Feeding a Leopard Gecko Insects

Leopard geckos are insectivores and cannot digest plant material due to cellulose present in plants.

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Feed your leopard gecko crickets, dubia roaches and hornworms as the staple protein sources in their diet; waxworms should only be used occasionally as treats and should never serve as the main protein source.



Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning that they need an insect-rich diet. Many pet stores sell feeder insects that are easy to keep alive at an affordable price; crickets, mealworms and dubia roaches make great options. When possible try finding captive-bred feeder insects with low fat levels but higher calcium concentration such as Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFLs or “Super Worms.”

Prior to feeding them to your gecko, it is advised that feeder insects be dusted with multivitamin and calcium powders for maximum absorption by their digestive systems. Gut loading the insects before feeding will further assist them in digesting nutrients from their food sources and provide additional nutritional support.

Super Worms

Darkling beetle larvae (Zophobas morio) provide leopard geckos with a healthy source of nutrition, making them easy to keep and breed.

Fattier foods should only be fed occasionally to geckos as they may become too fatty for some species. Furthermore, these items do not offer as many nutritional benefits than crickets and should not be used as replacement food sources.

Prior to feeding them to your gecko, always dust it with calcium powder to avoid fattening it up too much and leading to health problems. In order not to overfeed your gecko and cause unnecessary risks for its wellbeing, always observe them at their feeding station to see how many they consume within 10 minutes – baby geckos require more frequent feeds due to faster metabolism.

Wax Worms

Wax worms are high in fat content, making them attractive snacks for leopard geckos. Unfortunately, however, they lack key vitamins and nutrients essential to their health; too much consumption could pose health concerns if fed too frequently.

Wax worms should only be fed occasionally to geckos; otherwise they could become dependent upon them and may need other insects as part of a more balanced diet. If that becomes the case for your gecko, consider offering alternative insects for more variety and balance in its diet.

Overfeeding of wax worms can lead to obesity, and eventually Fatty Liver Disorder – an irreparable breakdown of liver function with symptoms such as armpit fat bubbles, belly fat rolls and slow waddling walks.

Purchase wax worms from a reliable breeder and supplier, to ensure they are healthy. A top breeder will ensure they are gut-loaded with food and coated in calcium powder prior to being sold to customers.


Leopard geckos in their natural environment feed on an array of insects such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms, dubia roaches and phoenix worms – with crickets providing the bulk of a healthy leopard gecko diet – as they should form the core component. Other feeder insects may provide variety but crickets should remain at the heart of each feeding for best health results.

At each feeding, hatchling and juvenile geckos should receive two appropriately-sized crickets to cover every inch of their total length. While full grown adults should be able to consume both small and medium/large sized crickets.

To add additional nutrients to the gecko’s diet, it can be beneficial to “dust” crickets with vitamin and calcium supplements before feeding them to your pet. This ensures they’re getting maximum nutritional benefit out of this staple food source while minimizing any unnecessary choking risks. A simple method is placing crickets into a plastic bag along with powder supplement powder and shaking vigorously until all crickets have been covered by dusting powder.