If you are a proud owner of a leopard gecko, you must be aware of their carnivorous diet that mainly comprises insects and other small living organisms. While most of the leopard gecko owners prefer feeding crickets, mealworms, and other insects to their pets, isopods can also be a great addition to their diet.
If you are wondering about the benefits of feeding isopods (also known as woodlice) to your leopard geckos, this article will help you understand all the relevant information.
What are Isopods?
Isopods are usually found in a moist and dark environment like soil and leaves. They are the crustaceans belonging to the same family as shrimp and lobsters and are also called pill bugs, sow bugs or woodlice. While they are commonly known for being the cleaners in a terrarium, they can also serve as a protein-rich meal for leopard geckos.
Benefits of Feeding Isopods
Adding isopods to a leopard gecko’s diet can offer a variety of benefits. Here are a few key advantages:
- Nutritional value: Isopods are rich in protein, calcium, and fiber, which are essential nutrients for leopard geckos.
- Convenient: These crustaceans are easy to breed, store, and feed to your pet without any hassle.
- Improves digestion: Isopods help in breaking down the insect exoskeletons, which makes it easier for leopard geckos to digest their food.
- Aids in hydration: Isopods consist of 75-80% water, which makes it a great source of hydration for your leopard geckos.
How to Feed Isopods to Leopard Geckos
Feeding isopods to leopard geckos is quite simple. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- Choose the right species: Not all species of isopods are suitable for leopard geckos. It is recommended to avoid
Armadillidium vulgare (commonly known as pill bugs) as they have a hard exoskeleton that is difficult for the geckos to digest. Instead, you can opt for other species like Porcellio laevis, Porcellio scaber, and Isopoda sp.
- Breed isopods: You can easily breed isopods at home. Keep them in a moist environment with leaf litter, preferably a substrate of coconut coir or sphagnum moss and feed them on fruits, vegetables, and fish flakes. Make sure the temperature is between 20-25°C and you use a layer of charcoal to control the odour.
- Feed the isopods to your gecko: Once the isopods reach a suitable size, you can feed them to your gecko. Make sure the isopods are appropriately sized and do not pose a choking hazard to your pet. You can add them to your gecko’s regular diet or occasionally offer them as a treat.
In conclusion, feeding isopods to your leopard geckos can offer several benefits. However, make sure you choose the right species and provide them with a nutritious diet and suitable breeding conditions. With proper care, isopods can add a healthy variation to your pet’s diet, making them strong, active, and happy.