Can Crested Geckos Eat Strawberries?
The crested gecko, also known as the eyelash gecko, is native to southern New Caledonia. For several decades, researchers and zoologists believed the species to be extinct.
However, a group of researchers on an expedition led by Robert Seipp rediscovered the reptile in 1994.
Alongside several other New Caledonian gecko species, the crested gecko holds a protected status by the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
While New Caledonia prohibits the export of this species, biologists in the past exported several specimens of the crested gecko for breeding and study long before the country issued permits to stop gecko export.
Biologists and researchers established several breeding lines from these specimens, making it one of the most widely-bred gecko species in the world after the common leopard gecko.
Crested geckos can live a long life of 20 years or more with proper diet and care.
Crested Gecko Diet
Crested geckos enjoy an omnivorous diet encompassing crickets, mealworms, Dubia roaches, waxworms, soft fruits, and baby food.
These reptiles show more preference for soft fruits like mangoes, bananas, pears, grapes, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, and peaches.
If you have a pet gecko, you should feed them nutritionally complete powdered food every day and an occasional treat of insects, fruit, and baby food twice or three times a week.
Benefits of Feeding Strawberries to Crested Geckos
Crested Geckos enjoy most soft fruits, particularly strawberries. You can offer the fruit to them directly or mash them up with other fruits to create a more nutritious and tastier paste.
Either way, you will find them wiping the bowl clean. Here are some of the benefits of feeding strawberries to crested geckos:
Excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio – Geckos require a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio in their everyday diet. Strawberries encompass a good amount of both minerals, making them one of the best meals you can serve your pet gecko.
Appeal to your geckos’ taste buds – Crested geckos cannot feed on citric fruits like limes, lemons, and oranges. Strawberries do not belong to the citrus family, making them perfectly safe for your crested gecko. They are also sweeter, softer, and more flavorful than most fruits which explains geckos’ fascination with them.
Low sourness – Crested geckos enjoy strawberries for their mix of sweet and sour. Even if some geckos do not feed on strawberries at first, they begin developing a liking for the fruit over time. The strawberry’s low sourness can make it a top treat for your pet crested gecko.
One of the most proven ways to feed strawberries to your geckos is in chopped form. Chopped strawberries should not be any big than the space between your gecko’s eyes, as it can lead to choking.
Offer frozen strawberries to your geckos in the hot months to help them cook off the heat. Providing them with a fruit and berry mix can make for a hearty meal for your little reptile friend.
Risks Associated with Feeding Strawberries to Crested Geckos
While Crested geckos can eat strawberries, it is pivotal that you feed the fruit in moderation to your pet.
Strawberries do not possess the perfect 2:1 calcium-phosphorus ratio. Also, believe it or not, geckos can actually develop an addiction to the fruit over time which can cause them to refuse other foods.
If that happens, they can experience nutritional deficiencies and health issues over time.
I recommend you feed strawberries to your gecko solely as treats and in moderation. This strategy stays true for most foods.
How Often Should Strawberries Be Fed to Cresties?
You can feed strawberries to your crested gecko once a week. If your gecko is a fruit lover, give them a lot of fresh produce as they are full of fiber and other nutrients.
Besides, eating raw fruits can keep their teeth worn down and prevent overgrowth. It also helps reduce tartar buildup in their mouth.
While there is no specific rule on how many times you can feed strawberries to your gecko in a week, I recommend keeping it no more than twice a week.
Feeding them strawberries too frequently can cause them to develop an overblown liking into the fruit and we’ve already discussed the risks associated with that.
How to Prepare Strawberries for Feeding to Cresties?
The amount of strawberries you should feed your crested geckos varies depending on their age, weight, overall health, and activity level.
Giving one sliced strawberry per feeding once a week is an ideal dosage for a crested gecko.
Here are a few ways to feed strawberries to your crested geckos:
Mash the strawberries into a paste. They can eat them easier this way and help with the digestion process.
You can do this by mashing the fruit in a dish with a fork or fingers.
Alternatively, you can freeze the fruit and offer it to them as an ice block treat.
Be sure to leave space at the bottom of each container as the frozen juice can melts and take up more space.
2. Mixed with other fruits
It is a fun way to expand the taste profile of your geckos. Mix strawberries with other fruits like bananas and papayas to reduce the number of strawberries they eat.
Doing so will also boost the fruit paste’s nutritional content which is always a plus for geckos living in captivity.
You may also add extra vitamins to the dish as and when necessary to improve their health.
It is pivotal that you do not feed more than a fruit per feeding, or your crested gecko could experience diarrhea.
Slicing the fruit is another way to help your geckos eat strawberries more easily. Ensure that the slices are small enough for the gecko to swallow without choking on them.
Another less popular way to feed strawberries to your little reptile friend is to give them the fruit in a slightly rotten state.
Slice up the fruit and leave it out until it becomes mushy and brown. Feed the slightly rotten fruit to your gecko as it will be much softer for eating.
Just make sure you don’t go overboard with the overripe aspect. You don’t want to feed your geckos moldy or completely rotten state.
Aside from them refusing the fruits completely, they may also experience digestive issues if they do eat them.
What Other Fruits Can Crested Geckos Eat?
Crested geckos enjoy all soft fruits, including mangoes, peaches, pears, bananas, grapes, figs, apricots, and watermelons.
Some geckos may also like fruits like dates, blueberries, and plums. Just make sure to cut the fruit into small pieces or mash them well before serving it to your pet on their standard ledge feeding bowl.
Tips For Feeding a Crested Gecko
For cresties under six months of age, offer fresh premix food every other day. Geckos do not like to eat during the day.
However, make sure you leave it on their bowl as it gives them the option to eat if they are hungry.
Offer your crested gecko live food once a week. You must not feed them anything the day after they eat live food.
Make sure to remove uneaten food the following morning. Adult geckos require feeding only every other evening.
Remember that you must change the premix foods every morning, or they can turn hard and be a hazard for your pet.
Make sure to change their daily diet frequently to help them get acquainted with different foods. It also enables them to receive all the essential nutrients.
If your crestie is a new addition to the terrarium, it may not eat for up to three weeks as it may not feel comfortable eating in its new surroundings.
However, make sure you provide food options in an appropriately sized feeder regardless of whether they eat or not.
Also, avoid messing around with your new pet too much at first. Geckos aren’t fond of handling, to begin with, but they tend to be extra sensitive when uncomfortable.
Give them some time to accommodate in their environment before disturbing them too much. You should speak to a vet if your pet goes without eating for more than three weeks.
If you love keeping exotic reptiles as pets, you must get a crested gecko. They are friendly, a delight to look at, and can make excellent companions for up to 15 years, provided they receive the best care and diet.
Now that you know all about the feeding patterns of geckos. It’s time to get one for yourself.
In some ways, it can feel like raising a tiny dinosaur. Get a gecko today for an adventurous pet-keeping experience!