard these, make sure that the insects are properly rinsed and got all the nutrients your cham might need. And don’t forget to recheck if they’re infected with any parasite or not. Otherwise, your cham can get infected too.

One more thing! When it comes to comparison with regular earthworms, Nightcrawlers are comparatively prominent in size. So, keep an eye on your lizard while feeding them, as Nightcrawlers might make the reptile choke while eating.

Now the question is how can be sure that they’re not coming with any probable hazards? What should you do in the first place? Well, to be on the safe side, you can bring the next lot of nightcrawlers from any renowned bait shop. After all, they only sell the ones that are comparatively small and clean.

And yes, nightcrawlers are nutritious but not an ideal choice as a regular meal for the lizard. So, rather than feeding your chameleon daily, make sure that you’re using them just as a treat.

Can I Feed My Chameleons Maggots?

Yes, you can feed them maggots unless there is a septic situation popping up. So, what we’d suggest is to play safe and go for other nutritious food like crickets, worms, cockroaches, Indian stick insects, locusts, and flies.

And yes, they don’t only prefer any single type of fly as their snack but also like green bottles, blue bottles, black soldier flies, curly wing flies, fruit flies, and of course, wax month. All these insects are high in calcium, protein, lipids, carbohydrates, and ash. So, they’re flying with whatever you need for the growth of your chameleon.

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Can Chameleons Eat Mealworms

When it comes to nutrition for chameleons, good mealworms are considered a great source. So, if you’re setting up your cham’s diet, don’t forget to put mealworms on that list. Actually, the diet should contain dark leafy greens and crickets too. Only then you can call it a perfect meal for your chameleon.

Benefits of Mealworms

Well, there are a ton of benefits of including this in the diet of a chameleon.

Providing Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Mealworms are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids. So, if you’re asking for something that can improve the joint and bone health of your lizard, then it’d be this one. On top of that, it boosts the eyes and skin health of the reptile.

Improving Metabolism

These insects come with Vitamin B which is essential for breaking down proteins and fats in chameleons. After all, they need it for the maximum performance of their energy production and metabolism. In addition, it helps with keeping their skin, eyes, and muscles healthy.

Essential Vitamins

The two essential vitamins mealworms bring to the chameleons are B5 and B12. If you want the proper development and growth of your chameleon, then you just can’t skip these two.

Ensuring Total Protein and Fiber

You probably already know how important protein is for repairing the muscles of the chameleon. Guess what? This one got a ton of it. This protein will also assist in regulating the blood along with keeping the skin healthy. Plus, due to being rich in fiber, mealworms help with digestion. And it takes down the chances of constipation as well.

Easy to Store

Unlike some of the other chameleon foods, you can get these worms stored in the refrigerator, unless you want to hold them for more than two weeks. Clearly, you don’t need to rush to feed them to your reptile any sooner.

Do Chameleons Eat Flies

Yes, they do. But it’s better to keep your reptile away from wild flies. After all, they’re not clean enough as they mostly eat unhealthy food like poop, garbage, and sometimes, rotten meat. So, what you can do is feed them with flies that are raised to be the food for chams. They’re not only clean and nutritious but also free of parasites and bacteria.

But don’t even think about making your lizard survive on flies alone. Yes, they’ve got some nutrients including fat and protein, but the amount is significantly small. The best you can do is use them as a treat for your pet, but not every day.

Final Words

Not only chameleons do eat worms but also all the other major kinds of insects. So, feel free to fill their bowl with nutritious insects if you want to see the signs of a happy chameleon in them once again. Just make sure that none of the insects or worms will drive them towards any unwanted situation or cause them any major health issues.

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Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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