Geckos are a species of lizards that are commonly found in many parts of the world. They are known for their ability to climb and stick to surfaces, as well as for their distinctive vocalizations.
When it comes to their diet, geckos are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of insects, including ants. In this article, we will explore the dietary habits of geckos and how they incorporate ants into their diet.
Lizards are known to feed on insects, including ants, as a primary source of nutrition. Amongst lizards, small species like geckos and skinks consume a variety of ants and termites, including their larvae.
Insectivores like crickets, waxworms, mealworms, earthworms, fruit flies, grasshoppers, and moths should be provided to most species of gecko every two to four days.
This includes leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos, tokay geckos, house geckos, flying geckos, cave geckos, and frog-eyed geckos. Some mature geckos even eat baby mice or pinkies. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of keeping live prey on hand, dehydrated mealworms are a good alternative.
Certain types of lizards, such as the horned lizards found in the American West and the thorny devils native to Australia, rely solely on ants as their diet.
Lizards kept as pets, such as leopard geckos, are typically insectivores but cannot consume ants as they are not adapted to eating them.
Lizards that feed on ants have specific adaptations that allow them to protect themselves from the potential danger posed by these insects. In high quantities, ants can pose a threat to the survival of a lizard.
What Do geckos Eat in the Wild?
n the wild, geckos feed on any prey that is small enough for them to overpower and consume. Their primary dietary choices consist of insects like crickets and grasshoppers in their native habitat.
Additionally, geckos will consume arthropods such as spiders, centipedes, and small scorpions. They also prey on small rodents, particularly young ones still in the nest. Geckos have even been known to exhibit cannibalistic behavior, as they may consume hatchling geckos.
Most geckos don’t prioritize eating ants because each one is too little to provide much in the way of nourishment. Their chitinous exoskeleton is too tough for geckos to chew through. geckos can conserve a lot of energy by focusing their hunting efforts on larger, more nutritious insects.
Ants pose a threat to their prey.
Due to the vast number of potential predators, ants have adapted to survive. Formic acid is a venom produced by the majority of ant species.
Predators of wood ants may experience temporary eye irritation after being squirted with formic acid. As a result of their venom, various insectivorous lizards refrain from eating ants.
Harvester ants, like other ant species, have formidable mandibles but also stingers on their abdomens that inject paralyzing venom.
The ability of ants to cooperate in big groups is perhaps their most impressive superpower. Ants are avoided at all costs by the vast majority of wild animals since a huge colony of insects may quickly overpower and kill larger creatures by crawling all over them, biting and stinging as they go.
geckos are picky eaters and won’t devour insects that have previously died. They will only consume live insects. As a result, you must ensure that the insects you gather for them are kept alive.
It is not recommended to feed a captive gecko live ants because, in addition to the fact that the procedure of capturing large numbers of ants on a consistent basis is impracticable in and of itself, there is another reason for this recommendation.
Ants are not appropriate food for geckos kept as pets because geckos lack the physiological adaptations required to digest insects.
There is a risk that the ants will crawl all over your geckos, and because the lizard will not have someplace to run, it will likely be stung and eaten to death by the ants.
Summary: Do geckos eat ants?
There are a great number of different species of lizards, each of which consumes a diverse array of foods. Some are carnivorous, some are omnivorous or herbivorous, and still, others feed only on insects.
The great majority of insectivorous geckos don’t really primarily subsist on diets consisting of ants as their food of choice. They are considered too small, and the tough exoskeleton that they have makes digestion challenging. geckos may consume much more nutrient-dense and large insects than most people realize.
Ants present a challenge for predators for a number of reasons, including their powerful jaws, their poisonous stings, and their ability to congregate in large numbers.
They have a sour flavor due to the presence of formic acid in their makeup. gecko species that prey on ants have developed specialized adaptations that allow them to circumvent the ants’ defensive mechanisms.