What Types of Insects Do Lizards Eat?

What Types of Insects Do Lizards Eat?

If you’re looking into becoming a reptile owner, you might be wondering about what to feed your scaly friends. Lizards have a specific diet, and you’ll need to satisfy their nutritional needs to keep them happy and healthy.

Don’t stress! This guide gives you everything you need to know about feeding lizards. Whether you have a bearded dragon, leopard, crested gecko, or chameleon, we’ve got the info you need to keep them well fed and full of energy.

So, what’s on the menu for these guys? Let’s unpack their nutritional needs.

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What Types of Insects Do Lizards Eat?

Lizards are fascinating creatures with specialized dietary requirements. Most lizards are insectivorous, which means they love a diet of bugs. Here are some common insects you can feed your lizard.

Crickets

Most lizards love crickets. They’re a great source of protein and micronutrients, and they’re easy to “gut-load.” Crickets jump and run around the terrarium, stimulating your lizards’ natural hunting instincts.

Mealworms

Another big favorite but feed them to your scaly buddy in moderation. They have a high fat content, and they’re easy to store for an occasional treat. Mealworms should be gut-loaded and dusted with calcium to ensure maximum nutritional potential. Their hard exoskeleton can be challenging for some lizards to digest, so give them to your pet sparingly.

Insight Into the Nutritional Demands of Lizards

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Insight Into the Nutritional Demands of Lizards

Dubia Roaches

High in protein and easy to digest. Dubia Roaches have a softer exoskeleton than other feeder insects, which makes them a great option for lizards of any species or size. Plus, they’re less likely to escape your lizard’s enclosure. Their long lifespan and ease of care make them favorites for many lizard owners.

Waxworms

Another worm with a high fat content, lizards go wild for waxworms. They find them highly palatable, and they’ll gorge on them, making them great to coax picky eaters or for a good shot of quick energy. However, the high-fat content means feeding your lizard to many of them could lead to obesity issues. They’re excellent for an occasional treat or as a reward.

Superworms

Like mealworms, these bugs have a higher protein content. They’re very active, encouraging natural hunting behavior. These insects need to be gut-loaded and dusted with calcium, just like mealworms. They’re best for adult lizards.

Hornworms

Very nutritious and full of moisture. Characterized by their bright green color, lizards find them attractive. They grow fast, so feed them to your scaly friend when they’re small.

Silkworms

High in protein and low in fat. Silkworms are highly nutritious and easily digestible for lizards. They are soft-bodied and pose minimal risks of causing gut problems compared with the harder exoskeletons of other insects.

The Importance of Correct Nutrition for Your Lizard

Lizards require a well-balanced diet to maintain growth and energy levels. It’s essential to keep changing up their food to ensure they get a balanced intake of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Dusting their food with nutrient powders gives your lizard all the nutrients they need to survive and thrive. Use calcium and vitamin D3 supplements and dust insects with these powders a few times a week to prevent deficiencies and promote healthy bone growth.

Bugs to Avoid Feeding Your Lizard

Not all bugs are safe to feed to your lizard. Here is a list of no-go options.

Wild-caught insects: Can be contaminated with parasites or pesticides.

Fireflies: Lizards may find them intimidating and avoid eating them.

Beetles with hard shells: Can be resistant to digestion.

Centipedes and millipedes: Toxic and Harmful to your lizard’s health.

Tips for Feeding Lizards

Feeding your lizard can be an entertaining, interactive experience. Here are some tips for dinner time.

Gut Loading: Dose up the insects 24-48 hours before feeding them to the lizard to increase their nutritional content.

Tweezers or tongs: Use these tools for handfeeding if you’re not keen on touching bugs and want to avoid the occasional nip from a hungry lizard.

Feeding dishes: Use shallow dishes to stop insects escaping the enclosure and keep it clean.

Timing: Feed your lizard at times when they’re active during the early morning and late afternoon.

Understanding Signs of Malnutrition

Here are the signs of malnutrition to watch out for in your scaly friend.

Weight loss: Obvious emaciation suggests a poorly balanced diet.

Lethargy: If your lizard seems less lively than usual, it could be caused by a nutrient deficiency.

Bad skin: Flaky and dull skin may mean your lizard in lacking in vital vitamins and minerals.

Weakness or spasms: These issues might be due to calcium deficiency.

Resolving Malnutrition

If you notice signs of malnutrition, consult a veterinarian and follow these guidelines.

Adjust their diet: Offer a variety of insects to your lizard. Increase supplementation and dust their food with calcium and vitamin powders more frequently.

Hydration: Provide them with fresh water and mist the enclosure to keep your lizard hydrated.

Wrapping Up – FAQs on Feeding Lizards

Do Lizards Eat Ants and Spiders?

Yes. Some lizard species can feed on ants and spiders as a part of their diet. While ants form a part of their natural diet, steer clear of feeding them fire ants or aggressive ant species. Avoid feeding your lizard aggressive, highly toxic spider species.

Can Lizards Eat Flies?

Flies are fine to feed your lizard, but they don’t offer much nutritional value. If you’re feeding them feeding flies use clean, uncontaminated flies. Houseflies can carry diseases, so avoid feeding them wild-caught flies, feed them commercially raised fruit flies instead.

Can Lizards Eat Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes carry many diseases and aren’t recommended for your lizard’s diet plan. Lizards find these bugs appealing, but captive pets don’t have the natural immunity to handle the disease risk.

 

 

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