Geckos are lizards classified under the family Gekkonidae, due to their ability to vocalise in squeaks or clicking noises. Numerous gecko species are sold as pets; the most common in the United States include the leopard gecko, the day gecko and the crested gecko. While many individual geckos may enjoy sampling small amounts of fruit, not all species require fruit in their diet.
Suitable Fruit Choices
Soft fruits or fruit purées are the best choice for geckos. Some fruits that are suitably soft when completely ripened include berries, figs, papaya, mangoes, plums, peaches, grapes, nectarines and apricots. To avoid the possibility of choking or fecal impaction, all fruit should be chopped to pieces no larger than the width of the gecko's head. Fruit purées, including commercially prepared baby foods, are the ideal consistency for geckos.
Less Suitable Fruits
Hard fruits, like apples or pears, should only be offered to a gecko after being puréed. Geckos may enjoy licking juice from chunks of apples, but some lizards will attempt to bite off pieces of the fruit, which could lead to choking. Bananas should be an infrequent treat for geckos, as the high content of potassium in bananas can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Citrus (orange, tangerine, lime, lemon, grapefruit) is too acidic and should not be fed to geckos.
The crested gecko is a large lizard, 8 to 10 inches long, native to the islands of New Caledonia. The lizard gets its name from the circular crest of pointy scales on the top of its head. Crested geckos are omnivores. In the wild, these geckos eat insects and rotting fruit. In captivity, crested geckos will accept commercially prepared food, insects and almost any type of soft, sweet fruit or fruit purée.
Day geckos are small, brightly coloured lizards. The species most commonly sold as pets in the United States include the gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda), lined day gecko (Phelsuma lineata) and peacock day gecko (Phelsuma quadriocellata). The day gecko is a carnivore but also eats nectar in the wild. Fruit purées are readily accepted by day geckos and should be made available several times a week.
Leopard geckos are primarily carnivores. Some individuals may show interest in eating fruit, but it isn't needed in their diet. The practice of "gut loading" -- feeding crickets fruits and vegetables for 24 hours before feeding the insect to the lizard -- provides leopard geckos with sufficient fruit-derived nutrients.
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