Hornworm Care Sheet

Printable Version:
Fluker's Live Hornworm Care Sheet (PDF)
Video Tutorials:
Fluker's Feeder Insect Care Tutorials (YouTube)
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Hornworms: Live Feeder Insect Care Guide

Hornworms (Manduca sexta) are an excellent feeder for bearded dragons, leopard geckos, chameleons, and various other reptiles and pets. Their bright green color stimulates picky eaters, and they are extremely low maintenance. In addition to being a great source of hydration, they are high in calcium, low in fat, low in chitin, and have an extremely soft exoskeleton so your pet will not have trouble digesting them.

Quick Facts

● The name “hornworm” comes from the small, pointed horn on the posterior end of the larva.

● Hornworms have no chitin (or hard outer shell), so they are super easy for your pet to digest.

● They are very high in water content and provide a great source of hydration.

● Hornworms grow quickly and nearly double in size daily in warm temps.

● Their bright blue-green color makes them extremely enticing and can pull your pet out of a “hunger strike.”


Our live hornworms are shipped in cups containing sufficient food to complete their growth within 7-10 days. The 12-count cups have enough food to grow worms to full adult size, and the 24-count cups have enough to grow them to half their adult size.


After receiving, place the cup food-side up. The worms will crawl to the food, and the feces will drop to the lid for easy cleaning. Remove waste daily and make sure to provide air flow to the lid for adequate ventilation.


For maximum growth, keep hornworms at about 82°F; however, they can be kept as cool as 55°F to slow their growth. To stop growth and maintain desired size and viability, place them in refrigerator at 45°F for two days and remove.

Offering to Pet

Hornworms are relatively large, so they’re easy to pull out with your hands, or you can also use tongs. And don’t worry about their horn hurting your pet, it’s just a harmless piece of skin.

Safe Disposal

To dispose of live hornworms responsibly, place in an escape-proof bag or container, freeze for at least 24 hours, and then dispose of in the garbage can. Never release live feeders into the wild as they can be harmful to the native environment!

Learn more about disposal of live feeders here.

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