Leopard Gecko Food

Feeding a Leopard geckos is very easy. They are insectivorous animals, therefore the leopard gecko food consist of insects and insect larvae. The only restriction in their diet is that these insects must be alive. Dead insects do not attract the leopard gecko.

There are a large number of insects that can be used in the diet of a leopard gecko. These can be easily found at local pet stores or by buying in bulk online.
Never feed your reptile with insects trapped outside. They can be carriers of parasites, or have been sprayed pesticides or other harmful chemicals for the pet.

Leopard gecko diet.

It is convenient to provide a variety of insects (“Feeders”) to keep the gecko healthy. Each insect provides a different nutritional value to the diet. Many of them are perfect as a main course in the daily menu and are the basis of their food, while others should be sporadically supplied due to their high fat content.


Mealworms

live mealworms

Mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) is the larva of a type of dark beetle. This larva usually measures about 2.5 cm or more and is widely used as food for reptiles and birds. Also these are used as bait by fishing lovers, so they are easy to obtain. In the case of the leopard gecko, it can be used as the basis of the diet.

For this we recommend using small bowls with slanted sides that prevent larvae from escaping, but that they guarantee access to the reptile.

Another suggestion would be to add calcium supplement to improve the intake of minerals, and thus prevent diseases in the bones of our pet.

Storing these larvae requires very little space. For this, a container containing fresh oats, wheat bran or grain is sufficient. It is advisable to add slices of potatoes, carrots or apples to conserve moisture.


Crickets

live banded cricket

Banded Crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus). The tropical house cricket is slightly smaller than its relative the house cricket, growing about 13–18 mm (0.51–0.71 in). They are an excellent source of basic food as long as you feed them. Do not leave the crickets free inside the terrarium, instead feed your gecko directly with tweezers. Crickets can

harm your reptile by nibbling on its legs.


Superworms

Live Superworm

Superworms (Zophobas morio) are common in the pet reptile industry. The larvae of the insect resemble very large mealworms, approximately 50 to 60 mm (1.7-2.25 in) long. Their nutritional values are similar to mealworms, and in some cases, they are preferable to mealworms because of their softer exoskeleton, which makes them more digestible for some reptiles. They provide little calcium, so supplementation is necessary.

The only drawback is the price, since they tend to be a bit more expensive than mealworms. You can be easily store them.  They do not  into transform into beetles if they are in a container with many other larvae and abundant food, where they receive constant body contact.


Waxworms

Live Waxworms

Waxworms (Galleria mellonella) are the caterpillar form of Wax Moths. This feeder has a high fat content and should be used sporadically when a weight gain is needed. It can also be used in geckos with lack of appetite, since this worm is irresistible to reptiles.

Waxworms can be kept in the refrigerator to prevent them from transforming into wax moths.


Phoenix worms

Phoenix Worms

Phoenix worms, the larva of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens), also known as Nutrigrubs, has a high nutritional value and because of their low fat content can be used in the daily diet of the leopard gecko, also having a plus of possessing high calcium content, which makes it possible for us to presume the supplement.
This feeder can be supplied the same as mealworms or waxworms and can be stored at room temperature for several weeks, providing the same care as the mealworms.


Butter worm

Butterworms

Butter worm, the larva of the Chilean moth (Chilecomadia moorei), like mealworms, are used as food for insectivorous pets, such as geckos and other reptiles. Its that its aroma and bright color attract more demanding reptiles. They are rich in fat and calcium and somewhat difficult to breed in captivity. Most are imported from Chile and, as a preventive measure, they are irradiated to avoid their transformation into moths.


Feeders Nutrition Chart

Feeder Protein Fat Use
Mealworms 19% 13% Basic diet
Crickets 23% 7% Basic diet
Superworms 20% 18% Treat only
Wax worms 14% 25% Treat only
Phoenix worms 18% 14% Basic diet
Butterworms 16% 29% Treat only

Leopard geckos feeding frequency.

  • How often do leopard geckos eat?

There are different criteria in this regard. Although among experienced breeders say that the juvenile gecko must feed once a day. The main reason for this is that the reptile is in full development and during this process the food needs a constant supply of protein, vitamins and minerals. In the case of leopard geckos fully grown, you can feed them on alternate days.

Feeders Feeding Frequency
  • Mealworms.
  • Crickets.
  • Super worms
  • Daily: Hatchlings and juveniles.
  • Alternate days: Adults (+1 year).
  • Wax worms
  • Phoenix worms
  • Butter worms
  • Once a week as a reward.
  • Twice a week before laying eggs.
  • How much do leopard geckos eat?

The feeding of the leopard gecko depends on the amount and type of insect that is supplied, the leopard gecko appetite and many others variables. But independent of these factors, you must ensure that the nutritional content of the feeder is correct. for this they must guarantee that the insect is gut loaded, at least 12 hours before supplying it. This is nothing more than feeding the larva or cricket so that the content of its digestive system contributes nutrients along with the body of the insect. As a rule you can give it 2 medium size mealworms per every inch long or 1 super worm per inch. Sometime a leopard gecko lose interest for a type of insect, that’s why it’s good to vary the menu. Geckos are animals of integer metabolism. If you are overfeeding, the reptil will have a thickening of the tail and in some cases, in the armpits. If it is the opposite, it will have a thin tail, since it is making use of its reserves of food stored in the tail. In order to guarantee adequate health, it is necessary to find the point of balance that guarantees a long life for our pet. There is no fixed rule since all the geckos are different.

leopard gecko water supply

The leopard gecko requires access to a water source. We suggest using a shallow dish with fresh water should be available at all times. This plate should be heavy enough and have a wide base that guarantees stability, preventing it from turning over and spilling its contents, in addition to preventing accidents. Another aspect to keep in mind is that you should not add medications or vitamins that modify the taste of water. This causes rejection in reptiles and causes dehydration.

Leopard gecko vitamins and mineral supplements

Leopard geckos in captivity base their diet on a group of feeders with a reduced number of vitamins and minerals. Many of them are not found in the body of insects, but they are found in their intestines in the form of predigested food. Hence the importance of an adequate feeding and maintenance of the feeders (gut load). To ensure that our pet gets enough vitamins and minerals it is advisable to place a small bowl containing a mixture of vitamins and minerals. If you do not want the leopard gecko to walk over the container and soil the substrate you can sprinkle the insects out of the terrarium before offering them to your pet. For this you can use a plastic bag or simply take the insect with a clamp and introduce it into the mineral.