Chameleons are primarily insect eaters, but these lizards should eat fruits, vegetables and other plant material to stay healthy. According to Animal Ark,"wild chameleons are reported to eat flowers, leaves, berries, fruit and other living or dried organic matter." Your chameleon will prefer certain fruits and vegetables that other chameleon species do not. You may experiment a little with new foods to see which your chameleon prefers.
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Chameleons will benefit from munching on the blooms and leaves of several flower species. Hibiscus gives chameleons a bit of vitamin C. Dandelion leaves and blossoms are rich in vitamins and minerals. Marigolds will brighten any habitat, but also have antifungal and antiseptic properties. Chameleons enjoy other flowers for occasional munching, such as cornflower, begonia and trumpet vines.
Berries and Fruits
Chameleons seem to like an occasional treat of fruit or berries added into their diets. Peaches, bananas, blueberries and melons can help keep your pet from becoming vitamin A deficient. Peaches are a good source for vitamins C and E, bananas for B6 and B12, and melons for vitamin C. Blueberries have a high calcium content and can help keep levels up, as well as, providing zinc and magnesium.
Your pet will love a fresh vegetable or two for variety. Leafy greens, such as collard and mustard greens, provide much needed calcium and vitamin C for your pet. Collard greens are a nutritional source of iron and vitamin B6 and mustard greens pack a punch of vitamins B6 and E. Kale will give your chameleon an additional source of calcium and vitamins B6 and C. To fight vitamin A and calcium deficiencies, toss an occasional carrot or tomato into your reptile's diet.
Vitamin A Deficiency in Captive Chameleons
Captive chameleons are susceptible to vitamin A deficiency. Store-bought insects don't have the proper amounts of this valuable nutrient and low levels can be fatal to your pet. Symptoms of vitamin A deficiency may include poor appetite, puffy lips and eyes, skin problems, and respiratory illness, to name a few. Providing your captive chameleon a diet with fruits, vegetables, and flowers rich in vitamin A can help maintain healthy levels.
Calcium Deficiency in Captive Chameleons
Captive chameleons are prone to develop nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism (NSHP) as a result of calcium and vitamin D deficiency. Young chameleons are especially susceptible because they grow quickly and need higher levels of calcium for bones to develop properly. Chameleons that don't get the proper calcium may have abnormalities that may hinder regular activity or cause a shortened life. Common indicators are bowed jaw bones or curved, malformed bones in the legs.
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