Home | General Reptile & Amphibian Articles | Herp Nutrition – Calcium Sprays and Tips for Special Situations – Part 1

Herp Nutrition – Calcium Sprays and Tips for Special Situations – Part 1

calcium sprayCoating feeder insects with calcium and vitamin supplements is a time-tested method of adding important nutrients to reptile and amphibian diets.  However, shy and nocturnal species that do not eat soon after the insects are released into their terrariums may get little benefit from powdered supplements.  Insects quickly lose their coatings as they move about…crickets and roaches add to the problem by grooming the supplements from their bodies as soon as they are able (Yes, “grooming” …watch roaches sometime, they are quite fastidious!).

Spray-On Calcium

R Zilla Reptile Calcium Supplement Spray and Vitamin Supplement Spray help to address this problem.  The spray sticks to and may even be absorbed by insects (as well as dry foods and salad), thereby assuring its delivery no matter how much time elapses before the food is consumed.  These products will prove particularly useful to those keeping Leaf Tailed Geckos, Crocodile Skinks, Flying Geckos, Red-Eyed Treefrogs, Spadefoot Toads, certain burrowing tarantulas and others that are notoriously shy about showing themselves by day.

Agalychnis callidryasCalcium Spray supplies calcium in three forms, including Calcium Gluconate, which is readily utilized by many species.  It can also be administered orally to animals with deficiencies (a consultation with your veterinarian would be advisable beforehand).

Further Reading

Please see my article Providing a Balanced Diet to Reptiles and Amphibians for more information on other aspects of captive herp nutrition.

An interesting article on feeder insect calcium content is posted here.

 Next time we’ll take a look at a few effective but little-used techniques for raising the calcium content of insects fed to reptiles and amphibians


Agalychnis callidryas image referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Christian R. Linder

About Frank Indiviglio

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Being born with a deep interest in animals might seem unfortunate for a native Bronxite , but my family encouraged my interest and the menagerie that sprung from it. Jobs with pet stores and importers had me caring for a fantastic assortment of reptiles and amphibians. After a detour as a lawyer, I was hired as a Bronx Zoo animal keeper and was soon caring for gharials, goliath frogs, king cobras and everything in-between. Research has taken me in pursuit of anacondas, Orinoco crocodiles and other animals in locales ranging from Venezuela’s llanos to Tortuguero’s beaches. Now, after 20+ years with the Bronx Zoo, I am a consultant for several zoos and museums. I have spent time in Japan, and often exchange ideas with zoologists there. I have written books on salamanders, geckos and other “herps”, discussed reptile-keeping on television and presented papers at conferences. A Master’s Degree in biology has led to teaching opportunities. My work puts me in contact with thousands of hobbyists keeping an array of pets. Without fail, I have learned much from them and hope, dear readers, that you will be generous in sharing your thoughts on this blog and web site. For a complete biography of my experience click here.
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