Crested Gecko Fruits

Appropriate fruits for crested geckos and other fruit eating reptiles are fruits that are high in calcium and low in phosphorus. Most fruits are the opposite, and a low Ca:P ratio leads to calcium deficiencies over time.

It’s best to have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 or better. Ca:P ratios are a common concern among reptile enthusiasts, small mammal keepers, and horse breeders who strive to keep their animals healthy. There are plenty of lists online for fruits and vegetables, but here is a list of common fruits with associated calcium to phosphorus levels. Just because a fruit has a low Ca:P ratio does not make it a “bad” fruit, you just need to feed it less frequently, in small amounts or in combination with fruits higher in calcium. For example, mix papaya and figs with bananas or peaches.

The list doesn’t list fruits that are necessarily high in overall calcium, only relative to phosphorus. But there is a lot of overlap. For example, figs, dates, cactus fruits and citrus are high in overall calcium as well as having a good Ca:P ratio. Drying fruit concentrates the minerals and for this reason, powdered fruit diets can be naturally higher in calcium than a fresh fruit diet. Nutritional content will vary due to region, season, and soil type of where the fruit is grown. Sources also vary in listed amounts, so when they conflict, I have chosen the most cited source.

There are some fruits you should not feed, or feed very sparingly. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges do not seem palatable to Rhacodactylus/New Caledonian Giant Geckos, and they seem to avoid it. Starfruit is a very high-oxalate fruit, and as fruits are generally high in oxalates it’s best avoided or fed rarely. Do not feed rhubarb for the same reason, as it is deadly. Avocado contains persin, a chemical deadly to birds and best avoided in reptiles, as they are closely related.

Ca:P Ratios of Common Fruit

Papaya—-4.5 : 1

Fig—————2.5 : 1

Prickly Pear—–2.3 : 1

Raspberries——-1.8 : 1

Orange————–1.8 : 1

Blackberries——-1.5 : 1

Grapes—————-1.4 : 1

Black currants——-1.2 : 1

Red currants———-1.1 : 1

Gooseberries———–1 : 1

Mango———————1 : 1

Pineapple—————-1 : 1

Apple———————–1 : 1

Persimmon—————1 : 1

Watermelon————-1 : 1.1

Pears————————–1 : 1.2

Cherries———————-1 : 1.2

Dates——————————1 : 1.3

Strawberries——————-1 : 1.3

Guavas—————————-1 : 1.3

Apricots—————————-1 : 1.4

Blueberries————————1 : 1.6

Kiwi fruit—————————1 : 1.6

Summer Squash———————1 : 1.7

Honeydew—————————-1 : 1.7

Pumpkin———————————1 : 2.1

Peaches———————————–1 : 2.2

Plum——————————————1 : 2.5

Banana—————————————1 : 3.1

Nectarine————————————-1 : 3.2

Cantaloupe————————————–1 : 3.3

Pomegranate————————————1 : 3.3

Starfruit*————————————————1 : 5

Passion Fruit (Purple)——————————-1 : 5.6

* Very high in oxalates/oxalic acid

More exotic fruits may be available where you live. See below for the numbers, in descending order from high to low Ca:P ratio. See the notes for possible risks associated with these fruit.

Roselle (hibiscus) fruit: 5.8:1
Lemon 4:1
Rose Apple 3.6:1
Kumquat 2.3:1
Lime 1.8:1
Sapodilla/Chicozapote++ (peel removed): 1.7:1
Sapote (Pouteria)/Canistel/Eggfruit++: 1.4:1
Wild-sweetsop/Custard Apple(1) 1.4:1
Pawpaw(1): 1.3:1
Java Plum 1.1:1
Mulberries 1 : 1
Surinam Cherry 1 : 1.25
Jujube: 1:1.1
Elderberries 1:1.1
Jackfruit 1:1.1
Sweetsop/Sugar Apple(1) 1 : 1.4
Oheloberries 1 : 1.4
Tamarind 1 : 1.7
Loquats 1 : 2
Cherimoya(1) 1 : 2
Soursop (seeded)(1) 1 : 2
Cherimoya 1 : 2
Pomegranate 1 : 3.3
Starfruit 1 : 5
Plantain 1 : 10
Longans 1 : 25

++Saponin content, must be naturally ripened, seeded and peeled
1) seeds (and some flesh) contain neurotoxin annonacin

Sources:

http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/showpost.php?p=313796&postcount=21
http://www.iguanaden.org/diet/calphosfruit.htm
http://luckyyou-gliders.webs.com/nutrition

How do I calculate the Calcium-to-Phosphorus ratio?

Use a nutrition reference tool or database to find out the total amounts of each mineral. The unit of measurement doesn’t matter. Many food labels, unfortunately, don’t provide the exact amounts but refer to the item as a percentage of a whole. Rounding the amounts of these elements can skew the ratio we are looking for because they are tiny in comparison to to macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates, protein, etc. So try to find the hard numbers. Generally they are in milligrams per kilogram. Most foods contain a lot more phosphorus than calcium, so you’ll be finding generally very uneven numbers, sometimes very small units as in 0.11mg of Calcium to 0.85mg of Phosphorus.

One way to identify the amount of calcium compared to phosphorus with a percentage. Divide the amount of calcium (Ca) by the phosphorus (P) to get the Calcium to Phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio as a percentage – 12.9% Ca:P or rounded up to 13%. You can use an online calculator with the amounts as a ratiio (.11 : .85) to get the percentage as well: http://www.miniwebtool.com/ratio-to-percentage-calculator/ There is only 13% of the Calcium amount as there is of the Phosphorus amount – so a lot less calcium! However, you may have noticed most charts list them as a 1:n or a n:1 ratio to define the ratio in comparison to either calcium or phosphorus as the “1”, where n is the other mineral in comparison to 1. I think this is the best way to understand the data, at least for me, and makes putting them in chart form a lot easier visually. :)

To get there, this gets a little more “mathy” but you can use an online calculator to get the proportions figured out from the original numbers (.11 & .85). Basically, you want to divide each number by the left or right number, depending on what side you want to be “1”. To keep it easier and to avoid mistakes, I use a calculator! The one below is easy, you put in the current ratio on the left side and a “1” in either the left or the right fill-in area. (Ca:P lists calcium on the left, phosphorus to the right)
http://www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/math/ratios.php

When I do the descending charts, I go from using P as the 1 when calcium is the smaller amount, and P as the 1 as calcium becomes the larger amount. Feel free to calculate and sort in whichever way makes it easier for you! :)

Some helpful resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/maths/number/ratiosrev2.shtml
http://www.miniwebtool.com/ratio-to-percentage-calculator/
http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0073374695/881834/Chapte03.pdf

6 thoughts on “Crested Gecko Fruits

  1. Pingback: Crested Gecko Feeding Emergency (Sort of) - Gecko Resource Forums

  2. Hello, my cousin has a Gecko that he doesn’t want anymore and I would like to take it but I don’t know anything about them? Apparently it is a type which eats some sort of mashed up fruit from a pet shop. Does anyone know what sort that could be? I really don’t like the idea of feeding live food so… :) thank you xx What do I need to know about Geckos?

    • There are many geckos that can eat fruit, it shouldn’t be their main diet though. Most need a balance of insects and fruit. Or if you feed a commercial diet, you do not need live food – but it’s still recommended once in a while. Could be a crested gecko, gargoyle gecko, Rhacodactylus leachianus, Mniarogekko chahoua, Eurydactylodes species, golden geckos, Phelsuma (Day Geckos)… the list goes on, with many gecko species.

      Each type of gecko requires its own care, so you’ll really want to know what species you have! You can go on many different gecko forums like Pangea and look at pictures there or even post a “Help me identify my gecko” question. Good luck!

  3. Hi, I have an Eyelash crested geck that I have had for four years. She has been healthy and has had a nice bright orange color for as long as I have had her, but for the past while (well over a month ago) she has become pale. I feel like I’ve tried everything, higher humidity, lower humidity, more food, less food, more insects less fruit, less insects more fruit, higher temperature, lower temperature. I’ve even tried calcium powder. She has also been a bit more aggressive as well. I can’t find an exotic pet vetinarian in my area and I am becoming ever more concerned. Any recommendations would be great, thank you.

    • It could be the change of season into the warmer months; as an adult gecko she may be ready for a mate, which can cause changes in behavior. As for her color, some geckos do seem to stop “firing up” as much as they get older. If she’s active, eating and pooping there is likely nothing wrong with her. Are you feeding a complete crested gecko diet? That’s very important for long term health. Good luck!

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