How to supplement gecko diet and dust feeder insects – Leopard gecko vitamin supplements

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This is a commonly asked question among leopard gecko hobbyists.  People often ask, “should I get calcium with D3 or without?”  Or, “what leopard gecko vitamin supplements should I buy?”  Also, “how to dust insects with multivitamin powder?”  Before we start, understand that there’s not just one right way to supplement.  However, we will go over the most common methods that should work for all general gecko hobbyists and breeders.

To D3 or not to D3?  The answer is simple.  Yes, for leopard geckos living in captivity, you need to supplement with vitamin D3 unless you utilize UVB.  UVB is a whole other discussion entirely so let’s just assume you don’t use UVB like most leopard gecko hobbyists.  But to quickly go over UVB, in order to use UVB properly, you need to have a large enough terrarium (20-40 gallons minimum).  The tank must have lots of shades and hides to allow your gecko to hide away from light. Continue reading “How to supplement gecko diet and dust feeder insects – Leopard gecko vitamin supplements”

Leopard Gecko Feeding – Feeder Insects Nutritional Value Facts

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Leopard geckos are insectivores, they must be fed on live insects.  In this guide we will explore leopard gecko feeding options and nutritional value of common feeder insects.

Leopard Gecko Feeding – What feeder insects to use?

Leopard geckos can be fed on a wide variety of insects, popular choices including, but not limited to, crickets, mealworms, superworms, dubia roaches, hornworms, waxworms, phoenix worms, silkworms, butterworms, and more.  Some feeder insects are more readily available so they are more affordable and easier to find.  We will review some popular feeder insects used for leopard gecko feeding.

Crickets

Nutritional Information:  Moisture 69.07%, Fat 6.01%, Protein 21.32%, Fiber 3.2%, Ash 2.17%, Ca ppm 345, P ppm 4238, CA/P ratio 0.081% (source)

Pro:  Easy to find, cheap, low fat, high protein, easy to care for, gut-loads well, erratic movement stimulates feeding

Con:  Noisy, unpleasant smell, short lifespan, jumpy, hide in crevices hard to fish out of the tank, can bite your gecko, can carry parasites

Mealworms

Nutritional Information:  Moisture 62.44%, Fat 12.72%, Protein 20.27%, Fiber 1.73%, Ash 1.57%, Ca ppm 133, P ppm 3345, CA/P ratio 0.040% (source)

Pro:  Easy to find, cheap, high protein, easy to care for, decent lifespan (can be prolonged by refrigeration), no mess or smell, easy to breed your own feeder colony

Con:  Higher fat content, bad calcium to phosphorous ratio, doesn’t gut-load as well (small digestive tract), slow movement may not stimulate your leopard gecko feeding as much

Notes:  Giant mealworms are mealworms treated with juvenile hormone analog, S-Methoprene.  S-Methoprene is an insect growth regulator, it prevents the mealworm from pupating.  We have an article if you wish to learn more about how giant mealworms are created.  Read the article so you can decide for yourself whether you want to use giant mealworms as feeders.

Superworms

Nutritional Information:  Moisture 59.37%, Fat 17.89%, Protein 17.41%, Fiber 6.80%, Ash 1.20%, Ca ppm 124, P ppm 2320, CA/P ratio 0.053% (source)

Pro:  Easy to find, cheap, decent protein, easy to care for, long lifespan (no refrigeration needed), no mess or smell, easy to breed your own feeder colony

Con:  High fat content, lower protein, may not be suitable for younger/smaller geckos, bad calcium to phosphorous ratio, doesn’t gut-load as well, can bite

Dubia Roaches

Continue reading “Leopard Gecko Feeding – Feeder Insects Nutritional Value Facts”

Dubia Roaches As Feeders – High Protein Diet – And Gout In Leopard Geckos

leopard gecko feeding feeder insects nutrition dubia roaches

Dubia roaches (Blaptica dubia) have become increasingly popular in the recent years.  Hobbyists are finding out that dubia roaches are great staple diet for their leopard geckos.  Not only are dubia roaches a healthy, low fat feeder.  They are also fairly clean, they do not smell, jump, climb smooth surface, or make obnoxious noises.  Dubia roaches also breed well in a colony, allowing leopard gecko hobbyists to keep a live stock of all sizes ready to be fed off to their geckos.  Unlike crickets and mealworms, their life cycle is very long, allowing you to keep them longer before having to feed them off.  Pretty much you get the benefits of healthy feeders like crickets, without the negatives.  They are also hardy, and very meaty compared to most feeders when looking at the meat to chitin ratio.

Dubia Roaches vs Crickets for Leopard Geckos

A big reason for their increased popularity has to do with the cricket virus that nearly wiped out the cricket stock.  This cricket virus is now affecting more than just domestic house crickets, so reptile hobbyists had to look for a new, reliable feeder source.  As more hobbyists get over their roach phobia (something I had to get over as well), more and more hobbyists are keeping a running colony of dubia roaches to feed them off to their leopard geckos & reptiles.  Unfortunately with increased popularity, there are also lots of misinformation being spread regarding dubia roaches, particularly with their diet. Continue reading “Dubia Roaches As Feeders – High Protein Diet – And Gout In Leopard Geckos”