What Foods Do Reptiles Eat?
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Do reptiles eat vegetables?
From turtles to snakes, reptiles are surprisingly cute and fun to care for. Making sure your scaly friend has the right food to eat is just as important as keeping an eye on your own diet.
There are an estimated 9,500 different species of reptiles on the face of the planet, from the meat-eating crocodile to the lettuce-loving tortoise. There is no one size fits all reptile diet.
That means it is important to do your research on your pet. Take time to read about the wild diet of reptile species and then find the right combination of fresh food, granules and supplements to keep you healthy for a long life.
Different diets for different pet reptiles
Each species of reptile has a slightly different diet. Let's take a look at some of the foods that each reptile group generally eats.
What do snakes eat?
Most snakes are carnivorous or insectivorous. They need to eat meat and, for the most part, they do not eat fruits or vegetables. Most snakes eat some combination of:
- Insects of all shapes and sizes.
- Other reptiles
- Larger mammals
- Eggs, although this is not very common.
You will probably feed your pet snakes rodents as they are by far the easiest way to feed a captive reptile. These can be fed at different ages and can be frozen, freshly slaughtered, or alive.
Some snakes don't eat food unless they are moving, which means they're really are no options for avoiding rodents if you have a carnivorous reptile. If you're squeamish about feeding frozen or live mice to your new pet, consider avoiding carnivorous snakes!
Feeding your carnivorous snake can quickly get expensive if you can't raise your own rodents.
Examples of meat-eating pet snakes include ball pythons and corn snakes.
What do lizards eat?
Lizards are a diverse group. Most of the smaller lizards are mostly insectivores. However, other species of lizards can be herbivorous (vegetarian) or omnivorous (both meat and vegetables).
Some large lizards are true predators, eating larger mammals easily, but they are not common as pets.
Insectivorous lizards are probably a better option if you are comfortable killing crickets but not rats.
In the wild, lizards can eat:
- A wide variety of worms, spiders, beetles, flies, and other insects.
- Other small animals such as baby birds, baby mice, or smaller lizards
- Fruits and vegetables
- Larger prey, depending on the size of the lizard.
The specific diet varies greatly depending on the species of lizard.
Most people feed their lizard crickets, mealworms, or waxworms.
Crickets are usually fairly easy to find at your local pet supply store, making feeding these reptiles easy. That said, if you only feed crickets, your insectivore can develop deficiencies in some nutrients. You may want to explore supplement options.
Examples of insectivorous lizards as pets include anoles, leopard geckos, and long-tailed skinks. Iguanas, another common pet lizard, are mostly vegetarian.
Bearded dragons and blue-tongued skinks are omnivores.
What do turtles and tortoises eat?
Pacifists of the reptile world, most turtles and tortoises do not eat meat or insects. These slow-moving animals prefer to eat things that they cannot escape, such as:
- Lettuce, beet greens, and other leafy greens
- A variety of fruits, including apples, melons, and mangoes.
- A wide variety of other vegetables.
- Some aquatic turtles eat fish or insects.
Herbivorous tortoises and tortoises can be attractive if you don't like the idea of other animals dying from feeding your pet.
Turtles and tortoises often have complex nutritional needs because they evolved to eat such a variety! Many omnivorous reptiles do best with a supplement or pellets to augment their fresh meals.
Common examples of pet tortoises are the herbivorous Russian tortoise and the omnivorous red-eared slider.
Does my reptile need supplements?
Most reptiles as pets eat much less varied food than in the wild. For example, we often only feed crickets to our anoles and mice to our corn snakes.
Even what mice eat when they are alive is quite tasteless, which can reduce their nutritional quality. If the mice eat nothing but plain old pellets, they are less nutritious for your snake.
Nutritional deficiencies can lead to weak bones, vulnerability to disease, and generally a shorter life for your pet. Pellets are a great way to boost your reptile's diet, especially for herbivores and omnivores.
These balanced diets go a long way towards making your reptile healthier. Even with a mixture of pellets and fresh food, many domestic reptiles benefit from or even need, supplements.
The supplements your reptile needs will vary greatly depending on what it is feeding and what species it is.
Some reptile owners feed their crickets and mice a supplemented diet, sprinkle their crickets with powdered supplements, or sprinkle powdered supplements on fruits and vegetables.
You can even add supplements to the water for some reptiles.
In short, there are many different ways to ensure that your reptile gets the diet it needs. The most important thing is to know your species and do your research to provide it with the best possible diet.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about Feeding All of My Reptiles
Source: Reptilian Garden
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