Can Leopard Geckos Eat Hornworms?

Hornworms, the larvae of hawk moths, named after the small, pointed horn-like structure on their posterior is one of the widely known worm types. So you must be wondering, can leopard geckos eat hornworms? How …

can leopard geckos eat hornworms

Hornworms, the larvae of hawk moths, named after the small, pointed horn-like structure on their posterior is one of the widely known worm types. So you must be wondering, can leopard geckos eat hornworms? How often can leopard geckos eat hornworms? Can horn worms hurt leopard geckos? In this blog post, we will talk about these topics and give you the answers you wish for.

Can Leopard geckos eat hornworms? Yes, they can. Some leopard geckos love hornworms, while some don’t show much liking towards them, however, leopard geckos can eat hornworms.

Table of Contents

How Often Can We Feed Leopard Geckos Hornworms?

It would be good practice to only feed your pet leopard gecko with hornworms for worms 3-4 times a month. This is because hornworms contain little amounts of protein content unlike feeder insects and other types of worms. Hornworms are also highly addictive and your leopard gecko might refuse other types of food if it gets too much of them. Furthermore, hornworms are a bit expensive.

Hornworms also contain high calcium content, so they are great leopard gecko treats. This could reduce the risk of your leopard gecko getting the metabolic bone disease. Due to its soft exoskeleton, eating them isn’t difficult as well. Moreover, hornworms move at a very slow speed, this makes it easy for your pet leopard gecko to catch it faster.

Hornworms are also said to be very moisture making it even easier for our pet lizards to eat them.

Can Leopard Geckos Eat Hornworms In Pupa Stage?

It is totally fine to feed your pet leopard gecko with hornworms in the pupa stage. In fact, even hawk moths are fine, though the gecko might find it hard to catch a flying insect. These are always seen as great treats to our cute little lizard pets.

But always make sure to keep an eye on their sizes, as I said before, larger insects and worms could make your gecko choke. And it would be best to keep away hawk moths from baby leopard geckos and make sure to not feed them to babies.

Can Hornworms Hurt Leopard Geckos?

These horned worms can grow very thick, so it is best to feed these fully grown insects for adult leopard geckos only. Baby leopard geckos and Juvenile leopard geckos can find it hard to swallow this worm and this might make your leopard gecko choke.

You could always find leopard gecko food alternatives for hornworms. You can feed them earthworms, mealworms, grub worms, silkworms, wax worms, wild worms, and other low-fat high protein insects. Proteins are the main part of a leopard gecko’s diet, this is why we should always be sure to feed them with more protein and fewer fats.

Eating too many fats could make your pet lizard obese.

Can Leopard Geckos Choke on Hornworms?

Leopard geckos can choke on these horned worms if they are too large for the gecko to eat it whole. But in either case, it will pull it all back up and out, before it causes any damage to the gecko. Mostly baby geckos and juvenile geckos choke on hornworms because they would find these worms to be too big to swallow, adult geckos rarely choke. Make sure to only feed smaller hornworms to leopard gecko babies and juveniles. Make sure to give one worm at a time to prevent your pet lizard from getting too excited and trying to eat it food fast which will make it choke.

Also read: Do geckos have teeth

Is Hornworms Toxic to Leopard Geckos?

Store bought hornworms are naturally not toxic because they are purified beforehand. But wild hornworms could be toxic. Wild hornworms feed on plants like tomato and tobacco, so the toxins on these plants get stored inside the horned worm’s body. Store-bought worms are properly breaded and only fed with in-toxic containing food, so they could be fed without fear, but not wild ones. Do not randomly pick a hornworm from your garden and feed it to your leopard gecko or any other lizard in that case.

If you grow hornworms by yourself, make sure to only feed it with plants that don’t contain any toxic materials.


Leopard geckos can eat hornworms as long as they are in the right size and isn’t toxic. Do not feed your pet lizard with wild hornworms which may have toxins within them.

Do not feed oversized or large hornworms to your gecko, especially not for babies and juveniles. Do not over-feed your gecko as well. Take care of your cute reptile friend and it’ll make both of you happy.

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