Livefood for reptiles

Live foods are essential for reptiles to stay healthy and maintain proper weight. Among the different types of live food available, isopods are considered an excellent source of nutrition for reptiles.

 

Isopods are small, crustacean-like creatures that are commonly used as food for a variety of reptiles, including geckos, bearded dragons, and chameleons. These creatures consume a wide variety of organic material, including decomposing plant and animal matter. They are also known as pillbugs, sow bugs, or rolly pollys.

 

In this article, we will explore the different types of live foods that are commonly fed to reptiles, explain their positives and negatives, and provide an in-depth look at isopods and why they are considered a great source of nutrition for reptiles.

 

Types of Live Foods for Reptiles

 

  1. Crickets

 

Crickets are one of the most popular types of live food for reptiles. They are available in different sizes and are relatively easy to breed. Crickets are rich in protein, making them an ideal food source for insectivorous reptiles. They are also low in fat, which helps to maintain the reptile's weight. However, crickets are not as nutrient-dense as other types of live food and are high in chitin, which can be difficult for some reptiles to digest.

 

  1. Mealworms

 

Mealworms are another popular type of live food for reptiles, especially for species that prefer to eat insects that are slow-moving. Mealworms are high in protein and are a good source of fat. They are also relatively easy to breed and typically inexpensive compared to other types of live food. However, mealworms are not as nutritious as other types of live food and may cause impaction in some reptiles if not fed in moderation.

 

  1. Rosy Red Minnows

 

Rosy red minnows are freshwater fish often used as live food for predatory reptiles. They are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, making them an excellent source of nutrition. However, they also have a high fat content, which can be an issue for some reptiles with health conditions such as liver disease. Rosy red minnows require a specific environment and diet to maintain their nutritional value, which can be costly for the keeper.

 

  1. Waxworms

 

Waxworms are high in fat and are often used as a treat or supplement to a reptile's diet rather than a staple food. They are also easy to breed, making them a popular choice. However, waxworms are not as nutritionally rich as other types of live food and should be fed in moderation to prevent obesity in reptiles.

 

  1. Dubia Roaches

 

Dubia roaches are becoming increasingly popular as live food for reptiles. They are high in protein and are a good source of calcium, which is essential for reptiles' bone health. They also have a low fat content, making them ideal for maintaining a reptile's weight. Dubia roaches are relatively easy to breed and can be kept in large quantities for extended periods. However, they are more challenging to obtain and are more expensive than other types of live food.

 

Isopods as Live Foods for Reptiles

 

Isopods are a great source of nutrition for reptiles and offer significant benefits over other types of live food. There are several species of isopods available, but the most commonly kept species for feeding reptiles are Armadillidium vulgare, Porcellio scaber and Porcellionides pruinosus.

 

Armadillidium vulgare, also known as the common pillbug, is one of the most commonly used isopod species as live food for reptiles. They are easy to keep and breed, making them ideal for those who want to maintain a constant supply of live food. They are also rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

 

Porcellio scaber, commonly known as the rough woodlouse, is another popular species of isopod used as live food. They are easy to keep and breed and are high in protein and calcium. They are also known to be more efficient at consuming organic material than other types of isopods.

 

Porcellionides pruinosus, also known as powder blue isopods, are popular for their coated bluish tint, which makes them an interesting addition to a reptile's diet. They are also easy to keep and breed and are beneficial for keeping an enclosure clean by consuming organic material.

 

Positives of using Isopods as Live Foods

 

  1. Nutrient-Rich

 

Isopods are rich in protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients, making them an ideal source of nutrition for reptiles. They also have a low-fat content, which helps to maintain a reptile's weight.

 

  1. Easy to Breed

 

Isopods are relatively easy to keep and breed, making them an ideal source of live food for reptile keepers who want to maintain a constant supply of food.

 

  1. Low Cost and Long Lifespan

 

Isopods offer a relatively low cost due to their long life span, which can be up to two years. They can be kept in large quantities and are not as prone to dying as quickly as other types of live food.

 

  1. Beneficial to Enclosure

 

Isopods consume decomposing organic material, making them ideal for keeping a reptile's enclosure clean. This can be beneficial to the overall health and well-being of the reptile.

 

Negatives of using Isopods as Live Foods

 

  1. Size

 

Isopods are small creatures, making them unsuitable for larger reptiles that require larger prey items.

 

  1. Availability

 

Isopods may not be readily available in all areas or pet stores, and those that are may be more expensive than other types of live food.

 

  1. Digestibility

 

While isopods have a high nutritional content, some reptiles may have difficulty digesting them. It is essential to monitor the reptile's stool to ensure that the isopods are being digested correctly.

 

In conclusion, live food is essential for reptiles to maintain proper health and weight, and there are many different types available, with isopods being one of the most nutrient-dense and beneficial options. While there are many types of live food available, each has its positives and negatives, and it's essential to choose the right type of food that meets both the reptile's nutritional needs and the owner's budget and lifestyle. Isopods can be an affordable, nutrient-rich, and easy-to-breed source of live food for reptiles, making them an ideal choice for many reptile keepers. It's always best to consult with a veterinarian or reptile specialist to determine the best type of live food for your pet.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.