Reptile Diet

게코도마뱀 Reptile diets are extremely diverse. From salad-loving tortoises to large crocodiles capable of snapping limbs, modern reptiles feed on both plant and animal life.


Bearded dragons start out insectivores and become omnivorous as adults, eating 60% invertebrates (mealworms, crickets, wood cockroaches) and 40% vegetables (leafy greens, squash, peas). They need a good quality vitamin supplement to avoid nutritional disease.


Herbivores are animals that consume plant matter such as grass, fruits, leaves, buds, bark, seeds and roots. Some herbivores are very selective and eat only one plant component, while others are more generalist. Examples include deer, rabbits, sheep and goats.

A reptile’s diet is often divided into carnivorous and herbivorous foods. Herbivorous reptiles require a high percentage of vegetable-based foods, which can be supplemented with insects, rodents and other prey. These animal proteins provide an excellent source of energy and the optimum amino acid profile for reptiles.

In addition, herbivores need to be fed a high-fiber diet containing fresh vegetables such as endive, dandelion greens, mustard, kale and spinach. These vegetables also contain essential vitamins and minerals. However, many owners use the wrong vegetables and do not provide the proper ratios of phosphates and calcium. In fact, lettuce, which is commonly used in reptile terrariums, does not provide enough phosphorous for the herbivore to absorb calcium adequately.

Insects must be gut-loaded before they are offered to a reptile as the gills do not have the ability to take in the full amount of nutrition that is available from the insect. This 게코도마뱀 can be done by feeding the insect a mixture of carrots, apples, leafy vegetables, bran and other foods that are rich in nutrients that it will later digest and absorb.


Many pet reptiles are omnivorous and enjoy eating both meat and plants. These animals often have teeth that resemble those of carnivores with flat molars to grind plant matter. They are opportunistic in their feeding habits, and will eat whatever is available in their environment. For example, tortoises that are primarily herbivorous will sometimes hunt for insects and other small prey items.

Herbivorous species like Green iguanas, Bearded dragons, Tortoises and Spiny-tailed lizards should be fed leafy greens, vegetables and fruit daily. A commercial reptile ‘kibble’ may be offered to add variety to the diet. Ideally, the food should be served fresh to the animal. Overcooked vegetables and fruit can be toxic to herbivorous reptiles.

Carnivores like Crocodiles and Alligators obtain their nutrients mainly from meat. They eat mammals, birds, amphibians, other reptiles, invertebrates and insects. They typically have specialized four-stomach chamber digestive systems. They have a strong olfactory sense that allows them to detect the scent of potential prey. These reptiles have a high energy requirement and are very active, so they must consume large quantities of food to get the nutrients they need. Their intestines are long and thin, which helps them digest their meal quickly. This is a necessity for their rapid growth and reproductive capability. They also need a lot of protein, fat and vitamins to function well.


The reptile diet can contain a large proportion of meat or can be largely vegetarian. Carnivores are hunters that catch or scavenge their food; some, like the coyote and kit fox, also eat plants. Others, such as snakes and lizards, are primarily insectivores. The term carnivore, meaning “flesh devourers,” also applies to the mammalian order Carnivora, which consists of over 270 species and includes felids (cats), ursids (bears) and mustelids (weasels).

The digestive tracts of carnivorous reptiles range from relatively short and simple for hydrolysis and absorption in the small intestine, to a long one for fermentation in the large intestine. In addition, reptiles can also eat their own feces, a process called coprophagy.

Carnivores primarily eat meat but some will scavenge plant matter, particularly to satisfy water needs. Some have special glands that provide them with a sufficient supply of water. Others drink the moisture in the flesh of their prey. Great white sharks, for example, gulp down the liquid from the bodies of fish they kill with their jaws.

The proteins in the meat of a predator typically have high levels of essential amino acids such as lysine, methionine, cysteine and tryptophan. In contrast, plant proteins are low in these amino acids and are also high in fat, phosphorus and purines which can lead to gout.


The insectivores, a group of animals that feed primarily on insects, are an important part of many ecosystems. They are a diverse group of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. They have a broad range of physical and behavioral adaptations that enable them to capture, consume, digest and use the nutrients from insects.

Insectivores are often solitary animals that live in the forest floor, sand dunes, deserted burrows, swamps and grasslands. They have small brains, poorly developed eyes and long, pointed snouts with whiskers (vibrissae) that help them to locate their prey. They are often fast and efficient predators of a wide variety of insect species.

Typical insectivores include hedgehogs, shrews, solenodons and tenrecs as well as snakes, frogs and toads. Insects are their main food source but they also consume reptiles, birds and worms. Some insectivores are aquatic – crocodiles and dragonflies for example.

Insectivores should be fed a diet rich in protein, vitamins and minerals and a good source of fats. In captivity, insectivorous reptiles can be fed gut loaded and dusted feeder crickets or worms that are high in nutrient value and not contaminated with vitamin A or D, and can also be given fresh fruits and vegetables. The best way to ensure adequate dietary intake is by offering a variety of foods that suit the individual needs of each pet.