Crested Gecko Diet: What Do Crested Geckos Eat?

Crested geckos are one of the easiest reptile species to feed, which is one of the reasons crested gecko husbandry is quite simple. They don’t require their keepers to mix veggies methodically to provide optimum nutrition, nor do they require mice, rats, or other large prey, as do many snakes and lizards.

Crested Gecko Diet in the Wild

In the wild, crested geckos are native to the lush forests of New Caledonia, where they mainly feed on insects and fruit. They’re known to be opportunistic eaters, consuming a wide variety of insects like crickets, fruit flies, and even small spiders.

When it comes to fruit, they love to feast on soft, ripe fruits, such as figs, papaya, and berries. The natural diet of a wild crested gecko is quite diverse, which helps them get the essential nutrients they need to thrive.

Here is a complete breakdown of everything they eat in the wild based on a study done on this species.

Prey TypePercentage
Pollen aggregates10.3%
Soft seeds1.8%
Fruit juices7.52%
Coleoptera (beetles)9.45%
Caterpillars and butterflies7.52%
Diptera (flies)3.12%
Orthoptera (crickets and locusts)21.6%
Remains of smaller lizards11.4%
Remains of other vertebrate prey8.68%
– young rodents6.42%

Crested Gecko Diet in Captivity

Replicating their wild diet in captivity can be a bit of a challenge. For one, it’s not always feasible to provide the same variety of insects and fruits that crested geckos would encounter in their natural habitat.

Additionally, captive environments may lack some of the essential nutrients found in their wild diets, making supplementation important.

In captivity, a crested gecko’s diet include:

  • Insects
  • Fruits
  • Readily available food (MRP)
  • Mineral and vitamin supplements (if necessary)

Crested Gecko Live-Food Diet

As per the table above, we can clearly see that the average crested gecko is an insect eater. Based on that, lets see what we can feed our cresties.

What Insects Can Crested Geckos Eat?

Insects are a crucial part of a crested gecko’s diet, providing essential protein and other nutrients.

Here are some of the top insect choices for your gecko:

1: Black, Brown, and Banded Crickets: These hopping insects are a favorite among crested geckos. They’re rich in protein and relatively easy to find at your local pet store. Just make sure to get the right size for your gecko—smaller crickets for juveniles and larger ones for adults.

2: Dubia roaches: Don’t let the name scare you off! Dubia roaches are an excellent source of protein and have a softer exoskeleton, making them easier for your gecko to digest. Plus, they’re less likely to escape and cause an infestation in your home.

3: Locusts: Locusts are a great source of protein and fiber for crested geckos. They also contain essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

4. Snails: Snails are a good source of calcium and protein. They also contain a variety of essential nutrients, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, which can help support your gecko’s overall health.

5: Blue-bottles: Blue-bottles, also known as blowflies, are a good source of protein and are high in fat, which can be beneficial for crested geckos that require more calories.

6: Stick Insects: Stick insects are a good source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamins.

7: Turkistan, Lobster, Domino, Banana, and Discoid Roaches: These types of roaches are all good sources of protein and contain essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins.

Avoid feeding insects caught in the wild, as they may be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful substances.

What Worms Can Crested Geckos Eat?


Worms are another tasty option for crested geckos. Here are a couple of popular choices:

1: Waxworms: These soft, squishy worms are a real treat for your gecko! They’re high in fat, though, so they should be fed sparingly.

2: Phoenix worms (also known as black soldier fly larvae): These worms are packed with calcium and make a great addition to your gecko’s diet. They’re a bit pricier than some other options, but the health benefits are worth it.

3: Mealworms: While not the most nutritious option, mealworms can still be a nice treat for your gecko. They’re high in fat, so they should be fed in moderation.

4: Silkworms: These are a nutritious and protein-rich food source for crested geckos. They are also high in calcium, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and preventing metabolic bone disease in geckos. In addition, silkworms are low in fat and have a soft exoskeleton, making them easy to digest.

5: Butterworms: Butterworms are another excellent source of protein for crested geckos. They are also high in calcium and low in fat, making them a healthy addition to your gecko’s diet. Butterworms are soft and easy to digest, making them a good choice for geckos that have difficulty eating harder insects.

6: Calcium worms: Also known as Phoenix worms or soldier fly larvae, are a great source of calcium and other essential nutrients for crested geckos. They have a high calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which is important for maintaining healthy bones and preventing metabolic bone disease. Calcium worms are also low in fat and easy to digest.

To make sure your crested gecko gets all the nutrients it needs, follow these tips:

  • Rotate the types of insects and worms you offer to ensure a balanced diet. This will also keep your gecko interested and excited about mealtime.
  • Feed insects a nutritious diet for at least 24 hours before offering them to your gecko. This ensures that the insects are full of nutrients, which will then be passed on to your pet.
  • Coat insects in a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement before feeding them to your gecko. This will help prevent any potential nutritional deficiencies.
  • Each crested gecko is unique, and they may have their own likes and dislikes. Pay attention to their preferences and adjust the live-food options accordingly.

What Fruits Can a Crested Gecko Eat?


While fruits are a delightful addition to your crested gecko’s diet, they should be offered as occasional treats, making up no more than 10-20% of their overall diet. A good rule of thumb is to provide fruit once or twice a week, and always alongside a well-balanced diet that includes live insects and commercial gecko food.

Crested geckos can enjoy a variety of fruits, but it’s important to know which ones are safe and beneficial for their diet.

Some great fruit options include:

1: Papaya: This tropical fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, and its soft texture makes it easy for geckos to eat.

2: Mango: Mangoes are another nutritious choice that geckos seem to love.

3: Blueberries: These little berries pack a punch in terms of antioxidants and can be a fun treat for your gecko.

4: Figs: High in calcium, figs are a great option to help support your crested gecko’s bone health.

5: Banana: In moderation, bananas can be a tasty treat, but be cautious as they’re high in sugar and should be offered sparingly.

6: Pear: Pears are a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins C and K, as well as copper, which supports the immune system and helps with the formation of red blood cells.

7: Grape: Grapes are a good source of antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. They also contain vitamins C and K, as well as potassium.

8: Apricot: Apricots are a good source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and eyes. They also contain vitamin C and potassium.

9: Strawberry: Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with the absorption of iron. They also contain fiber and antioxidants.

10: Watermelon: Watermelon is a good source of hydration and contains vitamins A and C, as well as potassium.

11: Dates: Dates are a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and help prevent constipation. They also contain vitamins B6 and K, as well as potassium and magnesium.

12: Peach: Peaches are a good source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with the absorption of iron. They also contain fiber and potassium.

13: Plum: Plums are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. They also contain antioxidants, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

When feeding fruits to your crested gecko, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always wash fruits thoroughly to remove any pesticides or contaminants.
  • Remove any seeds or pits, as these can be a choking hazard.
  • Chop fruits into small, manageable pieces for your gecko to prevent choking.
  • Avoid feeding citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, or grapefruits, as their acidity can be harmful to your gecko’s digestive system.
  • Steer clear of avocado, as it contains a compound called persin, which is toxic to reptiles.

Commercial Crested Gecko Diet Options


Complete diet formulas are a fantastic choice for busy gecko parents, as they provide all the essential nutrients your crested gecko needs in a single, convenient product. These specially designed diets contain the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that our geckos require for optimal health.

Plus, these diet options usually come in a powder form that you simply mix with water to create a tasty, fruit-flavored paste that mimics the natural food sources of crested geckos.

These all-in-one formulas take the guesswork out of feeding, ensuring that our beloved pets get everything they need without the need for live insects or additional supplements. Some of the key benefits of complete diet formulas include:

  • Balanced nutrition: These diets are designed to meet the specific nutritional requirements of crested geckos.
  • Convenience: No need to worry about sourcing live insects or additional supplements.
  • Long shelf life: The powdered form can be stored for a long time, making it a cost-effective option.
  • Less stress for your gecko: No need to chase live insects means a more relaxed mealtime for your pet.

There are several reputable brands that offer high-quality commercial diets for crested geckos. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

  • Repashy Crested Gecko MRP: A well-known and trusted brand, Repashy offers a meal replacement powder that provides complete nutrition for crested geckos. It comes in various flavors, so you can mix things up and keep your gecko’s taste buds excited.
  • Pangea Fruit Mix: Another popular option among gecko owners, Pangea Fruit Mix is a complete diet that comes in different fruit-based flavors. It’s known for its appealing taste and excellent nutritional content.
  • Zoo Med Crested Gecko Food: This brand offers a watermelon-flavored powdered diet that’s fortified with essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a great option for picky eaters who love the taste of juicy watermelon.

Remember, always choose a commercial diet that’s specifically designed for crested geckos to ensure that your pet gets the right balance of nutrients.

Vitamins and Mineral Supplements

You should gut-load and dust insects and worms before presenting them. You’ve probably heard those terms before, but do you know what they mean?


This is the procedure of feeding extra nutrients to the insects 24 hours before feeding them to your gecko. For gut-loading, Fluker’s High Calcium Cricket Powder is a popular choice.


Before feeding the insects to your gecko, coat them with calcium and vitamin D3 powder. Simply place the insects in a clear bag, add the powder, and shake the bag until the insects are completely covered.

Make sure to offer them to your gecko right away so the powder doesn’t wash away.

Juvenile & Hatchling Crested Geckos Diet


Young crested geckos will thrive on a diet similar to that of adults. When feeding juvenile lizards, just make sure you use the right kind of little insects. To limit the risk of impactions, it’s probably best to avoid feeding juvenile crested geckos mealworms or super worms.

Young crested geckos are fed a more insect-based diet than adults by certain caretakers. Because insects contain a lot of protein, this could help the newborn lizards develop faster.

It’s worth noting that hatchling crested geckos frequently avoid feeding for several days after hatching. During this time, they’ll rely on the nutrients provided by the egg yolk, which they’ve only recently finished digesting.

The majority of them will start feeding in three to five days, usually after their first shed.

Feeding Schedule and Portion Sizes

As a fellow crested gecko enthusiast, I understand how important it is to provide the right amount of food to our little scaly friends. With that in mind, let’s dive into the feeding schedule and portion sizes for crested geckos at various life stages.

Age GroupFood TypeFrequencyPortion Size
Juveniles (0-12 months)Live insects (e.g., crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms)4-5 times per week6-8 insects per feeding session
Fruits (e.g., mashed banana, mango, papaya)1-2 times per week1 teaspoon per feeding session
Commercial diet (complete formula)2-3 times per weekFollow manufacturer’s instructions
Adults (12+ months)Live insects (e.g., crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms)2-3 times per week8-10 insects per feeding session
Fruits (e.g., mashed banana, mango, papaya)1-2 times per week1-2 teaspoons per feeding session
Commercial diet (complete formula)2-3 times per weekFollow manufacturer’s instructions

Feeding Frequency for Juvenile and Adult Crested Geckos

Juvenile Crested Geckos (under 8 months old) Young geckos have higher energy needs as they’re growing rapidly. It’s essential to feed them daily, making sure they have access to a fresh supply of food every evening. I remember when my little guy, Spike, was just a baby; he would eagerly wait for his dinner every night!

Adult Crested Geckos (8 months and older) As crested geckos mature, their growth slows down, and so do their dietary needs. You can reduce the feeding frequency to every other day. Don’t be surprised if your gecko doesn’t eat every time; they’re good at regulating their intake based on their needs.

Recommended Portion Sizes

Juvenile Crested Geckos Start with a small amount of food, about the size of your gecko’s head, and adjust as needed. Keep an eye on their growth and overall health to determine if you need to increase or decrease the portions.

Adult Crested Geckos For adults, a portion about the size of their head or slightly larger is usually sufficient. However, each gecko is unique, so make sure to monitor their body condition and adjust accordingly.

Life StageFeeding FrequencyPortion Size
Juvenile (under 8 months old)DailyAbout the size of gecko’s head
Adult (8 months and older)Every other daySize of gecko’s head or slightly larger

Tips for Adjusting Portion Sizes

  1. Growth and Development It’s crucial to keep track of your gecko’s growth and development, as their dietary needs will change as they age. Regularly weigh your gecko and observe its body condition to ensure it is getting enough nutrition.
  2. Activity Levels Like us, crested geckos have varying activity levels that can affect their appetite. If your gecko is more active than usual or going through a growth spurt, consider increasing the portion size temporarily.
  3. Seasonal Changes Crested geckos might eat less during the winter months due to lower temperatures and decreased activity. It’s normal for their appetite to fluctuate, so adjust the portion sizes as needed.

Finding the perfect balance in their diet is essential for their health and happiness. Don’t be afraid to experiment with portion sizes and feeding schedules to find what works best for your individual gecko.

How Long Can a Crested Gecko Go Without Eating?

A healthy adult crested gecko can usually go without food for about one to two weeks. However, this is not an ideal situation, and it’s crucial to address the issue as soon as possible. Juvenile geckos shouldn’t go without food for more than a few days.

Occasional food refusal can happen for several reasons, such as stress, shedding, changes in the environment, or simply a picky eater. It’s essential to monitor your gecko closely and address any underlying issues.

Factors Affecting a Crested Gecko’s Ability to Survive Without Food

Several factors can impact how long a crested gecko can survive without food. These include:

1: Age: Juvenile crested geckos need more frequent feedings compared to adults because they’re still growing. Adult geckos can generally go longer without food.

2: Health: A healthy gecko will be better equipped to handle a brief fasting period than one that is already weak or unwell.

3: Environmental conditions: Factors like temperature, humidity, and lighting can affect a gecko’s appetite and overall health.

Tips for Addressing Food Refusal

If your crested gecko is refusing food, try these tips to help get them back on track:

  1. Ensure that their enclosure has the correct temperature, humidity, and lighting, as this can impact their appetite.
  2. Try offering different types of insects, fruits, and commercial diets to entice your gecko to eat.
  3. Keep an eye on your gecko’s overall health and behavior, as this can help you identify any potential issues.

Do Crested Geckos Need Water?

Crested Gecko drinking water drops

Crested geckos need water to stay hydrated and maintain their overall health. Adequate hydration is crucial for their digestion, shedding, and various bodily functions. Without proper hydration, crested geckos can suffer from dehydration, which can lead to serious health issues and, in extreme cases, even death.

Providing clean water for your crested gecko is simple but essential. There are a few ways you can ensure your gecko stays hydrated:

  • Misting: Lightly mist your gecko’s enclosure with clean water once or twice a day. Crested geckos usually drink water droplets from the walls and plants in their enclosure. I’ve found that misting in the evening works best, as it mimics their natural habitat’s humidity cycle.
  • Water dish: You can also provide a shallow water dish in the enclosure. Make sure to change the water daily to keep it fresh and clean. I recommend using a shallow dish to prevent any risk of drowning.

Why Is My Crested Gecko Not Eating?

The majority of crested geckos are voracious feeders who look forward to their nighttime feedings. Keepers may notice that their gecko is refusing to eat on occasion. This can be a significant issue, so you should try to figure out why it’s happening and fix it as soon as possible.

The following are some of the most prevalent reasons crested geckos refuse to eat:

  •  Inappropriate enclosure temperatures
  •  Intestinal parasites
  •  Bacterial infection
  •  High-stress levels
  •  Biological changes related to reproduction

Recognizing and Addressing Diet-Related Health Issues

Crested geckos may show various symptoms if they’re experiencing nutritional issues. Keep an eye out for these common signs:

1: Weight loss or lack of growth: If your gecko isn’t growing or losing weight despite eating regularly, it may be due to a nutritional problem.

2: Lethargy: A gecko with low energy levels or decreased activity may be lacking essential nutrients.

3: Poor shedding: Incomplete or irregular shedding could indicate a deficiency in vitamins or minerals.

4: Weakness in limbs: If your gecko has trouble climbing or seems unsteady, it may be a sign of calcium deficiency or metabolic bone disease (MBD).

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to act quickly. Here are some steps you can take to help your crested gecko:

  1. Review their diet: Ensure they’re receiving a balanced diet, including commercial crested gecko food, insects, and occasional fruit.
  2. Check calcium and vitamin D3 supplementation: These nutrients are crucial for preventing MBD. Dust insects with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements or use a commercial diet that includes them.
  3. Modify feeding schedules: Younger geckos may need more frequent feedings, while adults may require fewer. Adjust the schedule based on your gecko’s age and health.
  4. Monitor portion sizes: Overfeeding or underfeeding can lead to health problems. Offer appropriate portion sizes based on your gecko’s size and nutritional needs.

When to Consult a Reptile Veterinarian

If you’ve tried these adjustments and your gecko’s health doesn’t improve, it’s time to consult a reptile veterinarian. They can help identify the underlying issue and recommend appropriate treatment. Remember, seeking professional help is crucial for your gecko’s well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a crested gecko to eat oranges?

Oranges can be eaten by crested geckos, but only as a special treat. Oranges are citrus fruits with high acid content. Because citrus fruits should be avoided, it’s better to keep the number of oranges you provide to a minimum and just give a piece once or twice a month.

Can crested gecko eat applesauce?

Applesauce is acceptable to crested geckos. Crested geckos can easily detect applesauce, but it usually contains a lot of sugar. If you’re giving applesauce as a treat, make sure it’s unsweetened and low in sugar.

Can a crested gecko to eat mealworms?

Mealworms can be eaten by crested geckos. Mealworms, on the other hand, have hard exoskeletons. Mealworms can induce impaction as a result of this. I would advise either not giving mealworms to your crested gecko or feeding them in little amounts.
Because of their softer skin, waxworms are a preferable choice. If you do decide to offer a mealworm, do it only once or twice a month and keep an eye out for signs of impaction.


As a fellow crested gecko owner, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of providing our beloved reptiles with a well-balanced and nutritious diet. By understanding the nutritional requirements of crested geckos, including their need for macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, we can ensure their long-term health and happiness.

As a responsible crested gecko owner, staying informed about their dietary needs and adjusting their diet accordingly is essential. Observing your gecko’s behavior and being vigilant for any signs of diet-related health issues will help you take prompt action and seek veterinary assistance if necessary.

Filled under: Lizards

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *