When it comes to feeding your crested gecko, you have plenty of options.
But how do you know which foods are best and which should be avoided?
This guide will provide you with a list of all of the best crested gecko foods for a balanced diet.
Crested geckos are omnivores, meaning they primarily eat a mixture of various fruits, insect protein, and a small amount of vegetables. Ideal foods include insects like Dubia roaches and crickets, fruits such as blueberries and mango, and vegetables like squash and okra.
To learn more about your crested gecko’s diet and what you should (and shouldn’t) be feeding them regularly, keep reading!
What Foods Do Crested Geckos Eat?
Crested geckos, also known as eyelash geckos, eat a wide range of foods. The bulk of their diet, or around 85%+, should consist of feeder insects like crickets and fresh fruits like mango, while the remainder should consist of safe vegetables and greens such as squash and escarole.
Ideally, an adult crested gecko will eat around three or four times per week or roughly every other day.
Baby and juvenile lizards will eat more often, or once a day, due to their faster metabolisms to accommodate their growing bodies.
They also need a source of fresh water to drink from freely, though they benefit from being misted with water daily as well, as they can absorb moisture through their skin and lick the water droplets off their nose and mouth.
Crested gecko diets are pretty diverse compared to those of other reptiles, as they are omnivorous and can safely eat most feeder insects and fruits and many kinds of veggies and leafy greens.
As far as insects go, crested geckos enjoy a wide range of nutritious feeders, including:
- Dubia roaches
- Phoenix worms (also known as black soldier fly larvae)
Since they are relatively small reptiles, huge insects should be avoided, even for adult geckos.
As a general rule, any food you give to your lizard should be smaller than the width of the space between their eyes.
This will help to prevent issues like choking and impaction.
When it comes to fruits, the following are ideal for crested geckos (and will be covered in detail later):
Crested geckos will gladly bite off pieces of fruit or eat sliced or diced fruit, but an even better option is to mash them up into a slurry for them to lick.
You should offer a varied range of different types of fruits three to four times per week.
Crested Gecko Meal Replacement Powders
A common choice for crested gecko diets in particular is meal replacement powders, such as the highly popular Repashy Crested Gecko powder or the Pangea Gecko Diet powder. Just add water and feed the resulting fruit, vegetable, and insect “smoothie” to your gecko.
Since they’re omnivores, these geckos don’t necessarily have to eat live, moving prey; they will happily slurp up stationary foods, too!
These commercial diets are made of quality ingredients and formulated to be ready to eat after simply adding a small amount of water.
As the meal replacement powder mixes with the water, it will slowly thicken into a slurry ideal for crested geckos to lick up.
Ingredients vary depending on the manufacturer and formulation, but they are primarily made up of crushed and powdered feeder insects and fruits.
Additionally, many will often have added vitamins and nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.
Next, we’ll cover various feeder insects to help you get a better idea of what your gecko’s primary diet should look like.
Crested Gecko Insect List
Crested geckos should eat insects semi-regularly or at least three times per week. Many great feeder insects are suitable for a crested gecko diet, with protein-rich, low-fat bugs like Dubia roaches and crickets being ideal.
As they are omnivores, your crested gecko’s diet will need to be made up of at least 30% feeder insects.
While you have the option of simply feeding your gecko meal replacement powders made up of insects and fruit, your lizard will benefit from the enrichment of pursuing and eating live insects.
The first insect worth mentioning on this list is the Dubia roach.
These roaches are very popular as prey insects with many reptile keepers because they are high in protein and moisture yet very low in fat.
On average, Dubia roaches are made up of around 61% moisture, 35% protein, and only around 6% fat, making them both nutritious and delicious for a gecko’s healthy diet.
Since Dubia roaches tend to grow quite large, you should opt for small-sized roaches whenever possible to prevent your gecko from choking or becoming impacted.
The next common feeder insect is the cricket.
These bugs are popular mainly because they are so accessible; most pet stores carry them in multiple sizes, making it easy for you to choose crickets perfectly sized for your reptile.
For crested geckos, opt for small- or medium-sized crickets to avoid choking or impaction.
Crickets are also fairly nutritious, though not as much as the Dubia roach; they are 75% moisture, 20% protein, and around 5% fat.
Still, since they are low in fat and high in moisture, they are great for adding a bit of hydration into your gecko’s diet.
Phoenix Worms (Black Soldier Fly Larvae)
Now, on to some lesser-known feeder insects.
Phoenix worms are small, fat grubs ideal for your crested gecko’s diet.
Although they are a bit harder to find than some other feeders, they are well worth purchasing from an online retailer if you aren’t able to find them from your local pet shops.
Phoenix worms are around 61% moisture, 17% protein, and approximately 14% fat, making them a bit fattier than the feeders mentioned above.
However, this difference is pretty minimal, meaning these little grubs are still great staple feeders.
They are sometimes used in meal replacement powders.
Mealworms are quite popular because they are easily accessible from most pet shops, either in live or dried formulations.
They are smaller and less hard, and chitinous than superworms, making them ideal for a small reptile like the crested gecko.
Most crested geckos won’t turn them down, even the pickiest eaters!
Mealworms are about 62% moisture, 19% protein, and roughly 13% fat.
This makes them pretty average as far as nutrition goes.
Still, they are great if you want to give your gecko some extra hydration and a small amount of fat in their diet, particularly if your gecko is underweight or still growing into their full adult size.
Superworms, also sometimes known as Morio worms, are very similar to mealworms, though they have a few key differences.
The first and most obvious difference is their size; superworms are usually around 1.5 to 2x the size of the average mealworm.
In addition, their exoskeletons are firmer and made of more chitin than mealworms, making them a bit more difficult to chew through and digest, especially for younger geckos.
Finally, superworms can bite using their pincers, so you should avoid them for young, weak, disabled, elderly, or baby geckos who struggle with taking down live prey.
Superworms are made up of around 38% moisture, 20% protein, and 18% fat.
This makes them reasonably well-rounded as a feeder insect if a bit fattier than most.
Silkworms are harder to find than other feeders on this list, though they are readily available from many online retailers in live and dried formulations.
They are great for crested geckos of all ages and sizes because they are very soft and easy to chew and digest.
However, silkworms aren’t the best option nutritionally, so they should be avoided as staple insects and only given once or twice per week at most.
They are made up of around 83% moisture, 9% protein, and 1% fat.
Although they are low in fat, they are extremely high in moisture and sometimes cause diarrhea or runny stools if your gecko eats too many of them.
Still, they are ideal if your gecko hasn’t been getting enough hydration from their diet or doesn’t drink freely from their water dish very often.
Waxworms are often fed as treats to many species of reptiles.
Crested geckos also love them and will happily devour them.
However, they should never be given as a staple feeder insect because they are extremely high in fat and nutritionally poor otherwise.
Still, they are great once a week or so as a sort of dessert for your gecko or for underweight lizards who would benefit from putting on a bit of weight.
Waxworms are made up of around 59% moisture, 14% protein, and a whopping 25% fat.
Calcium Dusting Feeder Insects
Crested geckos need plenty of calcium and vitamin D3 to digest food and keep their bones and muscles strong and developing correctly. To supply your gecko with these nutrients, you should use a calcium powder supplement to dust feeder insects and fruits when possible.
All crested gecko owners should supply their geckos with calcium and D3 supplement; this is a requirement and not optional if you want your pet to thrive and remain in optimal health for years to come.
Preventing calcium deficiency is vital, as, without it, geckos are at risk of developing metabolic bone disease and other related health issues.
The best way to implement a calcium supplement into your gecko’s diet is by dusting their feeder insects with the powder.
There are also liquid supplements, though they are more difficult to administer to more picky eaters.
Before giving your gecko any feeder insects, coat them in a generous dusting of calcium powder.
While this sounds messy and inconvenient, you’ll be able to avoid much of the mess by storing your feeder insects in a container and dusting a group of them all at once.
Simply pour a tablespoon or two of the powder into the insect container, shake it up a bit, and remove the insects individually when it’s time for feeding.
Crested Gecko Fruit List
A large part of your crested gecko’s diet, or around 30%, should be made up of various safe fruits like mangoes, peaches, berries, and pears. Fruit should be offered three or four times per week for geckos of all ages, though babies should eat mostly soft and less fibrous fruits.
As far as fruits go, you have a huge list of great options your gecko will love.
In their natural habitats, these mostly arboreal geckos climb from tree to tree, munching on any berries, flower nectar, insects, and any other fruits or plants they find.
As a pet owner, you need to mimic your gecko’s natural diet by offering them a diverse range of fresh fruits and other foods.
Let’s go through each fruit one by one and address its benefits, potential drawbacks, and how and how often you should feed them to your gecko.
Remember to always remove any uneaten food from your gecko’s enclosure after each feeding session, and remove all skins, seeds, and pits.
Wash any fruit thoroughly with water and check them for insects before giving them to your gecko.
Avoid citrus fruits entirely, as they are far too acidic for crested gecko diets.
Also, this is by no means a 100% complete list of all of the possible fruits suitable for your gecko’s diet, though it does cover most of the most common and nutritious fruits available to you to choose from.
Always do a bit of research on whatever food you intend to give your gecko before feeding.
While most berries (including raspberries and blackberries) are all great for crested geckos, blueberries tend to be one of the most popular and most loved by geckos because they are soft, bite-sized, and very sweet.
Blueberries are also quite nutritious, as they are high in fiber and vitamin C and fairly low in calories for such a sweet fruit.
Offer them whole (leaving the skins on is fine), sliced in halves, or mashed in a shallow food dish once or twice a week, along with other fruits on this list.
Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits given to crested geckos, as they are sweet, high in antioxidants, and low in calories compared to many other fruits.
Plus, they are super soft and easy for geckos to either bite pieces off of or eat in a mashed smoothie-type formulation.
Since mangoes are so soft and moist, you have plenty of options for how you feed them to your gecko.
Offer them once or twice a week along with other fruits on this list.
It doesn’t matter much if you mash them or offer them in large slices for your gecko to munch on.
Strawberries are another great choice as a food source, as they are high in antioxidants and have fairly high levels of vitamin C.
They are common treats for crested geckos because they are sweet and juicy yet not high in calories.
Avoid feeding whole strawberries, as they are too large for crested geckos to eat whole and too firm for your gecko to bite off pieces.
Cut them into thin slices, dice them, or mash them before placing them in your gecko’s food dish.
Crested geckos love berries of all kinds, and raspberries are no exception.
They are low in calories yet high in nutrients like potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.
Plus, they are usually small and soft enough for geckos to munch on the whole if you don’t feel like cutting them into pieces or mashing them into a smoothie-like mixture.
Combine them with other berries once or twice a week for a mixed berry smoothie your gecko will love.
Though they are a bit firmer and more difficult to chew than some of the other fruits on this list, pears are still a healthy option as long as they are cut or sliced into smaller pieces.
Additionally, you’ll need to remove the skins before feeding them to your gecko, as they are very fibrous and more difficult to digest than the fruit itself.
Pears are high in fiber and, surprisingly, a decent source of protein.
Offer them once or twice a week along with other fruits on this list.
Out of all of the fruits on this list, bananas are potentially the most popular amongst crested geckos of all ages.
While they aren’t the most healthy option due to their high sugar content, they are still a good potassium and energy-rich carbohydrates source. It’s best to only offer bananas once a week or so due to their excess sugar.
In addition to being a crested gecko favorite, bananas are soft and easy even for the smallest and weakest geckos to chew and digest properly.
There are many different ways to feed them to your gecko; either allow your lizard to bite pieces off a whole banana as they please, cut them into slices, or mash them into a smoothie.
Peaches are another sweet treat crested geckos love, as they are very soft and full of moisture.
They are high in antioxidants, vitamin A, and vitamin C and aren’t particularly high in sugar.
When offering peaches to your gecko, always remove the skins before feeding, as they are difficult to digest and don’t offer much nutritional value.
It is best to cut the peaches into small slices, dice them, or mash them first.
Another fruit popular amongst crested geckos is papaya.
It’s sweet, soft, and juicy, making it perfect for a crested gecko diet.
Always avoid feeding skins or seeds, as they will be too hard for your lizard to chew or digest properly, which will sometimes result in impaction.
As far as nutritional value goes, papaya is a surprisingly good source of calcium and fiber and vitamins C and A.
It’s an excellent staple fruit; offer it sliced or mashed a few times a week along with other fruits on this list.
Though they are tricky to prepare due to their seeds and fuzzy skins, kiwi fruit is a great choice for your gecko’s diet because it is packed with fiber and vitamin C.
On the other hand, though, kiwi is fairly high in sugar and water, so it shouldn’t be offered more than once or twice a week at most.
Too many sugary fruits such as the kiwi in your gecko’s diet will cause them to become overweight or obese.
Obesity in your pet can lead to many issues, check out our post on causes of obesity in crested geckos for a list of common contributing factors.
Apples should be reserved for adult geckos, as they are rather firm and more difficult to chew and digest than most of the other fruits on this list.
Still, they are a superb source of fiber and vitamin C.
When giving your gecko apples, cut them into small slices or mash them first.
Remove skins and seeds entirely.
Offer them once or twice a week along with other fruits on this list.
Watermelon is another good treat for crested geckos as it is very sweet, soft, and juicy, though it is also very watery and somewhat high in sugar.
When feeding your gecko watermelon, you have the option of either simply allowing them to bite pieces off of a larger chunk or slicing it into smaller pieces.
There’s also the potential for mashing them, though because watermelon has so much water in it, it often creates a watery mess when mashed.
Only offer watermelon once a week at most, and always remove any seeds or skins before feeding.
Can Crested Geckos Eat Baby Food?
Baby food is only safe for crested geckos if it is organic and ONLY has plain fruit and vegetables as ingredients with no other additives or preservatives. It should not be fed as a staple food but rather a treat, as many baby foods are high in sugar.
While it might seem like baby food is a great option for your crested gecko, you should mostly avoid it unless you’re offering it as a treat or don’t have anything else currently available.
Most types of baby food on the market aren’t the best source of nutrients because they are packed with preservatives and added sugars.
You’ll have a hard time finding organic options made up of solely fruits and veggies, in which case, it’s best to simply make your own “baby food” out of mashed fruits and a calcium supplement.
If you’re looking for something soft and mushy to give to your gecko, commercial crested gecko food like Repashy or Pangea is a much better option as it is specifically formulated with their dietary needs in mind.
For more details, check out the dedicated article on if crested geckos can eat baby food.