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How to Choose the Right Insects for Your Tegu Lizard

Insects are an important part of the tegu’s diet, providing them with essential nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamins.

Insects are especially important for hatchlings and juvenile tegus, as this is what they would normally feed on in the wild.

Hatchlings and juveniles need a diet that is high in protein and calcium to help them grow and develop properly. Insects are a great source of both of these nutrients.

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Argentine Black and White Tegu and Insects
Argentine tegu and insects

You can feed baby tegus up to 90% of their diet in the form of insects. As they grow older, you can start feeding tegus other types of whole prey, such as chicks and rodents. But there is no reason to give up insects entirely, as they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Best Insects for Tegu Lizards

InsectProtein (%)Fat (%)Calcium (mg/kg)Phosphorus (mg/kg)
Dubia Roaches21.43.17002600
Goliath Worms93.074641394
Black Soldier Fly Larvae17.51493403560

Dubia Roaches

Dubia roaches are an excellent staple food choice for juvenile tegus due to their high protein and calcium content, and low amounts of fat.

They are easier to keep as a feeder insect compared to crickets and cheaper than silkworms, and contain less fat compared to other types of insects.

Dubia Roaches

Hornwarms / Goliath Worms

Goliath worms are a great protein snack for tegus. They provide fat and calcium too.

Remember to give them as a treat in moderation because they are a somewhat high in fat.

Hornwarm / Goliath Worm


Waxworms are a high-fat insect, so they should only be fed as a treat.

They are a good source of energy for tegus and can be part of a healthy varied diet.



Superworms are a good alternative to mealworms for tegus, as they are larger and have a softer shell, which makes them easier to digest.



Mealworms can be a good choice for young tegus, as they are easy to digest.

They are a good source of protein and calcium, with a moderate fat content.



Tegus can benefit from incorporating crickets into their diet as a nutritious feeder insect with a very low fat content.

That said, the challenges of keeping a live cricket colony should be considered, as these insects can be rather noisy and escape easily.


Black Soldier Fly Larvae

Black soldier fly larvae are an excellent feeder insect for tegus.

They have a high calcium content and are easy to gut-load.

Black soldier fly larvae can be a bit more expensive than other feeder insects, but they are worth the investment.

Black Soldier Fly Larvae


Butterworms are a good choice of food for tegus.

They are high in protein, calcium, and fat, making them beneficial for the tegu’s diet.

Butterworms are a popular option among tegu owners.



Silkworms are recommended as feeder insects for tegus due to their high protein, calcium, and fiber content, while being low in fat, benefiting the overall health of your pet.

Despite being slightly more expensive and difficult to obtain, their nutritional value justifies the investment.


Gut loading

Gut loading is the process of feeding insects a nutritious diet before feeding them to your tegu.

This boosts the nutritional value of the insects and improves digestion for your pet. It is essential for maintaining your tegu’s overall health and well-being.

To gut load insects, simply place them in a container with the food you have chosen – ideally of mix of dark-leaved greens and vegetables like peas and carrots.

You can leave the insects in the container for 24-48 hours before feeding them to your tegu.

Dusting with supplements

Dusting insects with calcium powder twice a week and multiminerals once a week is an alternative to gut loading that can help to ensure that your tegu gets the nutrients they need.

To dust insects with calcium powder and multiminerals, simply place the insects in a container and sprinkle the powder over them.

It is important to choose calcium powders that are free of phosphorus and D3, and multivitamins which are specially meant for reptiles.

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
Read more: Best Supplements for Tegus

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