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Why Do Lizards Eat Crickets? (Nutrition or Survival?)

If you are researching lizards, or just crurious, you may be wondering why some choose to eat crickets…

Why Do Lizards Eat Crickets?

Lizards eat crickets for a number of reasons such as their nutritional value, out of instinct and for survival. Nt all lizards eat crickets, such as herbivores. But, even those that do, it’s not advisable to feed them all types of crickets. 

So, now yo know. But, do lizards have to eat live crickets? Will some eat dead criciets? What type of lizards do not eat crickets? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

3 Top Reasons Why Lizards Eat Crickets?

A cricket on plant stem.

A cricket on plant stem.

Earlier, I mentioned some of the main reasons why lizards eat crickets. In this section I will explain each reason in more detail:


When it comes to nutritional value, there’s a reason that many cultures around the world eat crickets: They’re a large source of protein at over 60 percent of their body weight being protein. However, it’s important to understand that your lizard might need a little boost in vitamins.

It’s recommended to feed your crickets a diet high in calcium with a ratio to phosphorus 3 days before you then feed the crickets to your lizard. This way, the crickets are full of calcium for your lizard which can have an issue of not getting enough in its daily life.

One of the cheapest ways to make this food yourself is by finding a recipe online that usually consists of calcium carbonate, wheat, dog or cat food, and cornmeal. The ideal percentage of calcium is around 12 for the best results.


Running on instinct, lizards in the wild mainly feast on insects. While they will eat a limited number of other foods, crickets are definitely on that list so it makes sense that they’d like rely on a primitive instinct when being fed crickets.


Part of survival is not being too picky, so lizards are prone to eating the easiest thing to find. In the wild, crickets are one of the most readily-available options and lizards can use the large amount of protein to continue hunting or moving.

The other meaning behind survival is that, in some scenarios or predicaments, crickets can be the cause of harm or death to a lizard. Better to strike first and eat the cricket than let it create a problem.

Do Lizards Eat Live Crickets?

Carnivorous and omnivorous lizards do eat live crickets. But, herbivores won’t. In fact, with the former 2 it’s actually recommended to give them live crickets for consumption because it will be more natural.

Will Lizards Eat Dead Crickets?

Some lizards will eat dead crickets, but it’s not advisable to let them or feed them thisin the first place. That’s because, like many living beings, crickets are mostly water so when they die they begin to basically dry out.

Since most of the nutritional value is in that water, once you get around to giving it to your lizard it’s just a husk with no value. The only possible exception is that you killed it yourself recently, but if you can just avoid feeding your lizard anything but live crickets.

Keep in mind that dead crickets, or any animal or insect, begins to decay and potentially gather bacteria. Parasites latch on that could be transmitted to your lizard, so it’s best to just stay away from the whole situation.

Will a Cricket Eat a Lizard?

A cricket would eat a lizard. However, they won’t eat an entire lizard. Crickets are omnivorous and have teeth. So, when left to roam free with your lizard, they have been known to begin chewing on your lizard’s toes, tails, and eyelids.

If there are more crickets left in the enclosure after your lizard’s full, it’s best to remove them. Not only will they snack on your lizard, but they can spread bacteria to your pet or stress them out to the point of immobility.

Can Crickets Kill a Lizard?

There are 2 circumstances where a cricket can successfully kill a lizard: The lizard ingests a rotting or toxic cricket and gets diseased or tries to swallow a cricket too large and suffocates to death.

It’s possible for multiple crickets to overwhelm a lizard and cause a lot of damage, but it would still be extremely rare for them to kill one without one of the 2 situations mentioned happening. That’s why it’s so important to get surviving crickets out of the container after meal time.

How Do You Feed Lizard Crickets Without Touching Them?

No matter how much you enjoy your pet, sometimes it can be a struggle to feed them certain things especially if you’re a texture person. The best methods of feeding are to wear gloves, use tweezers, or to utilize a cricket keeper.

Wear Gloves

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One of the biggest issues people have with feeding time is the feeling of crickets or insects in their bare hands, so gloves are a great way to get through this. You might still feel pressure, but thick gardening gloves or something similar should be enough to get through it.


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These are slightly more difficult to use assuming that you’re feeding your lizard live crickets, but tweezers are good for never actually touching them. They also pretty much guarantee that you won’t get more than one cricket at a time, because they’re small.

Cricket Keepers

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Cricket keepers are the best of both worlds when it comes to feeding time, because there’s no direct contact and they’re quicker to use. The two main types of keepers are a tube and a box, but the concept is the same.

Just put a little cricket food in the keeper and they’ll crawl in, so wait until meal time and tip the tube or box in. If you want or need to, sprinkle any additional nutritional substance on them beforehand.

The only drawback with the cricket keeper is that, if you have an aversion to touching them, any extra crickets will still need to be taken out so the gloves may still come in handy.

What Lizards Don’t Eat Crickets?

Whether you don’t want to touch insects or just don’t want to deal with live food period, there are a few great lizards to have as pets that don’t eat insects. Chuckwalla, Pink Tongue Skinks, and Crested Geckos are some of the best examples.


Similar to the traditional green iguana, Chuckwalla have a lifespan of around 20 years and an herbivorous diet. They only eat greens, fruits, and vegetables, and don’t get much bigger than an iguana.

Pink Tongue Skinks

As a member of the same family as the Blue Tongue, the big difference between the 2 is, you guessed it, their pink tongue. Pink Tongue Skinks are climbers, though, and hard to find in captivity, so they’re not an easy pet to obtain.

Crested Geckos

While their nocturnal nature can be problematic for some, Crested Geckos are one of the best pets for a first-time lizard owner. They can make do with a smaller container and can be found all over the place since they’re bred so much.

The best part is that their food comes as a pre-made meal so you never have to worry about nutritional concerns like they’re not getting enough calcium and you won’t have to touch any insects.

What Can You Feed Lizards Instead of Crickets?

Aside from insects, most lizards can be fed two main food groups: Vegetables and fruits. For vegetables, they may enjoy ones with little to no sugar like green beans or kale. Fruits range from slices of apple or kiwi to papaya that will provide a good source of water as well.


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.