Also known as Darkling Beetles or Zophobas morio, Superworm Beetles are the pupated form of a Superworm. These beetles are a better option than Superworms, but not all Leopard Geckos will have a hankering for them.
Even though some leopard geckos don’t like the taste of superworm beetles, these beetles are still safe for leopard geckos to eat. Since they are low in fat (5%) and high in protein (26%), they make an even better feeder insect than superworms.
From a breakdown of their nutritional profile to dusting and gut-loading, read below to find out what you need to know about feeding your Leopard Gecko Superworm Beetles!
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Superworm Beetles Are Safe for Leopard Geckos
Like their larvae form, Superworm Beetles can be fed to your Leopard Gecko. They are a safe insect to feed to your Leo as long as they are smaller than your Leopard Gecko’s head.
Although Superworm Beetles have a defense mechanism where they emit a foul-smelling pheromone, Leopard Geckos are not thought to mind it and munch on anyway.
Superworm Beetles Have a Good Nutritional Profile
Superworm Beetles, much like Mealworm Beetles, have a decent nutritional profile compared to their larvae form.
Superworm Beetles Are More Nutritious Than Superworms
Once the Superworms have pupated, the concerns of them having a worrying amount of fat are greatly reduced.
Superworm Beetles are also higher in protein as well as ash. With a higher level of ash, this means that Superworm Beetles are a slightly richer source of essential minerals.
Pupation changes the nutritional value of the insect. Take a look at the comparison of the nutritional breakdown of Superworms and Superworm Beetles.
Superworms are good as a treat, but Superworm Beetles have better nutritional value. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of feeding a leopard gecko superworms, read our article on that here!
Do Leopard Geckos Like The Taste Of Superworm Beetles?
Just like humans, Leopard Geckos have taste preferences too. So, whether or not Leopard Geckos like Superworm Beetles and will eat them depends entirely on the individual Leo.
In the face of danger, Superworm Beetles emit a foul-smelling pheromone that is meant to deter predators. Some Leopard Geckos, if not most, do not mind this smell and will eat the Superworm Beetle anyway.
Feeding Superworm Beetles Can Be an Enriching Activity for Your Leopard Gecko
Due to their crunchy texture, Superworm Beetles act as a sensory enrichment for Leopard Geckos. This crunchy texture is also great as it could help to clean your Leopard Geckos teeth and gums.
Additionally, Superworm Beetles act as a sensory activity for your Leopard Gecko. Feeding Superworm Beetles gives your Leo something to hunt and chase.
Instead of being an easy-to-grab meal in a bowl, feeding Superworm Beetles encourages your Leopard Gecko to exercise and problem-solve.
How To Safely Feed Your Leopard Gecko Superworm Beetles
Superworm Beetles are not thought to pose any threat to Leopard Geckos, provided they are fed correctly. Make sure the Superworm Beetle you offer your Leo is smaller than the space between your Leopard Gecko’s eyes.
Remove Uneaten Superworm Beetles from Your Leopard Geckos Tank
Even though Superworm Beetles are safe to feed your Leopard Gecko, it is best to not leave uneaten beetles in your Leo’s tank overnight. Even though they may do a pretty helpful job of spot cleaning your Leo’s tank for you.
Leaving uneaten Superworm Beetles that your Leopard Gecko is not interested in their tank may distress him/her. Not only that, but these beetles also have pincers which the Superworm Beetle may use against your Leopard Gecko.
The same goes for superworms. We explain how they can hurt leopard geckos here.
Don’t Feed Your Leopard Gecko Dead Superworm Beetles
While some Leopard Geckos may be attracted to and go for dead Superworm Beetles, it is better to feed them live insects. Live Superworm Beetles offer more enrichment for your Leopard Gecko as they will be able to hunt for them.
Also, Leopard Geckos are attracted to movement, so some Leos may not have any interest in prey that is not moving.
Dusting and Gut-loading Superworm Beetles Is a Must
Even though Superworm Beetles are a healthier insect option to feed to your Leopard Gecko, dusting and gut-loading the live feeders is always a good idea.
Dusting the Superworm Beetles with essential minerals, such as calcium, before you feed them to your Leopard Gecko is a fool-proof way of getting your Leo to take in the essentials that they need.
It is also recommended that your gut-load the Superworm Beetles for your Leopard Gecko in order to increase their nutritional value of them. Gut-loading the Superworm Beetles should be done 24 hours before you feed the beetles to your Leo.
How Many Superworm Beetles Can Leopard Geckos Eat?
Although Superworm Beetles are a healthier option than their larvae form, they should not be overfed. It is also recommended that you feed your Leo a varied diet of other insects too.
It would be a good idea to keep the feeding of Superworm Beetles to two to three beetles once or twice per week. Change up your Leopard Geckos diet to include crickets and mealworms too!
Superworm Beetles are safe to feed to your Leopard Gecko. They can become an even healthier and nutritional option if you gut-load and dust them before feeding them to your Leo.
Remember to check the size of the Superworm Beetle before you feed it to your Leopard Gecko and do not leave uneaten beetles in your Leo’s tank overnight.