What Do Garden Lizards Eat

Garden lizards, also known as green lizards or fence lizards, are fascinating reptiles that can be found in various parts of the world. They are known for their vibrant colors and their ability to adapt to different environments. In order to understand the dietary requirements of garden lizards, it’s essential to explore their physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior.

Overview of Garden Lizards

Garden lizards typically have a slender body with long tails and a triangular-shaped head. They come in various shades of green, brown, or gray, which allows them to blend in with their surroundings. These lizards are commonly found in gardens, parks, and other areas with abundant vegetation.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of garden lizards play a significant role in their diet. Their sharp teeth and strong jaws enable them to capture and consume prey efficiently. Additionally, their agile bodies and excellent climbing skills allow them to hunt for food in trees, shrubs, and on the ground.


Garden lizards are highly adaptable and can thrive in different habitats. They are commonly found in regions with moderate temperatures and ample sunlight. These lizards prefer areas with dense vegetation, as it provides them with both shelter and a source of food.


Garden lizards are diurnal creatures, meaning they are active during the day. They are known for their territorial behavior and often engage in territorial displays to defend their territory from other lizards. They are also skilled climbers and can frequently be seen basking in the sun on tree branches or rocks.

Dietary Requirements of Garden Lizards

Garden lizards are primarily insectivorous, meaning their diet primarily consists of insects and invertebrates. However, they are also known to consume small vertebrates and occasionally feed on plant matter and fruits. Providing a varied diet is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

General Feeding Habits

Garden lizards are opportunistic feeders and will actively search for prey in their surroundings. They rely on their keen eyesight to spot movement and capture small insects such as crickets, beetles, spiders, and ants. These lizards possess a quick and agile tongue that aids in capturing their prey.

Insectivorous Nature

Insects form the core of a garden lizard’s diet. They are a rich source of protein, which is essential for their growth, development, and maintenance of body tissues. Some common insects consumed by garden lizards include grasshoppers, flies, moths, and caterpillars.

Importance of a Varied Diet

While insects are the primary food source, garden lizards benefit from a varied diet. Introducing small vertebrates such as worms, snails, and even small frogs can provide them with additional nutrients. Furthermore, including plant matter and fruits in their diet can supplement their nutritional requirements.

Types of Food Garden Lizards Consume

Garden lizards have diverse dietary preferences and consume a range of food items, including insects, small vertebrates, and plant matter.

Insects and Invertebrates

Insects and invertebrates make up a significant portion of a garden lizard’s diet. They actively hunt and consume a variety of insects, including crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders. Invertebrates like snails and worms are also consumed, providing a source of essential nutrients.

Small Vertebrates

Garden lizards are opportunistic hunters and occasionally feed on small vertebrates. This may include small frogs, tadpoles, and even small snakes or lizards. However, it’s important to note that the consumption of vertebrates is more common in larger species of garden lizards.

Plant Matter and Fruits

While insects and small vertebrates form the mainstay of their diet, garden lizards may also consume plant matter and fruits. They occasionally feed on leaves, flowers, and fruits, especially when other food sources are scarce. However, plant matter is usually a smaller part of their diet compared to animal-based food.

Factors Influencing Garden Lizard Diet

Several factors influence the dietary preferences and habits of garden lizards. These factors include age and size, environmental factors, and the availability of food sources.

Age and Size

The age and size of a garden lizard play a significant role in its diet. Juvenile lizards have different dietary requirements compared to adults. They require more protein for growth, whereas adults focus more on maintaining their body condition. The size of the lizard also determines the size and types of prey it can capture and consume.

Environmental Factors

The environment in which a garden lizard resides affects its diet. Lizards living in areas with abundant insect populations will have more access to insect prey. Similarly, lizards in areas with a diverse range of vegetation may have the opportunity to consume more plant matter.

Availability of Food Sources

The availability of food sources directly influences a garden lizard’s diet. During seasons when insects are abundant, lizards may primarily rely on them for sustenance. In contrast, during periods when insect populations decline or become less accessible, lizards may need to rely more on alternative food sources.

Tips for Providing a Suitable Diet for Garden Lizards

If you have a garden lizard as a pet or wish to attract them to your garden, it’s essential to provide a suitable diet that meets their nutritional requirements.

Captive Diet Considerations

For captive garden lizards, it is important to replicate their natural diet as closely as possible. This can be achieved by offering a variety of live insects such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. It’s also beneficial to provide occasional small vertebrates and supplement their diet with calcium and vitamin-rich foods.

Providing Live Prey

Garden lizards are stimulated by the movement of live prey, which triggers their natural hunting instincts. Offering live insects allows them to engage in natural feeding behaviors, promoting physical and mental stimulation. However, ensure that the prey items are appropriate in size and safe for the lizard to consume.

Supplementing with Calcium and Vitamins

To maintain optimal health, garden lizards require calcium and vitamins in their diet. Dusting live prey with calcium powder or providing calcium-rich supplements ensures they receive adequate amounts of this essential mineral. Similarly, offering a vitamin supplement designed for reptiles can help meet their vitamin requirements.



1. Can garden lizards eat fruits and vegetables?

Garden lizards primarily rely on insects and small vertebrates for their nutritional needs. While they may occasionally consume plant matter and fruits, it forms a smaller part of their diet compared to animal-based food.

2. Are garden lizards dangerous to humans?

Garden lizards are generally harmless to humans. They are shy creatures and will typically avoid confrontation. If left undisturbed, they can help control insect populations, making them beneficial in garden ecosystems.

3. Can I feed my garden lizard dead insects?

Garden lizards are more likely to be stimulated by live prey due to their natural hunting instincts. However, if live insects are not readily available, you can offer pre-killed insects as an alternative food source.

4. How often should I feed my garden lizard?

The frequency of feeding depends on the age, size, and individual requirements of the garden lizard. As a general guideline, adult lizards can be fed every two to three days, while juveniles may require daily feedings.

5. What are the signs of a well-balanced diet for garden lizards?

A well-balanced diet for garden lizards includes a variety of live insects, occasional small vertebrates, and supplemental calcium and vitamins. Signs of a healthy lizard include vibrant colors, alertness, and active behavior. Regular shedding and proper growth are also indicators of a well-nourished lizard.


Garden lizards are insectivorous reptiles that occasionally consume small vertebrates and plant matter. They possess sharp teeth, strong jaws, and agile bodies that enable them to capture and consume prey efficiently. Providing a varied diet that includes live insects, small vertebrates, and occasional plant matter is essential for their overall health and well-being. By understanding their dietary preferences and considering factors like age, size, and environmental conditions, we can ensure garden lizards receive a suitable diet in both captive and natural settings.

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