Reptile Diet

Reptiles are incredibly diverse in their natural feeding habits. Leopard geckos, bearded dragons, sulcata tortoises and kingsnakes all eat insects, birds, frogs, mollusks, fish, mammals, and even other reptiles!


Providing a variety of foods is the key to proper Reptile diet. Only hay or mice won’t meet all the nutritional needs of most species!


Herbivorous reptiles have a diet that is primarily made up of plant sources. These include tortoises and chelonians (gecko, gecko-like lizards). Herbivorous reptiles should not be fed insects as they are likely to have a vitamin deficiency if they consume them.

A herbivorous diet should be high in fibre as this serves as a bulking agent and encourages gut motility whilst also supplying dietary essentials such as the fat-soluble vitamins – the EFA’s (which are needed for proper cell membrane function) and the water-soluble vitamins – the B vitamin complex and vitamin C. Herbivorous reptiles should be offered fibre daily from a wide variety of ingredients including shredded leafy green 파충류샵 s, vegetables +/- fruit, sweet potatoes, yams, squash, bran and oats. A supplementary fibre product should be offered to help increase the digestibility of these foods.

It is important that any herbivorous reptile is provided with the correct amount of calcium. If they are not getting enough calcium in their diets it can lead to severe health problems, including osteoporosis.

Reptiles are able to absorb calcium from many different sources including vegetables, fruits and in some cases animal prey. However, in order to get the most benefit from this it is best to provide your reptile with a diet that contains natural sources of calcium such as kelp, seaweed and leafy vegetables. In addition, it is a good idea to provide your reptile with a source of Vitamin D3 to aid the absorption of the calcium.


Herbivorous reptiles consume plants for the majority of their calories. In wild environments p 파충류샵 lant foods provide up to 30 to 98 percent of total energy. Reptiles should be offered a variety of leafy vegetables, such as kale, Swiss chard, collard greens and mustard greens. They should also be offered greens rich in calcium such as endive, escarole and cabbage. Other nutritious vegetable choices include dandelion, beets, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and zucchini.

Omnivorous reptiles also need animal proteins to meet their nutritional needs. Insects are excellent protein sources for herbivores because of their high protein and fat content. However, feeding insect-only diets can cause reptiles to become dependent on a single species of prey item which may be difficult to obtain in the wild. A varied diet will reduce this dependency.

High levels of fiber (40-60% DM) are not ideal for herbivores because they inhibit nutrient absorption. In fact, excessive fiber intake also limits calorie intake and slows gut motility.

Reptiles that are primarily carnivorous need a mix of whole prey and fresh vegetables to meet their nutritional requirements. Fresh meats can be provided by smearing fish, chicken and lamb liver onto a frog skin or by placing mice inside a shed snake skin. These foods should be fed sparingly to avoid disease transmission. Alternatively, commercially prepared foods can be offered to provide the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals that are lacking in most fresh foods. These foods are available in pellets, powdered mixes or freeze-dried preparations.


Many reptiles like green iguanas, spiny-tailed lizards and tortoises survive on a diet of live insects including flies, crickets and worms. It is important to have the correct food available at all times for your pet to maintain good health. In captivity it can take weeks or even months to get the reptile acclimated to eating a live animal and establishing a feeding schedule. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Insects can be purchased from a pet store or they can be wild caught. Gut loading the feeder insect with a high calcium meal is a great way to help offset the phosphorous content of most insects. It is also recommended to dust the insects with a powdered calcium supplement, a process called “dusting” prior to feeding them to your reptile to increase their dietary intake of this nutrient.

Reptiles that are insectivores, such as leopard geckos, can be fed a variety of insects such as mealworms and waxworms, crickets, earthworms and wingless fruit flies. It is recommended to offer your pet a variety of different insects and to feed them daily for best results.

Some sources indicate that offering any animal protein to herbivores or omnivores predisposes them to kidney disease. This author believes this is due to over supplementation of proteins on a volume versus calorie basis and not the source of the protein.


A carnivorous reptile diet consists of meat and animal products. It is important for a reptile to follow this type of diet in order to get the proteins it needs to thrive. It also helps to balance out the nutrients that are lost at each level of trophic feeding.

Carnivorous snakes and lizards are known for their ability to catch and kill prey animals. This can happen through a quick sprint followed by biting or the use of powerful jaw muscles and long tongues to grab and hold the animal in place while it is swallowed. Some reptiles, such as crocodiles, hunt along swamps and canals to catch unsuspecting animals and birds.

In captivity, some omnivores can be converted to carnivorous by slowly introducing protein sources in their diets over time. However, this can lead to poor health and a lack of essential minerals and vitamins. In addition, some herpetoculturists say that the food preferences of a reptile are hard wired due to genetics. For example, a common gartersnake may prefer to eat fish but not worms.

The most important part of a carnivorous reptile diet is to feed it the highest quality of meat possible. This is because it will contain higher levels of the amino acid glycine. This is an important nutrient that can balance out the methionine content of a muscle meat-based diet. In addition, adding collagen to a carnivorous reptile’s diet can help prevent mineral deficiencies. This is because it is rich in glycine and can be absorbed by the digestive tract.