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Should Leopard Geckos Eat Superworm Pupae?

can leopard geckos eat superworm pupae?

It is often debated whether or not Superworm pupae can be fed to Leopard Geckos. While some are strongly against it, others are all for it.  

Leopard geckos can eat freshly converted superworm pupae that are light in color. Pupae that are dark in color should not be fed since their exoskeleton is too hard and could cause digestive problems in leopard geckos. In addition, as Superworm pupae are high in fat, they should only be fed once a week.

There are some things to consider when feeding your Leopard Gecko Sumperworm pupae. We get into all you need to know about feeding Superworm pupae to your Leo below!  

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Superworm Pupae?

Although Superworm pupae are not commonly fed to Leopard Geckos, they are a safe feeding option. Superworms take a long time to become a pupa, which is why they are not often used as a feeding option.

Some studies even say that the pupa can be a better food source than the worm for some animals in some cases.

When Are Superworm Pupae Okay to Feed to Leopard Geckos?

You should only feed your Leopard Gecko Superworm pupae that has recently converted. Freshly converted Superworm pupae is light in color and is soft and almost gooey.

As the Superworm pupa gets older, it will darken in color. With the darkening in color, the pupa will also form an exoskeleton and harden.

Dark-colored Superworm pupae should not be fed to your Leopard Gecko. They are too hard for your Leopard Gecko and could cause impaction.

This superworm pupae is still light in color and should be quite soft. Your leopard gecko can eat one of these and not the dark ones.

What is The Best Way to Feed A Leopard Gecko Superworm Pupae?

When the Superworm becomes a pupa, there are a few things that change in the way it should be fed to your Leopard Gecko.

How to Feed Superworm Pupae to Leopard Geckos

Superworm pupae will need to be fed to your Leopard Gecko either by hand or with tongs or tweezers. This is because the Superworm pupae do not wriggle around like the larvae.

To attract the attention of your Leo, it is best to use tongs or tweezers, or your hands to move the Superworm pupa around in front of him/her.

How Many Superworm Pupae Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?

Much like Superworms, Superworm pupae should only be fed as a treat. Your Leopard Gecko’s diet should not consist solely of the lifecycle of Superworms.

It is best to only feed your Leopard Gecko about two to three Superworm pupae at a time. At most, you can feed your Leo Superworm pupae once per week.

The table below shows the estimated nutritional value of three of the Superworm life stages:

Insect FormSuperwormSuperworm PupaeSuperworm Beetles
Protein20%+- 20%26%
Fat18%+- 18%5%
Moisture58%+- 28%62%
Ash1%+- 1%2%
Calcium177mg+- 177mg NA
Phosphor2370mg+- 2370mg NA

Should Superworm Pupae Be Gut-loaded and Dusted?

Superworm pupae are not as nutritious as Superworm. This is because Superworm pupae cannot be gut-loaded before feeding.

If by chance you gut-loaded your Superworms and the following day they had become pupae, they will still carry the additional nutrition from the gut-loading.

It is still possible to dust Superworm pupa and it is recommended that you do so. Although the Superworm pupae may not have been gut-loaded, you can at least ensure the intake of essential minerals, like calcium, by dusting them

You should also have a look at our article on the pros and cons of feeding leopard geckos superworms here!


Even though it is unlikely that the need will arise, it is still okay to feed your Leopard Gecko Superworm pupae.

They are best fed as treats, however, and should be dusted before feeding. Remember, only newly converted Superworm pupae should be fed to your Leopard Gecko.

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
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