Much like crested and gargoyle geckos, mourning geckos are omnivorous, which means that they eat a varied diet of fruit, pollen, and insects in the wild.
Feeding your mourning geckos as pets is a little different. In captivity, they do well on a diet of fruit CGD (crested gecko diet) supplemented with insects. Many mourning gecko keepers have success with a rotation of CGD, fruit flies, and a capful of calcium + D3 powder. This low-maintenance feeding schedule adds to their appeal as incredibly easy pets.
According to Pangea Reptile, the ideal feeding rotation for mourning geckos is as follows:
- CGD for 2 days
- Insects for 3 days
- 2 “off” days
So feeding your mourning geckos should look something like this, then:
- Monday — CGD
- Tuesday — CGD
- Wednesday — No food
- Thursday — Bugs
- Friday — Bugs
- Saturday — Bugs
- Sunday — No food
If this isn’t possible or if you’re on a busy schedule, then offering fresh crested gecko diet every 48 hours and dusted insects 1-2x/week seems to also be successful.
Crested Gecko Diet
Using a powdered diet makes keeping mourning geckos incredible easy — but be warned: just because the label says “crested gecko food” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s nutritionally complete. (Just like dog food.)
Here’s the brands I trust:
- Leapin’ Leachie
- Zoo Med
- Black Panther Zoological
- Lugarti (read my review here)
All of these brands offer top-quality nutrition and a range of palatable flavors to suit your gecko’s individual preference (or simply to provide a variety). My preferred online retailer is Bertopia Geckos (and they do free shipping!).
And before you get any ideas — baby food or fruit puree is NOT an acceptable substitute for CGD.
How to Prepare Powdered Diets
Mix the powdered diet with water to a ketchup or smoothie consistency (usually 2-3 parts water per 1 part powder) and offer in a biodegradable condiment cup. The cup can be placed on the ground or on a wall-mounted feeding ledge. If you have a large colony of geckos, offering CGD in multiple cups can help prevent quarreling. The CGD should be removed after no more than 2 days.
Mourning geckos may be tiny, but it’s still lots of fun to watch them hunt! Some good types of feeder insects you can offer:
- Flightless fruit flies
- 1/4-1/2” crickets
- Bean beetles
- Rice flour beetles
- Small black soldier fly larvae
- XS superworms
All feeder insects should be gutloaded for at least 24 hours before feeding. Ideally, they should come pre-gutloaded from the breeder. If they weren’t, or you buy your feeder insects in bulk, I’ve found that the easiest way to keep them fed and gut-loaded is with a reconstituted version of one of the following professional formulas:
Add a sprinkle of bee pollen for extra nutrition.
Don’t forget to dust!
Because mourning geckos are constantly producing eggs, adequate calcium intake is critical to their welfare. All insects should be gut-loaded and dusted with a high-quality calcium supplement.
Our favorite calcium supplements for mourning geckos are:
- Arcadia Earthpro Calcium Pro Mg (no vitamin D)
- Repashy SuperCal NoD
- Repashy SuperCal HyD
- Miner-All Outdoor (no vitamin D)
If you are using UVB light in your geckos’ enclosure, use a calcium powder without vitamin D. If you are not using UVB light in your geckos’ enclosure, use a calcium powder with vitamin D. However, using UVB is strongly recommended.
Even tiny feeder insects like fruit flies can — and should — be dusted so your geckos get the calcium that their bodies need. Put the bugs in a Tupperware container with some calcium powder, then shake them around until they’re evenly coated. Serve.
Although crested gecko diet already contains some calcium, due to the fact that mourning geckos are constantly producing eggs, it’s a good idea to also provide an extra dish of calcium powder that your geckos can lick as needed.