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I recently purchased a veiled chameleon, and I was wondering if it could eat bananas or any other type of soft fruit. I read that it will eat plants and vegetation, but I haven't read anything thus far about bananas.

My first concern would be the health factor, as the banana was purchased from a grocery store, so it's probably genetically modified in some way. Is this particularly bad for the chameleon, or is there something else I should worry about?

This question is not constrained to bananas, and refers to any soft fruit, include strawberries, kiwi, grapes, oranges, etc.

This question is also not necessarily constrained to any specific type of chameleon.

  • Is there a particular reason you want to feed your chameleon fruits? When you say "I read that it will eat plants and vegetation", that implies to me the green portion of the plant (leaves, stems), not flowers, fruit, seeds, or grains. – cimmanon Nov 25 '13 at 19:26
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    @JaceCotton I can honestly say, you reptile/amphibians people here have taught me a lot and opened my eyes to how intricate their needs are have a look here: pets.stackexchange.com/a/1542/87 it's really very interesting, I have enjoyed researching into these pets – user6796 Dec 3 '13 at 23:49
  • @Skippy yes they are very interesting. Nice answer on the tortoise. I used to own one a few years ago. Very neat animals indeed. :) – Jace Cotton Dec 4 '13 at 18:49
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The reason that the veiled chameleon will eat leaves and such isn't for diet, it's for water and I don't think that in captivity it is going to have poor water access. So, diet-wise, it is an insectivore and should be fed insects, usually crickets, for its dietary needs. At any rate, he may or may not eat the offered fruit, but you'd be better off getting the crickets (and other insects) loaded up on that sort of thing rather than your chameleon.

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  • Wax worms and some others are generally more nutritious than crickets also but the vitamin powders do help. – Jestep Jan 9 '14 at 23:17
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Veiled chameleons are considered insectivores, which means their diet consists of insects and bugs. Although I have heard of them eating small lizards and other small vertebrates, I would suggest against feeding yours anything with bones because it risks impaction (when the reptile can't digest something and it blocks their digestive system).

I have also heard of some older chameleons eating leafy greens, so if you want to try that you could. I would stick to the more nutrient rich greens though, something like kale. it's also a good idea to break it up a bit before feeding them, as reptiles don't really chew so much as mash their food.

Like John said, you're much better off gut loading your insects to make sure they have all the nutrients you want your chameleons to receive. More so, I would suggest using vegetables more than fruits, as they're higher in nutrients, with the exception of squash which are also good and are technically fruits. You can also feed them a pre-made formula if you want to take some of the scheduling out of it, like Fluker's Orange Cubes I use for crickets.

Something else you can do is dust the insects with calcium powder at a couple mealtimes a week. Generally dusting insects is used to compliment gut loading them, as dusting provides more calcium than gut loading would, and gut loading provides more vitamins. It's more important when the chameleons are younger as it helps with their growth and development. Older chameleons don't need calcium dust much more than once a week, maybe even less.

Some good staple insects to feed them are: crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, silkworms, and praying mantises.

Other insects you can feed them, but maybe more so as a treat are: waxworms, moths, and I've heard small stick insects.

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