What Vegetables Can Leopard Geckos Eat?

By Frank Miller •  Updated: 09/15/23 • 

Leopard geckos are easy pet lizards to feed. They do not have a lot of requirements, and most are not picky eaters. Caring for a leopard gecko should be easy with the right food and environment.

A varied diet of different feeder insects dusted or gut loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients is the way to go. While most animals find vegetables nutritious and a source of vitamins and nutrients, should you feed your leopard gecko with vegetables?

In the wild, vegetables are not on the menu of leopard geckos. Their bodies have also adapted to feeding insects. Thus, they lack the necessary organs to break down the cellulose content found in vegetables. A cecum, which is the organ responsible for breaking down cellulose, is not available in leopard geckos. Leopard geckos’ skull and jaw shape has also evolved to eat insects compared to animals that have evolved to eat vegetables, such as herbivores.

Apart from that, Leos have a shorter digestive tract well adapted to breakdown insects. It takes a longer digestive tract, like herbivores, to break down the cellulose in vegetables to allow fermentation and more time for complete digestion.

Leopard Gecko Standing Alongside a Pumpkin

Leopard Gecko Standing Alongside a Pumpkin

If your leopard gecko is eating vegetables, then it’s likely because you’re not feeding it insects. Even if you encourage your leopard gecko to feed on vegetables, it won’t be beneficial since they can’t digest it. I recommend sticking to insects, worms, and other meals they can digest naturally.

Because your leopard gecko will get its nutrients from insects such as dubia roaches, crickets, mealworms, etc., these insects need to be healthy and well-fed. To improve the nutrient value of your feeder insects, you’ll need to gut load them at least 24 hours before feeding them to your leopard gecko.

Gut Loading Your Feeder Insects

Gut loading involves supplying your crickets, mealworms, and other feeder insects so that they become healthier and more nutritious meals for your leopard gecko. A well-fed and healthier cricket means your leopard gecko will also be healthier.

To gut load your feeder insects, supply them with nutritious meals like fruits, vegetables, grains, fish flakes, or commercial insect feeds. When the insects feed on these meals, they break them down and pass them to your leopard gecko. The healthier the meals you supply your insect feeders, the healthier they’ll be for your leopard gecko.

Gut Loading Mealworms in A Plastic Cup

Gut Loading Mealworms in A Plastic Cup

Apart from gut loading, you can also dust the insects with calcium dust before feeding them to your Leo. This helps your leopard gecko avoid health issues such as metabolic bone disease and hypervitaminosis.

Other Foods To Avoid Feeding a Leopard Gecko

Apart from vegetables, there are other foods you should also avoid feeding your leopard gecko. However, you should also not feed your leopard gecko fruits of any kind because they will not be able to digest them.

You should also avoid feeding your leopard gecko wild-caught insects. This is because these might contain parasites, pesticides, and diseases, which might endanger the life of your Leo.

Insects that glow, such as fireflies and bio-luminescent insects, should also not be fed to your leopard gecko. These contain chemicals that can harm your leopard gecko when ingested.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Founder of Lizard Advisor and owns several pet lizards, from leopard geckos, bearded dragons, crested geckos, chameleons, and others. The mission of this website is to make owning a pet lizard very easy for everyone, but mostly beginners. And each year, he continues to help more people learn more about lizard care and much more.