Feeding Feeders versus Gutloading


A very common question is: "How to feed pollen to chameleons?"

It is necessary to understand the difference between

The first IS done in order to make sure the feeder insect is of good quality as food, so that its body and tissues are nourishing.
Here, the pollen acts as FOOD and the insect processes it and transforms it into its body and expells the remnants.
It is a long-term process with a granularity of several days, or weeks.

In the second case, the point is that we use the gut of the feeder insect to transport something, we want to get into the chameleon as CHAMELEON FOOD, not the food of the feeder. The feeder is just a courier: it swallows what we want to feed to the chameleon, it gets into its stomach and before it can digest it, the chameleon catches the feeder and eats it itself including the contents of its stomach.
Here, the pollen acts as a LOAD (GUTLOAD) - the insect does NOT process it and does NOT transform it into its body. This is a SHORT-TERM process with a granularity of a few minutes, maximum hours. In this case, just before the insects are fed to the chameleon, we give the insects to swallow, what we need need to feed to the chameleon.

Please do not confuse these two processes with each other.

Feeding pollen to insects is good anyway. In the long run, we increase the nutritional value of the insect's body as food, and in the short term, the body acts only as a transport box.

Author: Petr Nečas