Can Bearded Dragons Eat Insects?

Plant-based diets are typical for wild bearded dragons. However, captive bearded dragons are more carnivorous and need a balanced diet of animal and plant foods.

Lizards need fresh vegetables and live feeder insects sprinkled with calcium powder. Fruits can also be offered, but only as treats or training aids.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Insects?

Yes! Insects are an essential part of a bearded dragon’s natural diet. They should make up at least half of their total food intake.

Insects provide bearded dragons with important protein for growth and repair. Plant sources alone do not offer enough protein for dragons. The best insects to feed include crickets, mealworms and superworms.

Insects should make up around 50-70{ee685e3adeb6997ca32ed3610b1b2ca8a7809e1b3fc9db6880a50336a8b9cba5} of a bearded dragon’s total diet. The rest should consist of nutritious fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals.

All bearded dragons need insects in their diet, even juveniles. While young dragons eat mostly insects, they still require some vegetable matter for fiber.

Insects also stimulate bearded dragons as they hunt and capture their food. This activity provides exercise and enrichment that is important for their wellbeing.

Make sure to ‘gut load’ insects you feed to your dragon by feeding the insects a nutrient-rich diet for 1-2 days beforehand. This helps increase the nutritional value insects provide.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, eating insects, plants, and fruits. Thus, they need a balanced diet.

Disease and parasite prevention depend on substrate choice. Spot-clean the substrate daily to remove feces.

Feeding your reptile live food is ideal. Cockroaches, silkworms, crickets, and earthworms are common live feeder insects.

Dried or canned reptile-specific insects can be provided in addition to live insects. These should only be fed as an emergency supplement, not as part of their regular diet.

Nutritional Content of Insects

Bearded dragons eat fruits, vegetables, insects, and small rodents. Young beardies typically eat 80{ee685e3adeb6997ca32ed3610b1b2ca8a7809e1b3fc9db6880a50336a8b9cba5} insects and 20{ee685e3adeb6997ca32ed3610b1b2ca8a7809e1b3fc9db6880a50336a8b9cba5} plants, while full-grown beardies eat 45{ee685e3adeb6997ca32ed3610b1b2ca8a7809e1b3fc9db6880a50336a8b9cba5} insects and 50{ee685e3adeb6997ca32ed3610b1b2ca8a7809e1b3fc9db6880a50336a8b9cba5} plants.

How much and what kind of insects you feed your beardie will determine its nutrition. Feed multiple types of insects to ensure your pet gets all the nutrients.

Young bearded dragons should consume no more than five to six mealworms per day, while adults should limit themselves to 10-12. Many pet owners feed their pets mealworms, but it should only be part of a balanced diet for optimal health.

Health Benefits and Risks of Insects

Insects are among the invertebrates bearded dragons eat in the wild. Wotherspoon (2007) found that free-ranging bearded dragons (Pogona barbata) eat a lot of ants and other insects.

Bearded dragons feed on crickets for protein and calcium. These insects can be found in pet stores and bait shops, but they may be hard for your dragon to digest and clean up after eating.

Feeder insects offer a varied diet and good health for your bearded dragon. Before feeding the insects to your dragon, dust them with calcium powder.

Other Alternatives to Insects

Even though you can not feed your bearded dragon live insects, there are alternatives. Insect food is freeze-dried and dehydrated.

Dried food for bearded dragons is easy to store and will not make your house loud or smelly like live crickets. If you can not get fresh crickets, dried ones may work.

Dried insect foods come in various sizes to suit your bearded dragon. Dubia roaches and Goliath worms are popular choices.

Conclusion on Insect Eating

Bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects, but they need other foods to stay healthy. Beardies should eat vegetables and fruit.

If you want your beardie to eat more greens and fruits, add treat worms like hornworms, waxworms, or mealworms to their food bowls. This will get them used to eating from a bowl and get their attention when feeding time comes!

Beardies can also eat live and dried insects like Dubia roaches, crickets, earthworms, and superworms. This gives your beardie a variety of nutrients and makes weight maintenance easier.