The Foods That Reptiles Love To Eat

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Reptiles are known to have unique food habits. To get the best foods for your pet, check out our food picks below.

Reptiles are fun to take care of, and they look very cute. A good diet is essential to maintain their health. There are about 9,500 unique species of reptiles in the world, from dangerous crocodiles to innocent and loving tortoises. It is best to research your pet reptile’s food habits before you buy one. 

Insects are a very good choice for reptiles as they are a great source of necessary vitamins and calcium. For bigger carnivorous reptiles, such as snakes and lizards, rodents are a good option. In this article, we will go through the most common food options for reptiles, which will keep them well. Those are-

Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/reptile-lizard-green-exotic-zoo-2042906/

Crickets As Reptile Food

Crickets provide a good amount of nutrients for small reptiles. House crickets or Acheta domestica can be bought at any pet store or from some online sources. It is more cost-effective to buy crickets online in large amounts, but these will require maintenance until you feed them to your pet. 

Crickets can quickly dissipate because of diseases or escape the house. Many herp keepers see this as a good excuse to buy crickets from local pet stores to directly feed them to their pets. You can keep crickets in your house in a 5-gallon bucket or small-sized trash can. 75-95 degrees Fahrenheit is the appropriate temperature for these crickets to survive.

Check out these superworms for sale to feed your reptile pet.

Roaches

Cockroaches are recommended by many companies for insectivorous herps. Roaches are easily reared or kept in plastic tubs, and many of those do not need substrate. Just as crickets, cockroaches need warmer temperatures too. About 75 degrees of Fahrenheit is good for them. 

Cockroaches have many species; some of them include lobster roaches or Nauphoeta cinerea that climb flat surfaces like glass, which is why you have to make sure these roaches are kept in an escape-proof area. Vaseline can be used on the top lip of the enclosure to stop the roaches from escaping. 

Orange-headed roaches or Eublaberus posticus cannot climb up glass surfaces. Culturing cockroaches can decrease your monthly expenses as compared to buying crickets. This makes roaches a good option to cultivate.

Chitinous Meals

Tenebrio molitor or mealworms is a good food item for reptiles and amphibians. A single mealworm has more caloric content than a single cricket. Reptiles will get more body mass and maintain it easily if they eat mealworms. However, mealworms have a wide, chitinous exoskeleton, which makes them difficult to eat. Making your reptile eat too many mealworms can cause regurgitation, so feed a moderate amount to your pet to avoid any issue. 

You can buy mealworms in bulk and keep them in a 5-gallon bucket. The substrate of this meal should be wheat bran, potatoes, carrots, green and leafy vegetables to give the meal proper moisture. Get rid of any leftover foods to decrease the smell of these insects. In the last 15 years, mealworms have been a popular food for reptiles.

Silky Wigglers

Bombyx mori, also known as silk moth larvae, can be bought from some good online resources. Usually, vendors can have them at their reptile expos. These are mostly known as silkworms, and they are maintained on a good diet. That alone makes these worms the perfect food choice for reptiles. Mulberry leaves or powder can be utilized to maintain these silkworms. During the winter months, mulberry is a great food for those silkworms. 

A well-shaped plastic container will work great to keep the worms in one place. The room temperature should be around 70 to 85 degrees. Mulberry leaves are full of minerals, so if silkworms eat these, they will also get minerals to pass on to the reptiles. This will complete your reptile’s food chain. Cultivating silkworms from egg or small size is less expensive than buying in bulk.

Feeder Rodents

The husbandry of rodents can be great as these are extremely helpful to maintain a large number of reptiles. Pinky mice and rat pups are good examples of feeder rodents for your reptiles. Cleanliness is an important aspect when you are handling these rodent colonies. You have to change its substrate once per week. Sometimes, it can be twice a week when the breeding is heavy.

Be aware of the winter months because they slow down the breeding of rodents and cause issues for your reptiles. Have frozen foods and plan thoroughly during the winter months. Reptiles and amphibians will face many problems if you do not pre-determine any plans before winter. Frequency is another important consideration when it comes to rodent production. Feeding the adult mice to pets every two to four months can balance the overgrowth of your cultivated mice.

Remember to kill the rodent humanely before feeding it to the snakes. This will stop the rodent from attacking your reptile pet.

Tomato Hornworms

Manduca quinquemaculata or tomato hornworms can be acquired from various online sources. But wild-caught tomato hornworms might be toxic for your reptile pet. Vendors can be a good place to buy these hornworms for the pet. These are known to grow very fast in a pattern, which is usually in a few weeks. Their weight is about 12 grams or more, thus they provide more calories than crickets.

Issues of Feeding Reptiles

Animals are known to refuse to eat if they are captive, even if their owners give them food properly. That is the same for reptiles. For example, you may find your reptile pet refusing to eat crickets during their captivity; a diurnal lizard will not eat at night. You may have to present their food to smell like their desired prey.

Conclusion

In the past 10 to 15 years, reptile nutrition has advanced quite a lot. They have gotten used to some common feeder insects. New reptile pet owners tend to neglect some of the important issues of feeders, which have to be solved for proper feeding. Adequate nutrition is very important to keep your pet reptiles healthy and increase their lifespan.

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