The world’s most popular reptile pets, leos, are without a doubt. These are not only adorably sweet, but they come in a wide range of morphs and are incredibly sociable and calm. Also, they are extremely easy to care for.
They’re both nutritious and gentle to care for. They may live up to 27 years if you feed and care for them properly. We’ll examine how to gut load their food, as well as the finest diets for them, in this article.
Here are the best leopard gecko foods to provide. Your gecko will definitely get all the nutrients it needs from these foods.
The most common meal given to leos is crickets. Crickets are simple to locate, cheap, and nutritious. They’re also gut-loading friendly. Crickets are considered by many to be the finest leopard gecko food.
Crickets may be obtained in a variety of ways for your gecko. Of course, you don’t have to catch them yourself. They’re widely accessible in both pet stores and online. If you’d like, you may purchase them in bulk.
The crickets mustn’t be bigger than the gecko’s head in order for them to work. Before feeding the gecko, you’ll also have to gut load the crickets for a few days.
In comparison to other insects fed geckos, crickets have a few benefits. The active behaviors of geckos, for example, encourage the gecko to eat. They also load well in the gut, which is important. In addition, they contain a lot of protein and very little fat. Lastly, they’re cost-effective and readily accessible.
Remove all uneaten crickets from the gecko’s diet within 20 minutes after giving them to her. As a result, the gecko may bite because it isn’t eating the crickets that are biting it.
Mealworms are a very common and popular live food for lizards and other animals. Geckos accept them readily and are easy to maintain and breed.
Because of their relatively high-fat content and poor phosphorus-to-calcium ratio, mealworms have sparked a lot of controversy as a primary food. Ron Temper, a leading authority on captive-bred leos, disagrees with this, claiming that mealworms are an excellent staple food for leopard geckos. My own experience has been identical.
You should maintain a colony of mealworms so that you can have a permanent food supply at all times, regardless of external circumstances.
Because their shells are difficult to digest and may cause impaction, never give your leos mealworm beetles.
Waxworms, which are high in fat, are a favorite of geckos. Feeding geckos waxworms makes them obese, which geckos adore eating. This is not good for you.
Waxworms should be fed once a week as a treat. You can also use waxworms to urge your gecko to eat more if they aren’t eating. They’re also inexpensive and readily available.
They, on the other hand, are unable to provide several of the nutrients that a gecko requires because they cannot be gut loaded. Also, to humans (not leopard geckos, of course), they smell horrible. They also have short lifespans. Geckos, on the other hand, adore them and they are a must-have. Just keep them to a bare minimum.
Tropical roaches (not the ones from your bathroom) are excellent feeders, and they come in a variety of species. If you provide the correct temperature and safe hiding places, Dubia roaches are simple to breed and last a long time. They are also high in nutrients and have a nice taste.
Dubia roaches are sluggish and can’t climb walls, unlike other commercially bred roaches like Turkestan cockroaches, making escape difficult and handling simple.
For your leopard gecko, you may get a variety of roaches, including Turkistan cockroaches, but the Dubia is by far the most popular. You won’t have to be concerned about this roach escaping since it can’t climb. If you can create a warm and dark environment, they don’t make any noise and are fairly easy to breed.
They are rich in nutrients and may be collected easily at mealtime, and they move faster than mealworms, stimulating the hunting instinct.
Dubia roaches have several benefits, but they are considerably more costly than the alternatives we’ve analyzed so far. They are not as widely accessible as mealworms or crickets, since some individuals may find it difficult to create a suitable breeding environment.
There are various feeder insects available, but finding them and paying a reasonable price are difficult. We suggest feeding your leopard gecko a varied diet if you see them for sale, including hornworms, silkworms, super worms, and butterworms.
The Black Soldier Fly Larvae is one of the most popular exotic delicacies because it has the appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio and can frequently be purchased on sale online. Several of these insects have too much fat to feed on a regular basis.
The superworm is the final item on our list. Superworms are zophobas morio beetles throughout their larval stage, despite being known as king worms. As a result, they are dubbed Zophobas.
Morio worms are another name for these insects. Because they are easy to digest and provide calcium, geckos love them as a food. Several individuals have begun their own feeder colony while breeding leopard geckos. Superworms don’t smell terrible, unlike waxworms and crickets.
If the gecko doesn’t feed on them, however, they can bite geckos. Gut loading isn’t a very effective strategy.
A diverse diet for your leopard gecko may be provided by wild insects. It’s important to keep in mind the danger of introducing parasites and illness when compared to traditional feeders.
Each gecko lover must make his own decision about the benefit versus the risk. Small grasshoppers and crickets captured at our vacation home have been a pleasant experience for me personally.
Please ensure that the location hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides, there aren’t any significant polluters nearby, and you’re not jeopardizing any environmental protection efforts when collecting wild insects.
Also avoid spiders and caterpillars because they’re toxic. Caterpillars have chemical defense mechanisms that may harm your geckos, and spiders can give your pets a nasty bite.
What Do Wild Leopard Geckos Eat?
Of course, it wasn’t just overnight that leopard geckos appeared in homes all across the globe. In the Middle East, they can be found in arid, rocky deserts as well as highland meadows. Iran, Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Pakistan are the countries where they are found. But, in such an unforgiving environment, what could a tiny gecko possibly find to eat?
Oh, it just so happens that wild leopard geckos prefer tough circumstances for a meal! They will consume practically anything that crosses their path, as long as it is an insect or some other tiny invertebrate, because they are very opportunistic predators.
Leos are insectivorous by nature, and thus will only consume tiny to medium-sized insects and other invertebrates. They will devour little rodents, lizards, spiders, and scorpions in uncommon circumstances when they are hungry and/or desperate.
Furthermore, these little but powerful crepuscular geckos will only attack living, moving prey. This implies that they will not consume or defend themselves from anything that is dead. Despite their picky diets, however, they are able to consume a broad range of delicious insects in the wild, including:
What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?
Insects should be the only thing fed to Leopard geckos.
They don’t need grains or vegetables, so there’s no need to offer them. Instead, the insects that they consume, which are generally gut-loaded with grains and veggies, provide those nutrients to them.
These geckos will devour anything that moves in front of them in the wild. They do, however, devour other leopard geckos on occasion. In captivity, this cannibalistic behavior has also been observed. One of the main reasons not to house leopard geckos together as pets is because of their aggressiveness.
Tips For Feeding Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos may find it difficult to find food in the wild. On average, it is believed that they consume nine insects each week. As a result, they’ve got a knack for preserving food.
The flip side of that is that overweight leopard geckos are easy to keep as pets. Your gecko will stay healthy if you keep higher-calorie foods as an occasional treat. Worms like mealworms and waxworms are among the options.
Your leopard gecko will stay healthy and happy if you provide it with a variety of foods. If your leopard gecko isn’t interested in trying different options, be ready to try some other species.
Yet, leopard geckos are insectivores, as I said before. Don’t give them any greens or salads. Keep them away from all other kinds of human food as well.
Don’t give them insects you’ve collected from outside, because they’ll be attracted to them. You won’t be able to tell what those bugs have been eating, which might include insecticide-laced vegetation. And, parasites could be present in their systems as well.
Stick to captive-bred insects. You also want three generations of captive insects before feeding your leopard gecko if you’re breeding them yourself. Any illnesses, parasites, or pesticides that have been introduced will be prevented from spreading.
When your leopard gecko eats them all, they should be alive.
Mealworms will quickly tunnel into the bottom of the terrarium if you’re feeding them to them. Place the worms in a paper or plastic cup to prevent this from occurring. Next, in the terrarium, place the cup on its side. The prey will be quickly spotted and investigated by your leopard gecko.
Dietary supplements are also required by your leopard gecko. Add the insects to a tiny plastic food bag after mixing in the powdered supplements. After that, give it a shake to coat them in the powder. When your gecko eats the insects, it will automatically get the extra nutrients.
Leopard Gecko Diet
It’s vital to discover what leopard gecko diet is optimal. It does not imply that they are receiving the appropriate levels of nutrients for healthy development even if they are eating what you provide them.
It’s best to offer a wide range of prey items when feeding Leopard geckos. This implies that more than one insect should be included in their regular diets. The more nutrients they receive, the greater their chances of getting them all. The more diversity in their diet.
Feeding crickets and mealworms interchangeably would be a good example, as would feeding waxworms and hornworms as treats.
Insects that are the appropriate size should be fed to leopard geckos. This will aid them in avoiding food choking and digestion problems. Insects should be no closer than the width between your Leo’s eyes, according to experts.
The size of your lizard’s feeder insects should increase as it grows.
An adult-sized hornworm or even a king mealworm should not be offered to a juvenile lizard. Young crickets, mealworms, and other comparable sized creatures should be offered to them.
As your gecko grows older, the frequency at which you feed it should change as well. In comparison to their older counterparts, young geckos should be fed more often.
How Do Wild Leopard Geckos Hunt Their Prey?
Leopard geckos are incredibly opportunistic predators, as we’ve already discussed. They’ll attack anything that gets too close to them, be it an insect or an invertebrate. Nocturnal or crepuscular hunters are the most common kinds. During the hours of dawn and dusk, crepuscular geckos are most active, whereas nocturnal geckos are primarily active after dark.
Leopard geckos have excellent eyesight, particularly at night. During such unusual hours, this modification helps them approach their victim in secrecy. They’re also ambush hunters, which makes their hunt easy and straightforward.
Leopard geckos wait for an insect or other invertebrate to pass in front of them before leaping at their meal, usually hiding behind or around rocks or shrubs. They grab their unlucky meals in the blink of an eye using their special sticky tongues!
We try to provide an answer to the question “What do leopard geckos eat?”
It’s important to provide a varied diet to these fascinating creatures if you’re keeping one as a pet. Only live insects bred in captivity should be fed to your leopard gecko. To help your gecko keep an eye on their waistline, feed mealworms and waxworms as a treat!