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Hey L,

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Posted by Jeff Judd on February 18, 2003 at 17:28:04:

In Reply to: ants and other food items-for Jeff posted by reptoman on February 12, 2003 at 18:57:26:

I have not lost any horned lizards from eating crickets although I use only small and medium crickets because I have read they harbour less diseases. I have lost one sub-adult by offering it a waxworm. I fed a group of six sub-adults waxworms thinking they were big enough to eat them. Two regurgetated thiers and were fine. The other four stayed in a listless state with their backs arched for three days. Three gradually came out of it but sadly the one died. I did a personal autopsy to see what the state of the waxworm was. It was still high in the digestive tract and had a bad, bad smell. I concluded the waxworms were to big for the lizards to digest causing the illnesses and the one death. I think prey size is much more critical than the prey items. What were the behaviours of your lizards before they died? Maybe the crickets were too big. I have offered many adult horned lizards waxworms with no ill affects. As far as vegetable matter I have offered it many times and have only observed one incident of consumption. One individual ate a piece of a carrot. I do not know if he thought it was a mealworm or purposly ate it though.
a:Jeff-one of my conerns I have to do with circkets, I recently lost two horned lizards of different species, and I am suggesting that I believe the culprits in this case were crickets that we buy from our circket suppliers that are harbinger of intestinal and other types of disease. I have no scientific evidence for this, but I do know that others on this from have experienced the same and thought that this is where the ilness was coming from. I have raised my babie Pacific HL's in the past on a regimum of very samll zoophobia's, ants, moths, and yes tiny crickets as well. Horned lizards will eat whatever they can, I even saw a horned lizard eat a baby swift lizard about 10 years ago from my collection, but I think it made a mistake as I have never seen that since, although it is interesting that area's I have found horned lizards plentiful in usually also have sand lizards as well, and if you seen one of those babies, their pretty minute. Anyway in theroy I believe especially for Desert Short Horned Lizards, Pacifics, and Desert HLs, they seem to take a variety. Have you noticed that a variety of insects fed to a horned lizard over time, they become fat compared to a wild caught healthy animal?? I know they go for grasshoppers as well, as the first horned lizard I observed last year was on March 15th or 20th in Riverside California, and I noticed an abundance of babie grasshoppers everywhere, I assume this guy I saw was munching on some of these. Anyway I am truly leary of circkets and right or wrong would recomend leaning towards the ants and others. Have you tried feeding you baby Pacifics greens?
:Lester has not observed this, but I have raised several babies in the past from Palmdale and Riverside locals and they all seem to eat finely chopped greens, such as Bok Choy, romain, dandilion, and sweet allysum flowers. I've never had anybody get back to me about this, but in one of my published accounts I mention this, I had all kinds of criticisim from the high elite, but non the less, when I'm raising baby Pacifics I always include greens in there diet fare. I know this isn't quite un-scientific and much more observance, perhaps Lester might have a comment or two with respect to crickets, I just don't hardly use them anymore for these guys...........

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