Crested geckos are known to be both insectivorous and frugivorous – this means that a crested gecko eats insects, fruits, and seeds.
So, when kept in captivity, you may want to keep a balance of both insects and fruits in the diet of your pet crested gecko.
What Insects Can Crested Geckos Eat?
When kept in captivity, your pet crested gecko needs to be fed certain insects in regular meals while some need to be given only once a while as treats – and some insects, on the other hand, need to be strictly kept out of the diet of your crested gecko.
Here are a few insects that you can feed to your pet crested gecko in regular meals:
- Dubia Roaches
- Black Soldier Fly Larvae
- Stick insects
- Turkistan roaches
- Lobster roaches
- Domino roaches
- Banana roaches
- Discoid roaches
Here are a few insects that you can give to your pet crested gecko as a treat once in a while:
Note that if you are planning to add a new insect to the diet of your crested gecko, then you should first consult with your vet.
Your vet will have proper knowledge of the medical history of your crested gecko and will be able to advise you regarding the quantity and frequency of feeding certain insects to your crested gecko.
What Insects Do Crested Geckos Eat In The Wild?
In the wild, a crested gecko will eat whichever insect it can manage to hunt that night. In the wild, the crested gecko does not have much of a choice.
However, in the rainforests of New Caledonia, a crested gecko is more likely to hunt crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, ants, and all sorts of worms.
Because these insects and worms are in a sufficient amount supply available for the crested gecko.
Ways To Feed Insects To Your Crested Gecko
Insects that are available as feeders are usually lacking certain important nutrients, or have very less quantities of those.
So, before feeding insects to your pet crested gecko, you will need to prepare the insects. There are 3 different ways of preparing feeder insects to give to your crested gecko.
Dusting is when you quite literally dust or coat the feeder insects with calcium or multivitamin powder before feeding those to your pet crested gecko.
Any given feeder insect will be lacking several important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D3, vitamin A, and vitamin B1 to name a few.
Dusting helps make up for the lack of nutrient value within the insect by providing those nutrients in the form of coated powder.
Gut loading is when you allow the insects to gorge on nutritionally varied foods and then use the gut-loaded insects as prey or feeder insects for the crested gecko.
Most feeder insects are usually deficient in calcium – which is a very vital nutrient for your pet crested gecko.
Additionally, feeder insects do not always have ample amounts of Vitamins D3, A, E, and B1. Gut loading helps your pet get the required nutrients from the guts or digestive tracts of the fed insects.
Blending is another way in which you can feed insects to your crested gecko. In this, you may blend the insects of your choice with the commercially available fruit mix for crested geckos.
This method provides a good balance between fruits and insects and ensures that your crested gecko gets a good balance of most nutrients.
How To Feed Insects To Your Crested Gecko
There are different ways in which you can feed insects to your crested gecko.
- You may give insects as live food to your pet using tweezers.
- You may leave the live insects in the enclosure during the nighttime to let your crested gecko “hunt” and eat the insect. But make sure you leave only one or two insects in the enclosure at a time – overloading the enclosure with insects may sometimes end up backfiring as a hoard of insects may very well try and injure your crested gecko with bites here and there.
- You can blend the insects with fruits or fruit mixes available in the market and feed them to your crested gecko.
How Many Times Should You Feed Insects To Your Crested Gecko
The frequency of feeding insects to your crested gecko differs depending on the type of insect you are feeding.
If you are going for insects like crickets and dubia roaches that can be fed as a regular meal, you can feed these insects 2 to 3 times a week to adult crested geckos.
However, insects and worms like hornworms or waxworms are treats and should only be given occasionally to avoid an imbalance in the nutrients.
Should You Feed Insects To Baby and Juvenile Crested Geckos
While baby and juvenile crested geckos do not have a dire need for live food or feeder insects.
There is no harm in feeding insects to them every once in a while, with their regular commercially available nutritionally dense meals.
How Big Should The Insects Be When Fed To Your Crested Gecko?
When feeding insects to an adult crested gecko, you can go for insects that are up to ¾ inch in size.
A good thumb rule, however, is to never feed insects that are bigger than the distance between the eyes of your crested gecko.
Bigger insects, when fed, can get stuck in the digestive tracts of your crested gecko, causing impaction.
5 Insects Crested Geckos Need To Avoid
As a strict rule, you should not feed insects that you have just caught in a garden or elsewhere to your crested gecko as those insects will be carriers of harmful pathogens that can cause diseases or other health problems.
Apart from that, here are a few insects that you should not feed to your crested gecko as these are toxic and will cause fatal health problems:
- Glowing cockroaches
- Railroad worms
Crested geckos are both frugivorous and insectivorous. This means that your pet crested gecko can be fed both fruits and insects.
However, relying on either fruits or insects while eliminating the other kind of food from the diet can lead to an imbalance in the level of nutrients.
When feeding insects to your crested gecko, you need to prepare the feeder insects properly to account for the lack of nutrients in them.
Be mindful of the kinds of insects that you choose as feeder insects, and keep in mind the required preparations, frequency of feeding, and the size of the feeder insects.
These precautions will prevent any problems such as toxicity due to wrong feeder insects or impaction due to big insects being fed.