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Butterworm Care Sheet

A good source of protein for lizards, Butterworms (Chilecomadia moorei) are also high in fat. They should not form the basis of your lizards diet, but are a good addition as a 'snack'.

The Butterworm is actually the Chilean Moth in its larval stage. They measure anywhere from half an inch to 1 3/4 inches in length.

Their favorite natural homes are the Tebo Trees in central Chile. Butterworms can also be referred to as either Tebo Worms or Sweet Worms.

Nutritional Information for Butterworms

  • Moisture: 58.54 %
  • Ash: 1.04 %
  • Protein: 16.20 %
  • Fat: 5.21 %
  • Calories/Fat: 87.73
  • Calcium (ml/100 grs): 42.90

Food and Water

In the wild, the butterworm eats the leaves from the Tebo Tree. If you keep your worms in the refrigerator, they do not need to be fed anything. The hibernated state slows their metabolism and negates any need for food. Like the food, butterworms wil alsol not need any water when in their hibernated state.

Lighting, Temperature and Humidity

You can store butterworms in a refrigerator, where they should be kept at temperatures ranging from 5 degrees C to 10 degrees C..


Keep your butterworms in a plastic container, with an organic substrate, like oat meal or wheat bran. Place the container in the refrigerator, but make sure they will be dry. Check the worms after about an hour. If they are webbing the substrate together, leave them. If they are not, change the substrate right away. Damp substrate will lead to mould forming. They can survive anywhere from 1 to 4 months in a hibernated state.


Butterworms are irradiated before being shipped from Chile. This is done to kill off any bacteria to prevent the butterworm from ever pupating into a moth. These butterworms cannot be cultured at home.

Disease and Sickness

The main point to pay attention to is the dampness of the substrate the worms are kept in. You want to avoid mould growing in the container. Mould can lead to problems if digested by your lizard. If substrate becomes damp, change it immediately.
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