Is it true that mourning geckos prefer a fruit-based diet? Some people think the mourning gecko diet is complicated as there should be a balance between plant-based and protein-rich food. The truth is, it is as easy as feeding a crested gecko, one should only need to schedule and portion feeders properly.
Mourning geckos are omnivorous so they can benefit from eating fruit mixes, nectar-based food, and mashed fruit. At the same time, feeders such as pinhead crickets, dubia roach nymphs, black soldier fly larvae, etc. can also be fed to them.
It is crucial to keep in mind the size of your mourning cricket as it is dangerous to give them feeders that are bigger than them. Set your worries aside, and keep on reading to know which feeders and supplements you should give them. We also provide a feeding schedule below!
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What Should I Feed My Mourning Gecko?
In the wild, mourning geckos usually go for plant-based foods like ripe fruit and even nectar. The reason is that they do not need to hunt for prey. As mourning geckos are small (they can even fit inside a flower) it is difficult to find smaller prey.
However, in captivity, we can use fruit mixes and other supplements for their plant-based food as opposed to giving them actual fruit.
This is because leaving fruit inside the enclosure promotes the growth of mold and even mites which are harmful to your mourning gecko.
List of plant-based food:
- Mashed fruit like bananas, mangoes, papaya, blueberries, watermelon, etc. (for supervised feeding only)
- Powdered fruit mix (you can use this Crested Gecko Mix)
- Nectar-based commercial food (some popular brands are from Crocdoc and Komodo)
List of protein-based food:
- Flightless fruit flies
- Bean beetles
- Rice flour beetles
- Black soldier fly (small)
- Pinhead crickets
- Calci worms (small)
- Dubia roach nymphs (newborn)
- Red runner roach nymphs (newborn)
- Discoid roach nymphs (newborn)
- Snail hatchlings
Keep in mind that feeder insects should be gut loaded for 24 hours before feeding them to your mourning geckos. The rule of thumb for picking a size for the feeder insects is that it should be half the size of your mourning gecko.
Supplement powders can also be added to mourning gecko food. Calcium is also vital to their health as they constantly produce eggs.
Tip: If you want to learn more about the breeding and egg care of mourning geckos, this article is perfect for that.
Here are some suggestions for Calcium powders:
- Repashy SuperCal NoD
- Arcadia Earthpro-Ca (does not contain Vitamin D)
- Jurassic Natural Calcium (contains Vitamin D3)
Note: If you choose to use Calcium powders that contain Vitamin D and Vitamin D3, alternate the dusting of both powders every week. If your enclosure has UVB lights, opt for a Calcium powder that does not contain Vitamin D. Otherwise, use a Calcium powder with Vitamin D.
Mourning Gecko Feeding Schedule
Mourning gecko feeding is actually very simple. A lot of owners call their diet CGD, which stands for Crested Gecko Diet. This refers to a fruit-based powder mix with water added to it.
Along with CGD, the mourning gecko diet is supplemented by insects and calcium powder.
Ideally, they have two days for plant-based food, three days for insect feeders, and two days where they do not have food. The feeding schedule looks something like this:
|Monday||Fruit-based food (mashed fruit/fruit mix/nectar mix)|
|Tuesday||Fruit-based food (mashed fruit/fruit mix/nectar mix)|
|Thursday||Feeder insects + Calcium powder|
|Friday||Feeder insects + Calcium powder|
|Saturday||Feeder insects + Calcium powder|
You can take a look at this article to see how the feeding schedule fits into the general care of your mourning gecko.
On the other hand, it is highly possible that you cannot keep up with the daily feeding schedule of your mourning gecko especially when you are too busy to do so. Here is a quick solution for that:
- Offer fruit-based food every 48 hours
- Feeder insects dusted with a Calcium powder (once to twice a week)
Here is a study that discussed the rapid “invasion” of the mourning gecko in different parts of the world.
You will see in the discussion that their simple diet of fruit, nectar, and small insects paved the way for their successful expansion, and they even acted as “pollinators” of the cocos palm plant and banana trees.
Are There Differences In Feeding Adult And Juvenile Mourning Geckos?
There are not a lot of differences in feeding adult and juvenile mourning geckos. As far as CGD is concerned, you can offer the same amount that corresponds to the feeding schedule.
Keep in mind that even juvenile mourning geckos also need protein and calcium to have a balanced diet. Therefore, you cannot simply offer them CGD every day. They should also be given feeder insects at least three times a week.
The only difference is the size of the feeder insects. For juvenile mourning geckos, the gut-loaded insect should be smaller (1/8 of its size), and of course, dusted with Calcium powder. Flightless fruit flies will be perfect for this.
When you have adults mourning geckos, you can start offering feeder insects that are half their size, like newborn dubia roach nymphs.
Never feed your mourning geckos feeder insects that are the same size or even bigger than them. The feeder insect itself may cause harm to your gecko.
Further, it is not a good idea to give them pre-killed insects that are still larger than them as more often than not, they will not even attempt to eat them.
Moreover, there are instances when owners thought that the feeder insects are already immobilized when in reality, they can still move and attack your mourning gecko.
The mourning gecko diet is very straightforward. It consists of a fruit-based diet paired with dusted feeder insects that are on the smaller side.
The most important aspect that you should focus on when feeding them feeder insects is the size. For juvenile mourning geckos, the insects should be 1/8 of their size. When they are already adults, you can start offering feeders that are half their size.
As for the feeding schedule, you can give them two days of CGD, three days of feeder insects, and two days without feeding.