Hornworm (Manduca Sexta) Care Guide
Hornworm Care Guide
Hornworms make excellent feeders for bearded dragons, leopard geckos, chameleons, amphibians and various other reptiles. Their bright teal color will allow for an enriched feeding experience and get almost any reptile out of their extended hunger strike. Hornworms are a low maintenance feeder insect that can quickly grow to meet your feeding demands.
Hornworms are a great sources of hydration, they are high in calcium, low in fat, low in chitin, and are easily digestible
Hornworms are shipped in deli cups containing an artificial diet and netting that allows them to crawl up and reach the diet. They are given enough food to get to full size within 7-10 days. Our 12-count cups have enough food to grow worms to full adult size, and the 24-count cups have enough to grow them to roughly half their adult size.
After receiving, place the cup food-side up. This will allow the hornworms to crawl to the food, and the feces will drop to the bottom onto the lid for easy cleaning. Waste should be removed daily. Be sure to provide air flow to the lid for adequate ventilation underneath the cup. Do not remove the lid to provide ventilation as some hornworms may escape.
For maximum growth, keep hornworms at about 82°F; however, your hornworms can be kept as cool as 55°F to slow their growth. To stop growth and maintain desired size and viability, place them in the refrigerator at 45°F for two days and remove. DO NOT leave your hornworms in the refrigerator longer than this or below 45°F as they may die.
Offering to Pets
Since Hornworms are large, they are easy to pull out with your hands. You can also use tongs if available but be gentle as you can puncture their soft bodies with tongs Don’t worry about their horn hurting your pet, it’s just a harmless piece of skin. Also hornworms do not bite like superworms do so there is no risk of them harming you or your pet.
Safe DisposalBe responsible with your hornworm disposal if your pet does not finish their hornworms. To dispose of live hornworms, place them in an escape-proof bag or container, freeze for at least 24 hours, and then dispose of them in the garbage can. NEVER release live feeders into the wild as they can be harmful to the native environment.