Leopard geckos are easy to feed, as long as you don’t mind feeding them live insects only. 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.
Read my FAQ on leopard gecko feeding here
The most popular insects fed to leopard geckos are:
- Dubia roaches
- Phoenix worms/ calci worms
- Waxworms (occasionally)
Some 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 “gut load” the majority of insects at least 24 hours before feeding them to your leopard gecko. This means you’ll need to feed the insects with all the nutrients you want passing onto your gecko when the insect is eaten.
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.
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.
It 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!)