What Kind of Bugs Can Bearded Dragons Eat

Types of insects Bearded Dragons can eat

To ensure your bearded dragon’s optimal health, you have to feed them the right type of insects. In order to provide some variety, this section with “Types of insects Bearded Dragons can eat,” introduces you to various insect options, including Crickets, Mealworms, Superworms, Dubia Roaches, Hornworms, Silkworms, Butterworms, and Phoenix worms.


Crickets are a must-have for Bearded Dragons! They offer essential amino acids for muscle growth, vitamins and minerals like calcium, and even some mental stimulation. Plus, they come in different sizes to match any appetite.

But, remember to gut-load the crickets with nutritious food before feeding them to your pet. Dusting them with calcium powder is a great idea too!

Always make sure to practice proper hygiene when handling and feeding the crickets. Remove any uneaten prey promptly to prevent bacteria build-up.

Regularly including crickets in your pet’s diet provides an excellent nutritional foundation to keep them healthy. Your pet will love it! Don’t miss out on giving your Bearded Dragon the best nutrition – feed them well and experience the rewards of a happy and healthy pet! And don’t forget the mealworms – the macaroni and cheese of Bearded Dragon cuisine!


Meal Grubs are a nutritious insect and a must-have for Bearded Dragons. They are easy to digest, full of protein and can be stored for ages. Here are some amazing benefits of Meal Grubs:

  • Nutrients for growth and development.
  • Protein, amino acids and fats.
  • High calcium for strong bones and teeth.
  • B-complex vitamins for metabolism.

Too much fat can cause obesity, so keep Meal Grubs in moderation. Before feeding your pet lizard, remember to dust them with calcium and vitamin D3.

An old Egyptian legend says Scarabs were fed to pet lizards for their spiritual power. This started entomology as we know it. Superworms – because regular worms are too boring for your reptile.


Superworms contain a high percentage of protein, making them a great food source. Low in fat, they’re perfect for Bearded Dragons that require moderate fat intake. Plus, Superworms have chitin, a calcium substance that aids digestion.

These worms are better than regular mealworms, yet still easy to feed to Bearded Dragons. To keep them, put in a container with oatmeal or wheat bran substrate, and don’t worry about maintenance.

Unlike other insects, Superworms won’t bite or harm your pets. If kept at room temperature, they may transform into beetles, the length of which depends on humidity and temperature.

To offer your pet a range of nutrition, blend or find alternatives to superworms. Juveniles eat insects almost entirely until adulthood, then their omnivorous nature kicks in with insects acting as snacks.

Superworms are like fast food for your Bearded Dragon – just don’t let him get addicted!

Dubia Roaches

Bearded Dragons are known to eat a variety of insects. ‘Spiny-tailed Roaches’ are a popular choice. Dubia Roaches provide an excellent source of nutrition for them.

This insect has up to 36% protein content and a calcium:phosphorus ratio of 1:1. They also contain minimal amounts of chitin, making them easier to digest.

It is important to ensure that the size of the insect is appropriate for the size of your dragon. Oversized prey can lead to choking or intestinal blockages.

Introduce Dubia Roaches into your Bearded Dragon’s diet! And, don’t forget about Hornworms – they provide the perfect combination of juicy and squishy.


Hornworms are quite unique! They have a smooth body with a horn-like structure on their head. Plus, they contain up to 85% water – making them an excellent source of hydration. Their size can range from small caterpillar size to as big as an adult’s thumb. Unlike other insects, Hornworms have a soft exoskeleton that is easily digestible.

Feeding your Bearded Dragon Hornworms in moderation can provide many health benefits. However, it’s important to note that overfeeding can cause digestive distress. So, when feeding Hornworms, just lightly dust them with calcium powder for additional nutrients and gut-loading benefits. No need to worry though, your Bearded Dragon won’t end up a fashionista after indulging in some silkworms!


Silkworms are a great nutritional choice, offering up to 63g of protein per 100g! Plus, they contain 491mg of calcium and 20g of fat. These wriggly wonders have a low chitin content, making them ideal for Bearded Dragons with digestive issues. They also have the essential amino acids needed to stay strong and healthy.

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The art of silk-making is thousands of years old – it began in Ancient Chinese civilization over 4,000 years ago! Legend has it that a princess found a cocoon in her tea, and then started raising silkworms and learning how to make silk. Today, silkworms are still bred for both food and fabric.

Forget regular worms – give your Bearded Dragon the rich taste of butterworms!


Bearded Dragons can chow down on Butterworms, creamy-colored larvae. They are easy to digest and rich in proteins, calcium, and calories! Plus, their sweet flavor makes them more appetizing for these reptiles.

Butterworms also contain essential fatty acids which help keep healthy skin. Moreover, they come in multiple sizes to suit each age and size of pet. It’s best to feed the medium-sized ones because they regulate their size by molting when they mature. But be careful not to overfeed with large ones, or else your pet might get obese.

If you want an alternative to crickets, Butterworms are an excellent choice. However, start slow and make sure your pet tolerates it well before giving more. Moderation is key – use it as a treat rather than a daily meal plan. Feed your Bearded Dragon with Phoenix worms (a type of Butterworm) in moderation, and it’ll remain healthy and happy!

Phoenix worms

Tiny gold grubs, aka larvae from the black soldier fly, native to South America, make a great snack for bearded dragons. They are packed with proteins and calcium.

Here’s 4 facts you need to know:

  • Phoenix worms are also called calciworms or soldier fly larvae.
  • Low-fat but chitin-rich, vital for beardie digestion.
  • Odorless and easy-to-store, great for regular feeding.
  • No extra substrate or care needed in their habitat.

These larvae come in various sizes, so you can find one that matches your pet’s age and size.

Fun fact: bearded dragons have been around for 250 million years!
No protein shakes required – just feed your beardie crickets and mealworms!

Nutritional value of insects for Bearded Dragons

To understand the significance of insects in your bearded dragon’s diet, we have highlighted the nutritional value they provide. High protein content, good source of calcium, nutrient diversity, and the importance of gut loading insects are the sub-sections that will be discussed in detail.

High protein content

Bearded Dragons need a high-protein diet. Insects provide a balanced amino acid profile which helps promote muscle maintenance and digestion, as well as boosting the immune system. Feed your dragon crickets, mealworms or dubia roaches to promote health.

Insects are also rich in vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron. These micronutrients are important for bone health, blood oxygenation and cellular function. But remember, before feeding them to your pet, make sure the insects have been gut-loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Not all insects are safe to eat. Fireflies, for instance, contain toxins which can be harmful to reptiles. Research the type of insect before feeding it to your pet, or consult a veterinarian specialized in exotic pets.

In the wild, Bearded Dragons traditionally eat insects. So, it’s still important to give them live prey when they’re kept as pets. Take care to follow proper care guidelines regarding nutrition quality and quantity for each individual animal.

Good source of calcium

Insects containing high levels of bioavailable calcium are vital for fulfilling the dietary requirements of Bearded Dragons. This calcium is essential for proper bone development and muscle contractions. Insects offer an all-natural way to get the daily recommended calcium intake, without relying solely on supplements.

But, feeding your Bearded Dragon insects alone isn’t enough to provide all their nutritional needs. It’s important to include other nutritious foods in their diet as well.

When it comes to feeding your Bearded Dragon insects, remember their size matters. The larger the insect, the lower its calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Plus, gut-loading the insects before offering them to your pet adds extra nutritional value.

By providing your Bearded Dragon with a balanced diet that includes insects rich in calcium along with other healthy foods, you can keep them happy and healthy.

Nutrient diversity

Nutrient variety in edible insects is an absolute must for Bearded Dragons’ proper growth and health maintenance.

Crickets and mealworms offer high levels of digestible proteins that help to support muscle development.

Waxworms provide fat needed during certain life stages.

Insect larvae, such as black soldier fly larvae, contain chitin which aids digestion and maintains healthy gut flora.

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These edible insects offer a complete nutrient profile and have beneficial properties unique to each species.

Remember to prepare emerged or captive-bred insects before feeding them to your dragon. It is advisable to dust or gutload the insects with fresh fruits, vegetables or vitamin supplements before they become a tasty snack.

Importance of gut loading insects

Gut-loading insects is a necessity for feeding Bearded Dragons with optimal nutrition. Feed insects nutrient-rich food, then feed them to the reptiles. Here are 3 key reasons why gut-loading insects is important:

  1. Nutrient content: Gut-loaded insects have better nutrient content than regular insect feed.
  2. Health: Feeding nutrient-rich food to insects gives them vitamins, minerals, and supplements, keeping them healthy.
  3. Avoid malnutrition: Not gut-loading insects means Bearded Dragons might not get the nutrients they need.

Insect feed isn’t all the same nutritionally, so gut-loading helps give your bearded dragons a balanced diet. Also, crickets should be fed at night when they’re more active – this increases their nutritional content before being eaten.

In the past, animals ate wild prey that was already gut-loaded with essential nutrients. But captive-bred reptiles don’t have access to this, leading to malnutrition. So, gut-loading is a traditional practice with a lot of history. Skip the cricket sushi and mealworm soufflé, your bearded dragon is not a foodie.

Insects to avoid feeding Bearded Dragons

To prevent harm to your bearded dragon, it is essential to know the insects to avoid feeding them. In this section on “Insects to avoid feeding Bearded Dragons,” we will discuss the dangers of feeding your pet fireflies, lightning bugs, boxelder bugs, stink bugs, and ladybugs. Knowing which insects to avoid can help you keep your bearded dragon healthy and happy.


Be aware! Lightning bugs, also known as bioluminescent beetles, emit lucibufagins, a substance that can harm the digestive system of Bearded Dragons. This could lead to gastrointestinal problems or even death when consumed in large amounts. Therefore, avoid feeding fireflies to your dragon at all costs!

It’s important to be able to identify safe insect species for your pet’s diet. Stick to mealworms and crickets. Some bug species can vary in toxicity depending on the region and habitat they are found in. Always be sure to research and consult experts before adding new items to your pet’s diet.

Don’t take a risk with your beloved Beardie’s health and safety. Even seemingly harmless insects can be toxic or carry disease. So, no matter how bright an idea it may seem, do not feed lightning bugs to your dragon!

Lightning Bugs

Arthropods can be dangerous to feed your Bearded Dragon. Fireflies contain lucibufagins, which are toxic to reptiles. This can lead to lethargy, convulsions and even death. So, keep them out of reach!

Different fireflies produce varying levels of toxicity. If you’re in an area with subspecies, take extra care. A large concentration makes it easier for your pet to mistake lightning bugs as a meal.

People have romanticised fireflies for centuries. Venom was used as a remedy by East Asian doctors, even though it had side effects. Don’t test new-age practices on our pets! Boxelder bugs may look yummy, but they won’t make a good snack.

Boxelder Bugs

Bearded Dragons make great pets, but owners can mistakenly feed them unsuitable insects – like the small red and black Boxelder Bugs.

These bugs don’t have any toxins, but can damage a dragon’s digestive system. Reasons to not feed these include:

  • In fall, they gather in large numbers on trees and plants, which can expose them to harmful insecticides.
  • Their tough shells are hard to digest.
  • Their fecal matter contains hard-to-digest exoskeleton components.
  • Can cause gastrointestinal blockage due to their indigestibility.

Feeding bugs with high exoskeleton content too often can cause health issues. Better options are crickets, grasshoppers and dubia roaches.

Research new food options to make sure they’re safe. Stink bugs smell bad, but feeding them to your dragon isn’t worth the risk. Double-check before deciding on a new meal – it’s not worth accidentally poisoning them!

Stink Bugs

Bearded dragons should not consume certain insects, such as ‘Smell Bugs’ – known scientifically as Pentatomidae. These bugs emit an odour when threatened, which can harm the respiratory system of a bearded dragon. Furthermore, their blood contains chemicals which are toxic to them.

Bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects, but not all of them provide the nutrients they need. Stink bugs are neither nutritious nor safe, so it is advised to avoid them.

Pro Tip: Before introducing new food to your beardie, make sure you research it and consult a vet if you have any doubts about their health.
Also, steer clear of ladybugs, unless your beardie has a taste for irony!


These adorable little critters may seem appealing to your cuddly bearded dragon, but beware! Ladybugs are not suitable to feed your reptile due to the toxins they carry. These can cause serious health issues.

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Cantharidin is a toxic substance found in ladybugs’ blood. It is used for self-defense against predators. Ingesting even a small amount can cause toxicity in bearded dragons, leading to skin irritation, vomiting and diarrhea.

So, it is vital to prevent feeding your bearded dragon with ladybugs. Although, some lizards like geckos are not negatively affected by them.

Humans used to take advantage of ladybugs’ toxicity by chopping them up and using them to treat various ailments like warts. Ancient Egyptians believed that crushing 1-2 dried beetles into a powder was a good treatment for fever and swelling. This practice is now obsolete due to our advanced knowledge about their adverse effects when ingested.

Bearded Dragons must be kept safe: avoid the risks of ladybugs as food!

Precautions to take when feeding insects to Bearded Dragons

To ensure that feeding insects to your Bearded Dragon does not put their health at risk, take precautions with this section on “Precautions to take when feeding insects to Bearded Dragons” with “Avoid feeding wild-caught insects, Dusting insects with supplements, Don’t overfeed insects to your Bearded Dragon, and Observe your Bearded Dragon’s eating habits” as your solution.

Avoid feeding wild-caught insects

It’s wise to not feed wild-caught insects to your bearded dragon. Here’s why:

  • The bugs may have bacteria and parasites, which can make your pet ill.
  • They may also contain bad stuff like pesticides, herbicides, and more.
  • Captive-bred insects are best, as they’re grown in clean conditions.

It’s important to buy from a good supplier and feed age-appropriate prey. Furthermore, it’s great to gut-load the bugs first, as it adds nutrition for your dragon. Also, give them an extra vitamin boost with a dusted insect – what a health hack!

Dusting insects with supplements

It’s vital to give your Bearded Dragon the nutrients they need, which is why you should dust insects with supplements before serving. This easy process involves placing the insects in a plastic bag with some supplement powder and shaking until coated. Only use supplements made for reptiles – human supplements may be harmful. Not all insects need dusting, as some, like Dubia roaches, already contain enough nutrition.

If not given the right nutrients, your Bearded Dragon may suffer from serious health problems. To keep them happy and healthy, make sure they regularly get the supplements they need. Ask your vet for advice if you have any questions about their diet. Don’t forget this important step in taking care of your Bearded Dragon!

Don’t overfeed insects to your Bearded Dragon

Keep an eye on the amount of bugs you give your Bearded Dragon. Overfeeding can cause obesity, digestion problems, and even death. So, give them a balanced diet of greens, veggies, and creepy crawlies.

When offering insects, make sure there’s more veggies and greens than bugs. This way, they’ll get all the nutrients they need without getting too much.

Also, gut-load crickets before feeding them to your Dragon. This means giving the crickets leafy greens and fruit for vitamins and minerals.

If your Bearded Dragon isn’t as active as usual or only wants to eat insects, go to the vet right away. This could be a sign of eating too many bugs, leading to health issues.

Watch your beardie eat – it’s like a wildlife show but with more movement.

Observe your Bearded Dragon’s eating habits

When feeding your Bearded Dragon insects, observe their eating habits. Note the type and amount they consume. Check for any signs of indigestion or discomfort. Don’t assume they’ll eat anything.

Wild-caught insects may carry diseases or parasites. Buy insects raised for reptile consumption from a reliable supplier. The size of the insect should match the size of your pet’s mouth.

Before offering the insects to your Bearded Dragon, gut-load them with nutritious food. This means feeding the insects nutritious vegetables and fruits first.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can bearded dragons eat crickets?

Yes, absolutely! Crickets are a great source of protein and are a staple food for bearded dragons.

2. What about mealworms?

Mealworms are also a great source of protein for bearded dragons, but they should be given in moderation due to their high fat content.

3. Are there any other insects that bearded dragons can eat?

Yes! Some other insects that bearded dragons can eat include waxworms, Dubia roaches, and superworms.

4. What about fruits and vegetables?

Bearded dragons should also consume fruits and vegetables as part of their diet. Some good options include kale, collard greens, blueberries, and mango.

5. Why is it important to vary my bearded dragon’s diet?

Bearded dragons require a varied diet to receive all the necessary nutrients they need to stay healthy. Rotating their food options will also keep them from getting bored with their food.

6. Can bearded dragons eat insects found in my backyard?

No, it’s best to avoid feeding bearded dragons insects from outside, as they may contain harmful pesticides or have a risk of carrying disease.