Ever wondered if a chameleon can eat a wasp? Perhaps you’re a chameleon owner looking to feed your pet the next snack. Or maybe you’re just curious to see how chameleons will act around wasps. Regardless of your intent, this guide was made for you.
By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of why chameleons like to feed on them in the wild!
Can Chameleons Eat Wasps?
Chameleons are omnivores, meaning that their diet consists of anything as long as it doesn’t kill them. The scientific community calls them “opportunistic eaters” because of this fact. Many wasps are flying around in the wild, but they are secretly being preyed on by the chameleon. When living as a pet inside an enclosure, what the chameleon eats is up to the owner.
Chameleons are built for survival, meaning that they won’t stop eating food because it’s different.
But that doesn’t mean their diet can consist of 100% wasps.
Wasps have multiple indigestible parts that have little nutritional value of their own.
Wasps should only be fed as a snack once in a while. That being said, there are some benefits your chameleon will experience when eating them.
Pros and Cons of Feeding Chameleons Wasps
Giving your wasp is a great snack to aid in your chameleon’s diet. And while this is a good thing, there are some things you’ll want to consider before feeding them. Here are some reasons why.
- Better Waste Removal
Wasps are the deadlier cousins of bees, and most of their parts cannot be digested by the body. That being said, this means that a chameleon uses their body for fiber when eating them. Fiber is a carbohydrate that’s designed to help you push out contents in your digestive system more smoothly. Without fiber in their diets, Chameleons can suffer from indigestion due to impaction.
Impaction occurs in the reptile’s digestive system. It causes problems in their digestive tract because the undigested food will turn into pathogens. This leads to sepsis which is fatal for chameleons. Since wasps have certain parts of their body that contain fiber, they help push food contents up the chameleon’s stomach to aid their overall intestinal health.
Besides, who doesn’t want a better digestive experience? Even though wasps are a threat to humans, chameleons view them as food.
- Enhanced Nutrition
As a species, wasps are hunters in general. That means they eat a wide variety of food and are good at hunting their prey. They are omnivores which feed on the meat of an animal’s body and vegetation food. Outside of wasps, chameleons like to eat wax worms, bees, crickets, and vegetables.
This means that wasps are filled with nutrients loaded with nutrients from hunting other lifeforms even if they don’t have the nutrition when eating solo. Transferring nutrition is better through these mediums than feeding the chameleon directly.
Some vitamins, such as Vitamin C can be transferred in their dormant state, which doesn’t do too much for the body. They require a specific process in their body where most of the vitamins are discarded anyway. However, wasps can use a dormant vitamin, which aids them in the digestion process. Chameleons can eat wasps and gain nutrients simply by digesting them.
Are There Any Dangers I Should Be Aware Of?
If you’re feeding your chameleon a reasonably sized wasp, they should experience no problems. Wasps have stingers in their body that cause incredible pain. However, the stingers have to be activated to pose an actual threat to chameleons. Not only that, but a wasp wouldn’t be able to react fast to sting the chameleon.
For instance, a chameleon’s tongue is one of the fastest things in the world. In fact, it can reach 100 miles within 1/8th of a second. In reality, the wasp would be eaten before the chameleon opens his mouth.
Chameleons have developed experience through years of evolution. They have created a method to avoid being stung while eating insects.
What About Poison?
Multiple people have asked about the wasps’ stingers. While chameleons can die from a poisonous sting, it doesn’t matter when they digest wasps as a source of food.
Wasps have a protein-based stinger. Yes, it can kill you if it’s injected directly into the bloodstream through your skin, but it will be denatured by the stomach enzymes if the sting occurs in your stomach.
The only danger lies in the size of the wasp. Most chameleons are small in size and remain that way for the majority of their lives.
Wasps are one of the largest insects in the wild. This means that some chameleons run the risk of dying when eating them. Imagine attempting to eat a cow’s bone in one bite; even you would choke or become injured. As long as the wasps are of a reasonable size, your chameleon won’t experience any issues.
Should you feed wasps to your chameleons?
As we stated earlier, it depends on the size of your chameleon. Check the size of the wasp as well and compare it to your pet chameleon. If the wasp is larger than the chameleon, then it will cause a potential digestion hazard.
Remember, chameleons can eat wasps as long as they aren’t larger than them. There is an abundance of wasps in the wild, so it’s not a surprise to see a chameleon eating some during their lifetime. To conclude, only feed wasps to your chameleon sparingly and give them a balanced diet to ensure they grow into healthy adults.
Can Chameleons Eat Bumblebees/Bees?
Just like wasps, you can feed bumblebees to your chameleons. Bees have fewer toxins in their stingers, making them easier to digest than their wasp counterparts. Bee venom is not toxic and only leads to swelling and pain.
Bees are unable to escape from chameleons when in their proximity. The length and speed of the chameleon’s tongue will latch onto the bee in seconds. Basically, you can feed your chameleons bumblebees because they are less dangerous than their wasp counterparts.