Lizards are fascinating creatures that come in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever wondered whether your pet lizard or the lizards in your backyard would be interested in munching on juicy strawberries from your garden, you’re not alone!

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Most lizards do not eat strawberries. While not toxic, strawberries offer little nutritional value for lizards, who prefer foods like insects, small vertebrates, vegetation, fruit, and flowers.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll take an in-depth look at different types of lizards and their diets to understand whether strawberries should be on the menu. We’ll cover which lizards do enjoy fruit, nutritional requirements for lizards, and safer fruit options you can offer your pet.

An Overview of Lizards and Their Diets

Herbivorous Lizards

Some species of lizards strictly consume plant matter, making them herbivores. Well-known herbivorous lizards include green iguanas, chuckwallas, and some species of tegus. These lizards graze on leaves, fruits, flowers, and veggies as their main food sources.

Herbivorous lizards typically have blunt teeth and strong jaw muscles designed for grinding up fibrous plant matter. Their digestive systems contain symbiotic bacteria that help them break down cellulose and access nutrients from plants.

Herbivorous lizards enjoy feasting on nutritious produce like collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, squash, bell peppers, and strawberries. Strawberries make a tasty treat that provides beneficial nutrients. The red pigment comes from disease-fighting anthocyanins.

Strawberries also supply key vitamins like vitamin C and fiber. Overall, strawberries and other fruits/veggies give necessary carbs, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and water to maintain herbivorous lizards.

Carnivorous Lizards

Conversely, several lizard species strictly eat other animals, labeling them carnivores. Skinks, some geckos, monitor lizards, and Gila monsters rank among meat-eating lizards. Their sharp, pointed teeth and muscular jaws provide tools to grab prey and slice meat.

Long tails, claws, and quick reflexes also help them hunt successfully. Since animal flesh provides a protein-rich meal, carnivorous lizards evolved digestive systems adept at accessing nutrients from meat, organs, and bones.

The primary components of carnivorous lizards’ diets are insects, spiders, worms, small vertebrates like mice/lizards, snakes, eggs, and carrion. Unlike herbivorous lizards, carnivores lack the proper digestive system to gain benefits from fruit.

Their stomachs cannot derive adequate nutrition from plant sugars and fibers alone. Therefore, strawberries prove of little dietary value for strictly meat-eating lizards.

Omnivorous Lizards

Omnivorous refers to consuming both plant and animal matter, which many lizard species do. Common omnivorous lizards include anoles, some geckos, blue-tongued skinks, and bearded dragons. Their slightly less specialized teeth and digestive systems allow them to eat diverse food types.

These adaptive traits provide nutritional flexibility according to food availability in local ecosystems.

Since omnivorous lizards eat a balanced mixture, fruits like strawberries make excellent supplemental foods. Strawberries offer vital carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Meanwhile, omnivorous lizards also eat proteins from insects, eggs, small vertebrates, etc.

So they reap benefits from both plants and animals. Typically 50-60% of captive omnivorous lizards’ diets should come from quality vegetables and fruits, with the remaining 40-50% being proteins from insects/meat.

Lizard Diet Type Do They Eat Strawberries?
Herbivores Yes
Carnivores No
Omnivores Yes

Do Wild Lizards Eat Fruit Like Strawberries?

Fruit-Eating Lizards in the Wild

While most lizards are insectivores or carnivores, some species do enjoy munching on fruit in the wild. Fruit can provide lizards with essential vitamins, minerals, fluids, and sugars to supplement their diets (PetHelpful).

In particular, larger lizard species like iguanas, monitor lizards, and blue-tongued skinks will eat fruit readily. These lizards have more expansive digestive systems capable of processing the sugars and fiber found in many fruits.

Smaller lizard species like anoles or geckos rarely consume fruit since their digestive systems are geared more towards bugs and small prey.

Fruits that lizards enjoy include berries, figs, papaya, mango, and bananas. These soft, sweet fruits are easy to digest. Iguanas in Central America, for example, feast on fruit from tropical fruit trees that fall to the forest floor (Reptiles Magazine).

However, a fruit like strawberries would not typically be on a wild lizard’s menu. Strawberries grow close to the ground and have a relatively short season. They would be difficult for lizards to access before other animals consumed them.

Additionally, strawberries offer little protein or nutrients compared to other fruits more readily available in lizard habitats.

Strawberries Offer Little Nutrition for Lizards

When examining the nutritional content of strawberries, it becomes clear they are not ideal fruits for lizards in the wild. Here is how strawberries stack up (USDA):

Nutrient Amount in 1 Cup of Strawberries
Calories 50
Protein 1 gram (4% DV)
Carbs 12 grams (4% DV)
Vitamin C Over 100% DV

As you can see, strawberries are very low in protein, which lizards need to thrive. They also contain lots of sugar from carbohydrates, providing empty calories. While strawberries offer good levels of vitamin C for people, vitamin C is not considered an essential vitamin for reptiles when they have access to a UVB light source.

Thus, strawberries would probably pass by uneaten if found by lizards in the wild.

In captivity, however, strawberries can occasionally be fed to lizards as a snack. Pet lizards may enjoy the sweet taste. Still, fruit should never make up a large portion of a captive lizard’s diet. Lizards in captivity still require a balanced diet high in essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

Can Pet Lizards Eat Strawberries?

Strawberries can make a tasty treat for pet lizards, but there are some important considerations lizard owners should keep in mind.

Check with Your Veterinarian First

Before offering any new food to your pet lizard, it’s always wise to check with an exotics veterinarian first. Some lizards may have sensitivities or allergies to certain fruits. Vets can provide tailored recommendations based on your specific lizard’s dietary needs.

In general, most lizards can eat small amounts of strawberries as an occasional treat. But they should not make up a significant portion of the diet. Too much fruit sugar can lead to obesity and other health issues in lizards.

Fruit to Avoid for Pet Lizards

While strawberries are relatively safe for lizards, some other fruits should be avoided:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes – these are too acidic for lizards.
  • Grapes and raisins – can cause kidney failure in reptiles.
  • Avocados – contain persin, which is toxic to lizards.
  • Onions, garlic, chives – contains compounds that can damage lizard red blood cells.

It’s also best to serve strawberries fresh rather than frozen, canned, or processed with added sugars.

Better Fruit Choices for Pet Lizards

While strawberries are OK for lizards, there are some fruits that make even better treats:

  • Blueberries – high in antioxidants and low in sugar.
  • Bananas – a great source of potassium and fiber.
  • Apples – provide vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Melons – high in vitamins, minerals, and water content.

Fruits should be thoroughly washed and cut into bite-sized pieces before serving. It’s also best to feed them sparingly, about once or twice a week at most.

With a vet’s approval, occasional small servings of fresh strawberries can provide pleasant variety in a pet lizard’s diet. But fruits like blueberries, bananas, apples, and melons make even healthier options.

Other Tips for Feeding Lizards Fruit

Offer Fruit as an Occasional Treat

Fruit should only comprise a small portion of a lizard’s overall diet. At most, fruit should make up 10-20% of their food intake. More than that can lead to health issues over time. Here are some tips on offering fruit appropriately:

  • Fruit 1-2 times per week is sufficient for most lizards. Any more is generally too much sugar and can cause diarrhea or weight gain.
  • Good fruits to offer include berries, melon, mango, papaya – fruits that are soft, sweet, and high in moisture.
  • Only give a couple bites of fruit at one time. Small pieces are best for lizards to prevent choking.
  • Watch that the lizard does not fill up only on fruit – make sure they still have an appetite for vegetables, insects, etc. later.

Pay Attention to Hydration

Fruit contains a lot of moisture, but it still does not replace a lizard’s need for fresh, clean water. Dehydration is a real risk for reptiles, so their water needs extra attention when feeding fruit.

  • Always provide a water bowl, spray bottle, dripping/flowing water, or other water source.
  • Check that the lizard is actively drinking – watch their throat as they swallow.
  • Supplement with extra misting after feeding fruit to account for the hydrating qualities.

Fruit Prep and Serving Suggestions

Preparing fruit properly for lizards makes a big difference in their enjoyment of this tasty treat. Follow these tips for best results:

  • Wash fruit thoroughly under running water before serving.
  • Remove any stems, leaves, peels, pits/seeds – only feed the fleshy fruit interior.
  • Cut into bite-sized pieces to prevent choking.
  • Lightly dust with calcium powder for added nutritional value.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days maximum to prevent spoilage.

In the end, moderation and variety are key when offering lizards fresh fruits. Used occasionally as part of a diverse diet alongside insects, veggies, greens, and complete lizard food, fruit can give them something different and delicious to enjoy.


While most lizards aren’t particularly interested in strawberries, certain omnivorous species can enjoy fruit in moderation as part of a balanced diet. When feeding lizards fruit, focus on providing nutritional options like figs, bananas, melons, mango, and berries (except strawberries).

Avoid citrus fruits and grapes for lizards. And as always, check with your veterinarian to understand your specific lizard’s dietary needs before offering new foods.

We hope this detailed overview helped explain why strawberries fall low on the list of preferred foods for lizards. Now you can feel confident understanding your lizard’s dietary preferences and needs when it comes to fruit.

Similar Posts