Skip to content
Home » How to Choose the Right Insects for Your Bearded Dragon

How to Choose the Right Insects for Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they eat both animal protein and plant matter.

In the wild, a bearded dragon’s diet consists of insects, small invertebrates, and vegetation. As pets, it’s important to feed them a balanced diet that is as close to their natural diet as possible.

Feeder insects are an essential part of their diet, providing them with protein, calcium, and other nutrients.

Some good options for insects include crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and silkworms. It is also important to dust the insects with calcium powder to help ensure they are getting enough calcium.

This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon associates we may earn a commission for eligible product purchases. This is at no additional costs to you.

Bearded Dragon and Insects
Bearded Dragon and Insects

The percentage of insects and vegetables in a bearded dragon’s diet should vary depending on their age.

AgeInsectsVegetablesFeeding Schedule
Hatchlings (0-3 months)85%15%4-5 times a day
Juveniles (4-12 months)70-80%20-30%2-3 times a day
Adults (1-7 years)15-30%70-85%1-2 times a day
Seniors (> 7 years)15%85%1-2 times a day
Bearded Dragon Diet Percentages of Insects and Vegetables, Feeding by Age

Hatchlings and juveniles need a lot of feeder insects to help them grow and develop. They should be offered as much as they will eat, 4-5 times a day.

As they grow, they will start to rely less on insects and more on greens and vegetables. Adults only need as little as 15% insects in their diet, and will eat less often as they age.

Below, some of the most common feeder insects for bearded dragons.

Best Insects for Bearded Dragons

InsectProtein (%)Fat (%)Calcium (mg/kg)Phosphorus (mg/kg)
Dubia Roaches21.43.17002600
Goliath Worms93.074641394
Waxworms14.124.92431650
Superworms19.717.71772370
Mealworms18.713.41692950
Crickets15.43.32752520
Black Soldier Fly Larvae17.51493403560
Butterworms15.529.41252250
Silkworms9.31.11772370

Dubia Roaches

Dubia roaches are a popular choice for bearded dragon owners because they are high in protein and calcium, low in fat, and easy to care for. They can be purchased online or at most pet stores.

Dubia Roaches

Hornwarms / Goliath Worms

Hornwarms aka Goliath worms are another good option for bearded dragons. They are high in moisture and nutrients, and they are also a good source of beta-carotene, which can help to improve the color of your dragon’s skin.

Hornwarm / Goliath Worm

Waxworms

Waxworms are a high-fat insect, so they should only be fed as a treat. However, they are a good source of energy and can be helpful for dragons that are recovering from illness or surgery.

Waxworms

Superworms

Superworms are similar to mealworms, but they are larger and have a softer exoskeleton. This makes them easier for bearded dragons to digest.

Superworm

Mealworms

Mealworms are a good source of protein and calcium, but they can be hard for young bearded dragons to digest. They should only be fed as part of a varied diet.

Mealworms

Crickets

Crickets are a common feeder insect, and they are a nutritious choice for bearded dragons which is very low in fat. They are however not the easiest to keep, as and they can be noisy and messy.

Cricket

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black soldier fly larvae are an excellent feeder insect for bearded dragons. They have a high calcium content and are easy to gut-load. They can be a bit more expensive than other feeder insects, but they are worth the investment.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Butterworms

Butterworms are another good option for bearded dragons. They are high in protein and calcium, and they are also a good source of fat. They can be a bit messy, but they are a popular choice for dragons.

Butterworm

Silkworms

Silkworms are not as common as other feeder insects, but they can be a good option for bearded dragons. They are high in protein and calcium, and they are also a good source of fiber. However, they can be difficult to find and can be expensive.

Silkworms

Gut-loading Insects

Gut-loading is the process of feeding insects a nutritious diet before feeding them to your bearded dragon. This helps to ensure that the insects are getting the nutrients they need, and that your dragon is getting the nutrients they need when they eat the insects.

There are a few different ways to gut-load insects. One way is to feed them a diet of vegetables, fruits, and greens. Another way is to feed them a commercial gut-loading supplement.

Calcium Supplementation

In addition to gut-loading insects, it is also important to supplement your bearded dragon’s diet with calcium. This can be done by dusting the insects with calcium powder before feeding them to the dragon.

It is important to use a calcium powder that is specifically designed for reptiles. Do not use calcium supplements that are designed for humans or other animals.

Repticalcium Calcium Supplement
Zoo Med Repti Calcium without D3
Reptile-friendly Calcium SupplementRepcal Calcium without D3
Reptile Multivitamin Supplement
Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement

Leave a Reply