Did you recently bring a Jackson’s chameleon into your home?
Do you want to make sure you are providing a nutritious and healthy diet for your Jackson’s chameleon?
If you are new to Jackson’s chameleons, you might wonder:
What do Jackson’s chameleons eat?
Jackson’s chameleons are insectivores, who primarily feast on crickets, wax worms, butter worms, cockroaches, house flies, and even small snails, but also enjoy other bugs.
Keep reading this article for more information on what Jackson’s chameleons like to eat.
Jackson’s Chameleons Diet
Like most of their fellow chameleon cousins, Jackson’s chameleons are going to get their nutrients from a diet of insects.
These natives of Africa primarily eat flying insects when they are in the wild.
This includes bees and wasps, and also small beetles, but they will consume what they can find because they never know when the next meal will come along.
In captivity, your chameleon will thrive on a varied diet of insects, including crickets, wax worms, butter worms, cockroaches, house flies, and small snails.
Other species of chameleons will eat vegetables or fruits, but in captivity or the wild, Jackson’s chameleons are not going to even touch those items.
What To Feed Jackson’s Chameleons
In captivity, you will find Jackson’s chameleons, like other chameleons, survive on primarily gut loaded and supplement dusted crickets.
When you are doing research, you often find the baseline for how much to feed your chameleon is counted in crickets, no matter what the species.
In truth, Jackson’s chameleons, and all other chameleons, should be fed a varied diet of more than just crickets.
This will help them achieve a balanced diet and also give them a variety.
We don’t like to eat the same thing every day, and chameleons, like us, will get bored with the same meal every day.
In addition to the insects listed above, Jackson’s chameleons might also enjoy slugs, mantis hatchlings, silkworms, and locusts.
There are some other options for insects available, but the ones listed above are the most popular choices for Jackson’s chameleons.
Avoid feeding your Jackson’s chameleon fireflies, wild-caught insects, and pinkies (newborn rodents).
All insects should be no larger than space in between the eyes of your chameleon to avoid choking and possible death.
How Much Should I Feed My Jackson’s Chameleon
The amount of insects you feed your Jackson’s chameleon is based on the age of the animal.
When they are babies, chameleons have a fast metabolism and are constantly hungry, so feed them as much as they can eat.
They should be fed twice a day at this stage fo life.
When they are juveniles, your chameleon’s insect intake should be reduced to 10 to 12 small crickets per day.
As they mature into adulthood, they will eat even less.
Between the ages of six months to a year old, reduce feedings to eight to 10 medium size crickets per day.
At a year old, feed your chameleon between six and eight crickets every day or even every other day.
Use these numbers as a template because every chameleon is going to be different.
Be aware of your chameleon’s eating habits, as a change in diet could signal a health problem.
Vitamin Supplements And Gut Loading
In captivity, Jackson’s chameleons will require some supplements to help them stay healthy, but you will need to be careful as overdoses can easily happen with these chameleons.
Jackson’s chameleons evolved to make the most out of what was available in the wild, and their native habitat doesn’t always provide the best nutrition.
You will need to supplement their diet with calcium, by dusting the feeder insects with calcium powder.
You should also look into vitamin D3 supplements and even multivitamin powder.
Another great way to provide your Jackson’s chameleon with proper nutrition is to gut load the insects you feed them.
Gut loading is simply letting your chameleon’s prey eat fruits and greens to put good nutrition into their bodies.
Once the insects have eaten, you feed them to your chameleon, allowing your chameleon to get all the benefits without having to eat the fruit and veggies.
Let your feeder insects gorge on items like:
- Sweet Potatoes
Fresh fruits and vegetables will give the feeder insects plenty of good vitamins and minerals to be passed onto your chameleon in digestion.
Where Do I Get Feeder Insects
Feeder insects are easily available through multiple sources.
Order a variety of feeder insects online and have them shipped directly to your door.
Doing so will give you access to certain insects you might not be able to find in your local pet stores.
You will be able to find staple feeder insects at a pet shop specializing in reptiles, or at the larger chain pet stores.
You might not find the same variety at these locations, but if you are in a pinch and need more insects this moment, having a store near you to pick some up is a lifesaver.
Another option would be to become your own insect farm.
Doing so will allow you to keep live insects on hand and readily available for your Jackson’s chameleon to eat every day.
As a downside, you would have to house and care for these feeders, but you would be able to keep a healthy supply on hand at all times.
You might also not be able to house the same level of variety at one time.
Jackson’s chameleons enjoy a diet of insects, including crickets, wax worms, butter worms, cockroaches, house flies, and small snails.
There are other options for feedings, and you might find your chameleon favors certain insects over others.
Always be sure to dust them with supplements and gut load your insects, to ensure your chameleon is getting proper nutrition.
After reading this article, we hope you have a better understanding of what Jackson’s chameleons will eat.