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Leopard Geckos Food,Leopard Geckos Diet

Updated on July 4, 2011

Leopard Gecko Food

Leopard geckos in the wild are insectivores, consuming mostly worms, spiders and grubs, and they're fed primarily insects in captivity as well.  Some geckos also eat pinkie mice, preferably pre-killed.  

No food should be longer than half the width of your gecko's head, to prevent choking.  Another rule that can help you choose the correct prey size is to make sure that prey is no larger than the distance between your gecko's eyes. It's also important to supplement your lizard's food with vitamins and calcium, which can be gut loaded into insects, or dusted on before feeding.

Leopard geckos will take some pre-killed food, but generally prefer it to be offered live.  This is because the movements of the insects are stimulating to the lizard's hunting instinct, and encourage its appetite.  Unless there's another reason not to do so, offer all insects alive.

The most common feeding insects are crickets - either black or brown, meal worms and wax worms.  Large meal worms, also called super worms, are sometimes fed, as are locusts and roaches.  Other treats that will offer the geckos different nutrients and a little variation are silkworms, butter worms and baby mice, as well as tomato hornworm larva. 

The best times to feed your gecko will vary according to the individual. However, until these lizards are a year old, you should feed them five to seven times a week, using crickets or other insects appropriately sized for their mouths.  Once they reach adulthood, geckos can be fed anywhere from every other day to two or three times a week.  The geckos should stay healthy looking and have fat tails. 

If you feed your lizard the appropriate amount of food and it still looks hungry or has a thin tail, feel free to offer it a little more.  Just remove uneaten insects from the tank to prevent them from nibbling on sleeping geckos.  From time to time, you should check your reptile for obesity, as well.  If the tail is fat, look at the crease of each leg for a rounded fat deposit.  If you see one, reduce feeding slightly. 

Most insect foods used as a staple for leopard geckos are deficient in one or more important vitamins or minerals.  This is why dusting, gut loading, and other methods are used to improve the diet. 

Remember to discuss supplementation with your veterinarian, as well as your lizard's overall diet.  After all, too much of a given nutrient can be almost as bad as too little.  An experienced reptile vet will be able to tell you what to use for a supplement, how much to use, and how often to offer it for your particular case.

Fortunately, leopard geckos are not among the group of reptiles that's hard to feed.  They'll eat anything that's about the right size, and are so enthusiastic that they may appear to "stalk" larger animals outside their cage, such as cats and even humans.  While a leopard gecko can't hurt a person or larger pet, this behavior can be amusing. 

A leopard gecko that's not eating may be ill, and should be investigated by your vet immediately.  Expect them to eat somewhat less in cold weather, such as a temperate winter, and more when the weather warms up, even in a climate controlled cage.  If your leopard gecko is warm enough and still not eating, get it checked out.  That’ll ensure a healthy pet.

Gecko Hunting a Cricket

Gecko and some Mealworms


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