Guide: Can Leopard Geckos Eat Earthworms? [Pros & Cons]

can leopard-geckos-eat-earthworms

As a leopard gecko owner, you might often wonder about the best diet for your scaly friend.

One question that comes up frequently is, can leopard geckos eat earthworms?

Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we’ll delve into the natural diet of leopard geckos, the nutritional value of earthworms, and whether or not they’re a good choice for your gecko.

We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of feeding earthworms to leopard geckos and explore some alternative food options to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Fun Fact #1: Leopard geckos are one of the few gecko species that have eyelids, which makes them even more adorable!

The Natural Diet of Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they primarily eat insects in the wild. Their natural diet consists of a variety of small bugs, such as crickets, mealworms, and roaches.

These little hunters prefer live prey, as the movement entices them to chase and catch their food. Providing a diet that closely mimics their natural food sources is essential to keeping your leopard gecko healthy and thriving.

Now that we have a basic understanding of their natural diet, it’s time to explore the nutritional profile of earthworms and see if they could make a suitable addition to your leopard gecko’s menu.

Fun Fact #2: Leopard geckos are native to the deserts of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, where they've adapted to a life of hunting small insects in their arid environment.

Earthworms: Nutritional Profile

Earthworms are a common food source for many reptiles and amphibians. They’re packed with protein, low in fat, and contain essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutritional content found in earthworms:

  • Protein: 60-70% (dry weight basis)
  • Fat: 8-10% (dry weight basis)
  • Calcium: 350-450 mg/kg
  • Phosphorus: 2,000-2,500 mg/kg

These nutritional values make earthworms an attractive option for some reptile owners. However, it’s crucial to understand how these nutrients affect leopard geckos before deciding if they’re a suitable food source.

What kind of worms can leopard geckos eat?

Mealworms and waxworms are two popular worm options for leopard geckos, as they’re easy to digest and provide the necessary nutrients. But what about earthworms? Let’s find out!

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Earthworms?

The short answer is that leopard geckos can eat earthworms, but there are a few considerations to remember. Earthworms are not part of their natural diet and may not provide the optimal balance of nutrients for your gecko.

Additionally, earthworms are softer and more moist compared to the insect’s leopard geckos usually eat, which could make them less appealing to your pet.

It’s important to remember that variety is key in a leopard gecko’s diet. While earthworms can be an occasional treat, they shouldn’t become a staple food.

Stick to their preferred insects like crickets, mealworms, and roaches for the majority of their meals, and consider offering earthworms as an occasional supplement.

Now that we know leopard geckos can eat earthworms, let’s discuss the pros and cons of including them in your gecko’s diet.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Earthworms to Leopard Geckos

Before deciding to incorporate earthworms into your leopard gecko’s menu, consider these pros and cons:


  • Nutrient-rich: Earthworms are high in protein and contain essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus.
  • Variety: Offering earthworms can help provide variety and enrichment to your gecko’s diet.
  • Availability: Earthworms are often easily available and can be purchased from pet stores or collected from pesticide-free environments.


  • Not a natural food source: Earthworms aren’t part of a leopard gecko’s natural diet, so they may not be as appealing or as nutritionally balanced as other insects.
  • Potential parasites: Wild-caught earthworms can carry parasites or harmful bacteria. Always source your earthworms from a reputable supplier or ensure they come from a clean environment.

If you decide to feed your leopard gecko earthworms, it’s essential to do so safely. Let’s learn how to prepare and offer them to your pet.

How to Safely Feed Earthworms to Your Leopard Gecko

To safely feed earthworms to your leopard gecko, follow these steps:

  • Source your earthworms: Purchase earthworms from a reputable pet store or supplier or collect them from a pesticide-free environment to avoid potential parasites or contaminants.

  • Wash and clean: Gently rinse the earthworms under cool water to remove any dirt or debris.

  • Gut-load the earthworms: Feed the earthworms a nutritious diet for 24-48 hours before offering them to your gecko. This process, known as gut-loading, ensures your gecko receives the most nutrients from its meal.

  • Dust with calcium powder: Lightly coat the earthworms with a calcium supplement powder to provide additional calcium for your gecko.

  • Offer the earthworms: Using feeding tongs, offer the earthworms to your leopard gecko one at a time, allowing it to hunt and capture its prey.

Remember, earthworms should be an occasional treat, not a staple in your leopard gecko diet. Now let’s explore some alternative food options to keep your gecko healthy and satisfied.

Alternatives to Earthworms for Your Leopard Gecko’s Diet

To keep your leopard gecko healthy and well-nourished, consider these alternative food options that closely mimic their natural diet:

  • Crickets: A leopard gecko favorite, crickets are high in protein and provide an exciting hunting experience. Make sure to gut-load and dust them with calcium powder before feeding.

  • Mealworms: Easy to digest and readily available, mealworms are another popular choice for leopard geckos. Remember to gut-load and dust them as well.

  • Dubia roaches: Nutritious and easy to care for, dubia roaches are an excellent option for leopard geckos. They’re a good source of protein and provide a stimulating hunting experience.

  • Waxworms: High in fat, waxworms should be fed sparingly as a treat, but they can add variety to your gecko’s diet.


So, can leopard geckos eat earthworms?

Yes, they can, but offering them as an occasional treat rather than a staple food is important. Earthworms provide some nutritional benefits but are not part of a leopard gecko’s natural diet.

Stick to insects like crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches as the primary food sources for your gecko, and always gut-load and dust their meals with calcium powder.

Variety and proper nutrition are key to keeping your leopard gecko happy and healthy. By offering a diverse diet that closely mimics their natural food sources, you’ll ensure your scaly friend thrives for years to come.

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top