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can leopard geckos eat beetles

Leopard geckos eat only insects, making it tricky for owners to include many foods in their diet. Geckos need the right amount of nutrition from their baby stage to develop into strong juveniles and adults. Several owners of leopard geckos recommended mealworm and darkling beetles as ideal feeder insects. But can leopard geckos eat beetles?

Yes, leopard geckos can eat beetles, but only if they are smaller than their head. Juvenile leopard geckos may struggle with chewing bigger insects and can choke. However, for adult leopard geckos, beetles can provide an excellent source of protein!

In this article, we’ll be looking at more info on how to get your leopard geckos beetles. Providing a healthy meal for your geckos doesn’t get any better!

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Can Leopard Geckos Eat Darkling Beetles?

Leopard geckos can eat darkling beetles and other kinds of adult insects. Besides eating beetles (post-larva insects), leopard geckos can also eat:

Super-worms and wax-worms should not be staple feeder insects for your leopard gecko. These worms are high in fat and could make your gecko gain some flabby weight.

How to Start a Mealworm Beetle Colony to Feed Your Geckos

Suggested mealworm count

Determining how many mealworms you decide to start with is up to you. However, we highly recommend starting small.

Your first colony should be no more than 350 mealworms, but you can start with 200 larva as a test. Once you successfully create a colony, you can start with more the next time.

Type of mealworms to purchase

When you’re getting larvae from a pet shop, don’t select worms bred with added hormones. In some cases, the hormones could prevent mealworms from ever getting to adulthood.

Even if some of these “hormone breeds” get to adult stage, they may not offer much nutrients to geckos. Go for 100% organic-bred mealworms to assure complete nutritional benefits for your geckos.

Select an appropriate breeder box/substrate

Get a container capable of housing your mealworms from pupa to adult stage. It’s better to find a breeder box with a 15” by 15” dimension for about 300 mealworm larvae. But if you have a box with larger dimensions, it could serve you better.

Keeping your mealworms in a larger box (20” by 20” or higher) gives these insects enough space to mature.

Check out this breeder package including everything you need to breed your own mealworm beetles:

Correct food

Mealworms will have to be in the breeder box for long. These worms need the right meals throughout their growth period to benefit your geckos.

You need to draw up a list of vegetables to add to the box. Carrots, spinach, and other veggies could be ideal for feeding your worms. Besides veggies, you need to add sweet potatoes every two to three days to nourish these mealworms.

Glass breeder boxes are becoming common and allow breeders monitor their feeder insects easily. Remember to cut your carrots, potatoes, and other massive foods into 2” – 4” sizes. Finally, the breeder box should have smooth sides.

Temperature controls

Correct heating is everything when you need to harvest great mealworms for your geckos. Ensuring the right temperature will allow your mealworms grow as they should.

Keep the breeder box at 73°F – 83°F. Also, make sure humidity in the breeder box doesn’t drop below 70%.

Use a heat lamp or well-positioned heat rock to boost heating in the breeder box. But it is important to consider moisture alongside heating. If your breeder box takes in too much heat, it could dry up and culturing may not happen as it should.


After succeeding in setting up your mealworm breeder box, allow culturing to take place. If all factors are spot-on, your mealworms should grow from larvae to pupa within three to four weeks. The pupa stage may not last as long before your mealworm beetles come to life.

Recreating the right environment to encourage massive mealworm culturing is important. Consider using banana peels or other vegetables to retain moisture in the breeding box.


Can small leopard geckos eat beetles?

Your leopard geckos can eat different varieties of beetles. However, small leopard geckos between baby and juvenile transition may find beetles hard to chew on. The tough shell of some crickets could pose a direct challenge to leopard geckos during a meal.

Can gecko eat beetle?

Leopard geckos can eat mealworm beetles along with other insects. But not all beetles are great for your gecko. Some may be offer too much fat content to be a regular meal for your reptiles. It is better you feed such reptiles to your beetles as treats.

Can leopard geckos eat anything other than bugs?

Unlike bearded dragons and some other larger lizards, leopard geckos will eat nothing other than bugs. Owners of leopard geckos should feed mealworms, crickets, small roaches, and super-worms to their pets. Some leopard geckos could eat beetles too but mealworms and crickets are staples to most reptiles.

Can lizards eat mealworm beetles?

Leopard geckos can eat mealworm beetles just like other lizard-like creatures. Mealworm beetles range in size. Ensure you don’t feed your lizards a beetle bigger than the space between its eyes. You don’t want your reptile getting choked on eating a big mealworm beetle.

Final Thoughts: Can Leopard Geckos Eat Beetles?

Can leopard geckos eat beetles? Yes, but you should be cautious about the size of beetles your gecko eats. Most owners opt for beetles that are no larger than the space between a gecko’s eyes.

Smaller leopard geckos could find some beetles very hard to chew. But as your geckos develop, they will be able to eat beetles of all sizes. Gut-load your beetles with the right amount of feed they need to offer nutrition to your geckos.