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What Feeder Insects to Purchase for Gecko Feeding?

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

Geckos can be fed on a wide variety of insects, popular choices including, but not limited to, crickets, mealworms, super worms, 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 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%
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%
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.

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%
Pro: Easy to find, cheap, decent protein, easy to care for, long lifespan (no refrigeration needed), easy to care for, 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

Waxworms

Nutritional Information:  Moisture 61.73%, Fat 22.19%, Protein 15.50%, Fiber 7.69%, Ash 1.02%, Ca ppm 283, P ppm 2161, CA/P ratio 0.131%
Pro:  Easy to find, cheap, irresistible to geckos, can be used to jump-start feeding
Con:  Extremely high-fat content (must be used as treats only), short lifespan, cannot be gut-loaded, smelly, sensitive to moisture & heat

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