Can Leopard Geckos Eat Calci Worms?

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The countless available worm options make it challenging for Gecko owners to know which to choose. Calci worms are available online and in pet stores, but are they safe or healthy for Leopard Geckos to consume? Find all you need to know about Calci worms, including their nutritional benefits and feeding and storage guidelines.  

Calcic worms are a safe, easily digestible, and highly nutritious choice for Leopard Geckos. Fed as a supplement to a balanced diet, geckos typically enjoy these worms. What’s more, Calci worms are easy to look after and store and are suitable for both juvenile and adult geckos. 

Leopard gecko eating a calci worm from the hand

Can Leopard Geckos eat Calci worms?

Not only are Calci worms safe for Leopard Geckos to eat, but if you spoil them by feeding them too many, they may refuse to eat anything else. 

Calci worms are safe to consume as they do not carry any diseases. Additionally, they cannot harm geckos as they cannot bite or sting. The worms can also be fed to juvenile and adult geckos as various worm sizes are available. 

You may also be pleased to find out that they do not smell or make any sounds. 

What are Calci worms?

Before delving into the dos and don’ts of storing, feeding, and sourcing Calci worms, it would make sense to know what you are feeding your Leopard Gecko. 

Calci worms go by various names: NutriGrubs, Phoenix Worms, and Black Soldier Fly Grubs. They are larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, of the family Stratiomidae. 

An adult female black soldier fly lays up to 600 eggs at a time which hatch approximately four days later. These larvae usually start at 1.0 mm (0.04 inches) and can reach a length of 25mm (1 inch) nearing the end of the larval stage. 

Several feeding guidelines

Calci worms are safe for Leopard Geckos to eat, but if you spoil them by feeding them too many, they may decide to refuse any other insects or worm options. 

Leopard Geckos should be offered three to five larvae only, two to three times a week. Several experts suggest feeding approximately two larvae for every inch (1 centimeter) of Leo’s length or the amount they can consume in 15 minutes.  

It is helpful to know that Calci worms can be placed into a feeding bowl without the risk of them jumping out. They are energetic, and their wiggling appeals to even the fussiest geckos. It is also good to always have a shallow dish of fresh water available

The Calci worms need to be removed from the substrate before being fed to your Leopard Gecko. There is no need to gut load or dust these worms as their exoskeletons are rich in calcium, and they contain 20 to 40 percent more calcium than other insects such as mealworms.  

If your Calci worms need to wake up, move them to a low light area but be careful not to expose them to too much heat as this could kill them. Don’t be concerned if your worms are brown; this means they are nearing the end of their larval life and are, in fact, higher in nutritional value. 

Some owners keep the larvae until they turn into flies, as some geckos enjoy chasing them before feeding on them. This will also help in reducing wastage. 

If you notice Leo eating the worms too fast or not digesting them effectively, you can poke the larvae with a sterile needle or pin before offering them to your geckos. This will aid them when chewing the exoskeleton. 

Calci worm nutritional guidelines 

Too much phosphorus in your Leopard Geckos diet can reduce their ability to absorb calcium effectively and can lead to calcium deficiency and associated health problems. 

Calci worms are naturally rich in calcium and have a perfect 2 ½ to 1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Nonetheless, do not rely solely on Calci worms for your gecko’s calcium intake. Calcium absorption may be lessened due to the geckos’ inability to effectively chew the hard, calcium-rich exoskeleton. 

Calci worms are a premium feeder choice with lower fat content than your mealworm or cricket options. They are similar in texture to a waxworm, and although marginally more expensive and harder to source, they do not need to be gut loaded or dusted. 

These worms should form part of a varied nutritional diet and should not be their only food source. Other gut-loaded and dusted insects and worms should form the main part of your Leopard Gecko’s diet. 

The high calcium content of Calci worms helps prevent and treat geckos with Metabolic Bone Disease. They are also an excellent source of nutrition for breeding or gravid females. Additionally, the worms contain solid antimicrobial properties that are effective against diseases such as coccidiosis. 

Furthermore, Calci worms contain healthy fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6 and Lauric acid. Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid with various health benefits, including antibacterial and antiviral properties. 

Where to source Calci worms?

Calci Worms are available in most online and local pet stores as they are commonly eaten by lizards, turtles, dogs, fish, poultry, and dogs, to name a few. 

These worms can be purchased in cups or bulk quantities and are best purchased when alive and healthy. They are available in large, medium, and small sizes and are usually shipped purged to avoid contaminating the substrate with feces.

Storing Calci worms

Calci worms are simple to look after as they do not need to be fed. If kept in the right conditions, they can last up to five weeks before turning into flies.  

They are best kept at room temperature and can be kept for three weeks. You can increase the shelf life of your Calci worms by storing them in a cool area of approximately 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15.5 degrees Celsius). A wine cooler is also a reasonable storage option. 

Do not let storage temperatures drop below 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) to avoid inducing hibernation, and anything below 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) will be lethal. Remember never to feed a dead Calci to your Leopard Gecko to avoid harming their health. 

Bear in mind that smaller Calci will have a shorter shelf life than larger worms and will need to be consumed quicker. 

Final thoughts

Calci Worms are a calcium and protein-rich supplement for Leopard Geckos. Safe, nutritional, disease-free, and simple to store. These worms’ health benefits and uncomplicated nature make them an easy choice for gecko owners wanting to boost their Leopard Geckos’ health and well-being. 

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