Can Bearded Dragons Eat Beetles? The Pros And Cons

Bearded dragons are omnivores, and adult bearded dragons’ diet is mostly made up of vegetable matter, but insects can make up to half of their diet. You can buy a variety of beetles and beetle larvae for your beardie, but to ensure their health is not compromised, you must feed them safe beetles. You should also make sure that your bearded dragon’s diet is balanced to avoid any diet-related health issues.

This article provides a closer look at some different beetles that can make a safe snack for your bearded dragon.

About the Bearded Dragon Diet

Bearded dragons are opportunistic predators that eat a wide variety of food, both in the wild and captivity. In the wild, their diet varies depending on what’s available in their current location and season. A bearded dragon’s diet will differ depending on where they live, age, and knowledge of dietary needs.

Studies show that bearded dragons can consume both plant and animal matter, but the levels of each in their diet vary widely. Younger beardies consume higher animal matter levels than older ones. The majority of owners offer their adult bearded dragon 51%-75% plant matter in their diets. However, some provide more than 50% of their adult bearded dragon’s food made up of animal matter.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Beetles?

Bearded dragons can safely consume insects as long as they are part of a balanced diet. Insects are an excellent source of nutrients for bearded dragons regardless of whether they are kept as pets or live in the wild. However, not all beetles are safe for bearded dragons to eat, and some can be toxic. Therefore, research the specific beetle you want to feed your bearded dragon.

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There are thousands of beetle species in the world, and some are easier for bearded dragons to eat than others. You should ensure that the beetles you offer your bearded dragon are soft and small, so they are easy to digest and chew.

Adult Beetles vs. Larvae

Bearded dragons may have different tastes, so the beetle you choose to give them can vary depending on what your beardie enjoys. Many bearded dragons prefer immature beetles, still in their larvae form, because they are soft and small, making it easier to consume.

Beetles and larvae come with high protein content, but the beetles should not form a large part of your bearded dragon’s diet. A balanced diet is necessary to keep your beardie healthy.

Common Beetles that Bearded Dragons Can Eat

Darkling Beetles

The darkling beetle family called Tenebrionidae contains over 20,000 beetle species. Some types of darkling beetles may be safe to feed your bearded dragon, but they should be consumed in their larvae form since the larvae have a higher fat content than adults.

Mealworm Beetles

Mealworm beetles are a type of darkling beetle. These beetles range from dark brown to black and have hard shells. Their softer larvae form, commonly known as mealworms, can be an excellent snack for your bearded dragon, but they have a higher fat content, so don’t feed too many.

Superworm Beetles

Superworm beetles are another species that falls under the darkling beetle category. They look similar to mealworm beetles and larvae but can be twice the size as larvae. Superworm beetles may be hard for your bearded dragon to ingest due to their larger size and harder bodies.

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Beetles that Bearded Dragons Should Avoid

Japanese beetles, a type of scarab beetle, are generally not recommended to feed your bearded dragon since, as adults, they are too hard to eat. Fireflies, bees, fire ants, wasps, stinging ants, and monarch butterflies are also dangerous to bearded dragons.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Beetles?

Baby bearded dragons should not consume adult beetles as they are hard to chew and digest, even for full-grown bearded dragons. Baby bearded dragons should consume softer insects or immature beetle larvae. Ensure that your bearded dragon has a balanced diet

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