Can leopard geckos live on sowbugs?

alexmagnei

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2
Hi there, I'm a post graduate looking for a pet companion to own once I leave home and strike out on my own. I like a lot about the leopard geckos' ease of care and affectionate personality. The only thing is I'm not a big fan of invertebrates, particularly wriggly or quick ones, but I have a real softspot for sowbugs/woodlice since I used to play with them as a child, alongside them not being particularly jumpy or squirmy. I'm wondering if it would be possible for leopard geckos to live on a diet of only sowbugs, or would they lack necessary nutrition for leopard geckos? Thanks in advance.
 

Josh

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Hi Alex welcome to the forum! I see two problems with your proposal. One is where are you going to find enough of the bugs to keep your gecko satisfied, the other is what about variety? I would consider at least 2-3 different protein sources for variety. Dubia roaches are very popular and a great option.
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
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2,338
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Not sure anyone has ever tried that, so unless you want to make your gecko a nutritional experiment, I would investigate other options you feel comfortable with.

Some suggestions:
- mealworms (Yes, wriggly, but you can keep them in the fridge until a few days before you want to feed to gutload them, then feed in a dish.)
- dubia roaches (The nymphs are basically like big sowbugs with more chitin than shell?)
- Repashy Grub Pie - not alive, it's a gel made from ground insects
 

alexmagnei

New Member
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2
I see, I'll have to give it a try. I have to admit roaches don't sound like the worst alternative, I'm aware that they're known for carrying diseases, but surely if I buy them from respected retailers they'll be safe.
 

alphakenc

Active Member
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157
Location
CT
I second that...they dont jump..dont chirp...dont stink ...
All bugs need to be gutload...so when ur gecko feast on the bug it wont be just bunch Skelton with no nutrition value.
Its like us human...if everyday u feed me pork bun meat...i will be a pork sickening very fast..so variety is definitely a key on every reptiles diet.
Good luck with ur gecko.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
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If you just can't feel comfortable with the wiggly feeders, consider a crested or gargoyle gecko which primarily eats reconstituted fruit nectar.

Aliza
 

chyhart

New Member
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4
Location
Michigan
Some suggestions:
- mealworms (Yes, wriggly, but you can keep them in the fridge until a few days before you want to feed to gutload them, then feed in a dish.)
For meal worms, they are not that wiggly. I keep my meal worms in the fridge until i feed need them for feeding, i just always have a lil container in there. I do let them warm up a couple minutes to get them to wiggle. **A leopard Gecko will not hunt for food that doesn't move.
I use a cheap pair of chopsticks or tweezers to pick the lil worms out and drop them in my feeding dish. Yes i use a flat dish cause i dont want the lizard getting a huge mouthful of sand when it lunges for the worm.
Also, Crickets. And dust them in Calcium If those gross you out like they do me, get a cricket keeper with the tubes, you never have to touch them. My boyfriend just grabs them and tosses them in.. GROSS
 

chyhart

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
Hi there, I'm a post graduate looking for a pet companion to own once I leave home and strike out on my own. I like a lot about the leopard geckos' ease of care and affectionate personality. The only thing is I'm not a big fan of invertebrates, particularly wriggly or quick ones, but I have a real softspot for sowbugs/woodlice since I used to play with them as a child, alongside them not being particularly jumpy or squirmy. I'm wondering if it would be possible for leopard geckos to live on a diet of only sowbugs, or would they lack necessary nutrition for leopard geckos? Thanks in advance.
i'm not a fan of most bugs... never ever would have thought i'd own a pet that ate bugs. Here i am, with a leopard gecko. Something important to know about a leopard Gecko is it will not hunt for food that doesn't move.
*Crickets. dusted with Calcium powder. This is usually a main source of food, provides them fiber for digesting the food, and fun for hunting the food. Only increasing the quality of their captive life.. gets real boring i imagine being a pet gecko haha. If those gross you out like they do me, get a cricket keeper with the tubes, you never have to touch them. My boyfriend just grabs them and tosses them in.. GROSS!

Meal Worms are a fatty treat like food, not a main diet option. It's a great option to supplement their normal diet, but is meant to be a treat and too much can bind them up, They get a bit glutenous with the worms. Another poster said they are wiggly, they are not that wiggly. I keep my meal worms in the fridge until i use them for feeding, i dont have to leave them out for days or weeks before i think someone said. i just always have a lil container in the fridge and treat the geckos every couple of days to 1-3 depending on the size of the worms. I do let them warm up a couple minutes to get them to wiggle. Because again, no wiggle, no hunt.
I use a cheap pair of chopsticks or tweezers to pick the lil worms out and drop them in my feeding dish. Yes i use a flat dish cause i dont want the lizard getting a huge mouthful of sand when it lunges for the worm.

If you are proactive at feeding from a juvenile stage you can increase their growth speed, once they are no longer juveniles though they wont change much in size. Tank size will also determine growth size. Where i'm going with this, is if you feed your gecko a lot from a baby and they get really big, then you can feed them PINKIES! little baby mice. I wasn't about that, so i kept my geckos on the small side.
 

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acpart

Geck-cessories
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There's a lot of talk about the nutritional value of different bugs and worms but not that much real information out there. I spent quite awhile researching when I was writing copy for someone's dubia roach site and I got Mark Finke who works for Timberline to write and article about it for Gecko Time. It includes a nutritional chart. Mealworms do have more fat than crickets, but not nearly as much as waxworms (which is the real fatty worm) or butterworms. Here's the article: http://www.geckotime.com/nutritional-value-of-commercially-raised-insects/

Aliza
 

indyana

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2,338
Location
Massachusetts, United States
It's also pretty important to gutload your feeders. Nutritional content can greatly vary depending how feeders are raised and what diet they've been given. Just direct feeding bugs raised on cheap fillers and coating liberally in vitamins is no substitute for providing good quality nutrition, and it's a good recipe for slow-creeping deficiencies
 

alphakenc

Active Member
Messages
157
Location
CT
I gutload my dubia n other feeders with
collard greens
mustard greens
dandelion greens
escarole
endive
carrot greens
green beans
hard squashes
parsley
romaine
kale
carrots
honeydew
canteloupe
strawberry
grapes
apple

Iceberg lettuce should be avoided no nutrition values.
And if u can,get the organic one ,its much better.
 
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