Omnivorous dragons eat a variety of foods. Roaches, fruit flies, wax worms, and crickets are their prey.
Mealworms and darkling beetles are also bearded dragon food. However, you must know your reptile’s food’s nutritional value.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Japanese Beetles?
While Japanese beetles can technically be fed to bearded dragons in small amounts, there are better and safer feeder insects to choose for a beardie’s varied diet. Here are the main considerations with feeding Japanese beetles:
- Nutrition – Japanese beetles provide some protein and fat that bearded dragons need. However, they lack important nutrients like calcium and some essential amino acids compared to optimal feeder insects.
- Size – Japanese beetles are generally smaller, so more would need to be fed to provide the same nutritional value as larger insects. This increases risks.
- Pesticide exposure risk – Since Japanese beetles are crop pests, they often encounter pesticides in the environment that can accumulate in their bodies. This poses risks to bearded dragons.
- Digestibility – The hard shell and legs of Japanese beetles can be difficult for bearded dragons to digest, potentially causing impaction.
- Parasite risk – Like all wild-caught insects, Japanese beetles may carry parasites that can infect bearded dragons. This risk is higher than commercial feeders.
- Avoid a diet reliance – Japanese beetles should only supplement – not replace – a variety of feeder insects in a bearded dragon’s diet for optimal nutrition.
- Alternative feeders – There are much better feeder insects to choose for beardies, like crickets, dubia roaches and silkworms, which provide a more complete nutritional profile.
So in summary, while Japanese beetles technically “can” be fed to bearded dragons, there are significant risks and downsides compared to commercially bred feeder insects. If you do choose to offer them, limit amounts and monitor your beardie closely for any negative reactions. But it’s generally best to stick to proven, high-quality feeder insects for optimal nutrition and health.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous and need a balanced diet of plants and animals. However, depending on the season, location, and pet’s age, the amounts can vary.
Japanese beetles are hard to digest and lack nutritional value, so bearded dragons should not eat them. Additionally, feeding these insects may harm your pet.
Your beardie will love worms and grubs, but only in small amounts. Proteins are necessary for their growth.
Nutritional Content of Japanese Beetles
Due to their difficulty chewing and digesting, bearded dragons should not eat Japanese beetles.
Chitin, which can cause impaction or diarrhea in bearded dragons.
Pair Japanese beetles with other insects that are easier for your pet to eat to avoid these issues. Doing so will maintain your bearded dragon’s health and nutrient levels.
Since they are smaller and softer than adult beetles, baby bearded dragons prefer larvae. Still, a balanced diet is best for beetle larvae and other bugs.
Health Benefits and Risks of Japanese Beetles
Your bearded dragon can safely eat Japanese beetles. Japanese beetles may be hard for your dragon to digest due to their thick exoskeletons.
Since they are high in fat, they are best used as treats rather than your beardie’s main food.
Japanese beetles are harmless, but their high fat and calorie content may cause digestive issues in your bearded dragon. Phosphorus is also high in these insects, which is bad for pets.
Other Alternatives to Japanese Beetles
There are other food sources for your beardie if Japanese beetles are not enough. Beardies can also eat dragon grubs, beetle larvae.
Your dragon can get protein, calcium, and fat from grubs. But only as a treat or part of a balanced diet.
You can also feed your dragon darkling beetles and mealworms. These insects are softer than superworms and easier for your dragon to digest.
Conclusion about Eating Japanese Beetles
Garden plants, trees, shrubs, and lawns are devastated by Japanese beetles. Since 1916, these insects have spread across Eastern America and parts of Canada.
Herbaceous (non-woody) plants, trees, and shrubs are these beetles’ food. Their favorite foods include roses, sassafras, Norway maple, Japanese maple, and many flowering fruit trees.
Due to their large feeding groups and plant devastation, Japanese beetles can be a major issue. Flowering plants are especially affected by this damage because beetles skeletonize leaves by leaving the veins intact but removing all tissue between them.