Bearded Dragons are omnivores and they can eat a range of insects, fruit and vegetables. They need a varied diet. Therefore, the amount of edible options makes it fun for them in the wild, as anyone who has seen one chase a cricket will know.
What do bearded dragons eat in the wild? In the wild, bearded dragons are omnivorous opportunistic predators. That is, they will eat any prey that they can subdue, and those include insects predominantly. They will also eat a variable amount of available greens. Although there is no way you can exactly replicate their natural diet in captivity, there is no need to do so anyway.
The following information will be addressing what bearded dragons eat in the wild:
- what bearded dragons eat in the wild
- bearded dragons food and diet in the wild
- greens bearded dragons eat
- also, vegetables bearded dragons eat in the wild
- dubia roaches
- goliath worm
- wax worms
- phoenix worms
- also, vitamin and mineral supplements
What do Bearded Dragons eat?
Bearded Dragons are capable of eating a wide range of live insects such as
- Mealworms and also,
Vegetables, such as
- Sweet potato and
- Pepper and leafy greens such as kale and parsley.
They can also eat fruit.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons mostly eat animals, in fact, they make up about 75% of their diet. And can include
- worms and
- even small creatures such as mice
Bearded Dragon food and diet
Firstly, your Bearded Dragon’s diet ought to replicate what he (or she) would eat in the wild. As a result, it includes meat, vegetables, fruit and greens.
However, as a bearded dragon gets older, you’ll need to reduce the amount of meat he’s eating. As he won’t be getting as much exercise as his wild cousins. Consequently, feeding him too much meat can lead to obesity.
What greens can Bearded Dragons eat?
Bearded dragons can eat greens. Our food list tells you what greens they can eat:
- Dandelion greens
- Turnip greens
- Mustard greens
Here are some of the items they can feed on occasionally: sprouts, tomatoes, blueberries, peas, grated carrots, banana, grapes and cucumber.
What are the Vegetables Bearded Dragons Eat in the Wild
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Cabbage (red and green)
- Carrots (including the tops)
- Collard greens
- Dandelions (leaves and flowers)
- Frozen mixed vegetables (such as beans, carrots, and peas), thawed
- Mustard Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
What can’t Bearded Dragons eat?
It’s mostly water and as a result, has little nutritional value. So don’t let your Bearded Dragon eat it
Spinach and beet tops
Some guides will say these are fine for bearded dragons, and they can be in small quantities. However, both contain chemicals that can cause calcium deficiency, which in turn can lead to metabolic bone disease.
However, an occasional taste shouldn’t harm a bearded dragon. But with so many other options available it may be best to choose different greens
Insects captured in the wild
Wild insects may have parasites in them as a result, harming the reptiles.
Bearded Dragons are not supposed to eat this, or any other reptile. In fact, any insect that glows is most probably toxic and can kill reptiles
Chemicals in avocados are toxic for bearded dragons. As a result, a small amount will make reptile ill and a large portion can be fatal
High levels of oxalic acid in rhubarb can be deadly poisonous for bearded dragons
Dubia roaches are one of the best staple insects for bearded dragon in the wild. They are
- rich in protein
- low in fat content, and
- provide an array of valuable nutrients.
Furthermore, this insect feeder is very easy for bearded dragons to digest and come in different sizes depending on its life stage.
Also, they are easy to care for and offer some advantages over crickets:
- they are quiet and do not make any noise
- are not as smelly as crickets
- easily bred for a continuous supply of quality insect feeders
- cannot climb which makes it nearly impossible for them to escape
- Moisture Content – 61%
- Protein – 36%
- Fat – 7%
- Ash – 2%
Goliath worms (or Horned worms) are another excellent choice as a staple insect feeder for your bearded dragons.
These worms can rapidly grow four to five inches in length and are a good source of protein. They typically come in large cups pre-loaded with food and contain mostly 15 – 25 worms.
These worms grow very quickly and bearded dragons feed on them after a couple days growth.
- Moisture Content – 85%
- Protein – 9%
- Fat – 3%
- Calcium – 46.4mg/100mg
Waxworms are small white-colored worms that are an excellent occasional treat insect for bearded dragons in the wild. However, these worms ought not to be a staple food item, because they tend to be high in fat content.
Naturally, adult bearded dragons are not supposed to eat more than five to six wax worms per day. Because eating too many wax worms can lead to obesity issues later in the bearded dragon’s life.
- Moisture Content – 61%
- Protein – 15%
- Fat – 21%
- Calcium – 28.3mg/100mg
These are a very popular bearded dragon feeder insect. They can grow to a length of about two inches in length and contain a hard outer shell called chitin. Thus, young bearded dragons can have a difficult time digesting the chitin. Therefore, adult bearded dragons should not feed on mealworms only due to the risk of impaction.
Likewise, adult bearded dragons should only eat mealworms (very large mealworms are sometimes called Superworms) as a supplement to staple insects. Five to six mealworms per feeding for an adult bearded dragon ought to be fine.
- Moisture Content – 62%
- Protein – 20%
- Fat – 13%
- Calcium – 13.3mg/100mg
Crickets offer a good amount of protein and calcium. In fact, they are arguably the most well-known feeder insect for bearded dragons.
However, bearded dragons can have some difficulty digesting crickets due to hard body parts, such as the hind legs.
- Moisture Content – 69%
- Protein – 21%
- Fat – 6%
- Calcium – 34.5mg/100mg
Phoenix Worms (Black Soldier Fly Larvae)
Firstly, these (Black Soldier Fly Larvae are the same thing) are a very good feeder insect for bearded dragons. They have high levels of protein and calcium to offer. Furthermore, they are easy to keep. Also, Phoenix worms are a very good supplemental insect for bearded dragon’s diet.
Due to their very small size, it can be impractical for bearded dragons to have them as a staple food.
- Moisture Content – 68%
- Protein – 15.5%
- Fat – 8%
- Calcium – 43mg/100mg
These are another very small worm (about one inch in length) that offers good amounts of protein and high levels of calcium.
This small nutritious worm is indeed an excellent feeder insect forbearded dragons to have as a supplement.
- Moisture Content – 58.5%
- Protein – 16%
- Fat – 5%
- Calcium – 87mg/100mg
These are not a very popular feeder item for bearded dragons. But are a good source of calcium and moisture. It is good for bearded dragons to feed on earthworms occasionally to vary the diet and mix things up a bit.
- Moisture Content – 83%
- Protein – 10.5%
- Fat – 1.6%
- Calcium – 444mg/kg
Silkworms are another small, soft-bodied worm that can grow to a length of 3/4″ to 1-1/4″ in length and are very nutritious. Firstly, they boast a very high amount of protein and moisture content. In addition, the fat content is moderate and beneficial amounts of ash (potassium, phosphorus, and calcium).
Therefore, high amounts of protein make silkworms a nutritious food item for your bearded dragons.
- Moisture Content – 76%
- Protein – 64%
- Fat – 10%
- Ash – 7%
Locusts are an excellent feeder insect for a bearded dragon to feed on. Thus, they offer high amounts of protein and are relatively low in fat.
Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Indeed, most commercially raised feeder insects are deficient in calcium. And also, as regards greens, the ability to absorb calcium from different plants sometimes may vary. That is why calcium is an essential supplement for bearded dragon.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
For proper metabolism, it is important to always strive for 1:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio. If you study the nutritional charts, you will notice that many foods, especially feeder insects, have an unbalanced Ca : P ratio. That makes calcium supplementation even more important.
Firstly, for a bearded dragon to metabolize calcium, he will need sufficient doses of vitamin D3. Thus, vitamin D3 is actually a hormone-like substance. Which the body synthesizes when it becomes exposed to sunlight. Generally, that is one of the reasons that diurnal lizards bask so often.
This is an element that might be lacking in bearded dragon’s menu in the wild. However, the question of iron is somewhat tricky. A lot of dark leafy greens such as
- spinach and
- charts contain desirable levels of it. But at the same time, they contain high amounts of dangerous oxalates.
Of course, this is very commonly seen in many vegetables and leafy greens in the form of beta-carotene. Therefore, within the body, beta-carotene converts to vitamin A as needed, and the excess flushes out.