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 — Fruit flies
- Friday — Fruit flies
- Saturday — Fruit flies
- Sunday — No food
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 3 brands you *can* trust:
- Clark’s Diet
All three 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 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 condiment cup or bottle cap. 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 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 (Drosophila hydei)
- 1/4-1/2” crickets
- Dubia roach nymphs
- Small black soldier fly larvae
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, the easiest way to keep them fed and gut-loaded is with Repashy Veggie Burger or Grassland Grazer powder. Note that if you give your insects a dry gutload, they will need a source of water. Gel water crystals work perfectly for this purpose.
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 like Rep-Cal with D3.
Our favorite calcium supplements for blue tongue skinks are:
- Rep-Cal with Vitamin D3
- Rep-Cal without Vitamin D3
- Repashy SuperCal HyD
- Repashy SuperCal NoD
- Miner-ALL Indoor
- Miner-ALL Outdoor
Of course, dusting fruit flies is near impossible, so I prefer to simply offer a dish of calcium powder in the enclosure at all times instead. The geckos lick it up at will, thereby helping make up the deficit. (Just take it out before misting — water turns the powder into a hard brick!)
How to start and maintain a flightless fruit fly colony
- Buy a starter culture (usually in a 32 oz deli cup)
- Keep it at room temperature
- Shake some fruit flies into the gecko enclosure when needed
- Never use all of the fruit flies in the cup
Tada! Easy, right?
PRO TIP: To prevent fruit flies from crawling out of the enclosure via ventilation holes/mesh, cover the terrarium with a length of paper towel and secure the lid on top. Fruit flies can’t get out, but your geckos will still be able to breathe! (The paper towel should be on for no more than 3 days at a time.)