Can Geckos Eat Lettuce? [Can They Even Digest It?]

Can geckos eat lettuce? If you’re a gecko owner and want to change up their diet you might be considering feeding them some of this vegetable. After all, for humans, it can be pretty healthy, so perhaps the same applies to geckos?

However, the first thing you should always do before introducing new foods to your gecko’s diet is finding out if it’s safe for them to eat. After all, you don’t want to accidentally feed them the wrong foods! Today I’m going to go over everything you need to know before you feed your gecko lettuce (or any other vegetable).

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the shortened answer: The answer to this question is a firm no. Geckos can not and should not eat lettuce. In fact, they should not eat any vegetables at all. Their digestive system is incapable of digesting and extracting nutrients from. As a result, it has no nutritional benefits for geckos and can even be harmful.

Is lettuce good for geckos?

a picture of lettuce

Most geckos in the wild live on a diet entirely consisting of insects, meaning they are insectivorous creatures. However, there are frugivorous geckos that can eat fruits such as the day and the crested gecko. Nevertheless, none of these geckos can eat lettuce and you should not feed it to them.

Lettuce is not a part of the gecko’s diet in the wild and should not be given to captive geckos either. If you put it in their cage, they might eat it or they might not, depending on the gecko in question.

However, even if they do it eat it they will not benefit from it. Their bodies are simply not designed to digest vegetables like lettuce and they will derive no nutritional benefit from it at all.

So no, lettuce is not a healthy food for any gecko. In fact, geckos shouldn’t eat any vegetables at all.

Why can’t geckos digest lettuce?

There’s a very simple reason why geckos can not eat lettuce: their digestive system.

The first thing you need to understand is the difference in the digestive tract between herbivores and carnivores. Herbivores have a longer digestive tract which is what allows them to digest vegetables. Geckos, like other carnivores, have a very short digestive tract. Take a look at the image below to see the difference between carnivore and herbivore’s digestive tracts:

carnivore vs herbivore digestive tract
As you can see, the herbivore’s digestive tract is much longer, which is what allows them to digest and extract nutrients from vegetables.

In addition, geckos do not have a cecum which is what allows herbivores to digest vegetables.

What vegetables can geckos eat?

None at all. Their digestive tract doesn’t allow them to extract nutrients from any vegetables at all so no vegetables should be a part of your gecko’s diet at all.

What to feed geckos instead?

As I’ve mentioned, geckos are mostly insectivorous creatures. The best food for them is therefore insects and they should have a diet that consists almost entirely of it. Good insects to feed to your gecko include mealworms, crickets, waxworms, or roaches.

However, most geckos will eat almost any insect you give them. If your gecko is one of the few frugivorous species you can also feed them fruits occasionally.

To learn more about what geckos eat I recommend you check out this guide.

So, now you know everything you need to know about geckos and lettuce. I hope you found this informative and I hope it prevented you from feeding lettuce to your gecko! If you’ve got any feedback, experiences, or suggestions you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment.

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