What Do Leopard Geckos Eat? The Balanced Diet

Leopard Geckos (Leo) are Insectivores, so they eat a range of insects. Some of these are;

  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Hornworms
  • Dubia roaches
  • Silkworms
  • Red runner roaches
  • Discoid Roaches
  • Black soldier fly larvae

In this article, I am going to provide you with feeding schedules and talk you through the specifics of a healthy diet for your Leopard Gecko.

How Often and How Much Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?

Baby/juvenile and adult Leopard Geckos require different feeding schedules. Your Leo is considered a baby/juvenile up until around 7 months of age. This is when you’ll need to consider changing their diet to the adult schedule.

Baby and Juvenile Schedule

Baby/juvenile Leopard Geckos have a fast metabolism and require regular feeding to keep up with their rapid growth rate.

I recommend using a small dish/plate to feed your young Leo as this will allow the insects to move around and attract their attention. Do not feed your Leopard Gecko insects that are bigger than the space between their eyes. This prevents choking.

Pro Tip: Feed your Leopard Gecko as much as it can eat within a ten minute period. Any excess is to be removed from their habitat.

I have put together a weekly food schedule you can use to start.

Baby/Juvenile Feeding ScheduleFood and Amount
Monday5 – 7 Small Crickets
Tuesday6 – 8 Small Dubia Roaches
Wednesday3 – 4 Small Crickets and 3 to 4 Small Roaches
Thursday5 – 7 Small Crickets
Friday6 – 8 Small Roaches
Saturday3 – 4 Large Crickets and 3 to 4 Small Roaches
Sunday3 – 4 Large Crickets

Pro Tip: Do not feed your Leopard Gecko insects that are bigger than the space between their eyes. This prevents choking.

Adult Schedule

Adults eat significantly less food than babies/juveniles. This is due to them storing fats from previous meals in their tail. This provides them with an energy boost when necessary. 

The best time to feed a Leopard Gecko is during the evening/night times as they’re not active during the day. On average a fully grown Leopard Gecko should be fed every two to three days.

Here is a feeding table to refer to as a guide:

Adult Feed ScheduleFood and Amount
Monday4 – 5 Large Crickets
Wednesday7 – 8 Small Dubia Roaches
Friday4 Large Crickets, 2 Mealworms, and 1 Silkworm

Gut Loading and Dusting Food

Gut loading is used to ensure your Leo is getting the nutrients it requires. You’ll feed the insects with fruits and vegetables 12 hours before feeding your Leo. This is especially important with Leos as they’re unable to digest fruits and vegetables themselves due to not having a Cecum. This greatly improves the number of nutrients that your Leopard Gecko is receiving in their diet.

To ensure your Leopard Gecko is getting the optimal amount of Calcium, you can dust their food in supplements. I recommend the use of Zoo Med Reptivite with D3.

Calcium is essential for baby/juvenile Geckos, to assist in healthy growth.

What Food Is Toxic To My Leopard Gecko?

  • Leopard Geckos can not eat fruits or vegetables. This is due to them being Insectivores. Fruits and vegetables are harmful to your Leopard Gecko as they don’t have a Cecum. This is the part of the body that digests Cellulose, the main component found in fruit and vegetables.
  • Any bugs that light up, for example, fireflies. These insects contain chemicals within their body which are highly toxic to Leopard Geckos.
  • Any insects caught in the wild by yourself, this is because the potential for them to be infected with parasites that are harmful is high. I always recommend the use of store bought insects to be safe when feeding.

Common Feeding Mistakes

Mealworm Only Diet

For adults, Mealworms are a healthy food source. However, using a pure Mealworm diet can reduce growth and vitamin deficiencies. I recommend combining Mealworms with Crickets as part of their meal.

Lack of Calcium

The use of Calcium supplements is important for your Geckos health. A reduced Calcium intake can lead to metabolic bone disease and intestinal complications.

Overfeeding

An easy sign of obesity is checking their tail. Their tail should be no wider than the width of their neck. Leopard Geckos are greedy and will eat as much as you give them. Keep to your feeding schedule to keep them healthy.

FAQs

Do Leopard Geckos Eat Their Shedded Skin?

Yes, it’s normal for your Leopard Gecko to eat their own skin. They do this for a couple of reasons. The first is to avoid predators, they want to leave no trace of their location to remain safe. The second is because the protein and vitamins it contains are helpful for their health and growth.

How Long Can a Leopard Gecko Go Without Eating?

If your baby/juvenile Leo hasn’t eaten food for four or more days, seek a Veterinary Specialist’s advice.

An adult Leo can go quite some time without food, especially when shedding. You should seek the advice of a Veterinary Specialist if your adult Leopard Gecko has not eaten food between seven and ten days.

Summary

Leopard Geckos thrive on insect only based diets. Keeping a variety in their diet and including gut loading, and dusting will help your Leo thrive for a minimum of 15 years.