Chameleons consume a wide variety of flying and crawling insects, butterflies, moths, larvae, snails, and spiders in nature, and larger species consume some vertebrates as well. Chameleons prey on smaller chameleons, lizards, birds, and even snakes. Captive chameleons will accept young mice, but it is unlikely that this is a natural prey. Chameleons also ingest vegetation, including leaves, flowers, and fruits. Other organic matter, such as bark, twigs, moss, and soil are sought out and consumed by chameleons, but the nutritional or medicinal value of some of these items is unknown. Chameleons are sit-and-wait ambush predators, but many species are quite mobile and travel long distances seeking prey along the way, while others are much more sedentary and utilize a smaller range. There is anecdotal evidence that chameleons congregate in areas where insects appear only at certain times of the year, such as when insects are attracted to coffee blooming or when cicadas hatch. When these food supplies are no longer present, the chameleons disperse.
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