The quantity of food required by any given Panther Chameleon depends on the individual animal’s age as well as what species of insect prey are being offered as food. The following advice should be thought of as a good rule of thumb only, and Panther Chameleon keepers should refine the quantities offered as required by closely monitoring the health and well being of their animals. The following feeding guidelines are for growing juvenile Panther Chameleons, as well as maintaining healthy adults. Please bare in mind that the dietary requirements of Panther Chameleons during reproduction, egg production (females), and brumation are different from the requirements for normal growth and maintenance of health given below.
Panther Chameleon hatchlings require feeding multiple times daily with feeder insects of a suitable size (e.g. Fruitflies – Drosophila sp.). Very young Panther Chameleons just past the hatchling stage should be fed every day ad libitum (insect prey always available, feeding self regulated).
Juvenile Panther Chameleons
Juvenile Panther Chameleons require large volumes of prey insects (relative to their body weight) in order to promote the rapid growth characteristic of this stage of life. The exact number of feeder insects required varies depending on the size of the juvenile Panther Chameleon and the size of the insect prey. A good rule of thumb is to weigh the juvenile Panther Chameleon to be fed every 2 or 3 weeks. Once the juvenile Panther Chameleon’s mass has been established weigh a cup full of appropriately sized feeder insects until the mass of the insects in the cup is roughly equal to 0.3 x the mass of the Chameleon. The number of insects in the cup should then be counted, and this amount of food should then be offered 3 times per week. Alternatively you can offer 0.1-0.15 x the mass of the Chameleon daily. This process should be repeated every 2 or 3 during the juvenile phase of life.
Adult Panther Chameleons
Adult Panther Chameleons should be offered feeder insects every other day, or every day if smaller prey insects are offered in smaller quantities. Fully grown adults (both males and females) can maintain their body mass and reproduce successfully if offered between 30 and 50 medium sized crickets per week. This equates to about 8-12 grams to be offered over the course of a week (1.5g daily or 3g every other day).