Have you ever given your leopard gecko superworms? Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they eat insects. Superworms make for a great alternative to crickets and mealworms because they are nutrient-rich and high in protein.
In this article, we will discuss the safety measures of feeding superworms to leopard geckos as well as what it takes to feed them correctly. Superworms are a great source of nutrition for your leopard geckos although too much of them can lead to obesity given the high amount of fat they have.
Are superworms good for leopard geckos?
Superworms are some of the best food options for leopard geckos. They are nutrient-rich and high in protein, which is what insectivores (animals that feed on insects) like leopard geckos need to thrive. With a neuter value of at least 30% more than crickets and mealworms, superworms make a great addition to your gecko’s diet regimen.
Superworms are not appropriate as the only food you give your gecko, as they are not a balanced diet. Leopard Geckos need to eat other food sources in addition to eating superworms for their optimal health.
Superworms come with the danger of nematodes which can be harmful if consumed by your pet leopard gecko. Given their high-fat content, they can also make the leopard gecko obese if too many of them are given to the gecko.
How many superworms should I feed my gecko?
For the best results, feed your gecko on superworms just once a day. If you’re not sure of when to feed your leopard gecko, superworm feeding should be done at night when it’s dark outside because leopard geckos need to eat before they’re ready to go into hiding again during the daylight hours.
If you feed too many superworms at one time, your gecko might not finish all of them and will have less food later on. So, aim to give about two or three worms per meal every other day.
Feed the worms once every other day to your pet. Cut up or grind them into small pieces if they’re more than six inches long so your reptile won’t choke on them when you feed him/her these insects. Offer your pet a fresh dish daily but do not allow it to eat anything else until after its meal has been eaten.
Nutritional value of superworms?
The nutritional value of superworms depends on the species of superworm. The most common type is called Zophobas morio and has a great nutritional value for leopard geckos, as they can consume them whole in just one bite.
The nutrition in superworms also depends on what the worms eat and the conditions they’re raised in.
Superworms are high in protein and fat, so they can make up for the lack of vitamin D that leopard geckos get from sunlight.
Some nutritional information on superworms is as follows:
- Protein: 20%
- Fiber: 3%
- Phosphorus: 2370 mg per kg
- Moisture: 58%
- Calcium: 177 mg per kg
- Fat: 18%
As seen above, superworms have a large amount of fat and should thus be fed to the geckos as a treat and not the main meal.
Should I gut load the superworms before feeding them to leopard geckos?
Gut loading the superworms before feeding the geckos has the benefit of giving them a variety of nutrients and vitamins that they will not be able to get from the worms themselves.
This ensures their diet is complete with essential nutrition for geckos. It also allows you to feed more superworms in one feeding, which means less frequent worm changes are necessary.
Gut-loading superworms can vary depending on what type of foods you would like your leopard gecko’s diet enriched with. For example, adding greens such as spinach or kale provides an extra boost of calcium, while dried mealworms provide protein to the geckos.
The process of gut loading does take some time and work but it allows the reptile owner to know their pet is getting everything he needs without having to worry about any deficiencies.
Can I dust superworms with calcium before feeding them to the leopard geckos?
Before feeding the superworms to the leopard geckos, dust them with calcium supplements. Superworms are not considered an ideal source of dietary calcium for these lizards due to their low bioavailability.
The superworm’s lack of bioavailability for providing enough nutrient content (calcium) makes it less preferable as a feeder insect than other insects like crickets and mealworms.
Superworms can be fed in moderation but should not replace more nutritious feeders such as crickets or meal worm larvae which contain higher levels of calcium required by leopard geckos.
Always use a duster when dusting the super worms so you don’t accidentally inhale the calcium powder in the process. Also, wear gloves when handling superworms to avoid the risk of infection from bacteria and parasites that may be on their bodies.
Another precaution is to wear a mask if you’re allergic or sensitive to dust, pollen, mold spores, pesticides or other chemicals because dusting superworms can create airborne particles of calcium powder.
It’s important that you always use caution when using any animal feeder whether it be mealworm beetles (Zophobas) , wax worms (Galleria), live mice, or leopard gecko superworms.
Benefits of feeding superworms to leopard geckos
Some of the benefits of feeding your leopard geckos on superworms include the following:
High butterfat and protein contents for laying eggs
Superworms have a high content of proteins and fat which is perfect for leopard geckos that are laying eggs. Butterfat is important as it boosts the production of calcium and vitamin A in a female leopard gecko’s body. The superworms also have high levels of iron, iodine and zinc which help with egg development.
Great nutrition for growth in young geckos
Growing and recovering leopard geckos can also benefit from a nutritious diet such as that provided by superworms.
One of the most important reasons to feed a leopard gecko superworms is for the latter’s protein content. Protein helps with growth and recovery from injuries or illness, which can be quite common among young geckos.
Superworms are also a good source of calcium because these invertebrates have an exoskeleton composed of chitin (which is found in many plants). Calcium assists in strengthening bones and teeth as well as blood clotting.
The consumption of vitamin D promotes bone development by enabling absorption into the body’s natural stores when exposed to sunlight; this will happen naturally if you keep your pet outdoors during daylight hours without artificial UVB lights on them every day.
Leopard geckos love them
Leopard geckos love the taste of superworms with some even getting addicted to the superworms. As such, they’re one food you can sure won’t be easily rejected by your pet reptile.
In some cases, however, if your leopard gecko won’t eat superworms and you’re sure it’s not sick, don’t force it. Instead, find other foods such as wax worms, butterworms, silkworms, phoenix worms, crickets, red worms, horn worms, and even cockroaches.
When feeding your leopard geckos superworms and other similar foods, keep the following aspects in mind for their safety and yours as well:
- Live prey such as superworms should first be chilled until they are no longer moving. This is because superworms like to chew on things and can injure your gecko if not properly prepared before feeding them. Superworms are a nutritious treat for leopard geckos, and they can be frozen or freeze-dried to make them last longer.
- Always inspect all superworms before feeding them to your leopard geckos. Some may have picked up dirt, are dead or still active and could injure your pet.
- For people with allergies, it is recommended that you handle these worms carefully as their exoskeleton may cause allergic reactions in humans. To avoid contact with the worm’s skin, use tongs or gloves when feeding them to your lizard pet.
- Avoid overfeeding your leopard geckos as it can lead to health complications such as obesity. We recommend feeding superworms to your leopard geckos in a ratio of one day’s worth per week. It is possible for the animals to become obese if fed too often or an excessive amount at each meal. Feeding them multiple times every day has been shown to cause obesity, and this can lead to serious health issues due to how quickly their metabolism slows down with increased weight. If you notice that your animal (or another) seems unusually heavy when it should be slimmer, it could mean there’s something wrong inside – like kidney failure or digestive problems.
Leopard geckos are quite delicate pets and knowing what to feed them (and how much of it) is of great importance. While superworms are a favorite of most leopard geckos, always make sure they’re not moving before you feed them to your pet. This prevents injury caused by the worms’ bites to the gecko.