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Lizard Feeding

Insectivorous lizards feed on insects (e.g., leopard gecko). Below are a few feeding guidelines:

  • Live prey items should not be larger than the width of the lizard's head.
  • Offer a variety of insects (waxworms, black crickets, house crickets, tebos, flies, mealworms, locusts etc.
  • All insect foods should be nutrient loaded by feeding them a good quality diet (e.g. Grub Grub and Bug Grub, Vetark) before feeding them to the lizards.
  • All insect foods should be thoroughly dusted with a calcium rich reptile supplement (e.g. Nutrobal,
  • Vetark) immediately prior to offering them to the lizards.
  • Feed daily but only feed as many insects as will be eaten within a few hours and remove uneaten food.

Carnivorous lizards (e.g. large monitor lizards) eat meat based prey items and many are hunters or scavengers:

  • Offer dead (defrosted and warmed) lean rodents no larger than the width of the lizards head.
  • Supplements are not routinely necessary as long as the prey items are lean and have been frozen for less than 12 weeks.
  • Amount and frequency of feeding depends on a host of factors. Try to base feeding on observation and physiological needs, increasing prior to breeding and during growth. In general, neonates and juveniles will require feeding every 1-3 days while adults will require feeding every 3-7 days. Large, sedate monitors may only require feeding every 1-2 weeks. Avoid obesity!
  • Avoid commercial dog, cat or primate diets.

Herbivorous lizards (e.g. green iguana) feed on plant material:

  • Offer a variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers appropriate to species (e.g. green iguanas should be offered leafy greens and not a lot of fruit).
  • Choose food items with a good calcium content including various cabbages, lettuces, grasses, garden weeds, etc. Avoid the poor nutritional items such as tomatoes, cucumber and bananas!
  • Routinely supplement with a calcium rich reptile supplement (e.g. Nutrobal, Vetark).
  • Offer washed, fresh food daily.

Many species are omnivorous and may eat plant and insect/meat items. For example, baby Bearded dragons should be offered a 50% insect and 50% plant based diet but adults should be more 70-80% vegetarian and only offered insects 1-2 times each week. Offering too many insects quickly causes obesity and leads to various disease problems.