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3 Lizards That Don’t Eat Insects (or Live Food)

Lizards that don’t eat insects (Click here for my best guide on Green iguanas, who don’t eat insects, on Amazon) are interesting for people that hate messing with creepy crawlies. I get it, I remember waking up to finding a mouse in my bin once I was freaked out! So let me help you learn about some lizards you can consider.

Are there lizards that don’t eat Insects? Yes, Most lizards fall into one of three categories: carnivores, omnivores or insectivores. They mainly eat meat or a combination of meat and insects. However, there are herbivores. These lizards will mainly eat plants fruits and vegetables without live food or insects.

In this article, I’m going to list some of these lizards that don’t need insects, so that you can understand what lizards you consider. In addition to this, I will reveal some lizards that also do not need any live food. Keep reading…

01 The green iguana

The green iguana is regarded as a herbivore. To be precise it is actually referred to as folivore. This is just a posh word for saying they mainly eat leaves.  In the wild, it mainly snacks on leaves from various trees and vines.

Some of these leaves and plants that it feeds on in the wild are not commonly available in captivity. So it is not always possible to give it to your iguana. However, there are many other foods to choose from that are freely available (more on this in a moment).

These Iguanas are also known as “hindgut fermenters” meaning that they rely on special bacteria to break down the fiber that they consume.

The following is a list of some vegetables that they consume that are acceptable. These are also good because they can be easily found in captivity:

  • mustard greens
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Peppers
  • cabbage
  • Watercress

02. Desert Iguanas

Desert Iguanas are also herbivores. They especially like to eat the leaves of perennial and annual plants. One of their most favorite delights is the yellow flowers from the Creosote Bush.

What are Perennial or Annual plants? (I hear you ask)…

According to wonderpolis, they are differentiated by their life span. Let me explain. The Annual plants literally last for one year (or round about a year). After this, they die and new plants replace them.  Perennial plants, on the other hand, have a short life cycle of approx 2-3 weeks.

03. Chuckwallas

Chuckwallas are another type of herbivore. They originate from the US and Mexico. They specifically like lava flow or Rocky areas. They can find the yellow flowers from their beloved brittlebush there.

Similar to the desert iguana they also like to consume plants and buds that come from perennial and annual plants.

04. The Caiman lizard

This lizard is well known for its love of aquatic snails. However, it does eat other food and does not just completely rely on aquatic snails. It is also known in captivity to eat canned snails or tegu food. Also, it is also known to eat Superworms (Click here to see why and how you need to “Gut Load” Superworms) and crickets.

Are there other lizards that do not eat live food?

Yes, I am going to share a list of lizards that are not necessarily herbivores. But, they do not need live food to survive in captivity. This is useful for people that are squeamish and prefer not to deal with “creepy crawlies”…

  • Crested geckos
  • Gargoyle Gecko
  • Mossy Gecko
  • Prehensile-Tailed Gecko
  • or Lechianus gecko

Instead of eating live food such as pinky mice, crickets or other live insects. They can survive on having an “insect mix”.  This is a powdered version of live insects. Think of it as a meal replacement. You simply add water to this mix and place it in your lizard’s enclosure and they will consume it that way.

However, with these lizards, you will also need to provide other supplementation. This is usually found in a powdered form. Such as calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

Blue-tongued skinks

Blue-tongue skinks (click here to see if blue-tongue skinks can really live in a 40-gallon enclosure) are categorized as omnivores. Meaning they eat a combination of meat as well as fruit and veg. They can live comfortably on a selection of non-live food.

Here is a list of the type of foods they can consume:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Apples
  • Dog Food
  • Cat Food

Related questions:

Q: What foods do bearded dragons eat?

Bearded dragons eat a combination of insects as well as fruit and veg in the wild. Therefore, in captivity, you should also follow this.

Here is a list of some of the types of food they eat:

  • Crickets
  • Parsley
  • Mealworms
  • Kale.
  • Collard Greens
  • Kingworms
  • Mustard greens
  • Endive.

Q: Why do lizards need calcium supplementation?

Calcium supplementation is required because lizards, like human beings, need calcium to keep their bones healthy, strong and to maintain them.

If they are starved of calcium then this low blood calcium level could lead to one of two health conditions. Number one is referred to as hypocalcemia and the second is a disease known as Metabolic Bone Disease or is often referred/abbreviated to as MBD.

To avoid this happening, lizards need sunlight in the wild, or artificial UVB light in captivity, to help them process the calcium in their diet.

Even though they consume the calcium directly in their food their body cannot metabolize or process it without vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 is activated from the inactive vitamin D in their body from the natural sunlight that penetrates their skin. In captivity, the artificial UVB light does this.

Q: What do leopard geckos eat?

Leopard geckos (click here to see my article explaining if Leos can live off just mealworms) are insectivores, meaning they mainly survive on insects. They do not consume fruits and vegetables. The ideal diet for them is insects such as crickets and mealworms.

However, you can treat them once in a while, maybe once or twice a week, to super worms (click here to see why “Gut Loading” Superworms is important) as well which are also gladly appreciated.

However, you should avoid giving them pinky mice this is not ideal for them.

Q: What foods should you avoid giving to a bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons have quite a varied diet. They do consume fruits and vegetables, however, I’m going to outline a few that you should definitely avoid giving to them and explain why…


If you give your Beardie Lettuce they will attempt to eat it. And to be honest they will probably enjoy it. However, the problem is it has no nutritional value. And in addition to this, it can also give them digestive issues leading to diarrhea. So, it should be avoided because the body cannot really process it properly.


Fireflies should also be avoided at all costs. The simple reason is they are toxic to your bearded dragon. And they will cause them some serious health issues.

To be blunt with you, if you continue to feed them Fireflies there is a chance that they could eventually die from this. SO, its really important you do not do this.


Avocado should also be avoided. However, the reasons for this is slightly different. It contains high amounts of oxalic acid. You may get away with it in small doses, but if you repeatedly feed this to your bearded dragon it can develop into a big problem. And can actually kill them. So, for that reason it should be avoided at all costs


Rhubarb is also very toxic to beardies. And should be avoided at all costs. Regular amounts of this are dangerous. If you accidentally give this to them you should seek advice with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Spinach and Beet Tops

Spinach and beet tops should also be avoided. The reason for this is because it contains a very specific chemical. Which can actually block the processing of calcium in the lizard’s body.

The danger with this one is that your lizard can start to produce calcium deficiencies. And this can lead back to my earlier point about MBD. This is due to the lack of calcium being consumed in their body.


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.