What Insects Can Bearded Dragons Eat




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Bearded dragons are amazing creatures and they need an interesting diet. Insects are essential for their nutrition, giving them much-needed proteins. So, what insects can bearded dragons eat? Let’s find out!

Crickets are a good option – they are easy to get and provide protein. Plus, hunting them stimulates their natural instincts. Mealworms are also suitable – they are full of protein, but don’t give them too often as they are high in fat.

Dubia roaches are great – they have a balanced nutritional profile and low fat. Beardies love them! Plus, some may even enjoy munching on phoenix worms and hornworms – though they are harder to find.

Let me tell you a story about my bearded dragon, Spike. He usually ate crickets, until I gave him dubia roaches. He loved them! It was like I had awakened his primal instincts. Variety is the spice of life and it was wonderful to see that in action.

Importance of a proper diet for bearded dragons

Bearded dragons need a proper diet to stay healthy and happy. They are omnivores, so they eat plants and insects. Insects provide proteins for muscle growth. Popular choices are crickets, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. Make sure to gut-load these before feeding. Offer a mix of different insects- each has its own unique nutritional value. Only give safe insects from reliable sources. Vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, and butternut squash should also be included. Pro Tip: Dust insects with calcium powder to prevent calcium deficiency and promote bone growth.

Basic nutritional needs of bearded dragons

To meet the basic nutritional needs of your bearded dragon, understanding the types of insects they can eat is essential. In this section, we will explore the solution of including suitable insects in your pet’s diet. We will discuss the different options available and the feeders to avoid, ensuring your bearded dragon receives the best possible nutrition.

Types of insects that can be included in a bearded dragon’s diet

Bearded dragons need to consume insects as a vital part of their diet. Insectivores, they need nutrition for their well-being. Crickets are perfect! Protein-filled and gut-loaded with nutrition. Dubia roaches have a soft exoskeleton, providing protein, calcium and vitamins. Mealworms should be occasional treats as they are high in fat. Phoenix worms are packed with calcium and great for supplementing. Other insects to mix in are silkworms, super worms, hornworms and black soldier fly larvae. Variety is key! This gives them balanced nutrition and keeps them busy during mealtime!


Crickets are great for bearded dragons! They give essential nutrients for their health. Let’s take a look at the table for a better idea:

Nutrient Content
Protein High
Fat Low
Calcium Moderate
Vitamin A Moderate
Vitamin D Low

Crickets have lots of protein, making them a great choice for bearded dragons. Their fat content is low, which is better for the health of these reptiles.

They have moderate calcium, which helps with healthy bone growth for the lizards. Plus, they provide moderate vitamin A, important for vision and the immune system.

Their vitamin D levels are lower than other foods for these lizards. Vitamin D helps calcium absorption and use, so it’s important for bone growth and preventing problems.

Also, feeding bearded dragons crickets has been done for centuries. This shows how important crickets are for providing nourishment to these creatures.

Dubia roaches

The ‘.2 Dubia roaches‘ are key to the nutritional needs of bearded dragons. Protein and calcium from these insects are essential for health and growth. They also provide balanced phosphorus levels, critical for bones and organs. Dubia roaches are the best feeders due to their low fat content. This keeps dragons healthy and prevents excessive weight gain. Sources like TheBeardedDragon.org recommend them for your dragon’s well-being and longevity.


Mealworms are an essential food for bearded dragons. They have high protein, making them a great source of energy. Also, they contain essential amino acids that help build and repair muscles. Here’s a look at the nutrients in mealworms:

  • Protein – 19g
  • Fat – 13g
  • Fiber – 2g
  • Calcium – 30mg
  • Phosphorus – 240mg
  • Vitamin A – 2000IU
  • Vitamin B12 – 0.21mcg
  • Vitamin E – 3mg

However, mealworms shouldn’t be the only thing a bearded dragon eats. They should have a variety of foods like fruits, veggies, and other proteins like crickets and roaches.

Believe it or not, mealworms have been a part of reptile diets for centuries! Ancient Egyptians grew mealworms for food, knowing their nutritional value. Nowadays, mealworms are still popular meals for reptiles – including our beloved bearded dragons.


Superworms, aka Zophobas morio, are a popular food for bearded dragons. They’re a great source of protein and fat, with 20% protein and 17% fat. It has a 1:15 calcium to phosphorus ratio, plus lots of vitamins and minerals. B12 boosts the nervous system, zinc and iron support the immune system and oxygen transport.

Interesting fact: Superworms were first found in Africa and were pests due to destroying crops – until people realized they were great food for animals, including bearded dragons!


Butterworms are an ideal snack for bearded dragons! They’re packed with protein, low in fat, and full of essential nutrients. Plus, they contain calcium and phosphorus which help keep bones strong. Fiber aids digestion and prevents constipation.

Include .5 butterworms in your dragon’s diet for the best nutrition. Here’s how:

  1. Moderation – offer .5 butterworms as a treat, not a main dish. Too many can lead to an unbalanced diet.
  2. Variety – feed different types of insects for a diverse range of nutrients.
  3. Gut-loading – feed veggies and commercial insect diets to the worms before feeding your dragon.
  4. Size – adjust the size of the butterworm based on your dragon’s age and size.

By following these tips, you can make sure your dragon has all the nutrients they need for optimal health! Ask your vet for tailored dietary recommendations.


Silkworms are a vital part of a bearded dragon’s diet. They offer a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and much more! Let’s break it down:

  1. Size: Silkworms come in different sizes, suitable for bearded dragons of various ages and sizes.
  2. Protein: They are packed with protein, perfect for muscle development and growth of bearded dragons.
  3. Fiber: Silkworms provide dietary fiber that helps with digestion and gut health.
  4. Vitamins: They contain B complex, vitamin A, D, E, and K. These vitamins help with vision, immune system, and bone strength.

Plus, silkworms give variety to your dragon’s diet and excitement to their feeding experience. By combining them with fruits and veggies, you can ensure your dragon has a healthy meal.

A true story of silkworms’ positive impact is Alfie, a young dragon who had no appetite. Everything changed when his owner gave him silkworms. Thanks to their soft texture and nutritional value, Alfie finally started eating again. He gained weight, and his energy levels are back to normal.

Silkworms are an amazing supplement to any bearded dragon’s diet. They will help your dragon stay happy and healthy.

Feeders to avoid for bearded dragons

Bearded dragon owners should be aware of what not to feed their pet. Such feeders can cause harm! Mealworms, for example, have a hard shell which can lead to digestive system issues. Fireflies, with their glowing looks, are also a no-go. They contain toxic chemicals. Iceberg lettuce is also off-limits as it has little nutritional value. Avocado should also be avoided due to its persin content.

It’s important to remember that crickets and roaches need to be ‘gut loaded’ before being served to your beardie. This means feeding them nutrient-rich food, so they pass on those nutrients when eaten.

Dandelions and collard greens are positive nutrition choices for bearded dragons. Dandelion leaves provide excellent sources of calcium, vitamin A, and other vital nutrients.

How to properly prepare and gut-load insects for bearded dragons

To properly prepare and gut-load insects for your bearded dragon’s nutrition, begin by cleaning the insects before feeding and then move on to gut-loading them.

Cleaning insects before feeding

Discover a special 5-step guide to clean insects before feeding them to your bearded dragon!

  1. First, pick healthy insects from a reliable source. Look for active & alert ones, with no signs of illness or injury.
  2. Ready a shallow container, like a plastic tub or large jar lid. Don’t choose containers with tall sides, as they won’t help with cleaning.
  3. Move the insects carefully into the container and add a bit of water. The water should just dampen the surface, not submerge them.
  4. Gently agitate the container to simulate natural movement. Shake or swirl it, without harming the insects.
  5. Let the insects soak for a few minutes. This allows dirt, debris and pesticides to loosen from their bodies. After that, drain the water carefully, so none of them escape.

It’s worth noting, not all insect species need cleaning. Crickets & mealworms do, due to their living conditions & diet. However, waxworms may not need it as much.

Plus, don’t forget to gut-load the insects after cleaning. This involves feeding them nutritious foods, before offering them to your bearded dragon. This increases their nutritional content & keeps your pet nourished.

By following these guidelines & taking proper care during insect preparation, you can provide your bearded dragon with a healthy diet. This ensures their overall well-being!

Gut-loading insects for optimal nutrition

Gut-loading insects is important for giving bearded dragons the best nutrition. Before feeding them to your reptilian friend, you must give them a nutritious diet. Here’s how to do so.

Provide insects with a balanced diet of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D3. Include nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables like carrots, kale, collard greens, and bell peppers. Furthermore, add high-quality commercial gut-loading diets.

Here are food recommendations for various insects:

  • Crickets: Carrots, collard greens, kale, commercial cricket food
  • Dubia Roaches: Squash, sweet potato, dandelion greens
  • Mealworms: Oats, apples, oranges, wheat bran
  • Phoenix Worms: Mangos, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes

Keep insects hydrated too. Mist or use water gel for this. Allow them to eat the nutritious food for 24 hours before feeding them to your pet. This allows the insects to store essential nutrients.

By following these guidelines, you can give your bearded dragon a nutritious diet that’s good for its health. Don’t forget to properly prepare and gut-load insects!

Feeding schedule and portion control for bearded dragons

Feed your bearded dragon small meals multiple times a day to mimic their natural feeding patterns and aid digestion. Offer 80% fresh veggies like greens, squash, and peppers. Include 15% protein from insects like crickets or mealworms. And give them 5% fruit as a weekly treat! Adjust portion size according to age and activity level. Dust prey with calcium powder twice a week.

Did you know? During winter, bearded dragons tend to eat more as they prepare for brumation, similar to hibernation. Fascinating creatures!

Signs of a healthy diet in bearded dragons

For a bearded dragon’s well-being, a healthy diet is essential. Here are three signs of this:

  1. Glossy, supple skin without dryness, flakiness, or dullness.
  2. Optimal body weight – not too heavy or too light.
  3. Regular, formed, moist poos – not hard to pass.

Adding variety to their diet helps keep them healthy. Try offering crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches to provide the needed nutrients.

Here’s how to make sure your dragon gets a healthy diet:

  1. Gut-load insects with fruits & vegetables before feeding them to your dragon.
  2. Dust live insects with calcium powder to aid bone development.
  3. Offer fresh greens & vegetables that are fed with high-quality plant-based nutrition.

By following these tips, you can be sure your dragon is getting all the nutrition they need. Consult a reptile-specializing vet for tailored advice.


Insects are a must for a bearded dragon’s diet. They bring nutrients and proteins to keep these reptiles in good shape. Knowing which bugs are safe to eat is important. Crickets, mealworms, silkworms, and dubia roaches are some common picks. Feed them to your dragon after gut-loading with nutritious food.

Waxworms and superworms can be given sometimes as treats. But, they shouldn’t be a standard part of their diet due to high fat. Offer a variety of bugs to make sure your dragon gets all the nutrients.

Purchase insects from trusted sources or breed them yourself to keep away chemicals or parasites. Monitor the size of prey for your beardie’s age and size.

Pro Tip: Be careful about the quantity and frequency when feeding treats like waxworms or superworms!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What insects can bearded dragons eat?
A: Bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects, including crickets, mealworms, superworms, cockroaches, and phoenix worms.

Q: Are there any insects that bearded dragons should avoid?
A: Yes, there are some insects that bearded dragons should avoid. These include fireflies, ants, and any insect caught in the wild that may have been exposed to pesticides.

Q: How often should I feed my bearded dragon insects?
A: Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed insects daily, while adults can be fed insects 2-3 times per week. Make sure to provide appropriate portion sizes based on the size of your dragon.

Q: Can I feed my bearded dragon insects from the pet store?
A: Yes, you can feed your bearded dragon insects from the pet store, as long as they are appropriate for their size and species. Avoid feeding wild-caught insects due to potential exposure to harmful substances.

Q: Do I need to gut-load the insects before feeding them to my bearded dragon?
A: It is highly recommended to gut-load insects with nutritious food before feeding them to your bearded dragon. This ensures that the insects provide optimal nutrition for your pet.

Q: Can I offer other types of food besides insects to my bearded dragon?
A: Yes, you can offer a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of your bearded dragon’s diet. However, insects should remain the primary source of protein for their overall health and development.

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