Food controversy

ebuch

New Member
Messages
93
Location
SC
I found this thread on yahoo questions

Whats the best food to give my baby leopard gecko besides mealworms? - Yahoo! Answers

The best answer says that meal worms are bad. But whenever I watch a video with a breeder in it, for the most part, they say they feed their geckos meal worms with roaches as a treat. But I see a lot of this too, comments that meal worms are bad for leopard geckos. They seem to work FINE for me, I'd like to know what everyone here thinks on the whole meal worm controversy.

My stance is that they are fine for the most part. If you can feed a leo a pinkie every now and then I think it can handle meal worms.
 

Mclaughlin

New Member
Messages
133
Location
Ohio/Texas
I believe in a diverse mix of insects to be best. My current staples are crickets and mealworms with snacks of dubias here and there. Waiting for my roach colonies to pick up to switch to them as a staple.
 

SC Geckos

New Member
Messages
854
Location
here
Mealworms are fine to feed leopard geckos of any age/size, just make sure the mealworms (or any feeders) are properly gutloaded. As stated above, a varied diet is the best option. I feed all my leopard geckos a staple of mealworms and once a week or so I offer dubia roaches.
As far as pinkies...... I would stay away from feeding them to a leopard gecko. (JMO)
 

Nooon

New Member
Messages
39
Location
Sweden
I wrote this as comment to another thread but it is really on this subject.

- As I understand it - it is quite common in the US to use worms as a staple diet. Where i come from - Sweden - the general opinion seems to be that the staple diet should be crickets or roaches. Worms (and for that matter pinkies) are thought of as a treat or to give egg laying females, juveniles or convalescents a boost. Now... can´t speak for everyone but this is my impression from reading, browsing the internet and talking to others. I´ve been visiting a German forum searching for information in another matter. I think I´ll go back to find out what they say about this. This is interesting - the differences in opinions about caring for leos are there. ...and what about the French?:main_robin:
 
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unkempt1

New Member
Messages
11
Location
San Antonio
I think a lot of concern spills over from bearded dragon owners. I've seen it - they transfer logic from bearded dragon care over to leopard gecko care. The problem with that is they are completely different animals with different digestive systems. To top it off, there are folks out there that think feeding mealworms to their dragon will outright kill them, when in fact they are just a poor choice, from a nutrition standpoint.

My vote went to the "feeding other insects" option because that's what I do 90% of the time with my gecko. But honestly, until someone with some serious scientific credibility comes around with research-confirming proof that mealworms are dangerous, I'm not going to lose sleep over it (and will continue to offer mealworms to my skinks and rarely to my gecko).
 

Olympus

Biologist & Ecologist
Messages
298
Location
Miami, Fl.
I wouldn't consider mealworms dangerous in and of themselves but they certainly aren't the best feeder we have access to, in my opinion. I would (and do) use superworms instead, as they have a little more meat on them (especially as adults). However, my geckos get a diet of crickets, 4 different species of roaches, superworms, butterworms, waxworms, the occassional hornworm, and anything else I might have that they could be interested in (grasshopper, katydid, etc.)

Variety is always going to be best nutritionally, in combination with a strong gutload (potatoes and carrot don't count as a strong gutload) and good, high-quality supplements. Personally, I don't believe that any one feeder should constitute more than 20-30% of the diet, much less a solid 90-100%.
 

Ghostoftangerine17

ヒョウモントカゲモドキ
Messages
335
Location
Tokyo, Japan
I think mealworms are absolutely fine. I looked over the nutrition charts and I don't feel like my leos are getting a subpar diet of mostly mealies.

I generally buy crickets one or two times a month and silk worms occasionally as well
 

Josh P.

New Member
Messages
381
Location
Europe
Several top level breeders have used mealworms with great success for many years. That's valuable data and verifiable evidence. Mealworms, if well used, can be a great staple diet for leopard geckos.
 

Mantislover

New Member
Messages
42
Location
Ellsworth, Maine
Im looking forward to summer when there is a large variety of moths. I feed them to my mantids. Now I know leos and mantids are different from eachother in the extreme but both love live food. I have a wonderful caterpillar id guide put out by Princeton. Its big and thick and durable. It has wonderful pics of both caterpillar and adult moth and the information about where they live and the food the 'pillar eats.
There is one moth my mantids refuse to eat, the banded tussock moth. Its a pretty tan moth with delicate lines on the wings and two teal blue lines on the thorax. It makes a nasty taste when attacked so I wont bother trying to get my girls to eat them. They may try a bite to the wing but then they throw it down.
I will study the moths and the diets of the 'pillars before I offer to my gecko.
 

Griffinej5

New Member
Messages
35
Location
Pa
This is only my first Leo, so I hardly have room to talk. So far, she's had mealworms and a few waxworms. I intend to offer more variety when she's a bit bigger and can eat more stuff, but my Leo isn't big enough to eat stuff that's much bigger. She's never had a cricket that I know of, and if I bought crickets, I'd only get a few a time. I'm not having the run around my house. They spray pesticides in my neighborhood, so wild caught bugs are out. I'm pretty sure for most animals, a bit of variety is a good thing. Unless we know they eat just one thing in the wild, then we probably shouldn't do it captivity.
 

Kristi23

Ghoulish Geckos
Messages
16,181
Location
IL
I have some geckos who eat only mealworms and some who eat only dubia. A few will eat both. Variety is the best if possible, but many breeders use a mealworm only diet with no problems. The key to that is gutloading with quality food and dusting with vitamins/calcium. What you feed the insects does affect the nutrients they will deliver to your animals.
 

Herherpsnderps

New Member
Messages
17
Location
New hampshire
I feed mostly mealworms with a side of crickets. Mealworms and crickets actually have a pretty close protein to fat ratio, while mealworms are lower in protein they are also lower in fat to, so just feed more of them. A lot of the complaints I hear about mealworms is you can't dust them properly or gutload them properly. Considering they eat fruits/veggies/greens then they obviosuly can be gutloaded and if you put the in a bowl and shake them around they get very well covered in calcium.

One other upside that another breeder mentioned to me that I never thought of before what that crickets are much more dirty of an insect and due to the ease of getting stressed out they contract illnesses and parasites more(pinworms in general are found in a much higher rate than any other feeder insect). Food for thought that I thought I'd pass along, I've never looked into it throughly but he's a pretty knowledgeable guys on all reptiles and has bred many different species.

That said I don't like superworms much, I did look into them because I keep them stocked for my beardie, however they have a lot more chitin(the crap that makes the shell hard) in their exoskeleton, so they're more likely to clog up smaller lizards like leopards. One of my friend actually ran into that problem when he switched his young beardie from mealie to supers to soon. So I just don't feed supers since it's not worth the risk to me, no reason to make their little tummies work overtime to break down the extra chitin either :p
 

MagnumGeckos

New Member
Messages
13
Location
CA
we feed mainly mealies with the occasional dubia meal or crickets... however our staple here is well gut-loaded mealworms and sometimes we'll add in some supers but not a lot. ;)
 

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