As a gecko owner, you may want to diversify your gecko’s food and introduce worms as their insect feeder. You may be wondering whether leopard geckos can eat worms and the types of worms suitable for them…..
Leopard geckos are strictly insectivorous animals and will eat any live insects that you offer them. Although the best worms to give your leos are the mealworms, you can also feed it with waxworms, silkworms, hornworms, butterworms, earthworms, and so on.
In this article, you will learn whether leopard geckos can eat worms, the types of worms they can eat, and whether they prefer to live or freeze-dried worms.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Worms?
Leopard geckos are strictly insectivores and can eat insects like worms. However, they prefer to eat live insects than dead ones.
Leopard geckos need insects and small animals to survive. In the wild, they feed on insects like beetles, grasshoppers, flies, spiders, small locusts, crickets, mealworms, wax worms, snails, cockroaches, silkworms, etc.
The major source of energy for leopard geckos is protein and fat. Female leopard geckos require a lot of fat as it is stored in her eggs. For your gecko’s well-being, leopard geckos also need vitamins and fiber to be present in their diet.
Detailed article: What can leopard gecko eat?
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms are suitable and safe worms for your leopard gecko. They have low-fat content with good levels of calcium. However, you need to ensure they are clean and don’t have dyes.
You also need to ensure that you wash, gut-load and dust them before giving them to your leopard geckos.
Note: avoid feeding your leos with wild worms as they may have parasites and other nasties. Instead of that, you can buy earthworms from the pet shops and feed them to your gecko only as an occasional treat.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Superworms
Superworms are a perfect insect feeder only for adult leopard geckos due to their size. Superworms have less chitin and more meat than mealworms, making it easy for leopard geckos to digest them.
Superworms also have higher calcium and fat content with slightly less protein than regular mealworms. Superworms are usually more aggressive, and they have a spike on their head for stinging. However, this will have little effect on your leos, and your gecko will quickly learn how to take off their head first.
Unlike mealworms, you do not have to refrigerate superworms. You can easily get superworms online or from pet stores or even breed them at home.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Mealworms
Mealworms are a great food option for feeding your leopard gecko regularly. It is suitable for all age types of leopard geckos and also available in freeze-dried forms. Mealworms are the larval stage of the darkling beetle.
Mealworms cannot provide your gecko with an adequate amount of calcium, and it is best to provide a varied diet or supplements for your gecko. When feeding your gecko with live mealworms, ensure you gut-load them 24 hours before feeding time to your leopard gecko.
When feeding with freeze-dried mealworms, always dust them with calcium supplement at every feeding. Furthermore, you will need to move and freeze-dried wiggle mealworms to activate the leopard gecko’s feeding mechanism.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Hornworms
Hornworms are amazing feeder worms for the leopard gecko. They are usually large, and you will need to feed your gecko with less of them. The best thing is that they are soft, which makes them easily digestible.
You need to gut-load them before you feed them to your leos. However, when you buy live hornworms, they usually come in a cup habitat with enough food for them.
You can only feed hornworms to adult leopard geckos, and you need to do it straight after you receive them. This is because they grow quickly as a small hornworm of about 0.5 inches long can grow to 3-4 inches long in 2 weeks.
The best way to slow down their growth is by keeping them in a fridge.
Full List Of Worms That Leopard Gecko Can Eat
Apart from the worms listed above, some of the other worms that leopard geckos can eat are stated below.
Waxworms (Moth Larvae)
Although you can offer your leopard gecko wax worms, it should only be as a treat. This is because waxworms have high-fat content, and overfeeding can lead to obesity. However, pregnant and egg-laying leopard geckos will benefit more from extra waxworms.
You can feed your egg-laying females and adult leos waxworms once in a week.
Silkworms And Phoenix Worms
Silkworms and Phoenix worms are suitable worms for your leopard geckos.
Phoenix worms are also known as Black Soldier Fly Larvae. They have high calcium and phosphorus content, and you don’t have to dust them. Another thing is that they have low-fat content but with excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio.
However, the only drawback is that they are quite small and you need more of them to make a meal for your leos.
Silkworms are the silk moth caterpillars, and you can buy them live or canned for your leopard geckos. You will need to gut load silkworms 24 hours before you offer them to your gecko.
However, silkworms are very expensive when compared with crickets, dubia roaches, or mealworms.
Giant mealworms are suitable insect feeders for only adult leopard geckos because of their size. They are regular mealworms treated with hormones that delay their change into pupae state and help them keep growing.
However, there are times when giant mealworms can make it to the beetle cycle, but it will be sterile because of the hormone. This means you cannot breed giant mealworms but you can refrigerate them like regular mealworms.
Full List Of Worms That Leopard Gecko Cannot Eat
Since leopard geckos are insectivorous animals, they will eat any live insect. However, you need to avoid feeding them with worms caught in the wild. This is because they may carry diseases, pesticides, or parasites that can be of health risk to your leopard gecko.
This is why you need to source for worms from trusted breeders and pet stores. Because they provide clean bugs, and they are raised in a clean and disease-free environment. You can also decide to breed worms in your house if you have the required expertise.
Do Leopard Geckos Like Worms?
Leopard geckos diet typically comprises insects and most leos like worms. However, some gecko can be picky or switch their preferences from time to time. This means you may find a gecko that loves mealworms and, all of a sudden, lose interest in mealworms.
You can simply offer them another worm or insect.
Do Leopard Geckos Like Dried Worms?
It is best to give your leopard geckos live food at least every other day. However, if you train your leopard gecko to eat dried worms from an early age, you can feed them with live food occasionally. But if you plan to introduce freeze-dried worms to your gecko as an adult, it can refuse it.
You will then have to artificially wiggle the dried worm to engage your gecko before they eat. Moreover, dried worms lack the vital nutrients that leopard geckos need in their diet. Dried worms also lack the required moisture, and it makes the insect harder to digest and swallow.
However, when feeding leopard geckos with dried insects, ensure you dust them with calcium and other supplements since they will already be gut-loaded.
Our TOP advice: Understanding your leopard gecko will help you better take care of them. As a suggestion, we would recommend you to get the best 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
Leopard geckos can eat a wide range of insects. Although most of their diet comprises crickets and mealworms, you can feed them with varieties of worms.
However, you need to gut load and dust the worms before you offer them to your gecko.