How to Feed Your Insectivorous Lizards: A Simple Guide
If you’re wondering how to feed your lizard live insects with care, don’t worry— this article will answer all your queries!
Some people choose to adopt more exotic pets to show off their unique taste and personality. Lizards are a perfect choice for a unique pet; their scales and graceful bodies immediately make them stand out.There are hundreds of different breeds of lizards, such as collared lizards, northern alligator lizards, water monitors, and of course many more. All of these species have one thing in common: they love feeding on live insects.
However, it can be overwhelming to determine the best insects, how to feed them to your pet lizard, and other factors you should look out for. To make things easy for you and your scaly friend, here is a guide on how to feed your insect-eating lizard so they can love you more and create the Bucky and Freddie’s dilemma in your heart!
Offer a Variety of Insects
Don’t feed your lizard the same thing for every meal. These reptiles naturally eat a wide variety of insects, and all of them are available in any pet shop.
Mealworms, waxworms, and crickets may be fed to most pet reptiles. Mealworms can also be grown on a “farm” and in many pet shops, you can see these superworms for sale. Cockroaches, fruit flies, hornworms, wax moth larvae, and silkworms are some of the other commercially available insects. Though outdoor insects captured in the wild pose a possibility of parasite infection, seasonally available insects include cicadas, moths, cockroaches, flies, grasshoppers, and bees. At night, insects can be quickly captured using lights or funnel traps. However, don’t feed them fireflies, spiders, wasps, or Eastern tent caterpillars, as they can poison your pet.
Adapt Insect Collecting Techniques
Many reptile owners are interested and love hunting, collecting, and storing insects to feed their pet. To reach this end, they need to come up with several techniques to collect and catch them.
You can provide your lizards with dietary versatility by catching insects yourself. Pitfall traps, bush-bashing, termite traps, leaf litter gathering, and sweeping tall grass with a net are also useful strategies.
Research Commercially Available Insects
As thrilling as it sounds to hunt for live food for your lizard, in some circumstances they might not be available. Now, don’t neglect your reptile’s diet and keep feeding them only worms and crickets. Fortunately, some insects are commercially available for your needs.
For instance, some individuals use mealworms rarely and prefer only freshly molted (white) grubs. For an ideal diet, make sure the insect your lizard will consume should be fed several days before it is used as feed.
Caring for Live food
The healthier and more nutritious the live food is, the more healthy it will be for your pet. So it is important to keep them well-fed and well-cared for. Fruit, vegetables, and green leaves are some superfoods for your live insects. However, for added nutrition, you can also get powdered food with extra vitamins and calcium. While you are feeding and keeping them healthy, giving them enough space to live will allow them to thrive better and live better.
Factors to Consider when Dealing with Live Insects
Live prey: Allow the live insect to move around as it stimulates the lizard’s predatory behavior. Place the insects in a bowl and put it in front of the lizard, and wait for it to feed.
Prey size: The size of the insect should not be longer than the lizard’s head, as it could potentially risk their life. Make sure it is around 75% of the reptile’s head width.
Prey number: Before feeding, make sure you count the number of insects. This is important as you don’t want to overfeed or underfeed your reptile. Only offer as many insects as your reptile can eat at a time.
Remove uneaten prey: After you let your lizard eat the live insects, remove the remaining uneaten insects from the box as soon as possible. If the lizard eats leftover or decaying insects, it will result in nutritional deficiencies which could affect their growth sexually and physically.
Frequency: Try to feed these lizards every day and larger reptiles two to three times a day.
Temperature: Their digestion depends on the type of environment and temperature range they reside in. Try to replicate the type of weather and temperature they were in, so that they can easily digest their food without any difficulties.
How Much and How Often?
This one is a bit tricky, as there is no clear answer to this. This solely depends on your lizard and there are many variables to consider, such as species, age, gender, reproductive status, activity level, and food choices. As a general rule, their feeding cycles should be changed according to the lizard’s growth rate and health. Since most juvenile lizards develop at a rapid pace, they require regular feedings to keep up with their bodies’ demands. You’ll probably need to feed them once or several times a day. Feeding should be reduced to three days a week after growth slows and drops off. During the breeding season, breeding females need to be fed regularly or every other day.
Using a scale, you can measure your lizards’ weight and track it daily. Remember that adult lizards need to have a constant weight. Breeding females will lose weight due to egg production so don’t worry about it.
So there you have it! An entire guide to help your lizard friend to have a healthier lifestyle. Make sure to keep track of their routine and take it slowly. Allow them to adjust to the surroundings and choose their live food discerningly. Hope this article helped you gain some insight. Remember to always promote pet-care, because they need it, just like us. Thank you for reading!