How to Feed Panther Chameleons

male furcifer pardalis panther chameleon tongue

There are several factors to be considered when deciding how to offer feeder insects to a Panther Chameleon. A Panther Chameleon needs to be able to feed on prey insects during the morning. This means that they will have time to digest the food properly during the day when a basking light is available. This is important because Panther Chameleons are ectothermic and therefore require fairly high temperatures  (usually regulated by a daylight basking bulb) to properly digest their prey. Also, its important that feeder insects are not able to escape from the enclosure.  Many feeder insects (e.g. crickets, mealworms, superworms) can be offered to a Panther Chameleon in an opaque cup, allowing a feeding station to be established. Some insects (e.g. locusts, grasshoppers) will be able to escape most feeding cups but will provide additional stimulation to a Panther Chameleon by forcing it to hunt them. Its important however to remember that prey insects should ideally be removed from Panther Chameleon enclosures at night in order to prevent the insects from causing harm to the Chameleon. Some feeder insects (e.g. hungry crickets) can injure Panther Chameleons by nibbling their skin. This commonly happens during the night when Panther Chameleons are asleep and defenseless.

Many Panther Chameleon keepers enjoy hand-feeding prey insects. Panther Chameleons can become accustomed to hand feeding fairly easily, although the process can take time and can be fairly time consuming. A major benefit of hand-feeding is that it allows people to observe a Panther Chameleon capturing prey with its tongue.