As a lover of leopard geckos, you’d probably know that these reptiles love a variety of insects and grubs. So, you will have no difficulty adding crickets, worms, or caterpillars to their daily diet. But other than those options, can leopard geckos eat hornworms?
In this article, we will look at the health benefits attached to feeding hornworms to leopard geckos. Keep reading to learn more about what good this insect can serve for your pet reptile.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Hornworms?
Yes, leopard geckos can eat hornworms. In fact, they love it so much that they can get addicted to them at the expense of their natural diet.
Hornworms are easy to feed on and due to their colorful appearance, they are always appealing to leopard geckos. Your pet will likely not turn down this treat once it sights it.
Ordinarily, domesticated leopard geckos are expected to mimic the diet of geckos in the wild. As such, hornworms will naturally be a good feeding option for them. So by all means, you can feed your pet hornworms but only as a treat and with moderation.
You might also like: Can Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
Are Hornworms Healthy For Leopard Geckos?
For the most part, hornworms are safe for consumption by leopard geckos. They have several nutritional benefits for both mature and juvenile leopard geckos. Here are some of these health benefits:
- Hornworms have a good protein and calcium content which are necessary for the body and bone development.
- They do not have chitin which makes them very easy to digest.
- They are good sources of water due to their high moisture content. So you wouldn’t have to worry about your gecko getting dehydrated once they are fed.
- Hornworms also contain low-fat content. This can keep leopard geckos fit and prevent obesity and other health complications from ever arising.
- Also, hornworms are good feeds for sick and recovering geckos due to their nutritional compounds.
With these health benefits on the line, there is no doubt that hornworms are naturally good feeds for leopard geckos. However, you should bear in mind that your gecko will grow well if fed in moderation.
Compared to other insects, hornworms have a low protein content. So over-consumption could lead to protein deficiency in geckos. Therefore, it’s important that you give your pet, preferably one to four medium-sized hornworms, at least once a week.
You might also like: What Animals Eat Worms?
How To Feed Hornworms To Leopard Geckos
Feeding leopard geckos is relatively easy, especially because they are not picky with their food. When it comes to feeding them hornworms, here’s some basic information you must put into consideration:
- Don’t feed juveniles big hornworms so they don’t choke on them. Two medium-sized or about three small sizes or less are moderate portions that can be fed twice a week.
- Live hornworms in cup habitats should be bought from credible sources either at pet shops or online.
- Baby leopard geckos should only eat a small hornworm once a week.
- Hornworms caught in the wild must not be fed to domesticated leopard geckos because they are carriers of harmful bacteria.
- Serve hornworms with other insects like crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, and many more in order to make the meal more nutritious.
When all these are considered, you won’t have any problem feeding your pet gecko the right proportion of hornworms.
You can try gut-loading the hornworms. Since they don’t necessarily have a pool of nutrients, especially protein, it won’t be a balanced or valuable meal for your leopard gecko. So to make it nutritional, you can feed the hornworms foods that are rich in protein and other essential nutrients about 12-48 hours before feeding it to your gecko.
Then another alternative feeding method is dusting. Sprinkling supplement powder on hornworms will add more vitamins and minerals to the meal for your gecko.
Hornworms are a good feeding option for leopard geckos. They are rich in many nutrients and can be fed to mature and juvenile leopard geckos. But these worms are meant to be taken as treats and not a regular staple because most geckos are bound to get addicted to the sweet taste.
So be mindful of the age of your pet gecko as well as the size of the hornworm whenever you feed it.