can leopard geckos eat lettuce

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Lettuce?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

Reptiles like leopard geckos are amazing pets to keep. Unlike other reptiles and lizards, leopard geckos are the most common pets. The eating option of leopard geckos is wild but does this mean they can eat lettuce?

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Lettuce?

The simple answer is no. Giving your leopard geckos greens like lettuce is strongly discouraged. Most reptiles are omnivores, however, leopard geckos stand out because they are insectivores. According to Reptile Craze, you should never feed your leopard gecko lettuce because their digestive systems can only process insects and not plants fiber.

However, instead of trying to feed your leopard gecko plants, feed them live insects. This wild variety of wild insects can be found in pet shops around you.

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Safe Feeding Options For Leopard Geckos

There are acceptable insects that you can feed leopard geckos that will provide them with the needed nutrient. These insects include– silkworms, mealworms, tomato hornworms, crickets, beetles, waxworms, small grasshoppers, dubia roaches, and many more.

However, it is important to note that leopard geckos are not attracted to dead or frozen leopard geckos. Therefore, to keep leopard geckos healthy, you need to feed them live insects. 

Also, Oddly Cute Pet says that to ensure proper nutritional balance, the insects that you feed leopard geckos should be well gutted. This means that you should feed the insects you intend to feed your leopard geckos fruits and vegetables, 12-24 hours before you feed them to your leopard gecko.

This makes it possible for your leopard gecko to consume vital nutrients through these insects.  

Unsafe Feeding Options For Leopard Geckos

Insects such as lightning bugs and fireflies should be avoided. This is because they are toxic for leopard geckos’ consumption. Also, feeding options to avoid while feeding leopard geckos include– dead insects, human food, fruits, vegetables, and even food crumbs. 

It is very important to feed your leopard geckos insects bought from pet stores. This is because wild-caught ones are heavy carriers of parasites. Therefore, feeding them to leopard geckos can be very unsafe because they can transmit these parasites. 

In addition, there are food options that have to be fed to leopard geckos sparingly. These include waxworms and mealworms. This is because these worms are high in fat and therefore, feeding them excessively to leopard geckos is not advised.

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What Is the Feeding Volume Of Leopard Geckos?

Measure-feeding is a very essential aspect of feeding leopard geckos. Ideally, it is important to feed adult leopard geckos two insects for every one inch, which is 2.5cm, in length. To prevent choking, the insects you want to feed to leopard geckos should not be more than the space between their eyes.

Hatchling leopard geckos may not eat until their first shed, but it is essential to provide them with water to prevent dehydration and loss of appetite when they start eating. Baby leopard geckos are also referred to as juveniles. They should be fed 5-7 cricket and mealworms every day until they grow to a year old, making them 4 inches or 10cm long. However, adult leopard geckos should be fed 6-7 larger insects between 3-4 times every week. 

However, it is very important to feed mealworms and waxworms to leopard geckos sparingly, or even feed them as treat. This is because, unlike other insects, these two are higher in fat content. 

How Do You Properly Gut-load Your Leopard Geckos’ Feeder Insects?

Insects typically lack the needed nutrients for leopard geckos. Therefore, gut feeding is an essential way to provide these nutrients to leopard geckos through these insects. However, the only insect that is exempted from gut feeding, are silkworm and waxworms. This is because the diet of silkworms is primarily mulberry leaves. 

While waxworms are refrigerated to prevent pupation and their turning into moths.

However, to provide leopard geckos with calcium, the food to properly gut-load these insects includes– apples, squash, potatoes, carrots, dark leafy green, commercial cricket foods, and oats. 


Lettuce has great nutritional benefits but are bad food options to feed leopard geckos. Therefore, they should be avoided for direct feeding. However, as mentioned in the article, you can gut-feed the insects you want to feed your leopard geckos so that they can indirectly get the benefits.

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