In their natural habitat, ackie monitors (Varanus acanthurus) are opportunistic feeders and exhibit a varied diet. These small to medium-sized lizards are native to the arid regions of Australia, where they inhabit scrublands and rocky deserts.
Ackie monitors primarily consume invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, spiders, isopods, caterpillars, cicadas, snails, stick insects, centipedes, crickets, and ticks. As skilled hunters, they actively seek out prey and consume whatever they can overpower. This adaptable feeding behavior allows them to thrive in their environment.
As pets, it is important to establish a proper feeding schedule for ackie monitors to ensure their nutritional needs are met. A balanced diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Here is a recommended feeding schedule for ackie monitors in captivity:
- Daily: Offer a variety of live insects as the primary food source. These can include dubia roaches, crickets, mealworms, silkworms, superworms, black soldier fly larvae (phoenix worms), waxworms, and butterworms.
- Twice a Week: Dust the insects with a calcium supplement to provide essential calcium for bone health. Use a calcium powder specifically designed for reptiles and lightly coat the prey before feeding it to the ackie monitors.
- Once a Week: Supplement the diet with a multivitamin powder designed for reptiles. This helps ensure that the ackie monitors receive a balanced range of vitamins and minerals.
Ackie monitors thrive on a diet primarily consisting of live insects. Here are some staple insects and other food items that can be included in their diet:
- Dubia roaches
- Black soldier fly larvae (phoenix worms)
- Roaches (e.g., hissing cockroaches, discoid roaches)
- Snails (previously calcium-fed)
It is crucial to provide a variety of insects and other food items to offer a well-rounded nutritional profile for ackie monitors. Rotate the food items to ensure dietary diversity and monitor the ackie monitor’s response to different foods.
Alternative protein sources
While live insects form the core of an ackie monitor’s diet, occasional supplementation with additional food items can add variety and nutritional benefits. Here are some commonly offered foods:
- Eggs: Ackie monitors can be fed eggs as an occasional treat. Chicken eggs, quail eggs, and leopard gecko eggs can be boiled, scrambled, or offered raw, depending on your preference.
- Rodents: Small-sized rodents such as pinky mice can be offered as an occasional treat. These should be appropriately sized, and it is recommended to feed pre-killed or frozen-thawed mice or pinkies.
- Poultry: Small portions of boneless, skinless poultry such as turkey or chicken can be provided as an occasional food source. Ensure the meat is fresh and free from any seasonings or additives.
When feeding foods beyond insects, it is important to ensure they are fresh, of high quality, and offered in moderation to maintain a balanced diet.
Proper nutrition is essential for the health and longevity of ackie monitors. Following a well-rounded feeding schedule, including staple insects, calcium supplementation, and occasional treats, will help ensure that these fascinating reptiles thrive in captivity.
Always monitor their feeding behavior and consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced reptile keeper for further guidance on their specific dietary needs.
Ackie Monitor Diet FAQs
What can ackie monitors eat?
Ackie monitors have a versatile diet that primarily consists of live insects and invertebrates, although they may also occasionally eat eggs, fish and small rodents or poultry.
These lizards are opportunistic feeders, and in the wild, they consume a wide range of prey items such as grasshoppers, beetles, cockroaches, spiders, caterpillars, and more.
As pets, it is recommended to offer staple insects like dubia roaches, crickets, mealworms, silkworms, superworms, black soldier fly larvae, and waxworms. These insects provide essential nutrients and mimic their natural diet.
Can ackie monitors eat fish?
While ackie monitors primarily consume insects and invertebrates, they can occasionally eat small fish.
However, fish should not be a staple part of their diet. It is important to ensure that the fish offered are appropriate for their size, such as small feeder fish like guppies or minnows.
Fish can provide a source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but they should be offered sparingly as an occasional treat rather than a regular food item.
Can ackie monitors eat fruits and vegetables?
Ackie monitors are primarily insectivorous, and their diet in the wild consists mainly of invertebrates. Therefore no, you should not be feeding your ackie fruits nor vegetables.
While fruits and vegetables may not be a significant part of their natural diet, some ackie monitors may show interest in consuming small amounts of fruits and vegetables.
However, these should be considered as occasional treats rather than dietary staples. Offer small portions of soft fruits like berries or melons and finely chopped leafy greens like kale or collard greens.
Fruits and vegetables can provide some hydration and additional vitamins, but they should not replace the primary diet of live insects.
Can ackie monitors eat eggs?
Yes, ackie monitors can eat eggs. Eggs can be a nutritious addition to their diet and are often offered as a treat. Chicken eggs, quail eggs, and leopard gecko eggs can be boiled, scrambled, or offered raw, depending on your preference.
Eggs are a good source of protein, fats, and other essential nutrients. However, eggs should be provided in moderation and should not replace the primary diet of insects.
It is important to remember that while eggs can be a beneficial addition to their diet, they should be offered as part of a varied and balanced feeding regimen.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.