What To Feed Leopard Geckos: Part of the ease of caring for a leopard gecko comes in the food that should be provided. Adult geckos can be fed every other day while baby leopard geckos should be fed everyday. These lizards are insectivores meaning they mostly eat insects. In captivity they can be offered crickets, mealworms, superworms, silkworms and small cockroaches as a staple diet.
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Leopard Gecko Treats
As a treat you can offer your leopard gecko an occasional pinkie mouse. One that is only a few days old will be small enough for them to handle and only to full grown adults. In fact, pinkie mice are a wonderful choice to offer breeding females. You can also offer them waxworms as a treat. Waxworms should be especially offered sparingly because they can become addictive to geckos. They are chocolate in the leopard gecko world; fattening and generally un-healthy. In order to avoid choking, the prey that you offer your leopard gecko should be no larger than half the width of the gecko’s head.
How Much Food Should You Give a Leopard Gecko at One Time?
Part of understanding how to feed leopard geckos is knowing how much to give them to eat at one time. You should only feed them as much as the gecko will consume at the time of feeding. It depends on the size of the leopard gecko. You might offer your gecko anywhere from 4 to 8 crickets at one time. It is not good to leave crickets running around the leopard gecko’s enclosure for a long length of time. It can cause the gecko to become stressed out and hungry crickets are known to nibble on the gecko. Mealworms, superworms or anything else that can be contained in a dish on the other hand can be left within the cage without putting the gecko in danger.
Gut Loading the Prey
Another part of keeping your leopard gecko healthy in regards to feeding it, is making sure that you gutload all food items for 24 hours prior to feeding it to your lizard. Gutloading is feeding the crickets or other insects a very nutritious, high quality food prior to feeding to your lizard. Offering your lizard a healthier insect in turn makes a healthier gecko. You can offer the insects things like fruits, vegetables and grains. They also offer commercially made products that come in a powdered form and can be offered to the prey. Along with gutloading, you can offer your leopard gecko calcium and vitamin supplements by sprinkling the prey with powdered supplements before you feed them to your gecko. Calcium and vitamins are very important to the overall health of the leopard gecko but make sure that you offer the crickets to your gecko right away after dusting before the cricket can clean itself off. Dusting is also a good way to enrich the diet of baby leopard geckos and breeding females.
Water should also be offered to your leopard gecko and kept fresh at all times. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to illness in your leopard gecko so the water should be changed regularly. The mentioned activities are only a few among so many ways of caring for leopard geckos. Learn more by reading more leopard gecko articles on this site.
Leopard Gecko Video
Check out the following video about leopard geckos. It will put a smile on your face!
Leopard Gecko FAQQuestion: What do I do about the lighting? There are too many products to choose from.
Answer: OK, there are two types of lighting in the world of herpetology. There is UV lighting which comes in the form of a fluorescent tube. This kind gives off UV-A and some UV-B (which synthesizes D3 and speeds the uptake of calcium in all animals) but not much heat to speak of. Many lizards and tortoises need this kind of light because it somewhat duplicates the sun's effects. Leopard Geckos DO NOT need this type of lighting. Leopard Geckos are nocturnal (awake at night) and never lay in the sun in their native homeland. They get their D3 from the gut-loaded insects with the occasional dusting of calcium with D3 added.
The second type of lighting you will see in the pet store is only used for heating. There are all kinds of fancy screw-in type bulbs out there with fancy names like "Reptile Basking Light" etc. Don't let them fool you, these screw-in type bulbs cannot emit UV of any sort. They are only needed for heating purposes. There is no reason to buy these kinds of lights for $3 or more when a regular old light bulb from the hardware store/department store works equally as well. Depending on the size of the cage you are heating and the temperature of your home you might need anywhere from a 40 watt to a 100 watt bulb. If you need more than that you should probably invest in a Ceramic Heat Element (CHE).
What to Feed a Leopard Gecko: Crickets, Silkworms, Superworms, Small Cockroaches, and for treats, an occasional wax worm or pinkie mouse.