Leopard geckos are among the most popular pet reptiles, especially for beginner pet keepers. It is relatively easy to keep them as pets if you ensure a proper diet and habitat. In this blog, we’ll go over the best practices regarding the leopard gecko diet.
What do leopard geckos eat?
Like most gecko species, leopard geckos are insectivores, so they feed mainly on live insects. The biggest parts of a leopard gecko’s diet are crickets and mealworms. Other insects which are can be included in the leopard gecko diet are:
- Discoid roaches
- Phoenix worms
- Haitian roaches
- Pinkie mice
- Super worms
As a treat, leopard geckos can enjoy the appetizing crunch of a mealworm. You can add Super worms and waxworms to their diet as a treat, but avoid feeding these specific food items, as they can lead to obesity. With this diet, feeding only 2 or 3 times a week is more than enough. As a side note, always offer live insects to your leopard geckos. Feeding dried and dead insects can lead to digestion issues and even some nasty diseases.
Can leopard geckos eat fruits and vegetables?
As discussed earlier, leopard geckos are insectivores, so they can not eat fruits and vegetables. They can only digest insects. They lack the digestion requirements to properly break down fruit and vegetable protein.
This lack of digestion requirements is all thanks to a substance called Cellulose. Leopard geckos lack a functioning Caecum, which is required for the digestion of said Cellulose.
Although some lizard species eat fruits and vegetables, leopard geckos cannot eat them.
Importance of vitamins in leopard geckos diet
It is vital to supplement the leopard gecko diet to bridge the dietary gaps and maintain their health. Many keepers supplement with vitamin D3 and calcium. Both of these act to prevent a disorder known as the Metabolic Bone disease that can happen in reptiles.
The simplest way to include these supplements is by sprinkling them in powder form over the feeder insects after placing them in a plastic bag. Shake it a little, and then offer these supplement-coated insects to your pet reptile-like normal.
Why is gut loading of leopard gecko feeding insects helpful?
Feeding fruits and vegetables to the feeder insects before feeding them to the Leopard geckos is known as Gut loading. It helps in providing additional nutrients to the lizard indirectly.
You can gut load the insects by placing the fruits and vegetables in the container, terrarium, or tank where the insects are being kept. These fruits and vegetables will act as the insects’ main food source. Carrots, apples, potatoes, leafy greens, and bee pollen are the common foods that most reptile keepers use for gut loading.
Leopard gecko diet is a variety of insects, much like most gecko species. Because of their more fragile nature, it’s best to feed your leopard gecko insects that are easy to digest, easy to catch, and plentiful. Although they don’t get very big, they can have quite an appetite.
Again, it is important that you try a variety of insects to see what they like. Pick a few from the list above, and see what they prefer. Bear in mind, though, that hard-shelled insects like mealworms and super worms should be fed with caution and only in small portions.