When it comes to feeding leopard geckos, numerous food options are available. Leopard geckos are strictly insectivorous animals and mostly feed on live insects. However, many hobbyists choose mealworms because of their cost and maintenance routines.
Many leopard geckos owners choose mealworms because they do not escape from the feeding dish. Another thing about mealworms is that they don’t make annoying chirping sounds like some crickets.
In this article, you will learn if leopard geckos can eat mealworms if you can feed your leopard geckos with only mealworms, and so on.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Mealworms?
Most leopard geckos can eat mealworms. However, this can vary from one gecko to another. Some leopard geckos will not bother to eat mealworms while other leos will start eating mealworms right away.
Many hobbyists believe that mealworms are not as suitable as other staple insects like crickets because of chitin. This is because beetles are harder than some other insects that leopard geckos can eat.
However, leopard geckos lack some nutrients, and you need to feed them with multiple food sources for a healthier diet.
Mealworm Nutritional Value
Mealworms are very nutritious, and most leopard geckos love eating them. But you need to feed your leo with mealworms and other types of food to ensure your gecko gets everything they need in a healthy and balanced diet. This is the reason why many hobbyists feed them to their gecko with crickets.
The nutritional value of mealworms is stated below.
|Live Mealworms||Dried Mealworms|
|Protein: 20%||Protein: 53%|
|Fat: 13%||Fat: 28%|
|Fiber: 2%||Fiber: 6%|
|Moisture: 62%||Moisture: 5%|
Although mealworms have great nutritional value, the downside is that they have a hard exoskeleton that can be a little hard for a leopard gecko to chew and digest regularly.
Do Leopard Geckos Like Mealworms?
Most leopard geckos like mealworms. They are a perfect option for special needs geckos because they are not a very active insect. You can just place them in a feeding dish, and your gecko will eat them at their leisure.
Can You Feed A Leopard Gecko Just Mealworms?
It is advisable not to feed your leo with just mealworms. This is because mealworms lack some nutrients that other insects like crickets have. It is best to feed your leopard geckos with different food sources for a healthier diet.
You will also need to provide additional supplements so your gecko can get enough vitamins and minerals. This means you will need to gut load and dust your mealworms before giving them to your leos.
How Often Should I Feed My Leopard Geckos Mealworms?
It is important that you feed your leopard geckos with the proper amounts of mealworms to avoid overfeeding them. This is because overfeeding can cause obesity. The easiest way to feed your leopard gecko with mealworms is to take your pet measurement.
You will then feed your gecko with two mealworms per feeding for every inch in length of your gecko. This means if your leopard gecko is four inches long, you will need to feed it with eight mealworms. You also need to keep tabs of how many insects your gecko is eating in one sitting to avoid overeating.
Although most geckos can stop eating whenever they are full, others can continue eating. This is why it is best to keep tabs of what you are feeding them.
How often you feed your leopard gecko will depend on their age. You can feed the baby and juvenile leopard geckos every day while feeding adult leopard geckos every other day. This is because the baby and juvenile leopard geckos need food for their optimal growth.
Note: feed your hatchling leopard geckos with the smallest size of mealworms and then work your way to the larger ones as they get older. This is mainly to avoid digestion issues and overfeeding.
The Table Of How Much Mealworms Do Leopard Geckos Eat
Here is a table showing how much mealworms you can feed your leopard geckos.
|Leopard Gecko Age||How many mealworms do they eat?||How often should you feed them mealworms?|
|Baby Geckos||5-7 Small Mealworms||Daily|
|Juvenile Geckos||5-7 Small Mealworms||Daily|
|Adult Geckos||6-7 Large Mealworms||Every Other Day|
Dry Food vs. Alive Food
It is recommended to feed your leopard geckos with live food because leopard geckos love the thrill of catching their prey or watching them crawl. The bugs become more attractive to them if the bugs can move and ensure they eat it.
However, leopard geckos will not go near dry food. Dead bugs can easily turn off leopard geckos, and they may stop feeding until you feed them with something that is life. This does not necessarily mean that dead food is not as healthy as live food; its just that they don’t find them appealing.
However, you can make the food appealing by using food dishes that will vibrate and shake the food within their bowl. This helps to trick your leopard geckos into thinking the food is alive. If you feed your leopard geckos with dead mealworms from birth, there is a chance that they will take dead worms when older.
Fully understanding your leopard gecko will help you better take care of them. As a suggestion, we would recommend you to get a good leopard gecko book. Not to become an expert on leopard gecko care but will help you avoid the common mistake in new pet lizard owners.
Last update on 2020-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why won’t my leopard gecko eat mealworms?
There are times when leopard gecko can get bored with eating mealworms if you are feeding them with mealworms consistently. Your gecko may not eat mealworms if you just change their diet. Also, your gecko may stop eating if they are sick or you introduce them to a new environment.
Hatchlings may be wary of taking mealworms at first. But you can easily get past this by slicing the gut of the mealworm open so the inside can spill out. You can then use feeding tongs to dangle the gutted mealworm in front of the hatchling.
Once the hatchling licks it and gets a taste of the guts, it will help trigger your gecko’s feeding instinct. Another way to make them eat is by giving them a wax worm or two. Once your gecko starts eating, you can then ween them away from the wax worms as soon as possible.
Should I force-feed my leopard gecko mealworms?
It is advisable not to force your leopard gecko’s mouth open to feed them. If your leo is not taking to hand feeding, then you should take it to the vet.
It is best to use force-feeding only as a last resort and use a syringe with a mixture of crushed up mealworms or crickets or baby food. You will then gently hold your gecko while you apply some of the mixtures to its face.
You can then wait for your gecko to lick their face and the syringe to get the food into their body.
Will mealworms cause fat leopard geckos?
Mealworms have a 1:1 protein to fat ratio. This makes them a perfect insect feeder for young geckos because they need a lot of food to fuel their bodies. However, you need to ensure that you don’t overfeed your gecko by offering too many mealworms.
This can lead to excessive weight gain and health problems for your gecko.
Leopard geckos are strictly insectivorous animals, and most will eat mealworms. Although feeding mealworms to leopard geckos is not detrimental to their health, it is not beneficial to them. This is why most hobbyists are offering them a variety.