Reptile Diet – What Are the Different Types of Carnivores and Insectivores?

도마뱀분양 Reptile diet is probably the single most important aspect of your pet’s health. Reptiles vary in their nutritional needs with some requiring a completely vegetable diet while others require a mix of animal and plant foods.


Carnivorous reptiles require meat protein and can be fed commercial ‘pellet’ diets or fresh small animals such as mice, rats or earthworms. These can be gut loaded with a calcium supplement or dusted to ensure they are receiving adequate nutrition.


Herbivores are animals that depend on the ‘primary producers’, for example, plants, for their nutrition. They eat only plant material such as grass, leaves and algae. There are two herbivorous feeding strategies; grazing and browsing. A grazer will eat mainly grass while a browser will eat primarily tree leaves and twigs.

Generally herbivorous animals have mouthparts adapted to rasping or grinding. For example, horses have wide flat teeth that are suited for chewing grass and other tough plant matter. Some herbivores have a 4 chambered stomach, called a rumen, which helps them digest their food. The first chamber allows the herbivore to soak and soften the food then vomits it back up into the second chamber where the bacteria in the rumen begin to break down the foods cellulose. This process of digestion is known as fermentation.

Most Green Iguanas are herbivores but they can also be omnivores or carnivores depending on what is available in their environment. In captivity it is important to offer a variety of foods to prevent reptiles from becoming dependant on a single prey item. Also, a diet that has been gut-loaded 24-48 hours before being offered to the lizard will increase its nutritional value. This can be done by soaking the insects in a mixture of carrot, apple, leafy greens, squash, bran and/or oats.


Omnivores are those animals that consume both plants and meat. In the wild omnivores usually have a wide choice of both. This is why omnivores are called flexible eaters. They change their diets with the season or availability of different foods and can adapt to changes in the environment.

For example the Greater spear-nosed bat of South and Central America is an omnivore that eats fruit, seeds, insects, reptiles and small mammals. It also hunts birds, mammals and other bats.

A variety of dietary options is also important for captive omnivores. In captivity a healthy herbivorous reptile would have 15% to 35% of its energy from protein, 10% to 30% from fat and up to 50% from crude fiber.

The teeth of omnivores are designed to handle a varied diet. Most species have canines and incisors to bite into meat and flat molars to crush plant material. Some omnivores are scavengers and will eat dead animal flesh as well.

Some omnivores can be difficult to feed in captivity. For example snakes that will only eat mouse may become dependent on one prey item and if the availability of that prey declines they can suffer from malnutrition. To avoid this problem it is best to offer several different food items. In addition it is a good idea to try and keep a captive reptile’s feeding habits as close as possible to its natural diet in order to prevent nutritional diseases such as metabolic bone disease from low calcium and vitamin D levels and hypovitaminosis A and B12.


The role of carnivores in an ecosystem is to hunt and kill prey animals to feed themselves and other predators. Carnivores also control herbivore populations. Examples of large carnivores include wolves and mountain lions. Medium-sized carnivores include foxes and snakes. Small carnivores include rodents, birds, frogs and insects. Carnivores have biological adaptations for hunting, including long, sharp teeth that can grab and rip prey. Some have claws, called talons, that can catch and hold prey. They also have big molars that can grind up leaves and grasses, which they eat along with meat.

Carnivores also rely on their sense of smell to find food. They stick their tongues out to catch scent particles floating in the air. They can use their vision, touch and sense of taste to locate foods as well.

Reptiles that are obligate carnivores or consume at least 70 percent meat should have a high-protein diet, which can be provided by feeding them live prey, such as mice, rats and adult green iguanas. Reptile-owners must carefully monitor the size of their live prey to ensure that a reptile can swallow it. Insufficient food causes gastrointestinal issues, and the wrong diet can kill a reptile through malnutrition.

For example, a baby bearded dragon should be fed mice that are no larger than its own girth to prevent gagging and impaction. In captivity, a reptile’s diet may be supplemented with vegetables and fruits to meet nutritional needs. Insects should be gut-loaded 24-48 hours before being fed to a reptile, to increase the protein content of their diet.


Insectivores are a group of animals and plants that are dependent on insects for their source of food. They eat and prey on them first before feeding on other animals like birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, etc. They are also called entomophagous.

Most of these insectivores have poor eyesight and small ears. They use other senses to locate their prey such as touch, smell, and hearing. They hide in deep forests, tunnels, holes that are deserted by other animals or under fallen leaves and roots of trees. They have whiskers that help them to detect the movement of their prey. They are nocturnal.

Crocodiles and alligators are highly carnivorous. They feed on almost any animal that moves. This includes mammals, birds, amphibians, other reptiles, insects and even smaller reptiles and amphibians. They hunt along rivers and canals where unwary animals and birds may be drinking or feeding on a riverbank.

Some reptiles, such as the Thick-tailed Gecko, have a special adaptation that allows them to catch and eat living insects without harming them. They have a structure in their tongues that resembles the shape of a hook, which helps them to grab and hold on to live insects. They also have a specialized gland that releases a chemical that causes the insect’s stomach to shut. This allows them to consume the whole insect.