If you’ve been a reptile keeper for a while then having a perfect diet for your pet is a no-brainer. Every reptile has a specific diet to follow. However, there is a term known as the staple feeder insects. These are insects that have a high nutrient profile and are suitable for any reptile’s diet.
But with so many variants of insects that evolution blessed the world with, how could you find the perfect one for your reptile? Don’t worry, we have some suggestions for you. Here is the list of all the possible feeder insects you can use for your exotic pet. Without delay, let’s begin.
Dubia roaches are the most popular food for reptiles. Besides, they are readily available. These roaches are easy to handle and do not stink. They have a high nutritional content that includes fats, protein, moisture, and calcium. They can be stored in a box as they aren’t hyper and are great food for giant reptiles.
Superworms are usually 1 to 2 inches long and are great for large reptiles. They have a high-fat and protein content and are good for pets needing some extra nutrients to reach their optimum weight.
Superworms are a great option for large reptiles, but you need to be careful while feeding your smaller reptiles as it can be harmful to them. https://www.topflightdubia.com/superworms features a large selection of protein and fat-rich feeder insects. Your pet may get a lot of hydration and nourishment from such Superworms.
Hornworms are great if you are looking to replenish and hydrate your reptiles with some quick water content. These worms are large and can replace multiple feeds with one. This is why they can be a bit heavy on the wallet. However, they are good at providing your malnourished reptile with a boost of nutrients.
Mealworms are reptile keepers’ best friends considering how easy they are to manage. You can buy them in bulk and store them in your fridge for a long time. They do not create any mess or have an odor. These worms are rich in vitamins and minerals but low in protein and calcium, so it is better not to treat these as a staple feed, instead can be used as a variant to be fed occasionally.
Waxworms are a great substitute for any worms you are wanting to add to your reptiles’ diet. However, they are high in fat. So, it is recommended not to include it in your reptile’s diet frequently as it may lead to obesity and eventually suffer from various diseases. They are, however, great as a snack and can help to bring back the energy of your underweight reptiles or to enjoy as an occasional treat. These are small insects so are ideal for small reptiles.
Silkworms play a great role in our clothing industry, but they also play an important role in your feeder insect’s diet. These insects are full of nutrients. They contain a lot of moisture, some fats, and a large amount of calcium and protein. They are travel-friendly and can be stored for 1 month or 2.
Crickets are the most common insects that are fed to reptiles. These can be found in abundant quantities in every pet store. However, they give off an awful odor and are messy insects to deal with. As they move quite a lot, they can be hard to travel with. Despite the uncertainties, crickets are an amazing feeder insect as they can train your reptile to hunt and prey and also act as a great source of nutrition.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae
If you’re looking for a power-packed feeder insect with less fuss, this is the one. This kind of larva contains a specific nutrient known as lauric acid which is essential to fight off viruses that can cause diseases. It has a high nutrition profile that includes proteins, calcium, and fats. These are small in size, so if you are looking to feed large reptiles, you would require a large quantity, which can sometimes lead to overfeeding.
Red Runner Roaches
Red runners (Blatta lateralis) are another type of cockroach that is a good feed for reptiles. They have a high amino acid profile, balanced nutrition, and their “skittery” movement makes them an excellent alternative to crickets. This can be a lifesaver if you simply can not take the way crickets stink or chirp, or if you’re seeking a minimal feeder that won’t expire rapidly.
Hawkmoths are the underdogs of the reptile feeding culture. They aren’t the popular choice but the nutritional benefits they provide are immeasurable. It can be a better substitute than crickets. These moths contain a lot of protein, fats, minerals, and fiber. However, they are not available easily, so it is difficult for reptiles to savor them.
Importance of Gut Loading
You can feed the most variety of insects to your reptiles and still find that your reptile is not getting enough nutrition as needed. The main reason for this is the lack of gut loading.
To put it in simple words, gut loading is the process of feeding your feeder insects first before the actual consumer. It is important because by feeding the feeder insects, the nutrients are directly transferred to the reptile.
Make sure that the food you are feeding your feeder insects is fresh and contains the required nutrients needed for your reptile. Do not forget to supply them with water.
Some insects already arrive with the required nutrients like super worms, but many insects like roaches and crickets may need additional supplements. If done properly, your reptile can grow healthily and have a longer lifespan.
Setting A Plan
You cannot risk your reptile being overfed or underfed. That is why it is important to find a balance. Along with that, it is important to know which type of insects to feed. You can’t always feed it Dubia roaches or crickets. Some insects contain specific nutrition which can’t be compensated by a different breed. First, get to know your pet.
It’s eating habits, weight, age, height, etc. Next, research the type of insects your reptile likes. Third, try to include a variety of feeder insects in their diet.
You can make a chart of these ideas. For example, one day, you can choose to give them 40 percent crickets, 30 percent roaches, and 30 percent worms. For the next day, switch things up and introduce new insects for different needs. Make sure to have both staple insects and insects that can be fed occasionally to diverse their palate. This way, you can ensure maximum benefits in your reptile’s lifestyle.
Here you have it, the ultimate list of feeder insects you can use. With several options to choose from, select the ones best suited to your reptile’s needs. Sometimes less is more. Talk to different retailers and go for prices that fit your budget.
Do not compromise the quality for money. To summarize, achieve the Goldilocks Principle. If you have any queries, drop them in the comments below. Thank you for reading!
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.