What Do Geckos Eat in the Wild?

Wild geckos are known to eat just about anything that they can easily overpower including crickets, spiders, small rodents and grasshoppers.

What Do Geckos Eat in Captivity?

While in captivity, most geckos should be fed size-appropriate crickets, mealworms and superworms. Geckos can occasionally be fed waxworms as treats which can be good for them since they are high in fat. Each species of gecko may have slightly different nutritional needs so it is the gecko owner’s responsibility to research and understand its dietary requirements.

When choosing the correct sized feeder insect for your gecko it is important to select an insect that is smaller than the gecko’s head. Choosing the correct sized live food makes it easier for the gecko to swallow and digest the prey item. Some adult geckos can occasionally be fed a pinky mouse. Most geckoes will eat any insect or small animal that will fit in their mouth. We recommend gut loading your insects to ensure you are providing the essential nutrients for the optimum health of the crickets and the reptiles that eat them.

How to Feed Your Gecko

Adult geckos should be fed 5-10 crickets every other day while baby geckos can require as many as 20 small crickets per day. Dusting your insects with calcium powder is one way to deliver important vitamins and minerals to your leopard gecko. Insects and the dusting powder can be placed in a plastic bag or deep tin can and shook gently to coat the insects’ bodies. A small dish of calcium powder should also be left in the gecko’s environment at all times.

Once a gecko reaches its full adult size you can begin to introduce pinky mice into their diets to keep them at an optimal weight.

Make sure that when you are feeding your geckos that they do not ingest their substrate such as sand since this can lead to serious gut impactions. To avoid these types of problems, some people recommend feeding lizards in a separate enclosure that utilizes newspaper or paper towels as a substrate.

Remove any uneaten live foods from the gecko’s enclosure after 30 minutes, this is necessary to prevent the live insects from biting your geckos. Also, don’t forget to keep your gecko hydrated. Geckos, like humans, need access to clean water. Generally, a small shallow water dish should be sufficient, remember to offer your gecko fresh water on a daily basis.

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