A beginner’s guide to feeding leopard geckos

Leopard geckos are easy to feed, as long as you don’t mind feeding them live insects only. Here are some things you will need to know if you need to understand the basics of feeding a leopard gecko.

locusts leopard geckos

Read my FAQ on leopard gecko feeding here
Read my feeder insect reviews here
If your leopard gecko isn’t eating, check here

I also encourage you to read multiple sources to gather more in-depth information, as it’s important to educate yourself and expand your own understanding of your geckos and their health.

Leopard geckos will not eat any dead insects (many seem to not bother with insects unless they are wriggling and moving) and will not eat a plant-based diet. Some of the most popular insects fed to leopard geckos are:


gutloading leopard gecko insectsSome insects (such as mealworms, and waxworms) have a really low nutritional content and lack the essential vitamins required to keep leopard geckos healthy. It is important to “gutload” the majority of insects at least 24 hours before feeding them to your leopard gecko.

This means all of the nutrients you feed to the insects will be passed onto your gecko when the insect is eaten.

See: What is Gutloading and why is it important?

You should also dust insects such as mealworms with calcium powder at every feeding, and about twice per week dust the insects with calcium combined with vitamin D3 powder.

See: Which vitamins and supplements do leopard geckos need?

Quantity and Frequency

It is recommended that you feed baby and juvenile leopard geckos on a daily basis, however adults have a slower metabolism, therefore only need feeding every couple of days.

There is some debate over how many insects should be fed to your geckos, but geckos tend to stop eating when they’re full, so trying around 6-8 insects to begin with would be a good start to see the quantity needed per feed, and adjusting if necessary.

Waxworms warning

leopard gecko waxwormsIt really is true that leopard geckos LOVE waxworms – they are fatty, soft, and absolutely irresistible to leos.

Some people do not feed these to their geckos at all, and some recommend that these are only used as a treat.

Personally, I try to only feed waxworms if I’m trying to coax my leos out of their hides, or trying to gain their trust, and I would never feed them with a waxworm more than once a week (but in practice, I do this maybe once per month!)



  1. I wish I had this two years ago when I got my first leopard gecko! I was a complete beginner and I had no idea what I was doing. Ended up gifting (him or her? No idea!) to my best friend. He’s much more of a pro! But thanks so much for posting. I’ll use this next time. ❤️


  2. I am finding your information so helpful. Not exactly sure of the age of our Leo, but he is approximately 2-3 months. (We are first time leopard gecko owners) We feed him approximately 7-8 mealworms in the morning and the same amount of crickets in the evening, all dusted with calcium + vitD except once a week when we dust with a multi-vit. And an occasional superworm as a treat. My question is, are we feeding him the right amount?


    1. I’m so glad you find it helpful, thank you!
      Yep that sounds like the perfect amount. Your gecko is unlikely to overeat and will just stop when he is full; at this young age they tend to eat quite a lot and this will slow down over the next year as their metabolism slows and they reach maturity. Mine now only eat 2-3 times per week and only a few insects at a time.
      Also if they start getting fussy with food there’s no harm in switching to some new insects like locusts or Dubia roaches 🙂


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