Live food makes a useful and nutritious addition to the diets of many pet reptiles.

Live food options for reptiles

Crickets

Crickets can be added to the diets of many reptiles and other pets including turtles, lizards, frogs and spiders. Crickets are high in protein and roughage and provide a diet to supplement prepared food. Live food such as crickets encourage the natural hunting instinct of your pet and are easy to use.

How to feed:
Feed only enough crickets that will be eaten by your pet immediately. Escaped crickets may establish themselves under feeding containers or in the soil and roots around household plants.

Storage and care:
The best storage temperature for crickets is between 18-25 degrees Celsius. It is essential that they are not exposed to poisonous fumes including pest sprays and cleaning supplies.

Live Silkworms

Silkworms are a high source of calcium, protein, iron, magnesium, sodium & vitamins B1, B2 AND B3. They are a very soft bodied “worm” and add variety to the diets of many insectivores.
They are particularly suited to large spiders, scorpions, carnivorous lizards and larger soft-billed birds. If necessary, they can be dusted with calcium powder for extra nutrients.

How to feed:
Feed a limited number of silkworms that will be consumed in the one sitting.

Storage and care:
Feed Silkworms only on mulberry leaves. It is very important that they are not fed the newest leaves on the mulberry tree. To ensure a strong breeding cycle, keep the supply of fresh mulberry leaves regular and provide new food at least once a day. The silkworms should be kept at an even temperature, preferably around 23 °C.

Fly Pupae

Fly Pupae are a nutritious, high protein live food and a valuable supplement to the diets of many animals including chickens, lizards and frogs.

How to feed:
Since fly pupae don’t move, some pets may take a little while to become interested in the pupae. Mix your pupae with live mealworms. The mealworm movement will create the illusion that the pupae are moving which will help entice even the fussiest pet.

Storage and care:
Fly pupae can be kept in the fridge for two weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Just remember to defrost the pupae before feeding your pet.

Simply take a teaspoon of pupae from the fridge and put into your pets enclosure. A few days’ later flies will emerge and become a pleasant snack for your pet.

Earthworms

Earthworms are a wholesome live food for large aquarium fish, axolotls, turtles and lizards. They are a very nutritious addition to any meal (packed with Vitamin A and E) and can make up to 50% of certain reptiles and amphibian’s diet.
Earthworms also have an exceptionally long shelf life and are come in a variety of sizes.

How to feed:
Leave the container of Earthworms in a brightly lit area (but not direct sun) for a short time prior to feeding. The earthworms will travel to the centre of the container to escape the light making them easy to locate in quantity.

Storage and care:
Earthworms can be kept in a cool location, however do not refrigerate.

Live Woodies

Wood Roaches or ‘Woodies’ make an ideal clean insect food for lizards, fish, frogs and birds. They naturally live in dry conditions (under dead wood or tree bark) and can grow to the same size as a large cricket. Woodies are high in protein and provide essential roughage to your pet’s diet.

How to feed:
Only feed enough woodies that will be eaten immediately by your pet. Vitamin & mineral supplements (gutload) can be sprinkled onto the woodies prior to feeding.

  • Lizards – Because Woodies are a natural and highly nutritious food, they are often used to entice fussy eater that have gone hunger strike.
  • Fish – Large Cichlids and larger fish species love woodies. They can be hand fed or dipped in the water’s surface.
  • Frogs – Very nutritious and a natural diet for large green tree frogs.
  • Birds – Many insectivorous birds will happily accept woodies as an interesting variation to their diet.

Storage and care:
To keep Woodies fresh and to get longer life, replace the piece of carrot every few days as this will keep woodies alive longer.