Leopard geckos are insectivores, which means they only eat insects. Leopard geckos are attracted to moving items, so the “canned leopard gecko food” isn’t going to work. If you are planning on getting a leopard gecko, you should plan on feeding live insects all the time. This article will go over what and how to feed your leopard gecko.
Leopard Gecko Diet
As stated above, your leopard gecko’s diet should consist of insects the majority of its life. As a juvenile, you should feed your leopard gecko daily. As an adult, you may feed your leopard gecko every other day. Obesity isn’t really a problem with leopard geckos because they store much of the extra fat in their tails. But if you see that your leopard gecko is getting a bit overweight, reduce the feedings just a bit.
How Much to Feed a Leopard Gecko?
The answer varies since the size, age, and health of every leopard gecko is different. But you should stick to the rule of feeding your leopard gecko as much as he can eat within a 15 minute time frame. If you see that he is shy and doesn’t eat right away, just leave the feeders in his enclosure overnight and see what he has consumed the following day. If you see that there is still some left over, remove the feeders and feed less insects the next feeding. If you see that all insects are eaten, you can try adding a few more feeders if you’d like. You need to find the right balance of insects to feed to your leopard gecko. It only takes a few feedings to do this.
Safe Insects for Leopard Geckos
Crickets are the most popular feeder insect fed to reptiles, including leopard geckos. They are fairly cheap, easy to care for, and easy to breed. If you are looking for a staple feeder, crickets are definitely one option you can choose.
Silkworms are by far one of the best types of feeders that you can feed to a leopard gecko. Their nutritional value outweighs most insects by a lot. Unfortunately, they can be quite pricey for most people, so it is hard to feed these as a staple feeder. But when you can afford to feed these to your leopard gecko, do it. They are amazing.
Dubia roaches are one of the best types of roach species that you can buy (if you don’t live in Florida) for leopard geckos. Their nutritional value is great and they are very easy to breed. It is recommended to start your own colony of roaches to feed to your leopard gecko if you would like to save money.
Mealworms can also play a huge part of your leopard gecko’s diet. A lot of breeders feed their geckos mealworms the majority of their diet without a problem. They are also easy to breed if that is something that you might be interested in doing.
Waxworms are very high in fat, so they should only be fed as a treat to your leopard gecko. Waxworms are used to fatten up leopard geckos who are underweight.
Unsafe Insects for Leopard Geckos
Anything that you find outside should stay outside. Bugs that are not sold at pet stores should not be fed to your leopard gecko. The reason being is because some bugs may contain parasites or pesticides which can be very harmful for your leopard gecko. Another type of feeder that you might find sold at pet stores are superworms. Superworms are great, but for larger lizards like bearded dragons. In my opinion, superworms are just way too big for leopard geckos and can sometimes bite which can be harmful for your leopard gecko.
Gutloading is very important for the health of your leopard gecko and the feeders. You need to remember that what you feed to your feeders is what you will be feeding to your leopard gecko since your gecko will be the one eating the feeders. So it is very important to feed your feeders high quality foods. This can be easily done by feeding your insects vegetables like collared greens, kale, zucchini, carrots, and other nutritional value. Or you can use a high quality insect food like Fluker’s High Calcium Cricket Diet, 11.5-Ounce
Dusting is very important, as it aids in your leopard geckos health. Dusting is when you get your feeder insects that you are going to feed to your leopard gecko and you coat them with a dusting powder. To coat them, all you need to do is place your feeders in a glass jar or a plastic bag, then lightly coat the insects with the supplement that you are using for that day, then shake lightly. After the 5 second shake, you should place the feeders into the enclosure to be eaten. Try to place them in the enclosure almost immediately after you dust them because most feeders can clean the powder off themselves shortly afterwards.
There are three recommended supplements to get, which are:
- Calcium without D3 – dust every other feeding
- Calcium with D3 – dust 2-3 times a month
- Multivitamins – dust 2-3 times a month
What Does Your Leopard Gecko Diet Look Like?
Do you know of any other types of insects that should be included in a leopard geckos diet? Do you know of other leopard gecko diet information that should be shared? Share with us your thoughts and recommendations below in the comments section.