Leopard geckos are insectivores, which means they eat mostly insects. In captivity, the most common insects to feed them are crickets and mealworms. While these are great for leopard geckos, you should feed them other insects as well. One of them is Dubia roaches and these are great for leopard geckos.
So you may wonder how many Dubia roaches to feed leopard geckos? Adult leopard geckos should be fed 2 Dubia roaches 3 times daily. For juvenile leopard geckos, they should be fed as much as they can eat 5-6 times daily. For baby leopard geckos, it’s not recommended to feed any Dubia roaches to them.
Why Feed Leopard Geckos Dubia Roaches?
While crickets and mealworms are popular, Dubia roaches are another good choice to feed your pet leopard gecko.
Dubia roaches have an excellent protein to fat ratio. This is a good thing for leopard geckos as they need a lot of protein in their diet.
Additionally, they have a high amount of vitamins and minerals.
See below what your leopard geckos will benefit from eating Dubia roaches:
Protein – At nearly 22%, Dubia roaches are one of the feeder insects with the most protein. On a dry matter basis (DMB), they are 54% protein.
This is great for baby and juvenile leopard geckos that need all the protein they can get to grow strong and healthy.
Chitin – Chitin is a substance that adds structural rigidity to the exoskeleton of the Dubia roach. What makes them great is that it’s fibrous and indigestible. It helps the leopard geckos digest food more easily and promote a healthy digestive system.
Ca:P ratio – Dubia roaches have high calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 1:1.5. The ideal range for leopard geckos and most other reptiles is between 1:1 and 2:1 Ca:P.
Most other feeder insects will not be within the Ca:P ratio. Therefore, they will either need to be dusted with calcium powder or gut load with calcium. Calcium powder like Repti-cal, which can be bought on Amazon, is popular to use on feeder insects.
However, with Dubia roaches, they don’t have a low Ca:P ratio. When compared to other feeder insects, these roaches are actually high. Even though it’s high, it’s still recommended to dust or gut load them with calcium.
Fat – At about 8%, Dubia roaches have fewer fat content than half of the other feeder insects.
For a leopard gecko, this is great as too much fat could cause them to become obese.
With this amount of fat, leopard gecko will usually store them as energy.
How Many And How Much Dubia Roaches To Feed A Leopard Gecko?
Adult Leopard Geckos
For adult leopard geckos, they should be fed Dubia roaches every other day. This is enough roaches for them since you should feed them other insects as well.
When feeding them, adult leopard geckos should be fed Dubia roaches 3 times daily. Start off with 2 roaches and let them finish it first. Once they eat it all, you can give them a couple of more roaches if they seem to still be hungry.
Juvenile Leopard Geckos
Juvenile geckos are still growing and they will need to eat plenty of insects to support their growth. At this age, you can feed them as much as they can eat. Dubia roaches can be feed to them, but it’s strongly recommended to rotate insects daily. If you feed them strictly Dubia roaches, they may get accustomed to it and may not eat other insects as an adult. Also, it may not be healthy for them.
At this age, Dubia roaches can be fed to them daily. At each feeding, give them 2-3 medium size roaches. Once they finish it, you can give them a couple of more roaches. Feed them Dubia roaches 5-6 times daily.
Baby Leopard Geckos
At this age, a baby leopard gecko should not be fed Dubia roaches. These roaches tend to be too big for them to eat.
However, if you place Dubia roaches in their enclosure, baby leopard geckos will go and hunt it. Once they catch the roach, they will have a hard time trying to chew it. If they are able to chew it, the next problem will be trying to digest it. If the piece of roach is too big, it could choke them.
Therefore, it’s best to feed them mealworms or crickets at this age. These feeder insects are much smaller than Dubia roaches and easier for them to eat and digest.
What Size Dubia Roaches To Feed Leopard Gecko?
Dubia roaches come in different sizes and this is very important when feeding your leopard gecko. If the Dubia roach is too big, they could choke on them and it’ll be hard for them to digest it.
The rule of thumb for the size to feed leopard geckos is: Insects should be no larger than the space between the gecko’s eyes.
This applies to all insects and not just the Dubia roaches.
Both juvenile and adult leopard geckos can safely eat them. For juvenile leopard geckos, you can start them with the smallest Dubia roaches and increase the size of the roach as they get older. Leopard geckos grow very quickly when they are at this age.
For adult leopard geckos, you can feed the largest Dubia roaches that are available. Just make sure it’s no larger than the space between their eyes.
For baby leopard geckos, it’s not a good idea to feed them Dubia roaches at this age. The smallest roach tends to be larger than crickets and mealworms. This makes them too big for baby leopard geckos to eat.
If you have a Dubia roach that is too large, it’s best to not feed them. Serious health problems can occur from it.
One of them could be the Dubia roach gets impacted and will cause an issue to their digestive system. Impaction will cause your leopard gecko to feel very uncomfortable and could lead to other digestive problems.
Another one is the risk of choking on the Dubia roach. If the Dubia roach is too big, it may get lodged in the leopard gecko’s throat. Since they are unable to cough it back out, they could possibly die from it.
Why Should You Use Calcium Supplements On Dubia Roaches?
In the wild, they can get all the calcium from the insects that they eat. These insects will usually feed on fruits and vegetables before being eaten by the leopard geckos.
In captivity, the insects that you give them are primarily raised as feeder insects. This means the store where you bought them only feed them low nutrition food.
Therefore, in order to meet their calcium intake requirement, it’s recommended to dust Dubia roaches with calcium supplements. These supplements come in powder and liquid form. The most popular form to use powder since it’s the easiest to use.
Calcium powder supplement is simple to use and doesn’t require a lot of time. Once you are ready to feed Dubia roaches to your leopard gecko, simply sprinkle the calcium powder on each roach and put them into the enclosure.
I recommend calcium powder such as the Rep-Cal Calcium Fine Powder, which can be found on Amazon. It’s completely safe for leopard geckos and it’s extremely easy to use.
Where To Buy Dubia Roaches?
Dubia roaches aren’t as popular as crickets and mealworms. For that reason, you may have a hard time finding them at local pet stores.
Dubia roaches tend to be a little bit more expensive than crickets and mealworms. These roaches are harder to keep and take care of, which is why they cost more.
Also, their availability is limited too. Some pet stores may stock them and some may not carry any at all.
If you can’t find any at your local pet store, online is your next place to buy.
I find it easier to buy Dubia roaches online. Places like Petco and Amazon sell Dubia roaches of all sizes.
Buy Dubia roaches from Amazon or check Dubia roaches at Petco.
Where do Dubia roaches come from?
Dubia roaches come from Central and South America. They are mostly found in places around Brazil and Argentina.
What food to gut load Dubia roaches?
Dubia roaches can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. One vegetable to stay away from is head lettuce. Also, make sure that the fruits and veggies are fresh.
Dan got started with his first reptile, which was a green iguana, at the age of 10. From there, he has raised many different species of reptiles. Besides caring for reptiles, he enjoys woodworking, playing basketball, and spending free time with my 4 wonderful kids.