can leopard geckos eat darkling beetles

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Darkling Beetles?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

If you were wondering whether or not leopard geckos eat darkling beetles, then this post will help you simplify things. Keep reading to find out, if your reptile’s diet is in safe hands.

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Darkling Beetles?

Yes, they can, however, it gets confusing for some people because darkling beetles are also referred to as mealworms beetles. Darkling beetles are excellent sources of calcium for leopard geckos. 

However, darkling beetles are large in size and can be very aggressive. As a result, it is not safe to leave darkling beetles in your leopard gecko’s enclosure.

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Do Leopard Geckos Enjoy Eating Darkling Beetles?

Although they are a great calcium source, darkling beetles are not an absolute favorite of leopard geckos. This is because they have a repulsive smell and they are aggressive. Darkling beetles’ aggressiveness can be dangerous for sick or weak leopard geckos. Since the insects have to be served to leopard geckos while they are still alive, darkling beetles are a dangerous choice sometimes. 

According to Gecko Advice, the question of whether or not leopard geckos enjoy eating darkling beetles is mainly an issue of whether they can handle their meal enough to eat. 

How Safe Are Darkling Beetles For Leopard Geckos?

Feeding leopard geckos darkling beetles is safe in most cases, however, it is advisable to feed smaller leopard geckos smaller insect options rather than darkling beetles. This is because when smaller leopard geckos eat bigger darkling beetles, it can cause harm to them in various ways, one is choking. 

For older leopard geckos, giving them darkling beetles is safe, however, the leopard gecko has to be wise enough not to bite the beetle from its tail because it can spin around and hurt the leopard gecko’s eye.

Also, it is important to avoid feeding smaller leopard geckos big darkling beetle to prevent choking. This is because the exoskeleton on darkling beetles will be harder in bigger darkling beetles and therefore it is harder to chew. 

However, according to Steven Wright an animal diet expert, feeding smaller leopard geckos other insects such as dubia roaches is preferable. 

What Is The Right Size Of Darkling Beetle To Feed Leopard Geckos?

To feed leopard geckos darkling beetles, the size of each of them has to be put into consideration. However, at any point you want to feed your leopard gecko darkling beetle, the latter has to be smaller in size.  

As a result, when choosing the darkling beetles to feed to leopard geckos, you have to pick the ones that are smaller in size in other to prevent choking. Smaller darkling beetles are easier for leopard geckos to feed on. 

Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding leopard geckos bigger or fully-grown darkling beetles because they have chitin that makes them hard to chew and is harmful to leopard geckos’ digestive system.

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Can Darkling Beetles Bite?

Yes, they can. Darkling beetles are known to have fully developed jaws when they are fully grown. However, these jaws are not just fully developed, it gives them the ability to bite their prey and even sometimes humans. 

Although their bites are not harmful to humans, they are harmful to sick and weak leopard geckos. 

How To Ensure That Leopard Geckos Get The Needed Nutrients From Darkling Beetles

Although darkling beetles can easily be found in the wild, not all of them contain the ample amount of nutrients that leopard geckos require. Therefore, gut-feeding and breeding darkling beetles will go a long way in providing the right amount of nutrients.  

One way to effectively gut-feed darkling beetles is by giving them chopped vegetables such as carrots and spinach. Potatoes and oats are great sources of nutrients as well, but it is very important to keep the breeding under the right temperature and humidity to ensure faster growth of darkling beetles. 


Darkling beetles are amazing sources of nutrients for leopard geckos, however, they can be dangerous to them as well. Ensuring that the darkling beetles you feed to your leopard gecko are smaller than them is a safe way to prevent any sort of hazard. However, to fully navigate feeding darkling beetles to leopard geckos, read the post completely.

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