Can Chameleons Eat Centipedes?

Everything that your chameleon eats is not always the best for them. One would think that since a centipede is an insect, the chameleon will have no problem eating it. However, that is not the case. Centipedes are dangerous for your chameleon if they do attempt to eat them. Throughout this guide, we’ll explain:

  • Can Chameleons Eat Centipedes?
  • How Dangerous Are Centipedes?
  • How Do Centipedes Bite?
  • Do Chameleons Eat Millipedes?
  • Should You Feed a Centipede to a Chameleon?
  • What Other Insects Should I Avoid Feeding My Chameleon?

Can Chameleons Eat Centipedes?

Yes, Chameleons can eat centipedes, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. The average size of a centipede ranges from  0.16–12 inches. For chameleons, they can go from 14-20 inches long. 

However, the Giant Centipede is 10 inches long and is toxic when eaten. Accidents can occur, and your chameleon could potentially get injured or die after eating them. The best thing you can do as a chameleon owner is to prevent them from consuming these insects. 

A chameleon will eat a centipede by using its mouth to swallow it whole. If it is an adult chameleon, chances are it will eat the centipede. Baby chameleons are smaller and have 

In the event your chameleon is bitten or eats a centipede, it’s best to take them to the vet immediately. 

How Dangerous Are Centipedes?

Did you know that centipedes have venom within their bodies? Like snakes, centipedes use venom when attacking their prey. However, their venom is not as fatal and doesn’t cause any severe health problems to humans. 

Some centipedes have venom that makes a diverse range of toxins such as:

  • Serotonin
  • Toxin-S
  • Histamine

While it is uncommon for a centipede bite to cause long-term damage, they do cause severe allergic reactions to people that have allergies to bee stings. So it’s best to avoid them and keep them away from your chameleon. 

How Do Centipedes Bite?

Centipedes attack their prey with their pointy legs. They will bite if they are picked up or handled roughly. In addition, centipedes will bite if you accidentally step on them. All centipedes can bite, but the smaller ones aren’t strong enough to puncture through your chameleon’s skin. 

Do Chameleons Eat Millipedes?

Like centipedes, your chameleon won’t benefit from eating millipedes. They are not poisonous, but some species have glands that will create an allergic reaction to your chameleon. 

When consumed, the millipede releases hydrochloric acid. This can potentially burn your chameleon’s skin and lead to long-term skin discoloration.  

Should You Feed A Centipede To Chameleons?

No. You’re better off feeding your chameleon insects instead. While chameleons are insectivores, you don’t want to give them insects that are detrimental to their health. 

Alternatively, adult chameleons should be fed around 5-6 insects every two or three days. Insects such as crickets give the chameleons the protein needed to remain healthy and keep their skin in good condition. 

 

What Other Insects Should I Avoid Giving My Chameleon?

Before feeding anything to your chameleon, check to see if it is toxic or not. Here are some insects that you should keep away from your chameleon at all costs:

  • Fire Ants

Fire ants are deadly, as one fire ant can kill them. While your chameleon is asleep, the fire ant will climb up on them and inject their venom into them. 

  • Ladybugs

While ladybugs aren’t toxic to humans, they emit toxins as a defense mechanism against bugs and other insects. When they feel threatened, ladybugs secrete fluids from their legs. If your chameleon eats a ladybug, they might experience the following symptoms.

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness 
  • Behavioral Changes
  • Spiders

Unlike centipedes, spiders are poisonous. This means that they only secrete their toxins after being eaten. If your chameleon eats a poisonous snake, chances are they’ll suffer from health problems down the line. 

For example, spiders like the Black Widow can cause nausea, muscle aches, and paralysis. To be safe, it’s best not to include spiders in your chameleon’s diet. 

Fireflies: Fireflies are only dangerous when eaten. If a chameleon eats a lightning bug, it will start a defensive process called “reflex bleeding.” During the process, they will produce chemicals that are dangerous to chameleons and birds. 

  • Caterpillars

Caterpillars are poisonous and can potentially harm your chameleon if eaten. They have two forms of hair: stinging and urticating hair. Stinging hairs have poison secreting cells that will cause systemic effects after it reaches your chameleon’s bloodstream. Urticating hairs are non venomous and can cause dermatitis via foreign body reaction or mechanical irritation. 

Conclusion

As a chameleon owner, you want to steer clear of insects that can harm them. When feeding your chameleon, always check their reaction afterward and call for professional assistance if they are sick. By doing this, you’ll ensure that your chameleon is well protected and eating the insects that provide the most nutritional value to them. 

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