Most geckos are insectivores, which means their diet is predominately made up of insects. Yet there are some geckos that are frugivorous which means they mostly eat fruit. While the fruit-eating geckos prefer a diet rich in fruits, they still need to eat insects to stay healthy. The following list contains the geckos that are most commonly kept as pets, along with their dietary needs.
- Leopard Gecko: Insectivore
- Fat Tail Gecko: Insectivore
- Gargoyle Gecko: Insectivore
- Tokay Gecko: Insectivore
- Crested Gecko: Frugivore
Geckos will usually eat a wide range of foods, but they can sometimes be picky eaters. This can make figuring out what a gecko likes to eat a little bit of a challenge. In some cases, insectivore geckos may like to eat a certain insect one day, and then become bored with it the next. It’s always a good idea to give a gecko a variety of insects. This will keep them interested in their food, and it will provide a balanced diet.
As for frugivorous geckos, they tend to like all kinds of fruits, yet they do prefer softer fruits or purees that are easier to eat. And while they might eat a diet made up mostly of fruit, they still need to have insects in their diet. If a fruit-eating gecko does not eat a sufficient amount of insects that are rich in vitamins, they can develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
In most cases, Metabolic Bone Disease will cause bone disfigurement and is brought on by a calcium deficiency. Fruit-eating geckos are more prone to this disease, since fruits tend to contain a limited amount of calcium. Even if a fruit-eating gecko would prefer to eat fruit all day, it is still very important that you provide them with a balanced diet.
What do Geckos Like to Eat
The Rapashy Super Foods Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powder, is one of the most highly recommended gecko foods on the market. Rapashy Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powder contains all the nutrients a fruit-eating gecko needs.
By feeding a crested gecko this food, along with any other fruits and insects they are already eating. You can be sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals they need. This food is easily prepared by mixing one part powder with two parts water, after that just give it to your gecko and watch him eat it up.
The Nature Zone Bites for Fruit-Eating Geckos are a convenient ready to eat food. The food comes in perfectly sized peaces that are easy for a gecko to swallow. And it is flavored with an attractive scent that will encourage even the pickiest of eaters to eat all their food. The nature zone bites contain all the critical nutrients a gecko needs. They can be used as a supplement, or they can act as a staple in a geckos diet.
While geckos will gladly eat a wide variety of insects, you should never feed your gecko insects from outside or around your house. These insects may be toxic, or they can carry parasites that can cause health problems for a gecko. For these reasons always use feeder insects from a store, or insects you bred yourself in a clean environment.
Crickets are one of the most popular feeder insects, and they are fed to most insect-eating reptiles. Crickets are readily available online and in most pet stores. And they tend to have a higher nutrient content than other feeder insects, making them a very healthy option. Make sure when you purchase crickets that they are small enough for your gecko to swallow, in order to prevent any risk of choking.
Mealworms are another great insect to feed to your gecko. Mealworms are much easier to care for and handle then crickets. And unlike crickets, they are totally silent which makes them a better fit for most households. They can be purchased in a variety of sizes and are readily available online or in pet stores.
Waxworms are a good supplemental insect to feed a gecko. Waxworms should not make up the bulk of a geckos diet, due to the fact that they are very high in fat. But they are a perfect treat, or they can be used as a way to bring some variety to your gecko’s diet.
They would be perfect in the case where a gecko hasn’t been eating and needs to be fattened up. If that ever happens adding waxworms to a geckos diet can help bring them back to health. Waxworms are less commonly found at pet stores but they are readily available online.
Dubia Roaches are a nutritious bug that can replace crickets as your main feeder insect. And unlike crickets they are silent, and they are also easy to breed. All these nice attributes make them a perfect insect for any gecko owner. Dubia Roaches are not as easy to find at local pet shops, but they are readily available online.
The Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 Reptile Supplement, is an ultra-fine calcium carbonate supplement with added vitamin D3. This supplement is perfect for dusting crickets before feeding them to your gecko. Or it can be used in small amounts to fortify a geckos drinking water. This supplement is suitable for both insectivore and fruit-eating geckos.
The Nature Zone Total Bites for Crickets are specially formulated to increase the nutrient content of feeder crickets. This food is used to “gut load” your crickets before feeding them to your geckos. Feeding geckos crickets that have been fed this fortified cricket food, can help reduce the risk of Metabolic Bone Disease. This food can be used as the primary food for feeder insects to keep them healthy and reduce their mortality rate.
Fruit-eating geckos will eat almost any type of fruit, but in order to keep them healthy, you should feed them the most nutrient dense fruits available. The best fruits for geckos are the ones that have a high calcium content. And more importantly, the calcium to phosphorus ratio of each fruit should be considered.
The calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio is more important than just raw calcium concentration alone. This is due to the fact that when a fruit has more phosphorus than calcium, the phosphorus can impair the absorption of the calcium. The following fruits have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, and they are fruits that most geckos like to eat.
Papaya – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 4.5:1
Papaya is one of the most nutritious fruits to feed a fruit-eating gecko. With a very high calcium to phosphorus ratio, papaya should make up the bulk of a geckos diet. Even though papaya is a soft fruit, it might still be helpful to mash the fruit up before feeding it to your gecko.
Fig – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 2.5:1
Figs are another healthy fruit with a high calcium to phosphorus ratio. Figs can make up a good portion of a balanced diet. Some tips for selecting figs are to only pick soft ripe fruits. And if the seeds become a problem you may need to remove them first before feeding the mashed up fruit to your gecko.
Raspberries – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 1.8:1
Raspberries are another fruit with a good nutrient profile. Raspberries are a very easy fruit to feed to geckos given their bite-size nature. While raspberries have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, they should make up a small portion of a geckos diet. No real special preparation will be required. As long as your gecko can easily fit the raspberries in their mouth, they should readily eat them.
Orange – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 1.8:1
Oranges are a fruit with a good calcium to phosphorus ratio. Oranges should only make up a small portion of a geckos diet. And never feed the orange peel to a gecko, and make sure to remove any seeds before giving oranges to your gecko.
Blackberries – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 1.5:1
Blackberries are a popular fruit that make a decent treat for geckos. Blackberries have a good calcium to phosphorus ratio, but raspberries do a little better in this regard. Blackberries should be fed as a treat but should not make up the majority of a geckos diet.
One concern to be aware of when feeding a gecko blackberries are the seeds. Blackberry seeds are on the large side for a small berry. If a gecko has problems with blackberry seeds, raspberries are a better alternative since they have much smaller seeds.
Grapes – Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio: 1.4:1
Grapes are one of the more common fruits available that are good to add to a geckos diet. Grapes don’t have a very high calcium to phosphorus ratio. But they can still make up a small portion of a geckos diet. When feeding grapes to a gecko make sure they are small enough to easily fit in the gecko’s mouth. If the grapes are a little too big you can squish them down to make them easier to eat.