Tegu lizards eat just about anything and fruits are a staple in their diet. Dietary studies of wild Argentine tegu showed that the contents of their stomach was made up of more than half of fruits and vegetables, and even Colombian tegus, which are almost entirely carnivorous, eat fruit regularly in the wild
Tegus need a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to have access to all the vitamins they need to be healthy. As a tegu owner, however, you need to make sure to feed fruit in moderation as most fruits are high in sugars and can be very acidic, which can lead to health issues such as obesity, thyroid problems, or impaired calcium absorption.
As a rule of thumb, no more than 10% of your tegu’s diet should consist of fruits. Argentine and Red tegu should have 10% of fruits and an additional 30% of vegetables, whereas Colombian tegus, as well as any juvenile tegu regardless of species, should have 10% of combined fruits AND vegetables.
If in doubt, always serve highly nutritious vegetables first (i.e. squash, greens, peppers) and only offer a couple of fruits per day as a treat. That said, not all fruits are equal, and some can be served regularly as they’ll provide a heap of nutrients and health benefits to your tegu.
Berries and exotic fruits like mango and papaya are especially great for tegus. Apples, pears and bananas can also be fed in moderation. Most citrus fruits are highly acidic but even then you can feed oranges in moderation without much issues. There are only very few fruits that should be avoided altogether, such as avocado.
Fruits for tegu
- Prickly Pear Fruit
Feed in moderation
- Dragon Fruit
Best to avoid
What is the best fruit for tegu?
The best fruit for tegus are berries and exotic fruits such as mango and papaya. These fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for your tegu’s health. Berries are particularly beneficial as they are packed with antioxidants that can help protect your tegu from diseases and boost their immune system. Mangoes and papayas, on the other hand, are rich in Vitamin A and C, which are important for healthy skin and eyesight.
How much fruit should I feed my tegu?
As a general guideline, no more than 10% of your tegu’s diet should be fruits. Argentine and Red tegus should have 10% of fruits and an additional 30% of vegetables, whereas Colombian tegus, as well as any juvenile tegu regardless of species, should have 10% of combined fruits AND vegetables. It is essential to provide your tegu with a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients to maintain optimal health.
What fruits should tegus avoid?
There are only a few fruits that tegus should avoid altogether, such as avocado. Avocado contains persin, which is toxic to many animals, including tegus. Other fruits to avoid or feed very sparingly include cedar, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and plums. These fruits may cause digestive issues or contain high levels of acidity, which can lead to health problems for your tegu.
Why can’t tegus eat avocado?
Unlike other fruits, avocado are mostly made of fat, and it is very high in oxalic acid which can lead to metabolic bone disease. Smaller lizards such as bearded dragons are known to potentially die a few hours after eating avocado, so you do not want to risk poisoning your tegu.
Can tegus eat bananas?
Yes, tegus can eat bananas and even banana peels (if organic and free of pesticides). Bananas are best fed in moderation due to their high content of sugars and phosphorus.
Can tegus eat citrus (i.e. lemons and oranges)?
Citrus should not be fed to tegus regularly because it may lead to upset stomachs and other issues. Lemons, limes and similar fruits are some of the most acidic foods out there and should be avoided. It is okay however to feed less acidic fruits like oranges and clementines in small quantities as they are a great source of vitamin C.
Can tegus eat clementines?
Clementines are perfectly safe for tegus in moderation, although they are not particularly high in calcium so there are better food choices out there. It is best to only offer clementines as a treat.
Can tegus eat dragon fruits?
Dragon fruit is nutritious, but it tends to be acidic and high in phosphorus, so it’s best to feed it to your tegu sporadically. Peel and cut the dragon fruit into pieces before serving it to your tegu.
Can tegus eat grapes?
Tegus can eat all kinds of grapes, although seedless varieties should be preferred. Concord grapes are high in oxalates and somewhat acidic, so it’s best to feed in moderation. If you are a variety of grape with seeds in it, it is best to halve the grapes and remove the seeds before serving, as fruit seeds may increase the risk of impaction.
Can tegus eat kiwi?
Yes, tegus can absolutely eat kiwi fruit, including the peel and seeds. Kiwi is rich in vitamins C, E, and K, as well as fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. This nutritious fruit can be a great addition to your tegu’s diet, as long as it is given in moderation.
Can tegus eat papaya?
Yes, tegus can eat papaya without any issues. Papaya is a highly nutritious fruit that can provide your tegu with several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and potassium. Additionally, the enzymes in papaya can help your tegu digest its food more efficiently.
Can tegus eat plums?
Yes, tegus can eat plums and prunes. These fruits have many benefits, including minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, they contain plenty of sugars and have an unbalanced level of calcium and phosphorus so they are best offered as a treat rather than on a regular basis.
Can tegus eat tomatoes?
While tomatoes are safe for tegus to eat, it is best to feed them to your tegu only sporadically. Tomatoes are known for being highly acidic, which can cause digestive issues and other health problems in tegus if consumed too frequently. However, the occasional serving of tomato can be a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants.
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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.