The mealworm is one of the most commonly used feeder insects. It feeds many animals, including reptiles, fish, and birds. Humans have been eating live and dried mealworms for centuries—but can crested geckos eat mealworms?
Crested geckos can eat mealworms occasionally, but they should not be fed to them more than once or twice a month. Mealworms are high in protein and fat and have a hard exoskeleton. It would help if you only feed your crested gecko mealworms that aren’t bigger than its head.
Mealworms are widely available but do not make a suitable staple food for crested geckos. They aren’t the most nutritious food you can offer, but they’re easy to obtain and cheaper than other feeder insects, such as hornworms. In this article, you’ll learn all about mealworms.
What Are Mealworms?
Mealworms are common pests that feed on grains. Mealworms probably originated in Europe but can now be found worldwide. They are the larval form of mealworm beetles—insects that belong to a darkling beetles group.
The mealworm is raised in captivity to feed many species of exotic animals. Humans can eat mealworms, too! Mealworms can be used to make insect burgers and other processed foods.
Is eating mealworms good for crested geckos?
Crested geckos can eat mealworms, but it is essential not to give them too many. Their protein content is very high.
In addition, they are rich in fat, have a poor Ca:P ratio, and have a tough exoskeleton. This exoskeleton can induce constipation or impaction.
To ensure that your crested gecko receives more nutrients, you must always gut-load and dust the worms. The majority of live mealworms are sold with food to gut load them. Then, you only need to dust them with the standard additives.
How safe are mealworms for crested geckos?
Due to their tough exoskeletons, mealworms pose a threat to your crested Gecko. It may cause harm to your crested Gecko. You can reduce the danger of impaction by administering newly-molted mealworms. Their exoskeleton is more digestible and softer.
Some sources recommend removing the mealworm’s head before feeding it. Nonetheless, this is unnecessary. Mealworms have powerful jaws, yet they are unlikely to bite your gecko in the stomach. This is only possible if your gecko eats the mealworm without chewing.
Can Crested Geckos Feed on Dried Mealworms?
Geckos, such as leopard and crested geckos, are typically picky eaters. They choose fresh over dry foods. If your pet crested gecko is not interested in eating dried mealworms, continue to offer fresh mealworms. If your crested Gecko, however, eats freeze-dried mealworms, you can feed it dried mealworms.
However, it should only be given as an occasional pleasure, not as a staple diet. Mealworms that have been dried still contain enormous amounts of protein and fat.
How many mealworms should a crested gecko be fed?
Mealworms should be given only as a reward to your crested gecko due to their high-fat content and poor nutritional value. You should restrict the number of worms you feed your crested gecko to prevent it from becoming obese.
Due to the high protein content and low calcium content of mealworms, a single mealworm can develop into a sticky mess when ingested by a crested gecko. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, they expand during digestion. Therefore, to prevent fat accumulation in your gecko’s digestive tract, especially around the liver and pancreas, give your pet no more than one or two mealworms weekly.
Consider that the size of mealworms should vary with the age of your crested gecko. Small mealworms should be provided to juveniles, while larger mealworms should be fed to adults. You can limit the number of worms per month to three or four.
How to feed your crested gecko mealworms?
A pair of tongs can be used to feed mealworms. You may also let your crested Gecko seek mealworms by placing them in a separate tank with your Gecko. The mealworms can then be placed in a small bowl within the terrarium. This inhibits their ability to dig through the substrate. These feeding methods can be applied to live, canned, and dried mealworms.
Can crested gecko consume mealworm beetles?
Even though crested geckos can consume mealworm larvae and pupa, they cannot consume mature mealworm beetles. This is because mealworm beetles have hard, chitin-rich exoskeletons.
Some adult crested geckos may consume mealworm beetles without difficulty, which is quite undesirable. Due to the difficulties of digesting the beetle’s body, it could damage the lizard’s teeth and create constipation
Can Crested Geckos Feed on Wax Worms?
If you have ever wondered if Crested Geckos can consume wax worms, the answer is yes! Wax worms are an excellent source of nutrition for these lizards, and watching them consume them is entertaining.
The Wax worms are the larvae of the greater wax moth and are frequently fed to reptiles and amphibians as live food. Due to their high protein and fat content, they are a good food source for growing lizards.
When feeding wax worms to your crested gecko, it is essential to offer a variety of sizes. Smaller insects are more accessible for the lizard to digest; thus, they should be supplied more regularly. You may provide live or frozen wax worms (It is best to thaw frozen food before serving it).
If you choose live insects, ensure that your gecko does not damage itself on the worm’s sharp mandibles. As with any new food item, you should gradually introduce wax worms into your gecko’s diet. Start by providing a few insects once a week, and gradually increase the frequency as your lizard adjusts to its new diet.
Crested geckos are pretty low maintenance as pets. They require little care, and their meals require no special attention. As long as you only feed your pet crested gecko mealworms occasionally, you do not need to worry about any potential concerns. One or two worms every week is the optimal amount. Remember not to feed mealworm beetles; only mealworm larvae and pupa are recommended.