what do lizards eat

Knowing what to feed pet lizards is key for their health. This guide shows the various foods different lizards need. For example, green iguanas eat mainly dark greens and vegetables, while bearded dragons eat a mix of plants and insects. All lizards need fresh water to live well. They also need extra nutrients, like calcium and vitamins. This is especially true for lizards that eat lots of insects. Bearded dragons and water dragons, for example, must have extra calcium to avoid health problems.

Crested geckos, leopard geckos, and chameleons have their own special food needs. Crested geckos like a specific commercial diet along with insects and fruit. Leopard geckos eat many types of insects. Chameleons mostly eat insects but need advice from a vet on their diet. It’s important not to feed lizards insects like fireflies that are harmful. And, setting the right temperature, like 35–39°C for bearded dragons, is crucial for digestion. By feeding your lizard the proper diet, you’re helping them live a long, healthy life.

What Do Lizards Eat?

Lizards have different diets, which depend on where they live and how they’ve evolved. Currently, there are over 6,000 known lizard species, each with its own unique diet. Some lizards eat only meat, while others mainly eat plants or a mix of both. It’s important to know these basics for taking care of a pet lizard.

Lizards as Carnivores, Herbivores, and Omnivores

Lizards fall into three main groups based on what they eat: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Carnivores, like monitor lizards, eat other animals and use different hunting techniques, including waiting to ambush prey or actively seeking it out. Herbivores, such as some Iguania, eat plants and fruits. Bearded dragons are examples of omnivores, eating both plants and some small animals. The number of times lizards eat depends on their daily activity, their age, and what they eat.

The Importance of Fresh Water and Supplements

All lizards need fresh water to drink for staying hydrated. Having water available also affects how often they look for food. A constant fresh water supply boosts digestion and keeps lizards healthy. Adding mineral and vitamin supplements to their diets is key to avoid health problems. These supplements help prevent growth problems and keep their immune systems strong.

Feed lizards with nutritious food three to seven times weekly, depending on the species and age. It’s crucial to give them the right supplements too. A mix of foods and appropriate supplements can enhance a lizard’s life and health.

Lizard Diets by Species

Each lizard species has unique dietary needs. We must feed them according to their natural diet and what they need to stay healthy. We will look at the diets of common lizard pets like bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and chameleons.

lizard species diet

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Bearded dragons eat both veggies and insects. They need a mix every day for good health. They like greens, squash, carrots, and more in their veggie diet. Fruits like bananas and apples are good for them too. Insects such as mealworms, crickets, and Dubia roaches are their favorites. Young dragons eat more insects, while the grown-ups eat more veggies.

What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?

Leopard geckos only eat meat like mealworms and crickets. It’s important that these insects are fed well and have the right vitamins and minerals. Feeding them too much can make them overweight. This affects their tail and their health.

What Do Chameleons Eat?

Chameleons mostly eat bugs. Their favorites are fruit flies and various worms. Some, like veiled chameleons, also eat certain veggies. Their feeding schedule depends on age and health, ranging from daily to every other day. It’s important to sprinkle their insect meals with vitamins and minerals.

Other Popular Lizards and Their Diets

Lots of lizard types need special diets for their health. For instance, Iguania mainly eats plants but may snack on certain animals. Gekkota lizards enjoy eating other small creatures like tiny reptiles and insects. Carnivorous lizards including Skinks eat bugs, beetles, and flies for their main meals. Anguimorpha lizards eat a wider variety, from worms to small birds, ensuring their diet fits their natural habitat is crucial for their well-being.

Lizards come in many types, each with its own favorite foods. Herbivorous lizards, which eat only plants, are rare, with about 50 species fitting this description. Most lizards like a mix of plants and animals, making them omnivores. Baby lizards usually start by eating just insects, but as they grow, they add more foods to their menu.

lizard food options

Knowing how do lizards hunt helps in feeding them right. They depend on warmth outside to digest food. So, their home should give them places with right temperatures. This is vital for their hunting skills and staying healthy. When picking lizard food options, think about their nutritional needs carefully. Good choices include lettuces like romaine, green leaf, and dandelion greens.

But, stay away from iceberg lettuce as it’s not very nutritious. Limit foods like strawberries, blueberries, and grapes. And don’t forget high-protein foods for the lizards that eat meat; these help them grow strong and stay healthy. To sum it up, choosing the right foods for lizards means knowing what each type likes to eat. It also means understanding how they find and eat their food to keep them healthy.

Feeding Requirements for Young Lizards

It’s crucial to know what young lizards need to eat for them to grow well. Hatchlings or baby lizards need to eat more often than adult lizards. For example, baby bearded dragons should eat daily. But their adult versions eat only every two to three days. Young lizards like to eat small live creatures like crickets and worms. This is similar to what they would find in the wild. Such a diet helps them grow fast and keeps their bones and muscles strong.

They have special dietary needs, so food must be the right size. This prevents choking and helps them eat just like they would in nature. For diets with insects, putting calcium on the bugs before feeding is a good idea. Or you can feed the insects special food mixed with calcium for a few days. This prevents them from lacking calcium, which is important for their health. It’s also a good idea to add fresh fruits and veggies to their diet as they get older. This keeps them healthy.

Keep an eye on how the lizards are growing and adjust their food. Crickets and worms are great for protein, and they love fresh fruits and veggies too. adding these natural foods to their diet a few times a week is important. Their vitamin and mineral requirements are met by it. Watching what they like to eat and offering the right mix of foods helps their diet. This way, their caregivers can take good care of their juvenile lizards’ needs.


In conclusion, understanding the diverse dietary needs of lizards is crucial for their health and longevity. Whether you’re caring for a carnivorous monitor lizard, a herbivorous iguana, or an omnivorous bearded dragon, each species requires specific foods and supplements to thrive. By providing a balanced diet tailored to their natural preferences and ensuring they have access to fresh water and necessary supplements, you can help maintain your lizard’s health and vitality.

Remember to consult with a veterinarian for tailored advice, particularly for unique species or specific health concerns. With the right knowledge and care, you can enjoy the rewarding experience of watching your lizard thrive in a well-managed habitat.

FAQ – What Do Lizards Eat?

FAQ on Lizards

1. What Do Baby Lizards Eat?

Baby lizards love small insects. This includes crickets, mealworms, and fruit flies. They eat these for their high-protein and easy digestion. It helps them grow fast.

2. How Long Do Lizards Live?

Lizards live different lengths, depending on the type. Bearded dragons can live 10-15 years. Leopard geckos might go up to 20 years with good care. So, some lizards live a few years, while others can live several decades.

3. What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

Bearded dragons enjoy both plant and animal food. They eat vegetables, fruits, and bugs like crickets and mealworms. A mix of these gives them good nutrition.

4. Do Lizards Have Teeth?

Yes, lizards have teeth. The teeth look different based on what the lizard eats. Those that eat meat have sharp teeth. Lizards that eat plants have teeth for chewing plants.

5. How Long Do Blue Belly Lizards Live?

Blue belly lizards sometimes called Western fence lizards, live 5-7 years in the wild. With good care in captivity, they might live a little longer, up to 10 years.

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