If you are thinking about the best food for your current or future Iguana. It lets me know you want to know everything about your lizard (Click here for my best Iguana Guide, on Amazon) to treat him right. But what about cucumber? Is that even an option?
Can Iguanas eat cucumber? Yes, they can eat cucumber. Iguanas are herbivores so vegetables and fruits are pretty much the staples of the diet. In addition to cucumbers, an example of other fruits and vegetables they consume are collard greens, asparagus, etc.
Now that you know that they can eat cucumber. Let me explain more about cucumbers. In particular, if they are actually good for his nutritional needs. Also, other foods that you need to avoid to keep him healthy, necessary supplements and much more. Keep reading…
Yes, Iguana’s can eat fruits. However, fruits need to be eaten in moderation. Why? Well, fruits have limited nutritional value for Iguanas. Therefore, they should only represent approximately 5% of their food consumption.
This doesn’t mean that you should not give them fruit. You just need to understand that the majority of their food intake will be vegetables. Are you with me?
I am sure you have seen or heard of a cucumber before, but do you really know the detail about this? Such where they come from, the plant that produces them, etc? Let me explain…
According to Wikipedia, there are three different variations of cucumbers:
They come from the vines of the Cucurbitaceae plant, which is part of the gourd family.
Strictly speaking, a cucumber is a fruit. But, before you jump at me in disbelief, let me explain why. You may have consumed cucumbers for most of your life or at least familiar with them.
It may be confusing to hear that they are actually fruits. Because typically they are served with other vegetables and are typically referred to as vegetables. Even in shops and superstores.
However, according to to the guidelines of botany they are actually regarded as a fruit.
The reason for this is a fruit is formed from a flowering plant, so it can reproduce. The fruit has the ability (seeds inside of it), to reproduce and create new plants.
This is exactly what a cucumber is. Vegetables are other parts of the plant, such as the leaves roots, etc. So based on this, definition the cucumber would be regarded as a fruit.
However, I doubt you would get many objections if you continue to refer to it as a vegetable. Because most people still class them as vegetables.
Iguanas (Click here to see 7 of the best small pet Iguana species (With Pictures)) are native to Mexico, the Caribean, and Central America, according to Wikipedia. Their name is actually derived from the species “iwana”, which was a Taino name.
Yes, Iguanas do need supplementation. They have a need for more calcium than phosphorus and competent iguana owners are recommended to provide a calcium supplementation. This is usually provided in the way of calcium powder.
This calcium powder is typically sprinkled lightly on to to the food that the Iguana. Usually provided two to three times a week, but the actual calcium powder product will give further details.
In addition to Calcium powder, a vitamin-mineral mix is often recommended as well. This is usually consumed on a weekly basis, depending on the guidelines of the product that you choose.
It is even more important to not go too crazy with this stuff if it contains Vitamin D3. Reason being, you need to be careful not to feed too much to your lizard.
You may be thinking or wondering if it’s possible to overfeed an iguana. This may be because you are concerned not to overfeed it and you want to understand the limit/boundaries upfront.
If we are talking about vegetables and fruits according to this site it is not really possible to overfeed them. Provided you are feeding them the correct recommended vegetables and fruits. And, with that being said, the majority of their food will have to be vegetables, not fruit.
When it comes to omnivorous Iguanas there needs to be an extra level of caution. For example the spiny-tailed iguana or the chuckwalla. These lizards can consume vegetables as well as non-veg products.
With regards to the vegetarian side of their diet, there is no real limits. But, you need to monitor them for any non-veg consumption to make sure that they are not over-fed.
You may be wondering, before domestication, what did they actually eat in the wild? Good question. In the wild, they pretty much live off green leaves and plants and flowers.
They also consume some fruits as well and other plants which are not readily available in the normal domestic environment.
The good thing is with Iguanas you are able to get a good source of vegetables that they will happily consume even if they are not in their natural habitat.
You may or may not have heard of this term “hindgut fermenters” before. According to this site, essentially it refers to the bacteria used to break down the high fiber diet that if you want as consume.
This is important because they eat so many vegetables and greenery that they need these bacteria to help them break it down.
This helps the food pass through the intestines and consumed through the body.
Often Iguanas are referred to as herbivores, but the majority of their diet is leaves and plants, which some would argue that they should be more specifically referred to as “folivores”.
Baby Iguanas are very similar to their adult version. 95% of the food they consume will be vegetables, in particular, leafy plants. The remaining 5% will typically be fruits that they can consume.
They can consume dehydrated foods. However, you may find some will find it difficult to consume them. In these situations, you need to mix them up with hydrated vegetation or apply water to make them easier to consume.
Iguanas love to consume lots of different vegetables & fruits. However, there are some that you need to use very sparingly. Such as bananas, carrots, and grapes.
The reason for this is, these particular foods have low calcium and phosphorus levels. Therefore, they are not adding much nutritional benefit to your iguana.
I’m going to share with you some other food items that are not advisable for Iguanas.
As we discussed earlier Iguanas are typically herbivores. Therefore you should avoid meat products such as rodents, insects or any live insect.
Soya beans are high in protein and also contain phytoestrogens. For this reason it is not advisable to give it to your iguana. The issues with this is it can cause problems with their growth & development.
This may be obvious but like humans, Iguanas do not consume pesticides very well. This can be very damaging to them. So if you have any vegetables or flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides you need to be very careful.
As a general guideline, it is advisable to wash and clean any veg item before giving it to your Iguana.
In addition to this, as an extra precaution, it is a good idea to wash and leave them for a couple of days before providing them unless you have been sold them specifically for Iguanas and have faith that they have not got any pesticides on them.
Foods such as celery and spinach have high oxalic acid. For this reason they need to be avoided. The down problem with his is, it binds to the calcium and can make it impossible or hard for your iguana to absorb the calcium that it needs to maintain the correct levels.
Yes, Iguanas can swim in pools. Ideally, a saltwater pool, but many owners have used these pools in captivity, without issues. However, you need to be careful if you have just added Chlorine to the pool. And, understand it’s not recommended, but it’s possible.
Maybe you have a chlorine pool, or just curious about Iguanas swimming capabilities. Either way, I am going to cure your curiosity and explain if the back garden pool is a viable option for your Iguana.
Now that you know that they can swim in the pool. Let me also explain, exactly what chlorine is, and how it was used negatively in the past. Precautions you should take before even thinking about letting them in the pool. How Iguanas swim so well, and much more. Keep reading.
As discussed, many keepers have had success with their Iguanas in their swimming pools. For example, according to a member of this forum, he has been allowing his Iguana to swim in these pools for 13 years, without issues.
As a precaution, it is recommended to make sure that the chlorine has not been recently added. This will help to reduce the exposure to your lizard. Instead, let the chlorine settle. Are you with me?
With all this talk about this chemical in pools, forgive me, let me clarify exactly what Chlorine actually is.
According to Wikipedia, it is a chemical element. It has a chemical symbol of CI and an atomic number of 17. Also, it has a yellowish/green color at room temperature.
You may not know this, but it is actually used as an ingredient in manufacturing many different products. I say this because most of us assume that it is only used in swimming pools, right?
One interesting fact about chlorine, it was actually used in world war I for chemical warfare. This is because used at high concentrations it is known to be very dangerous. And this is especially true around animals and other living things.
If you are curious about Iguanas swimming. You may have heard, or wondered about the Marine Iguana. This makes sense because it is an excellent swimmer.
The Marine Iguana is a resident of the Galapagos Islands. They are so good in the water they are regarded as marine animals. At a glimpse, they look roughly the same size as a Green Iguana (What Can I Use for Iguana Bedding? Click here) but they are slightly smaller. To be precise, they typically grow up to about four feet.
As discussed, they are excellent swimmers. It’s quite deceiving because at a quick glance they do not look like natural swimmers. Why? Because they look like they have the incorrect build for it, know what I mean? Never the less, they are great swimmers and divers.
When I say good divers, its a bit of an understatement, to be honest. Why? Because these “bad boys” can stay underwater for up to one hour. But, this is not their average though, it’s more of an extreme. They typically spend 5-10 minute stints under the water.
Earlier I mentioned that at first glance, they do not look like natural swimmers, right? Remember? Well, I am guessing you may be wondering how they physically swim based on this remark. Good question, let me explain…
Firstly, they have strong tails that are great for propelling them through the water. Ideal for swimming. Their feet are also impressive, for swimming I mean. They are big and have webs that use to push and glide through the water.
They love Algae, so they are known to dive down to up to 32 feet deep. However, on a day-to-day basis, they are not consistently swimming, this would be tiring. Some of this time is spent floating, to give their limbs a break.
Also, worth noting they also very comfortable walking on land as well. Meaning they have the best of both worlds, which is an ideal quality to have.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Iguanas and swimming. If you feel that you have some extra questions, that have not been answered, then feel free to drop me a comment below.
According to this site, you should be doing this once a week, at least. However, you may be thinking “Why do I even need to do this?”. Good question, let me explain…
Firstly, this is no reflection on their general hygiene or smell for that matter. Iguanas are not actually smelly. The main issue is with lizard keepers that neglect to keep them clean.
The reason for this bathing is for a few reasons:
Keeping them clean and maintained is obvious, but maybe shedding isn’t. The reason for this is, the water will help to make the shedding process easier and fewer chances of problems for your lizard, are you with me?
Also, exercise is another unexpected benefit maybe. Well, this water can help to keep them exercised as they play or swim in the water.
One word of warning though. there is a chance that your Iguana might defecate in the water. Why? Well, to be honest, its relaxing for them. If they have been holding one in for a while, the water will naturally ease it out f them.
Do not be alarmed, this is natural and you can easily clean this up and replace the water. Just a warning.
No. Because there are Iguanas like the Marine, you may have assumed that they could breathe underwater, and I get it, to be honest. This is a reasonable assumption to make. But, it’s incorrect.
But, why can’t they? Simple, they are not like fish. They do not have gills. Meaning they can not breathe without inhaling oxygen, like us. However, they can do thins underwater that we cannot. Like holding their breath underwater for 30 minutes. And, some impressive stuff, like diving up to 30 meters.
The short answer is, they feel relaxed. Earlier, I spoke briefly about Iguanas pooping in the water. The reason for this is quite straight forward, and arguably quite logical.
The water makes them feel relaxed. So, their body will instinctively ease out the feces, because of this relaxed state.
According to this site, there is 200-300 thousand Marine Iguanas on the Galapagos Islands (at the time of their writing. With these numbers, it doesn’t look like we need to be worried about them going extinct any time soon.
If you are a humble Iguana owner, you may be wondering if he can actually hear you. To cut a long story short yes, he can. But, the interesting thing is how he does it.
The thing is, at a glance, there are no obvious ears on the lizard, right? Well, not like you and I. However, it does have an eardrum that is vaguely visible. They hear differently to us, you see. This eardrum is called the “tympanic membrane”. And, it almost could be overlooked as part of their skin.
Q: Do iguanas like to be petted?
Yes. If you are wondering about an Iguanas temperament, they are typically quite slow and docile. They are likely to climb on you, for petting. But I do need to warn you, they have some sharp claws, so you need to take some precaution if you really want to handle him, without getting scratched.
If you want to make sure the humidity is correct in your Leopard Gecko enclosure (Click here to see my best device to measure humidity, on Amazon) you need to check the official readings. But how can you reduce it if it’s too high? Let me explain…
How can you reduce the humidity in a leopard gecko enclosure? You need to try the following: improve the airflow in the enclosure, replace a water dish with a smaller one, turn up the AC inside your house, replace porous substrate with tiles or use a dehumidifier.
Now that you know what you need to do to reduce the humidity. I will now go on to explain what is the ideal humidity for your Leo, how to regulate the humidity if it starts to get too low (the opposite), the ideal substrate to maintain the humidity and much more. Keep reading…
Before you reduce the humidity it’s important to measure the humidity so that you can check the current status and more importantly make sure any changes you make can actually be quantified.
To do this you can simply use a hygrometer (Click here to see the price on Amazon). This is a device specialized to track and gauge the humidity in the enclosure.
Now that you have a way to track the humidity, I will tell you a few suggestions of how you can reduce the humidity.
One of the first things that you can do is try to increase the airflow in the enclosure. This will help to reduce the humidity.
With regards to the water bowls that you have in the enclosure. If you have a large water bowl, replace this right away with a smaller one because this will also help you.
Other simple things that you can do is to turn the AC up in your house, which will help to regulate the humidity in a leopard geckos enclosure.
You can also purchase a dehumidifier which will also help to suck out some of the humidity in the atmosphere.
To help reduce the humidity you can also remove any plants in the enclosure which could also be contributing to the humidity.
Finally, you should replace any substrate that could be impacting the humidity and replace it with tiles. For example, you might have soil in there, which generally helps to increase humidity.
In simple terms, humidity is a quantity which represents the amount of water vapor in the air. It is also used in relation to gas as well.
An example of this is, if you watch the news and listen out for the weather updates you will typically see a graphic or verbal update on the humidity levels in the air.
To maintain the ideal humidity you need to make sure that it stays between the range of 20 and 40%.
This ensures that your leopard gecko will stay nice and hydrated. But also, it will allow him to shed successfully as well, which is a very important part of their life cycle.
If you maintain this humidity you can avoid a couple of serious issues. In particular, if the humidity is too high it can increase the chances of pneumonia or skin related infections.
On the opposite side of things if the humidity is too low then there is a chance that your Leo could dehydrate which could lead to an early death.
Although you need to keep your leopard gecko cool and keep him hydrated you should not be spraying him directly with water.
Instead, you should be misting the enclosure which will inject water into the enclosure and will naturally evaporate and hydrate the skin. This is more like natural raindrops in the wild.
You could also buy specific devices which handle this for you on an automated basis which can reduce the chances of you forgetting.
If you are keen to understand if your enclosure is too humid. As discussed earlier you can actually get a hygrometer to measure that humidity.
However, in the absence of one of these, there are obvious signs which you can use as an indication of this high humidity.
One of the obvious signs, which is absolutely free, is to check to see if your enclosure appears to be steaming or fogging up. This is an indication that it is too humid and you need to take action.
If it is too humid your leopard gecko may become sick, common problems revolve around repository issues.
If you are concerned about regulating the humidity or keeping the humidity at the right level it’s important that you use the correct enclosure as well as the correct substrate.
The enclosure should really be glass instead (Click here to see my best Glass Leopard Gecko enclosure, on Amazon) of mesh. Why? Because glass holds the humidity a lot more than mesh does. Mesh has other qualities but holding humidity is not one of them.
The substrate that you need to look for is the porous substrate such as soil (Click here to see my best soil substrate on Amazon). Avoid non-porous substrates such as crushed walnut or even sand for this reason.
Earlier I talked about soil being the ideal substrate to keep your enclosure humid. When dealing with soil it is important to have deep soil in particular approximately 3 inches deep.
This will keep the humidity at a good level. In addition to this, it is a good idea to have a weekly maintenance procedure where you will mix the soil.
Why? Because this will bring the moist soil from the bottom and mix it with the top, which might be drying out.
If you find that the soil is drying out you need to consider adding a little bit of water to it to keep it moist.
However, “moist” is the keyword not mushy. You do not want mushy substrate you want it to be nice and moist.
In this section, I will be answering some questions related to Leopard Geckos and humidity. If you have a question in your mind, that you feel has not been answered, feel free to drop a comment below.
When you are looking for plants the key thing you are looking for is good transpiration rates. What is transpiration rates? It is the measure of how quickly plants release water from their leaves. Therefore it is a good indication that it will help you to keep the enclosure humid, are you with me?
This plant is ideal for the enclosure because it keeps it humid. In fact, it is one of the best plants for this and has excellent transpiration rate.
The rubber plant is another good candidate for the enclosure. One of the good things about this plant it can tolerate drier soil and is good to deal with that if that’s something that you need. On top of this, it also has a very good transpiration rate.
Ideally, 88-92 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm end. If you find that you are not achieving that then you need to look into your enclosure heating. If the temperature is not correct this can affect their lifespan.
Not necessarily. The key thing is they are cold-blooded. What?…
Well, this means they are not built like us. We have a way to regulate our body temperature (to an extent). However, Leos, and lizards, in general, require direct heat to keep them warm. Hence the reason they need a basking spot to help to regulate this.
No. However, their enclosure may give the impression that they smell, are you with me? Basically, if you neglect to clean up after them, for example, leave feces in the tank for days, then naturally, it will smell. Know what I mean?
Can bearded dragons eat pumpkin? Yes, bearded dragons can eat pumpkin. However, you have to be careful when not to give them too much. Because it has low calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1:2 (more on this later). This means it’s not ideal, but ok in moderation.
According to Wikipedia, here are some nutritional facts about pumpkins to consider for your Bearded dragon:
Per 1 Cup (which is 116g, according to Wikipedia)
If you love Bearded Dragons, you want to make sure you feed them correctly (Click here for my best Bearded Dragon guide). Many people wonder if they can eat vegetables, such as pumpkin. Let me explain…
Now that you know that they can eat pumpkin, albeit in moderation, let me also explain the dangers of their seeds. Also, if your Beardie will experience runny feces as a consequence of this, which pumpkin is best and much more. Keep reading.
For those of you that have never seen a pumpkin, let me explain. A pumpkin is a large orange/yellowish vegetable which has orange flesh. Its skin is tough and ribbed.
It is widely associated with Halloween. Families will typically carve out the inside flesh of the pumpkin during this time of year, to reveal a scary face for Halloween. It is also linked to Thanksgiving in the United States as well.
They originated in North America. But these days you can see them all over the world as they are exported and farmed, due to their demand.
Yes, it is important to remove the pumpkin seeds before giving it to your lizard. Even though the meat of the Pumpkin is fine for them, you need to be careful about serving the skin or any seeds.
If you are curious to understand why this is because it can actually cause impaction. This is because the seeds are not digestible by your lizard and will effectively “back it up” (Meaning its system will be blocked).
Impaction is very painful for your Beardie and can be a very slow and unnoticeable issue. Meaning your lizard could be suffering in silence.
One of the issues of giving your lizard pumpkin is the inevitable after-effects. Basically, there is a good chance that you will notice it will get runny feces (loose stool). This is due to the high water content of this vegetable.
This is not necessarily anything to be worried about but you should be prepared for this before you decide to give it to them, are you with me? This is also similar to other highly water-based fruits, such as watermelons.
With over 42 different types of pumpkin, it may be hard for you to decide which one is ideal to feed your lizard. In my opinion, the butternut pumpkin is the best one for Beardies. However you need to see how your lizard responds to the food before taking my word for it.
In general, the Howden pumpkin is quite popular, but this is more to do with the tradition of cutting up the pumpkin for the Halloween festival once a year. Other variations of pumpkin to consider are the Aladdin, Caspar, and Amish pie.
Earlier I mentioned that Pumpkins are not ideal because they have the incorrect calcium to phosphorus ratio. Let me elaborate on that…
In general bearded dragons require a 2:1 ratio which is ideal for them. Whereas the actual ratio for pumpkins is 1:2. As you can see from the maths it is not the ideal balance needed for your bearded dragon. Hence the reason why I suggested in moderation is the best practice.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to pumpkins and Bearded Dragons. If you have a good question in mind, that has not been answered, feel free to drop me a comment below.
No. They cannot and should not eat pumpkin puree. If you have not heard of pumpkin puree before I will explain what it is…
Pumpkin puree is basically natural pumpkin which has been grounded up and cooked into a liquid form (puree). And, it is typically sold in shops as a canned product.
Most lizards, including the bearded dragon, do not do well with pureed food in general. They typically require whole food. And, for that reason, it is better to cut it up and then give it to him in small pieces. Obviously avoiding the seeds as discussed earlier.
You may notice that your bearded dragon refuses to eat vegetables (Click here to see if Bearded Dragons can eat onions). It may just be one particular type or it could be veg in general.
If this is the case I have some tips on how you can try and get around this to improve their diet and make it more nutritional.
The first thing that you can try and do is to reduce the number of insects you’re giving them. Then see how they respond to the vegetables then.
My point here is if they fill their stomach with insects the likelihood of them wanting to eat vegetables as well, which they are probably not that keen on anyway, is quite low.
Therefore if you reduce their options, at least, to begin with, they may be more inclined to go for it, because they may think that’s all that is available. So give it a try and start off the meal with vegetables before you give them the insects.
Another tactic that you can use is mixing the vegetables in with the insects and see if they will actually take it naturally.
If you have not tried hand feeding before this could be something that you could try. With this technique, you will effectively hand feed it an insect, then follow it up with a vegetable and see if it will take it.
Yes. However this needs to be in moderation. And, to be honest herbs and spices is quite a general term for a lot of different options.
But the general rule is they can be given, but you have to be careful with what you’re serving and the amount you’re serving. This is largely to do with the Essential Oils that are usually in most of these herbs and spices.
No, is the short answer. You may be wondering if canned vegetables are a good idea, maybe because they sound like a nice convenient and cheap option, right? Well, it’s really not a good idea.
Why? Simple, have a look at the ingredients of a canned veg can next time you get a spare moment. What do you think you will see? Preservatives!
These preservatives may be ok for us humans (which is also debatable, to be honest). But, for your Beardie, this will not be a good idea. Because it is likely to make them ill over time.
Yes. Maybe you want to keep your enclosure looking aesthetically pleasing for your Beardie. In that case, a Christmas cactus or Aloe will be fine. But, be careful of any succulents, these can’t go in there.
Yes. They can chew on this. And you may find that they really love this. However, the Aloe may not look too cool after it has been nibbled up by your beardie. But that is more of a cosmetic issue, more than anything.
Yes. But, be careful of heat rocks. If you have not heard of these before, they help to increase the temperature in the enclosure. However, they could actually burn your Bearded Dragon, hence the reason I say its not a good idea.
Lizards are typically herbivores (Vegetarians) or insectivores (meat-eaters). But, you may be keen to understand if they eat fruits. And, if they do eat fruits what types of fruits are acceptable. Let me explain…
What fruits do lizards eat? In general, for those species that eat fruit (more on this later), they can consume apples, strawberries, grapes, and Melons. However, with literally thousands of different Lizard species, this is quite a general statement. Why? Because some lizards cannot eat fruits at all.
Now you know some of the fruits that these lizards eat, let me explain some of the qualities of these fruits and why they will be beneficial to some lizards. Also, the different types of lizards that actually eat these fruits, and much more. Keep reading.
In this section, I am going to explain some detail about the fruits that some lizards consume. I will explain what’s great about the fruit as well as explaining how thye should be prepared, before handing them to your lizard.
Apples are typically quite big for the average-sized lizard. So, its good practice to cut up the apple into bite-sized pieces. Also, it is important to remove the seeds before you feed them the apple. Why? This apple seeds can be quite toxic for lizards.
There are many types of Melons available. For Lizards, honeydew melons are usually best. Like apples, they are big fruits. So you need to prepare them by cutting them up and removing the core and melon seeds inside.
Strawberries have some good qualities, such as being high in oxalates (Oxalic Acid, arguably a good thing). However, as the other fruits mentioned, these need to be prepped first. This includes removing the top of the strawberry (the green bit), as well as the stem.
This is great, mainly for their antioxidants (this basically means it has the ability to remove damaging oxidizing agents). Even so, they need to be moderated. Basically, don’t go crazy with these.
Like strawberries, this is high in Oxalates. To prepare these, you can either crush them or chop them up into smaller portions. I understand they are small as they are, but it is still necessary to do this.
Now that you understand a selection of fruits that some lizards can consume. Let me explain which lizards are known to actually consume Fruits. Some Lizards will eat only insects, while others do not (Click here to see which lizards do not need Live insects).
There are many different species of Iguana. But, more specifically, the following Iguanas are known to consume fruits:
I summary, these lizards are not ideal for beginners for a number of reasons. They typically eat vegetables, fruits. For example, Bananas and Apples.
These Tegus (How Often Should a Tegu Eat? Click here to see) are big fans of insects and fruits. In fact if you are not careful they will overeat. So it is important to watch their eating habits to avoid obesity.
The Chuckwallas (Learn more about their feeding habits here) mainly eat fruits and vegetation. They also rely on their food intake to cater to their water consumption (Meaning they get their water from their food). They can be difficult to keep, mainly because of their need for quite high temperatures in their basking area.
The Blue-Tongue Skink is quite a popular one amongst lizard keepers, mainly because they have reasonable demands for their enclosures (Can a Blue Tongue Skink Live in a 40 Gallon Tank? (Click here to see)). They are also fruit fans, as well as consuming insects as well.
If you are wondering if it’s a good idea to feed your lizard fruit, I am going to explain why you may want to hold back a bit. Also, I am going to let you know of something you should be careful of before you feed any fruit to your lizard as well.
I remember munching on a delicious burger (I won’t mention the brand name, but I think you can guess) and the melted cheese squeezing out. At that moment, I couldn’t think of anything better.
Unfortunately, roll forward 3 months later, when I needed to cut weight for summer, I remembered that day, for some reason it wasn’t as good thinking back on it, not that I had to get rid of the burden it left behind.
My point is, yes, Lizards may well eat fruits. But, that does not mean it is a great nutritious meal for them, are you with me?
Some lizards, like the Beardie, will happily eat fruits, but digesting it is another thing. Basically, by all means serve some fruit if your lizard is into it. But keep it in moderation, are you with me?
No. Talking about lizards as a collective is quite a dangerous thing in general. Especially when we discuss their diet. Why? Because there are so many different species, there is really not a one-size-fits-all.
The reality is, each lizard species have their own preferences and nuances. Therefore, depending on your particular lizard, do your research first, to ensure you can eat the fruit.
If you have a long list of available fruits, its a good practice to read this section first. Because I will be explaining some fruits that need to be avoided. I will also explain why they should be avoided to enrich your understanding.
In general, the following types should be avoided:
Citrus fruits, such as Oranges, Lime and Grapefruit should be avoided. As tempting as it may be, or even if you feel that your lizard seems to like it, steer clear. Why?
Simple, these fruits are quite acidic. They can upset your lizard’s stomach. Also, other issues such as diarrhea or even vomit. So, for these reasons its a good idea to avoid them.
Some fruits (and veg) have high water content. For us, they may seem refreshing, but for lizards, they can cause problems. For e.g. Tomatoes (yes, they are fruits).
These fruits offer little to no nutritional value and due to their high water content, they can cause diarrhea issues for your lizard. As a general rule, you should avoid high water content veg, such as cucumbers as well.
With any fruit that qualifies as “ok”, you still need to take precaution. Why? Because, even though the actual meat of the fruit is ok, the seeds or rinds are not.
An example of this is apples. Yes, some lizards are fine with these. But, the apple core and seeds is not lizard friendly. So, make sure you chop them up, remove the core and seeds before serving them up.
With all this talk about fruits. You may be wondering if they can also eat veg. So, for that reason in this section, I will explain a bit more about this.
The short answer is Yes. There are some lizards that love veg, and in fact, some primarily eat veg. An example of these are the following:
The general rule for veg & fruit
While there are some lizards that eat veg, the key thing is variety. If your lizard will eat turnips, for example, doesn’t mean you need him turnips every day, are you with me?
Mix it up and offer a variety of veg. Why? Because each vegetable has different nutritional benefits, and the variety provides a balanced diet.
Have you heard the myth about Albino Chameleons? But is it a myth or reality? Either way, the first priority is understanding how to care for Chameleons t the best of our ability (Click here for my best Chameleon guide, on Amazon). But, let me also satisfy your curiosity on these Albino Chameleons…
What is an Abino Chameleon? An Albino Chameleon is a chameleon which has a rare medical condition which affects its skin pigmentation. They appear to be pale (without any visible skin coloration). Albinoism is not limited to just chameleons, they can be seen in humans and many other animals.
Understand this, this condition not only affects their skin (or fur in other animals). It also affects their eyes (more on this later). I will now explain if they really exist, what problems they have, if they have shorter lifespans and much more. Keep reading…
This is a good question. And, you know when people say this, it means they are not sure. According to this site they do. However, personally I have not seen any convincing evidence. Also, I haven’t personally seen one.
Which does lead to some doubt. However, Albinos are present in many different animal species (with obvious evidence), as well as humans. So logically speaking it is very possible, and very likely.
Yes, as mentioned earlier, they exist have been seen across many different animal species, as well as humans (which I have seen with my own eyes).
According to this site, there are Kangeroos, frogs, snakes and even more. They also have images to prove their point.
Albino chameleons or any albino for that matter have a number of potential medical issues to deal with. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to list and explain some of them. Some of these issues are more obvious than others.
Some albinos have problems with their vision. This is linked to abnormal development in their Iris. And also linked to the lack of pigment development in their Iris.
In some extreme cases, there can be abnormal nerve connections in their eyes, which cause severe vision problems.
This is more of a subtle problem and arguably, more of a cosmetic issue at that. Basically, they tend to have red eyes or odd eye color variations. Again, this is linked to the lack of pigmentation color in their eyes.
Due to their pale skin (or fur) and lack of melanin (more on this later), Albinos are susceptible to skin diseases, which are triggered by direct sunlight. In humans, albinos are susceptible to sun-related diseases such as skin cancer.
Other animals, such as Albino cats, will have light-colored fur. In extreme cases, they may have white fur. For humans, there is also a condition called “Forelock” which affects their hair. In particular, the hair near their forehead.
One of the biggest problems that albino animals face, as well as humans, is social problems.
There are obvious differences between them when compared to their families and friends. Therefore they stick out like a sore thumb and are often singled out. Usually not ending well, such as animals getting attacked or humans being bullied.
If you read forums or search the web you may have heard people talk about partial albino chameleons.
However, there seems to be little to no real evidence of this. And, according to Wikipedia, the whole concept of a partial albino doesn’t make any sense.
The argument states that you are either an Albino or not. There is no in-between. And an interesting analogy has been drawn, which states you cannot be “half pregnant”, right?
According to Wikipedia, the lack of melanin is typically caused by a gene called TYR. This governs and codes the development of melanin. It if it is damaged in any way it can cause issues with the development of melanin, which is required for the pigment coloration.
Not necessarily. Albinos can live a long and normal life. However, there are other factors that can affect this, such as their environment.
For example, as discussed earlier, albinos do not have good sun protection, due to the lack of melanin in their skin.
And, unfortunately, no amount of sun cream can really help with this (for humans anyway). Therefore, if an Albino lives in a tropical environment. And they are not careful to protect their skin, they could be more susceptible to skin diseases such as skin cancer.
The chances of having multiple albinos is very very low. To quantify this, for humans, it’s likely to be one in 17,000 that may be Albino. This is similar in the animal and lizard world. Therefore, you can do the math, it is very unlikely to have more than one at the same time.
In this section, I will cover some related questions to Albino Chameleons.
What is melanin? This is the pigmentation, which has a dark or light brown color, which is responsible for the coloration in the skin, hair, and eyeballs.
When humans go on holiday and tan their skin. The tanning of the skin is caused by the melanin. Naturally darker people typically have more natural melanin than lighter-skinned individuals.
Why does the lack of melanin affect lizards or other animals? It affects them because melanin is usually responsible for protecting our skin against sunlight. One of the biggest concerns is a melanoma which is a form of skin cancer.
The lack of melanin in the skin of the human or an animal will mean that they are more susceptible to skin-related diseases.
Can Albino Chameleons change color? Some people have asked if chameleon albinos have the ability to change color. The answer is no. This is because they lack the ability to manipulate their skin color based on the fact that they are albinos.
As you know chameleons have a unique ability to change their color. However, unlike what you have been told, this ability to change color is not necessarily linked to matching their environment (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s color actually means.
What type of chameleon changes colors? The Panther (Click here to see how long a Panther Chameleons Lives) & Madagascar Chameleons are known to be very colorful. They have the ability to change into many colors. Typically you will expect to see green or brown colors with Chams, but they have the ability to change to some really bright and beautiful colors, such as yellow, pink, red and other great colors.
Do Jackson chameleons change colors? Yes. They definitely do change color. However, they are not known to be as colorful as others, such as the panther or Madagascar Chameleon. But, they still have the ability to change to colors such as yellow, blue and other colors.
Do Chameleons change color to match their environment? No, this is not true. It is a myth actually. It’s cool for TV programs and ads to play on this because it is easy to sell things. However, in reality, this is not the case. As stated in my article about Chameleon colors (Click here to read it now), I explain the true reason why this happens.
How fast can chameleons change color? They can change color in as little as 20 seconds. This may be a lot faster than you expected, but this is a natural, instinctive thing, that the Chameleon does not consciously do. its likes breathing oxygen, we just instinctively do it, are you with me?
How does a chameleon’s tongue fit in its mouth? It has strong tongue muscles that help its tongue expand and retract. Also, it has collagen that helps with the sprining action that you have probably seen or heard people talk about.
If you are a new owner of a beautiful baby Bearded Dragon, you may be pulling your hair out wondering why he won’t eat (Click here for my best Bearded Dragon guide, on Amazon). Well, I have some answers for you…
Why won’t your baby bearded dragon eat? He is either stressed, anxious or unhappy. This could be caused by an incorrect temperature in his enclosure, unwanted cage mates, uncomfortable new environment or just simply being fed the wrong food.
Now that you know what could be causing this, let me delve deeper and explain how these things occur, how you can avoid making these mistakes, what and how often you should be feeding him and more. Keep reading.
The reality is there are a number of reasons why your baby dragon my not be eating, therefore, I will use this section to give you some suggestions to help you.
Has your baby Beardie just been moved in? If yes, don’t stress. It’s normal for a new baby to feel a little bit off of his food when he has first moved to a new environment.
Understand this, this happens to adults as well. However, for babies, it’s even worse.
This is because not only are they in a new environment, they have also been taken away from their siblings and mother, are you with me?
Typically you can expect them to need one or two weeks to adjust to their new environment. Meaning, expect some abnormal eating patterns within this transitional stage.
Baby Bearded Dragons can be a bit picky at times. Especially if you’re not sure what to feed them. A safe bet is Size 2 crickets, they are a good choice and a good size for him.
However, you could also try Dubia Roaches. They love these roaches. In fact, you should find that he will love these even more than the crickets.
One of the common problems, which can turn baby dragons off their food, is them not feeling comfortable. In particular, feeling cold.
This usually happens if you haven’t set the temperature right in the enclosure. To give you an idea of the expectation, you need to provide heat up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit in their enclosure.
I know this may sound very hot to you but bear in mind that bearded dragons originate from desert areas where this will be the norm.
You can achieve these temperatures in a couple of ways:
If you opt for the latter, just be careful not to make it too low. This is so you can avoid injuring him with the hot bulb.
Another thing that could irritate your bearded dragon. Is large swings in temperature. What do I mean? Well, if you want to avoid the temperature going from 115 degrees F and then a massive dip down in the temperature in the cool area.
To cut a long story short you need to make sure the cool area doesn’t drop below 85 degrees F and ideally, it should be up to 90 degrees F.
If you are not close to these temperatures you may need to look into a second heating lamp which can match this.
We touched on this a bit earlier but, I want to use this section to dig a bit deeper into the specifics. There are a couple of things that you can consider feeding your baby.
When you are thinking about crickets, it’s important to get the right size. You need to consider medium or small, depending on how your lizard reacts.
The challenge is if you go for crickets that are too small your lizard may not be interested in eating them. This is because they may be difficult for him to catch.
I mentioned this before, but just to re-iterate, they love dubia roaches. In particular, you need to get newborn Dubia roaches.
Locusts are another good food source for your baby bearded dragon. However, the reason I do not highlight these as much is due to their cost.
You can expect the locust to cost substantially more than crickets or dubia roaches. For that reason, some keepers avoid them.
When you are feeding your baby bearded dragon crickets or dubia roaches as a general guideline you want to make sure that they consume as much as they can within a 10-minute period. Obviously, give or take a minute or two.
Firstly you should aim to be feeding your baby bearded dragon a few times a day. This needs to be done consistently for at least the first three months until they get bigger.
Firstly forget mealworms! Why?… The reality is, they do not have much nutritional benefit for these babies. And also, their skin is hard for them to digest. There are better options for them.
Regarding crickets, even though they will eat and enjoy them, you have to be careful about how you manage them.
What do I mean?
I mean, when your baby beardie finishes eating them, it’s inevitable there will be some left behind. Instead of going off about your day and leaving them within the enclosure. You need to get rid of them, asap!
Because if you don’t, these crickets have a habit of biting. This can cause big problems for you and your lizard.
Supplementation is an important part of your baby beardies diet. Especially if you want him to grow up healthy. And, you do, right?
For that reason a calcium supplement is mandatory. You should be supplying a calcium supplement on a regular basis.
Read the instructions the calcium supplement. But in general, it’s typically a pinch of calcium supplement dust once a day. But double-check dosages before, please.
There is another supplement called Nutrabol, be careful because some Pet Shops may try to oversell this to you and get you to use it every day. It’s not a bad product, but just be careful with how much you use.
This is typically within six months. And you can expect them to be at this stage for one year. At which point they will be classed as an adult.
By the way, don’t be weirded out if you notice him doing a weird hand waving gesture.
What is this?
This is a natural indication to other male lizards that they are not a threat. It basically indicates that they recognize the other male’s dominance and they are not a threat, are you with me?
If you have not seen this before it is like they are standing on three limbs with one of their limbs in the air. Then moving their fourth limb in a circular motion, which almost looks like they are waving.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Baby bearded dragons. If you have any extra questions, that you feel I have missed. Feel free to leave a comment below.
No, baby beardies do not brumate. You can expect brumation to start from the adult stage. In particular after 12 months.
If you’ve never heard of brumation before, it is when a lizard effectively hibernates (not exactly, but you know what I mean).
Earlier I talked about the importance of clearing up unused crickets. Just to elaborate on that point, the dangers of these cricket bites are often underestimated, and can actually be quite serious.
The worrying thing about this is, it’s not always obvious its happened. Why? Simple, because these bites can be so small they may go unseen.
So the general rule is to clear out any uneaten crickets immediately.
If you are finding it hard to get your baby beardie eating. In particular eating vegetables. You can try different things to try and stimulate their appetite.
Firstly you can try different fruit and veg combinations to see if that interests them. You can also try combining the fruit and veg with insects. Such as Superworms or Dubia roaches to see if it’ll make a difference.
You can expect them to reach sexual maturity anywhere between the ages of 8 and 18 months.
Establishing the gender of a bearded dragon can be quite difficult. Especially if they have not reached sexual maturity.
Once they are the adult size you can typically tell the difference between a male and female. Mainly because of the size difference. The male Beardie is typically bigger and has a larger head.
If you have a House Gecko, maybe its new to you, or you just bumped into it in your house. You may be wondering if you can pick it up. And more importantly, what will it do if you pick it up?
Can you handle a house gecko? Yes, you can handle a house gecko. However, you have to be careful with them. This is because they are quite fragile. In the event that they bite you, the reality is, their bite is not dangerous. If they do bite, it’s unlikely to break your skin.
Now that you know that they are quite harmless, let me explain some necessary hygiene, how long you should wait to handle them if you wish to have them as a pet. I will also explain how not to pick them up, and more. Keep reading.
According to Wikipedia, a House gecko (Scientific name Hemidactylus Frenatus) is a native to the South East of Asia. It actually has a number of aliases such as:
It is non-venomous lizard by the way, so no need to worry about handling it.
It is advisable to wash your hands after coming into contact with them, which is generally common sense with most animals, right?
Why though? Because sometimes they may have diseases or parasites that could be passed on to you.
If you have a domesticated house Gecko which you are hoping to look after. It is advisable to be patient and wait till at least your Gecko is one year old before you attempt to handle him.
Because if they are exposed to a new environment, handling them too early can unsettle them. If you try and handle them too early, this can make them anxious and become fearful of their surroundings.
Once they are mature and become an adult they are more susceptible to humans handling them.
In addition to this, they will get used to you being around them and feel comfortable in their new environment.
If you have a house gecko inside of an enclosure because you are caring for it. You may be wondering how long you should you wait until you take it out of the enclosure, right?
Well, you need to be patient. As discussed earlier, it is better to wait at least a year before attempting this.
In reality, you will need to wait a little bit longer than this. Because you need to start off with handling it within the enclosure, then graduate it to handling outside, are you with me?
When you feel comfortable to take it to the next stage and take him out of the enclosure, be very careful. Why? Because they run fast and can escape into a hard to reach the areas.
Also while you are handling them outside of the enclosure, and they attempt to run away from you, you can get tempted to grab them.
This is dangerous because you risk the chance of injuring. Or, even cause their tail to break off if you grab this. Don’t worry the tail will grow back, but in all honesty, it will never be the same as it was before.
When you decide that it is a good time to handle your House gecko. It’s important that you never grab them from their underbelly. This may feel natural to you but you run the risk of them getting spooked and “running for the hills”.
Instead, you should be holding them from the top of their body. Making sure to hold them securely. Then place them into the palm of your hands and making sure that they do not escape.
When you do this, hold them in the palm of your hand and take care not to grab their tail. As discussed earlier, you run the risk of breaking their tail.
Also, make sure that you wash your hands before and after holding them. This is because you can introduce illness and sickness to your lizard. You may not notice, but you too may have harmful bacteria in your hands that can be passed onto your lizard.
If you wondering if you can make a wild House Gecko a pet, the answer is you can. But understand this, because they are wild they will take longer to get used to the domestic lifestyle.
To consider doing this, ideally, you need a 20-gallon tall tank enclosure (Click here for my best Lizard Enclosures) for them to feel comfortable.
You can have more than one House Gecko in an enclosure. But, be careful with males.
Because Male house geckos, like most lizards, are very territorial. It’s almost inevitable that mixing more than one male together will end with fighting.
Females, on the other hand, are fine for mixing. Because they have a different temperament.
The substrate should be capable of holding moisture. Ideally, you need something such as coconut fiber substrate (Click here for a great one here, on Amazon) or something like that.
Sand and Reptile carpeting is not ideal for House Geckos. Why? Because these substrates do not create a humid environment, which is required for these lizards.
These lizards are nocturnal, therefore, lighting in the night is not really required. However, you will still need UVA/UVB lighting for the daytime. This is important.
The reason is, they are regarded as pests in some parts of the world. In some countries, for example, Southeastern Asia, they have many house geckos. They unfortunately infiltrate their houses to look for insects to eat. Therefore, some people regard them as pests.
Obviously there are people that care for them as pets, but there are just as many people, on the opposite side of the fence, who see them as a problem.
In addition to this, they are known to make weird noises in the night which spook the average person (Why do House Lizards make noise? Click here to see why).
In this section, I will answer some related questions to House Geckos. If you have some extra questions you need to be answered, feel free to drop a comment below.
Yes, you can expect house geckos shed their skin. In fact, every six to eight weeks, in patches. The confusing thing about this shedding stage is it can seem to be quite uncomfortable and unsettling for your lizard.
However, even if this is the case, do not be tempted to try and help it along by peeling the skin off.
Because this can cause extreme pain and discomfort to your lizard. And, it will not help it. If you ensure your enclosure has the right humidity, temperature and facilities, then their skin will naturally deal with the shed in the expected way.
Yes, like other lizards, you will need supplementation such as calcium. The best way to apply this calcium supplementation is to dust the insects that they are about to eat. For example mealworms or crickets.
Some people argue that it is advantageous to feed them wild insects because this naturally varies their diet and has nutritional benefits.
This can be confusing because there are opposing arguments that say that wild insects can introduce parasites and diseases so take this into consideration.
No, house geckos along, with leopard geckos (Click here to see if Leopard Geckos can live off just Mealworms), and fat-tailed geckos are purely insectivores. Meaning there will only consume insects.
However, there are some geckos that will consume fruit, mainly in its purified form. But, on the whole, they mainly are a meat-eating lizard.
If you are concerned about your Bearded Dragon (Click here to see my best Bearded Dragon Guide, on Amazon) not eating, you may be scratching your head, thinking how this has happened and how long can this go on for. Let me explain…
How long can a bearded dragon go without eating? Bearded Dragons can last up to 2 months without food. This is quite a long time. But I must say, this is not a target, its an average limit. Meaning, you should never have a pet getting anywhere close this, know what I mean?
Now that you understand how long they can last without food on average, let me explain why your Beardie might not be eating, how to look out for red flags of abnormality, and more. Keep reading…
If you notice that Beardie is not eating, the reality is there are a number of potential issues causing this. For that reason, I will be listing some potential issues here, so you can compare your situation to see if it matches.
Believe it or not, little changes in their habitat, or environment can unsettle your pet. This can make them feel uncomfortable and lead to them stopping eating. Have you moved recently? Or changed their enclosure? If yes, or anything remotely similar, this could be the issue.
Beardies like to have familiar surroundings. If they are moved about this can unsettle them and bring them out of their routine. If they feel unsettled, they may stop eating.
One thing to consider. It could be a simple thing like a change in their diet. Beardies can be picky sometimes, and this could turn them off their food. In some cases, it could be a subtle change on your behalf, for example, you may change the particular supplier of a certain food source. Little things like this can trigger him to stop eating.
Depending on the season, you could be facing issues with Brumation. What is this? Think of brumation as the lizard equivalent to hibernation.
It is usually season-specific, hence the reason I said that it depends on the season. During this time, you will notice your lizard’s behavior slow right down, to borderline nothing.
While they brumate, they are not expected to consume any food. They can go up to two months without food during this time. However, they will still need a source of water during this time.
This one is obvious to an extent. Have you ever stopped eating because you feel sick? Well, this is the same for Beardies. The list of health issues is impressive, so I won’t list them all here. But, I think you get my point, right?
Stress is a complex one. There are various delicate triggers that can cause your Beardie to go off his food because of this.
For example, you may have introduced another cage mate, and your lizard is just not feeling her. This could trigger stress and anxiety.
Or maybe, you mistakenly paired up two males, and he is losing the game of dominance? Even things like too much noise in the enclosure could trigger these issues.
Understanding why its happening is one thing. But, the best thing is understanding how to look out for these issues ahead of time. For that reason, I will share with you some red flags that you can look out for.
Has your lizard stopped defecating? If yes, it could be because he is “backed up”. Basically impaction is when he consumes something that could not be digested correctly. If he is not eating, could be related to this issue.
The confusing thing is, your lizard still may eat if this is the case. So, if you see a lack of feces, rather than second-guessing, consult your vet for a professional diagnosis.
This is almost the complete opposite of impaction. You lizard will show some obvious signs of loose feces. It will typically look very runny. During this time he may go off his food.
Parasites are another prime candidate for lack of eating. However, it is not always easy to diagnose this as a Lizard keeper. Sometimes there are obvious signs, such as small moving parasites, that almost look like little dots.
They can vary in color, such as yellow, red, black, etc. The best thing to do is to consult your vet to check to see if your suspicions are correct.
If you figure out that your lizard is not eating due to diet. You may find that it’s linked to what type of food you are feeding it. Some squirmish lizard owners try to cut corners and feed their Beardie frozen insects and other workarounds. Why? To avoid live insects.
The reality is, yes, you need to feed your Beardie live insects. This is not all they eat, but it’s the staple part of their diet. You will find, in most cases, they won’t be stimulated to eat insects unless they see movement.
Why? It’s part of their instinctual behavior, are you with me? Even in captivity, these instincts are hard to shake. It’s like, why do humans naturally drink water? We just do, right? Same thing.
So, instead of trying to go “against the grain”, if you like, follow what they want. This will make life easier for you.
In this section, I am going to answer some related questions to Bearded Dragons and their diet. If you have any specific questions in your mind, that you feel has not been answered, please leave a comment below.
Do bearded dragons poop every day? Yes, if they are hatchlings or Juvines. However, for Adults, this largely depends on their diet. If your Beardie is fed mainly insects like Silkworms, there is a good chance he will go daily.
However, if there is more of a mix of veg, crickets, etc, then this could vary. You may see them go 3-4 times a week for example.
Can I leave my bearded dragon alone for 3 days? No. It is not ideal. If your bearded dragon is a baby, then not even overnight is acceptable. Why? Because when they are this young they have fast metabolisms and require frequent feeding and care.
As they get older, according to this site, say, Juvenile, you can consider overnight, but more than that is a stretch. For Adults, there is a bit more flexibility. Because their metabolism has slowed down by that time. However, even then, a couple of days should be fine but not anything more.
How can you tell how old your Beardie is? You can measure them if they are under one year old. This is not an exact science by the way, but it will give you a rough idea of their age. If you have ever had children, you will have seen your midwife use a similar technique, measuring the babies size from within a pregnant mother. Similar concept here.
Do Bearded Dragons Like to be picked up? The reality is they don’t (Click here for my full article on this – do Beardies like being handled). This is not natural for them. But, in captivity, with training, you can handle them without a problem. Typically they prefer their owners, rather than a random person though.
Can Bearded Dragons be potty trained? Yes, as crazy as this sounds, they can be trained. Typically you will be able to condition them to use one particular area of the enclosure. So, it is not necessarily potty training in the purest sense.
If you are thinking of feeding your lizards the best insects, you may be wondering if you should choose Superworms (Click here for the price of my best Superworm selection, on Amazon) or Mealworms. Let me explain…
What’s the difference between a Superworm and Mealworm? Superworms are typically five times bigger than Mealworms. They can last as Larvae (which is the state most Lizard keepers favor) longer, but Mealworms have the added benefit of being able to be refrigerated for storage.
Now that you know the general differences, let me explain in more detail. Such as how Giant Mealworms size up to Superworms, the nutritional differences and much more. Keep reading.
In this section, I am going to summerise the main differences between a Superworm & Mealworm. At a glance, they can seem very similar, if not the same. Especially when you compare the Superworm to the Giant Mealworm (more on that later).
One of the more obvious differences is the size. But, before I continue, let me clarify, I am comparing the standard Mealworm with the Superworm, ok?
One of the major reasons for this size difference is the extra Chitin, as well as their shell. The downfall of this (well, for your lizard) is, they appear bigger, but they have less meat. However, they make up for this with a higher level of Calcium, Fiber and also fat.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Its a fiber type substance that contains polysaccharides.
One of the biggest drawbacks with Superworms, when comparing them to Mealworms, is the fact that you can not refrigerate them.
But, why would you want to do that?
Simple, to prolong their lifespan in storage. When Mealworms are put in the fridge, they can last a long while. They will stay in a larvae state, in storage. Giving you time to feed them to your lizard. However, this is not possible with Superworms (More on this later).
Before we go any further, let me explain exactly what is a Mealworm. To make sure we are on the same page. According to Wikipedia, Mealworms (Tenebrio Molitor) are Mealworm Beetles in their Larvae form. This Beetle is known to be a species of the darkling Beetle.
This beetle has four key stages of growth, with one of them relevant to this article (the Larvae stage):
So you can get an idea of their size, you can expect to see the Mealworm Larvae growing up to about approx. 2.5 cm. With the adult Mealworm Beetle growing up to 1.8cm.
Maybe you have heard of Giant Mealworms before. If not, let me give you the low down. They are really just the same as a regular Mealworm, apart from one key thing, they are a lot bigger.
Well, they are bigger because they have been artificially treated with growth inhabitor hormone. This sounds quite scientific, but in reality, it means they have been treated to delay their pupation stage.
This means that their Larva form is bigger than normal. This is obviously a bonus to Lizards (& their keepers). As they are typically a lot bigger and juicier.
This is the reason, I mentioned them earlier, as being quite similar to Superworms, at a glance. There are chances that they will pupate and transition to beetles.
However, this is not a big concern, because they are sterile, due to the fact that they have been treated with the growth hormone.
The Superworm (Zophobas Morio), according to Wikipedia, is a species of the Darkling Beetle. They are known by a few different names, such as:
As discussed earlier, their Larvae looks very similar to Mealworms (In particular Giant Mealworms), growing up to 2.25cm on average. The main give away, however, is their black coloration, on the ends of their bodies.
As briefly discussed earlier. The Mealworm can be stored in a fridge. While they are stored away, they can last months. This is ideal for keepers because they can rest there until you need them.
Also, during this time, they will not pupate and grow, giving you a great storage advantage.
Superworms, on the other hand, cannot be stored in the fridge. To be honest, if you try this, you will get a bad surprise, they will die in there.
Therefore, before you order them, you have to be sure that order what you need at that point in time.
In this section, I am going to explain the kind of life expectancy you can expect from these worms.
Superworms can last a long time in a larval state. To put this into perspective you expect them in this state for up to one year. This more than makes up for the lack of refrigeration options you have with them, in my opinion.
They typically will not pupate unless they are separated from their family of larvae. However, they are quite reactive to temperature and humidity changes.
To give you an idea of the life cycle of a super worm. You can expect anywhere from 100 to 500 eggs to be laid in one lifetime. As eggs, they typically last for up to 19 days before they hatch into their larval state.
In their pupation state, this can be up to another 19 to 20 days. Adult beetles can be expected to live anywhere from 3 to 15 years, depending on how their environment is.
Mealworms are quite different from Superworms in this case. A mealworm will only last up to 50 days if it is not refrigerated. That’s why refrigeration is quite important for Lizard keepers.
You can expect up to 100 eggs in a Mealworms lifetime. Also, they do not need to be separated from their larvae to trigger pupation. They typically last up to 12 days as eggs, before they hatch out to Larvae.
In their pupation stage. They can last up to 20 days. As adult beetles, they last considerably less time than a super worm. Living up to an average of 90 days.
To have successful breeding with super worms you need to make sure that the adult beetles are fed on the same food source as the larvae. This is important to ensure they are well fed.
Because if not there is a good chance that they will actually eat their own eggs once they are laid. Meaning, you will be stuck in a cycle of breeding eggs, without ever seeing any end product, are you with me?
The best food for them is fruit and vegetables. Just make sure you do not give them potatoes.
The Beatles need to be stored in tubs. However, you will need egg containers within the tabs to give the beetles room to hide and lay their eggs. In addition to this, it will help with transferring them, which will be required during their breeding process.
Once the eggs are laid you can expect them to hatch out within 7 to 10 days.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Superworms and Mealworms. If you have any questions that you feel have been missed, feel free to leave a comment below.
Are any of these worms aggressive biters? Yes, the super worms are known to be quite aggressive and will bite. Also, they have quite a sharp head spike which is known to be used as a defense mechanism against Predators.
Therefore, you need to be careful when giving them to your lizard. In reality lizards naturally, know of the risk or learn very quickly.
Will super worms eat mealworms? Yes, one thing about super worms, they are quite aggressive. They are known to eat mealworm eggs without hesitation.
It’s even been known for Super worms to eat their own super worms as well. So, if you ever consider mixing them you have to bear this fact in mind.
Will mealworms bite? No, mealworms will not bite. In contrast to super worms, they are very unoffensive. They will not cause you any issues when it comes to fighting or aggression.
However, Superworms will bite. But they will not cause many issues to us humans. If you are bitten by one it won’t really be much of a major problem.
Can mealworms drown? Yes, they can drown if they are submerged in water. However, like most living things. They do need a source of water to keep them alive. But, you need to avoid submerging them in the water.