Baby lizards aka lizard hatchlings are fascinating to keep as a pet. This is because they are very cute and interesting to watch in a terrarium. If you are strongly considering getting a baby lizard, you should read this post. Because in this post, you will get to know the answer to the question “What do baby lizards eat?” You will also get to know the foods baby lizards really like and how they like to stay hydrated.
Let’s dive in.
So, What Exactly Do Baby Lizards Eat?
Baby lizards eat the same type of foods adult lizards eat. In other words, they eat plants, roaches, and insects. The biggest difference between what baby lizards eat and what adult lizards eat is the size of the food. Baby lizards eat little food while adult lizards eat much more (adult-size portions or sizes). For example, baby lizards can only eat small insects, while adult lizards can eat bigger insects or many small insects.
Baby lizards are predators. They like hunting and getting their own food. Therefore, when you want to feed your baby lizard, you should not kill the insects or roaches you want to feed it. You should just release them into the tank and the lizard will do the rest. It will hunt and catch the prey by itself.
While baby lizards and adult lizards love eating insects such as roaches and ants, they are not necessarily insectivorous. Some are insectivorous but most of them are omnivorous. In other words, most baby lizards can eat just about everything including meat, insects, and vegetation. Herbivorous and carnivorous baby lizards that can be kept as pets also exist. Therefore, the answer to the question “What do baby lizards eat?” depends really on the species. However, in general, baby lizards are omnivorous. They eat plants and baby-size insects.
What Portion Sizes Do Baby Lizards Eat?
As mentioned in the previous section, baby lizards eat the same foods adult lizards eat and the only difference between what they eat is in the quantity. Baby lizards eat baby-size food and prey, while adult lizards eat adult-size food and prey.
The baby-size prey baby lizards eat include small spiders, small insects, small worms, ants, and flies. Baby lizards also eat plants because no matter how big tank plants are, they are usually succulent and just about any part can be nibbled.
Therefore, the kind of food a baby lizard eats is dependent on its size.
As a baby lizard grows older, it becomes bigger and it also becomes a better hunter. This means that it becomes capable of hunting, catching, and eating bigger prey.
When feeding a lizard hatchling, you should make sure that the food you are giving it is at most smaller than its head. If the food is bigger than its head, it could end up getting stuck. In addition, you should also make sure that you remove any live prey from the tank if your pet does not eat it within a couple of hours. Because a sizeable live prey can turn the tables and attack your lizard.
Because baby lizards know they can be attacked, they usually bury their bodies under the soil at night. Therefore, you should not be alarmed if you see only half of your lizard in the early morning. In case a lizard cannot bury itself, it will try to hide in a corner.
How to Feed a Baby Lizard
If you’ve bought a baby lizard or one has been hatched in your tank, it cannot go hunting. Unless, of course, you have a massive tank with plenty of small prey (e.g. insects) that your lizard can hunt. However, if you are like most of us then your tank most probably does not have prey. Therefore, it is your responsibility to find baby lizard food and feed your lizard.
Before searching for food for your baby lizard, you should know for sure what type of lizard you have. This will help you to find out if it is carnivorous, herbivorous, or omnivorous. Once you what kind of lizard your lizard is and the type of food it prefers, you should go online or visit a serious brick and mortar pet store. At the store, you should find food for your baby lizard.
Make sure the food you buy is the kind of food your baby lizard can eat. More importantly, make sure the food you buy is small enough for your baby lizard to eat without choking.
A baby lizard is just a small-sized adult lizard. You should not be afraid to get them live prey. Because they can eat and digest live prey just like adult lizards. However, as I have emphasized repeatedly in this post, make sure the prey is small enough for your baby lizard to eat.
By getting your baby lizard live prey you will be teaching them how to hunt and helping them sharpen their natural hunting and timing capabilities. The only time you should get your lizard hatchling live prey is when you know for sure it is herbivorous and it won’t touch insects/ meat.
After getting food for your lizard, you should release put it in the tank and watch your lizard eat. Do not go away. If you go away, you can come back and find your lizard has choked or has been harmed by the prey. So watch your lizard eat for about twenty to thirty minutes. After your lizard has eaten for twenty to thirty minutes, you should remove all unfished food and all uneaten prey.
This will keep your lizard enclosure clean and prevent uneaten prey from attacking your lizard.
You can feed your hatchling several times a day.
What to Feed a Baby Lizard That is Insectivorous
Insectivorous lizard hatchlings are eaters of small insects. Most common lizard species eat insects. The types of insects you should be prepared to feed your insectivorous baby lizard regularly include antes, roaches, and crickets.
What to Feed a Baby Lizard That is Carnivorous
Carnivorous lizard hatchlings are flesh eaters. However, they do not start eating live prey from the get-go. This is because they cannot catch and eat live prey because of their small size. However, they can eat small insects. So if your baby lizard is a carnivorous baby lizard, you should feed it with small insects such as ants and crickets. Later on, you should get ready to find it frogs and mice to eat.
What to Feed a Baby Lizard That is Herbivorous
Herbivorous lizard hatchlings are plant eaters. They can eat many different types of plants but not all. They usually do not eat much. However, you should aim to regularly feed your herbivorous baby lizard with as many different leafy greens as possible throughout the week to make sure they have no nutritional deficiency.
The types of leafy greens you should feed your herbivorous lizard hatchling include broccoli, Boston, romaine, collard greens, kale, spinach, Boston, and Okra. You can also feed an herbivorous baby lizard fruits such as apples, carrots, and tomatoes.
What to Feed a Baby Lizard That is Omnivorous
Omnivorous baby lizards eat just about everything that they can fit in their mouths. They are not choosy. By definition, they are lizards that eat meat, fruits, and vegetables. They include beaded dragons, green iguanas, and blue tongue skinks. In my opinion, they are the best baby lizards or lizards to have because you can feed them with many of the foods you find in your kitchen.
Examples of greens and fruits you can give your omnivorous baby lizard include carrots, beans, broccoli, Boston, romaine, kale, spinach, collard greens, tomatoes, peaches, apples, grapes, and kiwis. You can also feed them with green lettuce and grapes as they like both foods a lot.
How to Give Baby Lizards Water
Lizards, unlike amphibians, do not consume a lot of water. However, like all other animals, they need to drink water from time to time because they feel thirsty from time to time.
The best way to supply a baby lizard with water is to maintain a water feature in their tank plus some succulent plants. Doing this will ensure there is high humidity in the tank. Since many baby lizards can absorb water through their skin, the high humidity will allow them to ‘drink’ water from the tank atmosphere.
In addition to making your tank humid, you should give your lizard water by putting a water dish in their enclosure. Make sure you change the water daily to prevent it from getting dirty and negatively affecting your lizard.
How to Prepare Food for a Baby Lizard
The How to Feed a Baby Lizard section earlier in this post shows you how to know what food to get for your baby lizard, the portions of food to get, and the importance of watching your lizard hatchling eat. However, it does not explain how exactly to prepare the food you get. That explanation is given in this section.
Before giving any greens or fruits to your baby lizard, you should make sure they are organic. In other words, you should make sure they were grown naturally without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This is because inorganic food can have traces of chemicals or fertilizers that can severely affect your baby lizard.
After ensuring that the food you want to give your baby lizard is organic, you should ensure that it is clean. Watch the fruit or vegetable you want to give your baby lizard thoroughly. Doing this will reduce the chances of your baby lizard getting sick.
After ensuring the greens or vegetables you want to feed your baby lizard are organic and that they are clean, you should cut them into tiny pieces. Grate them if you can. This will make it very easy for your lizard to eat and consume the greens or vegetables.
After cutting or grating the food into tiny pieces, you should put it in a shallow plate and then place it in your lizard’s enclosure. After that, you should watch your lizard eat and then remove the plate and any uneaten food for hygiene purposes.
Before giving any insects to your baby lizard, you should garnish them with a lizard multivitamin or calcium powder. This will ensure your lizard gets all the nutrients and micronutrients he or she needs to thrive. Remember not to put too many preys at a go in your tank. They could gang up on your lizard and cause him or her harm.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Do Wild Baby Lizards Eat?
Wild baby lizards eat just the same kinds of foods pet baby lizards eat. However, wild baby lizards eat fewer greens compared to pet baby lizards. They generally prefer insects and small worms. Nevertheless, what they actually eat is determined by their species and what is available in their habitat.
What Do Marine Iguanas Eat?
Marine iguanas are herbivorous lizards. They only eat plants and algae. If you are keeping a marine iguana, you can feed it with greens and fruits such as lettuce, collard greens, kale, apples, carrots, and so on.
What Do Gila Monsters Eat?
Gila monsters are carnivorous lizards. They only eat meat. However, since they move slowly, they really can’t catch a lot of prey in the wild. Therefore, they eat insects, frogs, small reptiles, and bird eggs.
What Do Desert Lizards Eat?
Most desert lizards are omnivorous. They eat just about everything. Many such as the Gila monster are also carnivorous.
You now know what foods baby lizards eat. You also know what to do to find out what it likes to eat, how to find the food, and how to prepare it for your lizard hatchling. In my opinion, you are now ready to become a baby lizard parent. Congratulations! You probably just need to know how to build the perfect enclosure for your baby lizard and you will be good to go.
I hope you found this post informative. I loved sharing the information contained in it with you. As I stated in the intro, lizards are fascinating to keep as pets. Learning about what they eat, finding food for them, preparing food for them, and watching them eat are all parts of the lizard keeping experience. Try to enjoy them and I assure you they won’t feel like too much work.