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The Worm Lady - Geckos Care  feeding a pet gecko

Exotic Pet / Vet Smart Fact Series - Leopard Geckos

 

Most lizards are predators which means they hunt for their foods and will generally eat anything they can catch.  Insects are the most abundant food source found in their natural habitat so their diets consist mainly of live bugs, some fruits and honey. 

UPDATE ( Friday July 25th, 2014 ) - Stella now weighs 20 grams ... she gained 2 grams in the last week.  She is very pretty too!

<<< Here is the newest addition to our family of lizards ... We got 'Stella', a seven week old Leopard Gecko weighing 16 grams, last Friday (July 11th 2014).  Stella was born May 26th 2014 weighing in at 4.5 grams. 

She loves Phoenix Worms, silkworms, waxworms, and mealworms  (fresh shed - much easier to digest).  

She is now eight weeks old and weighs 18 grams (Fri. July 18th 2014)

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsume madascariensis) climbing tree

Madagascar Giant Day Gecko (Phelsume madascariensis)

The Green Gecko (Day gecko) is a super good climber.

 ( Friday July 25th, 2014 ) - Stella checking out her vivarium

While some species of geckos give birth to live young, others lay eggs. Some gecko species can live up to 40 years. They love to climb and even roost with other creatures.

While wild geckos will eat most anything they can fit in their mouths, domesticated geckos kept as pets have some specific nutritional requirements you should have in mind in order to help insure they live a long, healthy and happy life.

Nocturnal species have excellent night vision as their eye is about 350 times more sensitive to light than the human eye. Unlike most lizards, geckos are usually nocturnal and are great climbers.  They are considered quite unique in that they use their vocalizations, chirping sounds, in social interactions with other geckos.

Geckos are lizards belonging to the infraorder Gekkota found in warm climates all over the world.  They are the most species-rich group of lizards with about 1,500 different species worldwide.  Most species of geckos are insectivorous (insect eaters).  Geckos range in size from a mere 1.6 cm up to 60 cm (2/3" to 24") in length and have a fixed lens within each iris that enlarges in darkness.  They cannot blink however which is why they often lick their eyes to keep them clean and moist.  The smallest gecko, Jaraqua spaero, is just 1.6 cm long and was discovered on a small island off the coast of the Dominican Republic in 2001.[1]  

A healthy gecko diet should consist of crickets, Phoenix Worms, Silkworms, Butterworms, Superworms, occasionally mealworms and finally Waxworms in moderation, as a treat, since waxworms are high in fat.

  1. [1] ^ Piper, Ross (2007). Extraordinary Animals: an Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 143. ISBN 0313339228. 

The most popular geckos in America are the Leopard Gecko and the Crested Gecko 

The LEOPARD GECKO 

Leoprd Gecko

PETS 101 - GECKOS 

7 Care Tips for Leopard Geckos 

Leopard Gecko Housing and Care

Leopard Geckos stay small (7-8 inches max.) so a 10 gallon tank is usually large enough for your gecko's entire life.

They do need a warm spot, and also a moist spot as well, so you should have an under-tank heating pad under one side of your tank (for no more than 20-25% of the tank size) and 2 hides (one moist and the other dry) - for the Dry Hide a cork log works really well - they seem to like the cork texture.

For the moist hide you can use a plastic container, cut an opening on one side for a door, use moss, or just plain paper towel, misted with tap water to retain the moisture inside this hide. The water will evaporate from the heat pad below and then condensate on the roof (underside) and provide available moisture drops all day long.

Leopard geckos are super clean lizards so they will always go to the toilet in the same corner of the tank, so having a small piece of paper towel in that spot makes clean-up really easy.  You can also use paper towel for the tank floor since it will never cause impaction, is easily removed and replaced for cleaning, and is inexpensive too!  Sand is not the best substrate since they can ingest some with their food. Indoor-Outdoor carpeting is OK! but harder to keep clean.

It's also a good thing to have a small water bowl in the tank. These lizards can live with no food at all for a week or more since they store nutrients and fat in their tail, but they do need water.  They are insectivores so they love crickets and worms, but do not eat greens. Being nocturnal they come out in the evening to forage and eat. That's normally when you'll put out the crickets and Phoenix Worms and some mealworms.  

The higher Calcium/lower Phosphorous ratio of the Phoenix Worm makes this insect the number one live feeder for Leopard Geckos, which do need the Calcium but not the Vitamin D3, since they are a nocturnal lizard and should not have D3 in their diets. NO Calcium dusting is ever required with Phoenix Worms, only with crickets and other live feeder worms, and Phoenix Worms require NO feeding or cleaning ever ... just keep them refrigerated (in the butter keeper part) and they will stay alive (dormant) for weeks with zero maintenance.

<< 5 Cool Facts About Leopard Geckos 

8 Cool Facts About Crested Geckos

How to Set Up and Care For CRESTED GECKOS 

by Paul-Dominic DiMarco

 Customer Testimonial

Leopard gecko feasting on hornworm

My Rescued Leopard gecko feasting on a Hornworm from 'The Worm Lady'

Photo by: Emily Loop

"This picture is of my 13th rescued leopard gecko!  He was giving me a hard time!  See his feet are orange!  He was kept on calci-sand that sadly was bedded for 3 sheds!  He wouldn't eat for nothing!  Annie suggested Horn Worms and well ... this is the result! 

Sadly the store I was buying worms off, who actually got their worm supply from Annie, was closing down and they gave me a card to get a hold of her. That was the best phone call I ever made!  

I run a Reptile Rescue here in Leamington, Ontario, out of my home,  I own 15 of my own leopard geckos, 2 bearded dragons, 1 crested gecko, and at anytime there is 5-10 rescues In my home!  You can imagine how hungry they must be! 

Annie's worms are the best I have ever got!  Pet stores can't compare!  She hand picks and counts every worm to make sure it's quality and quantity!  At any given time there are about 6000 insects in my home to properly feed my rescues!  And at 'The Worm Lady' the prices don't break the bank!  I have not once had a cricket die unless it's being chewed on by a beardie or leo!  Worms, all types, horns, silks, all are always amazing!  High quality!  Not only are her insects top quality but she is also amazing in educating you on what each and every single worm she has does and what it will do for your reptile!  

If you're not buying from Annie I suggest you start to order!  You won't regret it.  :)"

Sent from my iPhone - Friday Sept. 27th, 2013 -

Emily Loop, Leamington, Ontario (Reptiles Rescue) 

Chris Johnson, author of

Crested Gecko Secret Manual

Unless you live in a lush tropical forest, I doubt your vivarium will have the appropriate conditions to keep your Crested Gecko healthy and happy ..., which means you must 'create' an artificial environment that is similar to a crestie's natural habitat.

Do not make the same mistakes thousands of owners are making, endangering your beloved pet gecko ... be well informed, learn all you need to know to provide excellent husbandry to keep your beloved 'crestie' healthy and happy ...  

Get your personal copy of Chris' book HERE >>> 

Crested Gecko

What Do Geckos Eat? | Creating A Healthy Diet

Feeding your gecko with the right foods is important to maintain the health of your pet.  Like humans, geckos also need a good diet with lots a variety to stay healthy.  Before feeding your gecko you will need to know what foods these lizards like to eat.

Geckos are carnivorous and do like to eat crickets (preferably young and small in size), however, it is essential that you also introduce other live feeders in their regular diet.  One of the most important things you can do to insure that your pet gecko has a long and healthy life, whether it be a Leopard gecko, Green or Day gecko, Crested gecko or Tokay gecko, is to provide a good VARIETY of live insects and live feeder worms too!

In order to create a good, balanced diet similar to what your gecko would naturally eat in its natural environment, you'll need to include some of these live worms: 1- ReptiWorms, 2- Silkworms, 3- Hornworms, 4- Butterworms, 5- Superworms, 6- Waxworms, and 7- Mealworms, with his regular Crickets (dusted with calcium every second day).  Some geckos also like fresh fruit and honey.

His main staple diet of crickets supplemented with these six worms will greatly improve his hydration, minerals and vitamins intake, and give your gecko a much healthier, more balanced diet as a carnivore.

Always make sure that the crickets, superworms, silkworms and mealworms you feed your gecko have been given a proper diet themselves especially in the 24 hours prior to being fed to your gecko:  the bugs' health will have a direct impact on the health of your pet. Phoenix worms, butterworms and wax worms do not need to be fed but they should be lively and allowed to reach room temp (as these worms are kept at temperatures of 55 - 65 degrees F).  

Feed your juvenile geckos twice a day, changing the mix of live feeders with each meal for good variety, until 6-8 months of age, gradually reducing the feeding frequency until they are fully grown.  A growing young gecko will eat four to eight worms a day.  Mature geckos only need to eat three to four meals a week (about every other day or so).

To insure your juvenile gecko is getting enough to eat as he is growing, it is advisable to feed it in a separate 'feeding  tank', dedicated for meal-time only, separate from its regular living place.  By doing this, you'll be able to monitor what it eats.  You should only give your gecko the quantity of foods he will eat within 15-20 minutes, and NOT leave uneaten food in its cage: the moving feeders will stress out your gecko and disturb his proper sleeping patterns.  Feeders (insects and worms too) will eat feces, and when your gecko eats those feeder insects, he'll be ingesting parasites which will result in health issues with your gecko. Additionally, some of these feeders can bite and injure your gecko if left in the cage.  If you don't have space for a second tank just make sure you remove any uneaten foods from its cage immediately after your gecko has finished its meal. 

Make sure the crickets are small enough for your gecko to handle, no bigger than the space between the eyes, since bigger crickets have a hard shell (chitin - the stuff nails are made of) which is very difficult to digest and can result in impaction, which can sometimes kill your gecko.

The reason ReptiWorms, Silkworms, Hornworms, Butterworms and Waxworms are so valuable is that these five feeder worms are soft-bodied (they have NO chitin), have essential micro and macro nutrients and are loaded with moisture, minerals and vitamins.

Superworms do have some chitin but less than crickets do.  Mealworms have the most chitin so you should only feed the small ones and those that have just shed (pale in colour).  Waxworms are great to fatten up a sickly gecko since they are high in fat content. Then, after your gecko has recovered, they should be fed sparingly, as an occasional treat, like desert, in maintaining that variety essential for a good, balanced and healthy diet.

  Nutritional Values: Calcium/Phosphorous Ratio Comparison
 
   
Live Feeder Crickets ReptiWorm Silkworm Butterworm Waxworm Superworm Mealworm
Fat % 6.1 9.4 6.2 11.2 11.2 17.9 12.7
Protein % 21.3 17.3 29.6 14.8 14.8 17.4 20.3
Calcium (ppm) 345 7917 665 1197 134 124 133
Phosphorous (ppm) 4328 5355 798 1729 1197 2320 3345
Cal/Ph Ratio 0:08 1:43 0:83 0:69 0:11 0:53 0:08
The chart reveals that Phoenix Worms and Silkworms are by far  the two best live feeders  for geckos  available today

ReptiWorms are also a natural weapon against coccidia.  In addition to having a perfect balance of calcium and phosphorus, Phoenix Worms provide high levels of natural lauric acid.  Lauric acid is known for its excellent antimicrobial properties including potent activity against lipid coated viruses, clostridium and pathogenic protozoa including coccidia.  Lauric acid is a medium chain saturated fatty acid found in Phoenix Worms as well as some vegetable oils and in dairy products.  53% of the fat in Phoenix Worms is beneficial lauric acid, a proven antimicrobial especially effective against coccidiosis.

Testimonial accounts of improved health when ReptiWorms are fed - There are instances of cured metabolic bone disease (MBD) where animals have regained the ability to walk and eat on their own.  A breeder of shama birds has reported that a broken beak completely regrew in less than three weeks, something never seen before.  A dart frog breeder now has tadpoles from two species that she had never been able to breed before. She credits Phoenix Worms with this success. 

The Worm Lady is Agriculture Canada approved to import 'genuine original' ReptiWorms directly from the producer, Animal Specialties, in California.  This is your assurance that you'll get the freshest ReptiWorms, delivered direct to your doorstep, when you buy your ReptiWorms online from The Worm Lady

See more Phoenix Worm Testimonials >>  ReptiWorms Testimonial Page  


Silkworms  are a high source of Calcium, Protein, Iron, Magnesium, Sodium, and Vitamins B1, B2,

and B3. 

Anole expert, A. Lanolis says, "...they're naturally the healthiest insect you can get."   Silkworms also contain an enzyme called serrapeptase which has many beneficial properties:  it is an excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, it aids calcium absorption, and it also fights arterial plaque!!

The natural Chelation-Anti-Inflammatory Serrapeptase has had wide clinical use - spanning over twenty-five years throughout Europe and Asia - as a viable alternative to salicylates, ibuprofen and the more potent NSAIDs. Unlike these drugs, Serrapeptase is a naturally occurring, physiological agent with no inhibitory effects on prostaglandins and is devoid of gastrointestinal side effects

The Miracle Enzyme is Serrapeptase: The 2nd Gift from Silkworms by Robert Redfern (27 Oct 2009)

See Serrapeptase Testimonials >> Serrapeptase  

Secrets of caring for your Tokay Gecko

The Pet Owner's Guide

87.9% of Tokay Gecko owners make this CRITICAL mistake ... 


'How to save your Tokay Gecko from an early death, and

 Guarantee they'll live a long, happy, and pain-free life'


Experienced gecko owner, Elizabeth Tan, reveals the

 secrets of raising Tokays from birth ...    

Get Your Own Copy Of Elizabeth's Book Here >>>

Westland_green_gecko

 Westland Green Gecko

 Geckos have baggy, velvety skin and broad heads. They eat insects, fruit and nectar. They usually give (live) birth to two baby geckos in late summer / early autumn.

 Shedding or Moulting

All geckos shed their skin at fairly regular intervals, ranging from two to four weeks, and the presence of moisture aids the shedding process.  The gecko will speed up the shedding process by detaching loose skin from its body and eat it.

 Tips and Warnings

  • Some reptiles can carry salmonella. The best way to keep from contracting these dangerous germs is washing with antibacterial soap after handling any reptile. Phoenix Worms and Silkworms are great live feeder worms to feed your gecko in combating salmonella and parasites.

  • Clean the gecko housing often to maintain a healthy environment for both your pets and you the pet owner.

Geckos are definitely the champion climbers of the vertebrates, running on walls and ceilings with seemingly total ease.  

They have a remarkably well engineered system which enables them to adhere to smooth, slippery surfaces: their toes are covered with 'setae' - tiny projections much thinner than human hairs - and each 'seta' is also tipped with several hundred finer, microscopic sized projections called 'spatulae' that stick to walls by 'van der Waals forces': the electrostatic attraction or repulsion between materials caused by the uneven distribution of charge on their molecules (the same interactions responsible for pages in your newspaper sticking together).  

These are the forces allowing your gecko to so easily cling to almost any surface without secreting a sticky substance.  Geckos can switch their grip on-and-off by simply rolling the toes, down and inwards to attach, or upwards and backwards to detach by peeling off the 'spatulae'.  They can do this about 15 times a second which allows them to move quite quickly, even on smooth ceilings and vertical glass panes..

Day gecko on smooth wall surface

Day gecko on smooth wall surface.  A surface's steepness rather than its slipperiness seems to activate the animal's fierce grip. Photograph: Peter Weber/Getty Images

250px_gecko_foot_on_glass

Gecko foot on vertical glass surface 

Every square milimeter of a gecko's foot pad contains about 14,000 hair like 'setae' and each 'seta' is in turn tipped with between 100 and 1000 'spatulae'.

Recent studies have revealed that apart from the 'setae', phospholipids - fatty substances produced naturally in their body - also come into play as these lipids lubricate the 'setae' and allow the gecko to detach its foot before taking the next step.  About 60% of gecko species have adhesive toe pads.

Here are some of the most popular geckos being kept as pets:

The Leopard GeckoEublephris macularus, is the most popular gecko kept as a pet; it does not have adhesive toe pads and cannot climb the glass of a vivarium.

The Crested GeckoRhacodactylus ciliatus, believed extinct until it was rediscovered in 1994, is gaining popularity as a pet.

The Green Gecko, commonly referred to as Day Gecko since it is a diurnal lizard, is native to New Zealand

The Tokay Gecko, one of the best climbers, is from Eastern Asia

The Stumped-toed Gecko, Peropus mutilatus, is able to vary its colour from very light to very dark to camouflage itself and is at home in the wild and in residential areas as well.

Geckos have various colours and patterns and are among the most colourful lizards found in the world.  Some species can actually change colour and become lighter at night. Some are parthenogenic, which means that the female can reproduce without copulating with a male gecko, which improves the gecko's ability to spread to other areas. However, where a single female populates an entire island, for example, there will be a lack of genetic variations in the geckos inhabiting that particular island. The female gecko's mating call sounds a little like a shortened chirping of a bird which attracts nearby males.   

Gold dust day gecko walking down a branch >>> 

gold_dust_day_gecko

Also, why not Get a KD Cloth Sampler * for ONLY 50 cents! with Your Worm Order.

GO SEE the Incredible * KD CLOTH Sampler  (4" x 7") 


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