Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? (Many Do)

There are over 7,000 species of lizards found worldwide, and almost all of them are insectivores, which means they primarily feed on insects found in their environment. Despite the fact that they eat a wide variety of insects, some people may wonder, “Do lizards eat cockroaches?” This article will help you understand some facts about a lizard’s diet and identify which of them eat cockroaches.

Key takeaways:

  • Most lizards feed mainly on insects, including roaches.
  • Despite being mostly omnivores, some vegetables and insects aren’t safe for them.
  • Leopard geckos, bearded dragons, monitor lizards, and panther chameleons are just some of the lizards that primarily feed on roaches.

Do lizards eat cockroaches?

Panther chameleon eating roach
Panther chameleon eating roach | image by Florence Ivy via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0

Most lizards are insectivores, and the majority of lizard species can consume insects like cockroaches. However, this will depend on the size of the lizards and the size of the cockroaches. A small lizard, for example, can’t eat a large cockroach, but it can eat several small ones, including their larvae.

Do geckos eat cockroaches?

Leopard gecko showing its tongue
Leopard gecko showing its tongue | image by Eduardo Santos via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Geckos are reptiles that eat insects as part of their diet. Although they consume both plants and animals, geckos primarily consume insects. These reptiles typically eat roaches, flies, and other small insects that they can catch with their sticky tongue.

Since the majority of geckos are nocturnal, it’s not surprising that they eat roaches that are nocturnal and emerge at the same time of day as them. They’ll use their long, sticky tongue to catch cockroaches that fit in their mouths, then crush them with their jaws before eating them whole.

Foods to avoid feeding lizards:

If you own a lizard, you already know that they’re omnivores that require both plants and insects to survive. However, you should also be aware of the foods you should never give your lizard. Some of these foods can be fatal for them, while others may cause digestive problems.

Here are some foods that you should never give to your pet lizard:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Fireflies
  • Lightning Bugs
  • Worms that can glow in the dark
  • Cheese and other dairy products
  • Peanut Butter
  • Avocado
  • Rhubarb
  • Eggplants

Do lizards drink water?

Lizards drink water but not in the same way that humans and other animals, such as cats and dogs do. The majority of lizards get their moisture from the insects they eat.

As a result, these animals can go for days without drinking water. However, if they’re in a very dry climate or have become dehydrated due to illness or injury, you may see them drinking directly from water sources in their surroundings.

Some lizards can absorb moisture from their surroundings via their skin. This means they can go without drinking water because these reptiles get all of their fluids from food and their surroundings.

Best foods for lizards:

The best foods to feed most lizards are:

  • Insects such as mealworms, waxworms, cockroaches, crickets, and superworms
  • Worms are also a good source of protein for lizards.
  • Fruit such as apples, strawberries, or banana
  • Vegetables like romaine lettuce, green beans, and peas

The best foods for your lizard depend on the species. Some are strictly insectivores, while others require vegetables and fruits in their diet, and yet others eat only plants.

The best way to determine what your lizard requires is to research the species online or consult a reptile expert at your local pet store.

Lizards that feed on roaches:

1. Panther Chameleons

Panther chameleon on a branch
Panther chameleon on a branch | image by Jean via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Furcifer pardalis

Panther Chameleons are a stunning species of reptile found in Madagascar. They’re a favored species for a variety of reasons, including their striking appearance and their natural tendency to change color dramatically depending on their mood.

Panther Chameleons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both insects and plants. However, these chameleons prefer to eat insects, particularly Madagascar roaches, as well as hornworms, waxworms, and beetles.

2. Bearded Dragons

Central bearded dragon on a trunk
Central bearded dragon on a trunk | image by Will Brown via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps

Bearded Dragons are lizards that grow to be between 13 and 24 inches long. They’re native to Australia, where they can be found in a variety of habitats, such as deserts, dry forests, and scrublands.

Males use their beards to attract females during mating season. Bearded dragons are also known to wave their arms as a sign of recognition and submission.

These lizards are known to consume a wide range of foods, including insects, fruits, and even small mice. They’re also known to eat roaches, particularly Dubia roaches.

3. Leopard Geckos

Leopard gecko in aquarium
Leopard gecko in aquarium | image by Ryan Somma via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Eublepharis macularius

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pet reptiles. They’re small, friendly, and simple to look after. These geckos are insectivores, meaning they’ll only eat insects that fit in their mouth.

These animals are also nocturnal, waking up at night to eat. Because of this, they primarily feed on insects that emerge at night, such as crickets and roaches.

4. Emerald Tree Monitors

Emerald tree monitor
Emerald tree monitor | image by _paVan_ via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Scientific Name: Varanus prasinus

Emerald tree monitors are a type of lizard native to New Guinea. They have been observed feeding on a variety of animals, including crickets, roaches, mice, and mealworms.

These lizards live in trees and are commonly seen in palm groves and rainforests. They can reach a length of 3 inches and have a green to turquoise body color.

Final Thoughts

In summary, lizards do consume cockroaches. They’re high in protein and can be a tasty treat for lizards. However, they have limitations.

Lizards can only consume insects that fit in their mouths. Roaches that are smaller than them are preferred over those that are larger.