Leopard Gecko is a small and attractive insectivorous reptile that is easier to take care of. Improper food administration may adversely affect their health.
In summary, Leopard Gecko mainly eats insects such as cockroaches, super worms (such as Zilla Reptile Food), mealworms, or crickets. Leopard Geckos can also feed on silkworms, tomato hornworms, waxworms, beetles, sowbugs, and butter worms. Leopard Gecko does not feed on any vegetables or plant extracts.
What Does Leopard Gecko Eat?
Leopard Gecko is an insectivorous animal (reptile) that mainly feeds on insects such as mealworms, crickets, cockroaches, super worms, or beetle. These insects provide strong nutrients that help the Leopard Gecko in bodybuilding and energy provision – they are rich in proteins and carbohydrates.
Most of these insects are readily available in various climatic conditions (regions) and can be acquired commercially too. Normally, Leopard Gecko does not feed on vegetables or plant extracts. Below is detailed information on the best feed you can use for Leopard Gecko:
These are the primary source of food for Leopard Gecko that has a very high content of fat. They have a low or poor calcium-to-phosphorous ratio.
Mealworms are easier to raise at home since they multiply rapidly. Never feed your Leopard Gecko with mealworm beetle. They have shells that cause impaction due to indigestion problems.
Review of the Zilla-Reptile Mealworm
- Nutritious food for Leopard Geckos, large Birds or Tropical Fish, hermit crabs, fence lizard, and Bearded Dragons
- Doesn’t require Refrigeration
- Resealable and Convenient Packaging
- Has High Protein and Dehydrated Ingredient
First, mealworms must be just a small portion of the Leopard Geckos’ diet – most info sheets recommend that you feed the reptiles mainly with live food. Give the leopard geckos, occasionally, just about a bowl of the mealworm food above.
My red-slider turtle munched on the Zilla-Reptile Mealworm around its outdoor pond. For the leopard gecko, I made mustard greens salad and added the Mealworms for excellent nutrition. This has made the reptiles become muscular, healthy, and happy.
The Zilla-Reptile Mealworm has a great taste and smell – and offers its additional protein to the reptiles as well as being great for chickens and peafowl. Also, it’s suitable nutrition for sick geckos plus it won’t spill since its plastic is strong enough allowing excellent sealing.
The mealworms are dehydrated to offer the right nutrients and protein that’ll help maintain the health of your leopard dragons. The 100-percent natural worms and thus your geckos will achieve the same nutrition like they’re feeding on whole insects.
- Nutritious food for Leopard Geckos just like whole mealworms
- Doesn’t require Refrigeration
- 100-percent natural
- Resealable and Convenient Packaging
- Has High Protein and Dehydrated Ingredients
2. Cockroaches – Do leopard geckos eat cockroaches?
Yes, Leopard geckos will many worms and bugs including Dubia Roaches (a great staple food), crickets, locusts, silkworms, hornworms, super-worms, and mealworms.
But are Dubia roaches too big for leopard geckos? Well, for leopard geckos that are in the juvenile stage, only feed them with 1/4-inch Dubia roaches. But for adult geckos, feed them with Dubai roaches that are medium-sized – this is a maximum of 1.5 inches in length.
The cockroaches will offer great nutrition to your leopard gecko as they have high protein that’ll keep your geckos healthy and active. Also, you should feed the gecko with whole-grain cereals, fruits, and fresh veggies too.
Tropical Cockroaches are the best tropical insects to use when feeding your Leopard Gecko within the tropics. The best cockroach species is Dubia roaches.
These are easier to raise – they multiply very fast as long as proper hideouts and temperature are provided. Moreover, it has excellent nutrients necessary for your Leopard Gecko.
Dubai roaches and Turkestan cockroaches move slowly and are unable to climb walls – this makes it easier to collect them as food when needed.
Do not feed your Leopard Gecko with cockroaches found in your shower/bathroom or damp areas – these are usually non-nutritious and poisonous.
Crickets are known to have a relatively good amount of proteins for your Leopard Gecko’s growth, unlike the mealworms and roaches.
They have low-fat content and can easily be dusted with other artificial food supplements when feeding your Leopard Gecko.
Crickets are popular since their movement, behavior, and biting give Leopard Gecko a chance to acquire hunting skills.
These worms are suitable for the sick Leopard Gecko and young ones since they contain a lot of proteins and fat.
They should be fed to adult Leopard Gecko once after every two or three weeks to prevent them from being obese. Waxworms can really be addictive to your Leopard Gecko.
5. Silk Worm
This is a very nutritious feed that will heal wounds and boost the immunity of your Leopard Gecko. They multiply very fast provided proper/optimum temperature is maintained. However, Silkworms only live a few weeks (you will need to order a few frequently).
Nevertheless, Crickets may be cumbersome to rare. They keep jumping out of the nest and often make a lot of noise. However, you can make a good breed if you instill proper care on crickets.
When collecting these insects from the fields, ensure that you do not pick them from places that are sprayed by any pesticide. It is also necessary that you may collect species that are recommended by the vet.
You can also feed your Leopard Gecko on artificially made food. This acts as a decoy to Leopard Gecko that has less appetite for live insects.
In addition, they contain necessary vitamins (vitamin D3 supplement) and calcium that are vital for the growth of your Leopard Gecko.
Related: What Does a Garden Lizard Eat?
How Do You Feed Gecko?
Prepare a routine schedule that will be used while feeding your Leopard Gecko to ensure that it eats balanced diet always. Do not feed Leopard Gecko with dead prey (they won’t eat) or any vegetable/plant extracts.
It is necessary to feed Leopard Gecko early in the morning or late evening. This is the best time since most of them naturally hunt this time.
However, this may not be the only fixed time since a change in climate may affect the feeding habit of your Leopard Gecko. Therefore, you will need to have a flexible routine for your Leopard Gecko’s feeding Schedule that may accommodate such changes.
Do not overfeed your Leopard Gecko. This may lead to weight accumulation at its tail section and stomach adipose tissues. The Leopard Gecko uses this fatty storage during its hibernation time.
An overfed Leopard Gecko has a broader tail than its body and a large protruding stomach. It is sometimes unable to move normally.
In case you note that your Leopard Gecko is gaining weight abnormally, cut off the diet with fatty insects until it acquires the appropriate size.
When feeding the Leopard Gecko, place the insects in a shallow bowl or dish and push it as close as possible to Leopard Gecko. Place 2 or 3 insects at a time.
Once the Leopard Gecko is fully fed, it will stop feeding. However, some tend to continue to feed through at a slower pace – stop feeding it if you note such signs. A mature healthy Leopard Gecko would be full if fed for 5 to 25 minutes.
Feed young and sick Leopard Gecko 2 to 4 times a day while healthy adults should be fed once or twice per day. Avoid leaving live insects such as cricket in the feeding bowl – they can crawl on the Leopard Gecko and bite it.
Which Size of Food Should be Fed to Leopard Gecko?
Do not feed Leopard Gecko with very large insects. It will have difficulties while digesting them. For young Leopard Gecko, select the smallest insects available (around 3/8 inches).
Those Juvenile Leopard Geckos to be fed with medium size insects (1/4 inch) while the mature Leopard Gecko eats sizable adult insects.
How Often Do Leopard Gecko Feed?
Though Leopard Gecko has a great appetite for insects, it does not eat every hour like most animals. Young Leopard Gecko needs a lot of energy for growth and movement.
It should be fed 2 to 4 times per day. Two to seven small insects are enough to satisfy young Leopard Gecko in a single meal.
The sick Leopard Gecko should be fed according to instructions given by the vet. However, in normal cases, sick Leopard Gecko should be fed 2 to 6 times a day to improve its health status. The food can be mixed with the medicine being administered. Give them approximately 18 insects per day.
For adult Leopard Gecko, feed it one time per day or thrice per week is enough. Adult Leopard Gecko can be satisfied when fed with 4 to 7 sizable insects.
Just in case Leopard Gecko has a Problem with feeding habits, you can try to leave some of the harmless insects in a bowl (deep enough that insects can’t crawl out) for Leopard Gecko to feed on during its free time.
NB: Do not feed your, Leopard, with insects that is larger/longer than the space between its eyes (thumb rule).
Related: What Do Baby Lizards Eat?
Which Food Should You Avoid Giving Your Leopard Gecko?
Leopard Gecko is very sensitive to chemicals and pesticides. Every food that is fed to Leopard Gecko should be vet recommended. You should not feed your Leopard Gecko with fireflies, fire lighting bugs, or any insects that glow.
These insects or bug contains toxic chemical (the chemical that makes them glow) that makes your Leopard Gecko sick. The toxins from the glowing insects have no known treatment and therefore most Leopard Geckos die in minutes.
Avoid feeding your Leopard Gecko with insects caught away from your home or in the fields. These feeds may contain infections, parasites, or pesticides that may be toxic to your Leopard Gecko.
How Long Can a Leopard Gecko Live Without Food?
As a reptile, Leopard Gecko is able to hibernate and live for 1 to 3 months without moving out to search for food.
However, before winter, the Leopard Gecko usually stores enough food inform of fat that is used during hibernation.
In normal times, an adult Leopard Gecko can go without food for 10 to 20 days.
Leopard Gecko is a small attractive reptile that feeds on insects such as mealworms, crickets, cockroaches, silkworms, waxworms, or super worms.
You can also feed your Leopard Gecko with artificial feeds that are dusted over the natural food to give it vitamin (D3) supplements. Avoid feeding your Leopard Gecko with feeds not approved by vet.