Can Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are a popular choice for reptile enthusiasts and are often kept as pets. They are known for their docile nature, low maintenance requirements, and beautiful appearance. However, it is crucial to understand their dietary needs and provide them with a nutritionally balanced diet to ensure their overall health and wellbeing.

One common question that arises among leopard gecko owners is whether these reptiles can eat fruits. In this article, we will explore this topic in-depth, providing vet-approved facts and answering frequently asked questions to help you provide the best diet for your leopard gecko.

Why is Diet Important for Leopard Geckos?

Like all living organisms, leopard geckos require a balanced and appropriate diet to thrive. Proper nutrition is essential for their growth, development, and overall health. Offering a diet that aligns with their natural needs helps prevent various health issues and ensures their longevity. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what leopard geckos should and should not eat.

Are Leopard Geckos Fruit Eaters?

The short answer is no, leopard geckos are not fruit eaters. These reptiles are insectivores, which means their primary source of nutrition comes from insects. They have specific digestive systems that are not designed to process fruits or vegetables effectively. Unlike herbivores or omnivores, leopard geckos lack the necessary enzymes to break down plant matter, such as cellulose.

Reasons why Leopard Geckos Cannot Eat Fruits

There are several reasons why leopard geckos should not consume fruits as part of their regular diet. Here are a few key reasons:

1. Digestive System: Leopard geckos have a short digestive tract, designed to process animal proteins and fats efficiently. Their digestive systems are unable to break down and extract nutrients from plant matter, including fruits.

2. Lack of Fibre Requirement: Fruits are generally high in fiber, which is an essential component of a herbivorous diet. However, leopard geckos do not require significant amounts of fiber in their diets. Their systems are unable to metabolize complex carbohydrates found in fruits.

3. High Sugar Content: Fruits are a natural source of sugars, including fructose and sucrose. Leopard geckos have low sugar requirements and are prone to developing obesity, metabolic diseases, and other health issues if fed a sugary diet.

4. Calcium & Vitamin D3 Deficiency: Leopard geckos require high levels of calcium and vitamin D3 for healthy bone development and maintenance. Feeding fruits can disrupt calcium absorption and lead to nutritional deficiencies.

5. Risk of Digestive Issues: Since leopard geckos cannot properly digest fruits, feeding them can lead to digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, or impaction. These issues can be life-threatening and require immediate veterinary attention.

What Should Leopard Geckos Eat Instead?

Leopard geckos thrive on a diet primarily consisting of insects. A varied and balanced insect diet ensures they receive the necessary proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Suitable insect options for leopard geckos include:

1. Mealworms: These are a staple food for leopard geckos and are readily available at pet stores. They are rich in protein and fat, making them an excellent source of essential nutrients.

2. Crickets: Another common food choice, crickets provide essential protein and are great for enriching the diet. It is recommended to gut-load crickets with nutritious food before offering them to your gecko.

3. Dubia Roaches: These roaches are gaining popularity as a feeder insect for reptiles due to their high nutritional value. They have an excellent calcium to phosphorous ratio and are easily digestible.

4. Silkworms: Silkworms are highly nutritious and have a soft exoskeleton, making them ideal for geckos prone to digestion issues. They are rich in proteins, healthy fats, and essential amino acids.

5. Phoenix Worms (Black Soldier Fly Larvae): These worms are calcium-rich and provide a good balance of proteins and fats. They are also small, making them suitable for geckos of all sizes.

Remember to dust the feeder insects with a reptile calcium supplement before offering them to your leopard gecko to ensure their calcium needs are met.

Frequently Asked Questions about Leopard Geckos and Fruit

1. Can leopard geckos eat small amounts of fruit as a treat?

No, even in small amounts, fruits should be avoided. Their digestive systems are simply not designed to process and extract nutrients from plant matter. It is best to stick to their primary diet of insects.

2. What are the signs of digestive issues caused by feeding fruits to leopard geckos?
Digestive issues in leopard geckos can manifest as constipation, bloating, lack of appetite, loose stools, or impaction. If you suspect any digestive issues, it is essential to seek veterinary assistance promptly.

3. Are there any exceptions to the rule? Can certain gecko species or individuals tolerate fruits?
While leopard geckos should not be fed fruits, it’s essential to note that not all gecko species have the same dietary requirements. There are other gecko species, such as crested geckos, that are omnivorous and can consume fruits safely. However, it is always recommended to research and provide an appropriate diet for each specific gecko species.

4. Can fruit be harmful if accidentally ingested by a leopard gecko?

While it is best to avoid any fruit consumption, accidentally ingesting small amounts of fruit usually does not have severe consequences. However, if you notice any signs of distress or digestive issues, it would be wise to consult a reptile veterinarian.

5. What other aspects should be considered in a leopard gecko’s diet?

In addition to a proper insect diet, leopard geckos also require supplementation to ensure they receive essential vitamins and minerals. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplements are particularly important for their bone health. It is crucial to follow the recommended supplementation guidelines provided by reptile veterinarians or experienced breeders.


Leopard geckos are insectivorous reptiles that should not consume fruits as part of their diet. They lack the necessary enzymes and digestive capabilities to process plant matter effectively. Feeding fruits to leopard geckos can lead to various health issues and should be avoided. Providing a balanced diet of appropriately sized feeder insects and proper supplementation is essential to meet their nutritional needs and ensure their overall wellbeing. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your leopard gecko’s diet, it is best to consult a reptile veterinarian for professional advice.