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Do Geckos Eat Ants?

Although some geckos eat ants, most geckos avoid eating ants because they contain foul-tasting formic acid and provide little nutritional value. In addition, some ant species have dangerous bites and are a formidable threat to geckos in large numbers.

A gecko on a piece of wood

There have been some instances where ants by taking advantage of their sheer number have heavily attacked and injured geckos

What Happens if a Gecko Eats an Ant?

If a gecko eats an ant it might become sick, depending on the species of gecko and ant. Geckos should not be fed living ants at all as the ants can end up biting the gecko and hurting it. 

If the gecko was injured while catching the live ants they may need immediate medical attention. They may show signs of distress including fatigue, not showing interest in food consumption, etc.

There are certain geckos including myrmecophagous geckos, who mainly catch and eat live ants, however there are other species like the leopard gecko which can not eat ants.

Ants have got the advantage of numbers on their side and they can seriously end up injuring geckos. 

For this reason, most varieties of geckos avoid preying upon live ants and instead preys on other insects and smaller animals. In fact, many other lizards are often found to avoid preying on ants as the latter can end up harming them immensely.

What happens to a gecko after it consumes an ant depends primarily on its species type and preying habits.

Ants eating a gecko
In large numbers, ants can overpower a small gecko

Related Article: Are Ants Producers, Decomposers or Consumers?

Can I feed my Pet Geckos Ants?

Most geckos do not eat ants, so unless you know your gecko belongs to a species that does, it’s better not to risk feeding them live ants since they can end up hurting your gecko or making it sick.

This is primarily because ants can attack geckos in huge numbers, crawl up their body and start biting them at the same time. Such kinds of attacks can be highly lethal and even end up killing the gecko. 

However, there are certain varieties of geckos, particularly the ones belonging to the Pristurus genus that love to feed upon ants as ants are one of their primary food sources.

So the fact that whether you can feed your geckos ants or not depends totally on its type and the feeding habits of that gecko variety.

Which Geckos Eat Ants?

All varieties of geckos are perfectly capable of eating and digesting ants but most gecko species choose not to feed on ants because they contain formic acid which makes them taste bad, and they can be dangerous in large numbers.

However, you may end up seeing certain rare instances where they end up consuming ants as well. This is particularly seen with common household geckos. 

Members of the Pristurus genus love to feed on ants the geckos of this genus are also popularly known as rock geckos.

Related Article: Does Mulch Attract Ants?

Can Geckos Eat Fire Ants?

Geckos should never be fed fire ants and would not eat them in the wild due to how dangerous they are. Fire ants can seriously injure geckos.

If present in large numbers, fire ants would easily overcome a gecko.

If you have a pet gecko at home you should try to take measures that will prevent any kind of ant infestation into its tank and also totally abandon the idea of feeding fire ants to it. 

Fire Ant Mandibles
Fire ants have vicious mandibles that are dangerous to geckos

Read Also: Does Bleach Kill Ants?

Do Geckos Eat Insects?

The majority of gecko species are insectivorous which means they feed on insects to survive. They feed on various insect species depending on what’s available in their habitat.

Geckos also eat other organisms that don’t belong to the Insecta class. They will try to eat most other living organisms that are smaller than them in size.

As geckos are lizards, they like to prey upon other organisms smaller than them in size and prefer to consume live animals only.

In the wild, geckos are rarely found to feed upon organisms that are already dead, they like to hunt and kill their prey before eating them.

There are certain gecko species out there that also feed upon fruit and are regarded as fructivorous.

Alongside small living organisms, they will also eat fruit as a regular part of their diet. For example, the crested gecko will feed on insects like silkworms and roaches, but also on fruits like bananas, papaya, and mangoes.

FAQ

Can I Feed My Gecko Ants from my House?

You should not feed ants you find around your home to your pet gecko, because ants can end up biting and harming your gecko and they may contain pesticides, parasites, or harmful bacteria.

Most geckos completely avoid being around ants. This is especially true for pet geckos which are often very selective of what they eat.

You should never feed your pet gecko any wild insects until and unless you are completely sure that they were not exposed to any pesticide or other contaminants before.

Moreover, you have no idea where the ant was previously and what kind of pesticides, germs, or parasites it may be carrying. 

Can I Feed my Crested Gecko Ants?

Crested geckos shouldn’t be fed ants. There is a chance that ants may end up infecting the crested gecko and make it ill.

Also, the ants may end up biting and injuring the crested gecko long before it ends up consuming those ants. So it’s best to not feed them ants.

Conclusion – Can Geckos Eat Ants?

Although some geckos eat ants, most species have learned to avoid ants because they can be dangerous.

Even though logically ants are insects and hence it may seem that geckos should consume them, in reality that is not the case.

Some geckos love eating ants. But for the majority of the pet geckos, that’s not the case. Ants especially if they are in huge numbers, can cause serious damage to geckos which can often be fatal. Hence it’s best to completely avoid feeding geckos with ants.

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