Bearded dragons in the wild live in different kinds of habitats like the subtropical wetlands, savannahs, shore areas, scrublands, and deserts. They eat a variety of insects that they find crawling around wherever they reside.
However, those things are something that we cannot consider for our bearded dragons. As an owner, we need to be careful about what they can or cannot eat. This is a valid concern for any responsible pet owner.
We need to know what is safe and what is not safe for our beloved pets. If you are confused about your pet beardie and his diet, then you have come to the right place.
We will discuss here the different insects they eat and the ones they won’t. That’s not all we will also go into details if they can or cannot eat ants. Therefore, keep reading below to know more.
Can bearded dragons eat ants?
Bearded dragons can be found in different environments that might include a variety of wildlife. These places are filled with creepy crawlies all over, and bearded dragons will eat anything that crawls in those places. And ants are one of those insects that they eat but they should not.
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Ants as a whole should not be allowed in the diet of beardies as some of the species contain poisonous chemicals. Regardless of that we have constructed a list of ants and discussed briefly if they are safe or not for your beardie.
These ants do have a stinger but it’s rather a nuisance than to pose a threat. However, the owner should be careful feeding them to their bearded dragons.
Among all the ants on the list, this might be the most edible ant. They are not poisonous and their bite has no pain, thus making them a perfect treat.
Bearded dragons love to eat these. However, the owner should take caution as they might carry potential parasites.
No, fire ants are poisonous for the bearded dragons. Even if they eat ants in the wild, this particular ant’s toxic to them and will adversely affect their overall health if ingested.
This is a variation of the fire ants. They are red in color, hence the name. These should also be avoided in feeding beardie.
This variety of ants is rather mild-mannered and does not sting. Thus, they are safe for the beardie to eat.
These ants are highly poisonous. That’s not just the end of it either, they are also one of the most aggressive biters that will inject potent and painful venom with their stingers.
Are ants harmful to bearded dragons?
We have mentioned earlier that the bearded eat ants, but this is something that they should not consume.
Apart from some vegetables bearded dragons love to munch on insects. However, some of the insects can be poisonous to them.
Ants are one of them. In reality, ants are dangerous for bearded dragons and they need to avoid eating them. This is because ants always try to defend themselves from predators no matter how big they are.
Furthermore, they often sting or bite the predator and inject formic acid. This will result in a chemical injection for the bearded dragon. Thus, making the ants harmful to bearded dragons.
Can baby bearded dragons eat ants? Can bearded dragons eat ants from outside?
No, baby bearded dragons cannot eat ants. Young bearded dragons tend to enjoy live mealworms, crickets, and waxworms which are “gut loaded”.
Gut-loaded means that these critters are fed lizard-friendly nutrients and vitamins to promote their growth.
Young bearded dragons should only feed once a day while the adult ones need to eat every two days.
Adult bearded dragons can eat ants from outside and as mentioned above, they should not eat them to protect themselves from the chemical injection.
Even though it might be dangerous for them to eat the ants the ones in the wild eat ants regardless. Though sometimes it depends on the kind of ants as not all of them have a high concentration of formic acid.
3 reasons why bearded dragons cannot eat ants
Even though we said that bearded dragons can eat ants. We are going to talk about a few things about why they cannot eat ants.
After going through these brief points, you will have a broader understanding as to why we should not compromise the health of our little reptile buddies.
Ants seem to have a fair amount of calcium in their abdomen. However, this amount of calcium is lower than the amount of phosphorous content. Therefore, this makes it bad for bearded dragons.
This is because when choosing the right food for the bearded dragons we should maintain the ratio for calcium to phosphorous which is 2:1 respectively. But there is a disproportionate ratio for these nutrients in ants.
We know that ants have a huge amount of phosphorous in their abdomen of the ants. We also know that phosphorous is necessary for bearded dragons. However, too much of it can be bad for their health.
Although there is yet no study out there to prove the toxicity of ingesting ants with a high concentration of folic acid.
The fact remains the same this element is the defense against predators and it must contain something that the predators avoid.
Therefore, letting your pet bearded dragon eat ants might be a risk you should not take due to the inappropriate proportion of calcium to phosphorous and the presence of folic acid.
How do I keep ants out of my bearded dragon tank?
In order to protect our cute bearded dragons from harmful ants, we must follow a series of steps that will help those pesky crawlers keep out. Follow these steps that we discussed below to ensure the safety of your bearded dragons.
One of the most common things we could use is a barrier that will not let any ant cross.
Use double-sided tape and wrap it around the bottom of power cords as well as water tubes or anything that might be going inside. This will keep the ants away easily.
Giving a layer of Vaseline on all the entry points of the bearded dragon’s tank will also keep the ants away. However, this process might be a little messy. Regardless of that ant will not be able to cross that barrier.
Borax is a white element that is also powdery in form, which is also known as “Sodium Borate”. This element is normally used as a household cleaner as well as a booster with laundry detergent.
However, that is not all that it does. Borax when in its insecticide formulation, might not catch every insect but surely it will catch all the ants as well as other insects like cockroaches, spiders, and mites among others.
What bugs are poisonous to bearded dragons?
Before we go down in the list below to look at the insects that are poisonous to the bearded dragon. We must understand that upon research we have found that the insects that sting, bite, or is poisonous should be avoided for the bearded dragons.
This is because those insects can pose danger to the reptile. With that out of the way let us go on with the list of insects or bugs that are poisonous to bearded dragons.
Ticks like the deer tick, wood tick, and a few others carry harmful germs that can cause diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever as well as Lyme disease. Their saliva is also poisonous.
The major reason why you should not feed your bearded dragon spiders, is because these carnivores eat other bugs which sometimes carry parasites or might come in contact with pesticides.
This in turn makes the spiders carry them.
Fireflies are toxic to the bearded dragons because they contain lucibufagins which are poisonous to the reptilian heart.
Within 15 minutes after consuming a firefly the bearded dragon will develop breathing difficulty as well as head shaking.
Bees & Wasps:
It is the same case as the spiders for bees and wasps. They have parasites on their body or sometimes pesticide residuals that will cause severe harm to your beardie.
Bearded dragons can and cannot eat ants at the same time. This is because of the fact that bearded dragons will eat ants if they find one. However, they should not eat ants because they might be poisonous for them and are not a healthy diet option either. They are better off eating other insects.