It’s hard to go wrong with leopard geckos, as these creatures are so easy to care for as pets. With the right diet, a well-regulated environment, and proper care, your gecko will thrive as your pet.
But, many first-time parents are often found researching what kind of diet is appropriate for leos and whether it’s safe to feed them superworms.
Can leopard geckos eat superworms? Yes, superworms are perfectly fine to feed your leopard gecko. However, they should be fed in moderation, as superworms have a pretty high caloric content, and regular meals of superworms without variety can lead to obesity.
So, without any delays, let’s look into why superworms make an excellent addition to your pet’s diet, and whether or not it is necessary to practice caution when it comes to feeding superworms on a regular basis.
How Should You Feed Superworms To Your Leopard Gecko?
Superworms like mealworms are the larvae of a darkling beetle, zophobas morio. But, these worms are five times larger than the standard mealworm, both in length and girth. The mealworm has more meat than the superworm. The superworm has more chitin, or shell.
Since these worms have a high fat count and more phosphorus, superworms serve as a delicious and highly nutritional snack. However, you cannot make superworms a part of your leo’s daily meals. Once per week or once per two weeks should do the trick; that is, it’ll make your reptile happy. Leopard geckos absolutely love to chow down on the occasional superworm.
But you have to make sure that the treats you offer your gecko are appropriately sized. If you have a young leopard gecko, then you ought to avoid superworms in most cases. Unless you want to entice a malnourished or picky eater, be sure to offer superworms no bigger than ⅜ of an inch.
A juvenile leopard gecko can happily munch on superworms that are ¼ of an inch. Adult leos can be given adult-sized worms. You must feed superworms to your pet under your supervision as these worms are big enough to fight back.
What Are The Nutritional Values Of Superworms?
The nutritional value that superworms offer to your gecko may vary depending on where you source your superworms from. The diet of the superworm, how it is raised, and many other variables affect the nutritional content of superworms.
You should ensure that you purchase your gecko’s treats from reliable and authentic sources. Some gecko pet parents even go as far as to raise their own supply of meal and superworms to make sure their geckos have a steady, free, and safe supply of healthy meals.
Here’s a look at the nutritional content of superworms:
- 58% Moisture
- 20% Protein
- 18% Fat
- 3% Fiber
- 177 mg calcium per kg
- 2370 mg phosphorus per kg
It’s plain to see that almost one-fifth of their body is made up of fat. Your gecko will get an exceptional boost of phosphorus, but that ought to be taken in controlled quantities, or it can outweigh the calcium and encourage metabolic bone disease.
Another reason why most animal experts repeatedly stress curbing your reptilian diet when it comes to superworms is that most leos seem to love the taste of these bugs. It’ll be rare to encounter a leopard gecko that doesn’t gobble superworms down immediately, possibly leading to obesity if they are over-fed.
Do Superworms Need To Be Dusted With Calcium?
Most certainly, you ought to dust the superworms with reptile-grade calcium before you feed your pet. Calcium is essential for leopard geckos, particularly for young geckos.
Calcium is a mineral vital for bone development and overall well-being. Now, you might have noticed that superworms contain calcium already. But, the phosphorus count is thirteen times more than calcium. When phosphorus outweighs calcium in any vegetable, fruit, or even insect, the food can cause metabolic bone disease.
The more phosphorus there is in any food, the more it can prevent new calcium absorption. Furthermore, more phosphorus in the body can even deplete the existing calcium in the body, deteriorating your pet’s bone health. Not to mention, excessive phosphorus can also lead to cardiovascular illnesses.
So, before you feed any superworms to your leo, make sure to gut-load the superworms. Then you can place the superworms into a plastic container and dust the worms with some calcium powder. There are several calcium supplements available on the market that you can use for your pet. But, it does help to take some advice from the local vet who deals with exotics.
Do Superworms Need To Be Gut-Loaded?
There’s no denying that superworms are a palatable treat for your reptilian friend. But, the more you gut-load the superworm before you feed your leo, the healthier a snack it’ll be for your pet. This means providing the superworms with a healthy diet of veggies and grains a whole day in advance, and then you feed them to your gecko.
Oats, carrots, and sweet potatoes are all excellent options that you can use to gut-load the superworms. Now, you must know that leopard geckos are primarily insectivores.
It is kind of a task to get the goodness of vegetables and fruits into their system. But, gut-loading superworms before you give them to your pet as a side dish will allow you to get some added nutrients, minerals, and vitamins into your leopard gecko’s body.
Are Superworms Good For Leopard Geckos?
Your gecko has multiple options when it comes to munching on insects. But superworms are a much healthier treat for your gecko than mealworms. As superworms have more chitin than meat, there is a higher calcium and protein content in superworms in comparison to mealworms.
Furthermore, calcium-dusting and gut-loading make superworms even more wholesome for your pet. They make a delightful snack that satisfies your reptile’s taste buds. Additionally, extra fats that are in general bad for your gecko can be advantageous in small quantities too. When female geckos are ready to lay eggs, the extra fat makes the process easier for them.
Moreover, superworms are laden with protein, which helps the young leopard gecko in the developmental stages of bone growth. Protein is vital for healthy muscles and essential for organ functioning that allows the body to keep moving. Protein facilitates bodily functions such as digestion and elimination of waste from the body.
Also, you have to realize that with 50% moisture, superworms are a great source of hydration for your leopard gecko. Proper hydration will save your reptilian friend from gut impaction, dehydration, and other health problems.
Another advantage of feeding superworms to leos is that leopard geckos are predators, so they hunt for their food. Superworms provide your pet with the mental stimulation they need in the form of a good hunt.
Can Superworms Be Bad For Your Leopard Gecko?
You must have heard the phrase, “too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” Well, you can genuinely apply such sense to this scenario. An occasional treat of superworms once every week or in a fortnight will keep your leopard gecko excited. But, any more than that can lead to obesity and other health issues.
You may not overfeed your pet, but when you take the fat content of superworms into account, you’ll realize that even a few worms are more than enough. Overfeeding your gecko will cause lethargy, gut impaction, and even regurgitation.
Also, superworms can attack your gecko. They have scorpion-like pins on their backs which they use when attacking prey or protecting themselves from predators. If your gecko happens to be a novice when it comes to eating superworms, then your pet can get hurt.
Superworms last longer in the pupae stage than mealworms. But, it is not possible to refrigerate superworms for long like mealworms. So, if you don’t have your own superworm farm, storing some for your reptile becomes a real hassle.
Leopard geckos make fantastic pets, and it is an absolute delight to watch and observe these spectacular creatures. However, you must understand that your leo is really like a child that will require your care, attention, and love. When it comes to the diet of leopard geckos, many pet parents do try to provide as much variety to their pet’s diet as possible.
Superworms do make a tasty treat for your leopard gecko. Several health benefits can come from feeding superworms to your gecko. They present a terrific advantage to geckos getting ready to lay eggs as well as hatchling and juvenile geckos. Not to mention, most leopard geckos seem to relish the taste of the crunchy and yummy snack.
However, you have to remember that moderation is of fundamental importance when you consider adding superworms to your leopard gecko’s meal plan. It will be wise of you to offer superworms to your pet under your supervision to avoid any accidental harm.
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