If you keep leopard geckos for long enough, you will notice that these pets can eat a variety of different bugs. But can these reptiles eat spiders? Let’s find out.
Leopard geckos can eat most spiders. In fact, spiders can be good for them – they are packed with some vital nutrients. Just be careful not to feed your leopard gecko wild spiders – stick to store-bought ones instead.
Why should you feed your leopard gecko spiders?
There are several reasons to feed your leopard gecko spiders. These include:
- They contain some vital nutrients for leopard geckos
One thing you should know about spiders is that they have some nutrients that leopard geckos need to thrive.
Spiders are particularly packed with proteins – for every 100 grams of spiders, 63 grams are protein, and 10 grams are fat.
Ultimately, spiders are more protein-rich than most feeder insects fed to leopard geckos. They contain around ten times the amount of protein present in crickets – one of the most popular food choices for leopard geckos.
Furthermore, the type of proteins they contain is highly digestible. Generally, the rich protein content of spiders can be attributed to their protein-rich diet. This includes mosquitoes, moths, flies, cockroaches, ants, and even their own webs.
- They are readily available
Another interesting thing about spiders it’s that it’s easy to find and buy them from online and offline stores.
- They are active prey
Spiders are very active – they crawl and move around a lot. As such, hunting them will be engaging, fun, and exciting for your leopard gecko.
Related: Can leopard geckos eat earthworms?
What are the risks associated with feeding your leopard gecko spiders?
There are a couple of risks associated with feeding spiders to your leopard gecko. These are:
- Toxicity from chemical exposure
This is only a risk if you feed your leopard gecko wild spiders. Such spiders can contain pesticides and insecticides. They may get these by living in places with these chemicals or eating insects that were exposed to them. Keep in mind that these chemicals tend to contain harmful ingredients like hydrogen cyanide that can even damage your leopard gecko’s brain.
If you’ve already fed your leopard gecko a wild spider, all you can do is monitor them for signs of illness and call your vet for guidance.
- Extreme venom content
While the venom of most spiders doesn’t cause any harm to leopard geckos, some species like Black Widow and Redback are dangerous. These are extremely venomous and can negatively affect the nerve endings of your leopard gecko when ingested. What’s more? A single bite from these spiders can harm your leopard gecko.
Which spiders can your leopard gecko eat?
The best types of spiders to feed your leopard gecko are:
- Daddy long legs
- House spiders
- Wolf spiders
- Jumping spiders
These aren’t poisonous to your gecko. Just ensure that they are alive and store-bought and everything should be fine. Remember, your leopard gecko won’t be interested in eating dead spiders, and they may not even be as nutritious as live ones.
How to feed spiders to your leopard gecko
The main thing you need to keep in mind when you start feeding your leopard gecko spiders is that you should only do this once or twice a week. And when you do so, only offer a single spider.
Since these bugs have a high-fat content, offering them more often and in larger quantities can contribute to obesity. Ultimately, spiders are best served as an occasional treat.
Another thing you need to remember is that spiders tend to stand still when they’re faced with a predator. So to get your leopard gecko interested in them, you can poke the spiders to get them moving.
This doesn’t guarantee that your leopard gecko will hunt them. If your reptile has never eaten a spider before and notices that it doesn’t look like any familiar prey, it may refuse to eat it no matter what you do.
Related: Can leopard geckos eat grasshoppers?
How to store spiders that you plan to feed to your leopard gecko
Once you identify a legit vendor and get your first batch of spiders delivered, store them in plastic containers or jars.
Most spiders can survive in such containers for months as long as you feed them regularly.
Spiders don’t eat fruits and vegetables, making it difficult to gut load them. The best you can do is feed them insects that you’ve gut loaded.
For the most part, leopard geckos can eat spiders. Ensure that the bugs aren’t wild or extremely venomous. Ultimately, spiders are great treats for leopard geckos and worth trying to incorporate into your reptile’s diet. As long as you don’t overdo it, both you and your leopard gecko will be happy with the results.