Many of us are familiar with bearded dragons since they are popular as pets. Despite the fact that dragons have been extinct for thousands of years, several lizards and other creatures throughout the world are named after them. One of them is the bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons eat a wide array of foods to meet their nutritional needs on a regular basis. If you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you should be quite familiar with its likes and dislikes. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, have several feeding preferences.
Let’s find out if bearded dragons consume mealworm beetles and learn some interesting facts about their general diet.
Can bearded dragons eat mealworm beetles?
Bearded dragons can eat mealworm beetles. In fact, mealworm beetles are really recommended as a healthy supplement for them. However, as anything in excess is harmful, it’s best to feed bearded dragons 5-6/8 mealworm beetles once a week. Mealworm bugs should be avoided by young bearded dragons.
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There are currently eight species of bearded dragons in the world. They are native to Australia’s arid regions. Despite their origins in arid and desert-oriented lands, they are not particularly fond of heat.
They may generally be spotted in their tiny habitats during the daytime when the sun is shining brightly. They resurface at night, when the temperature is comparably mild and chilly, after spending a scorching hot day in their dens.
The food of adult beardies and juvenile beardies differs significantly. Now let us know about baby bearded dragons and whether or not they can eat mealworm beetles.
Baby bearded dragons:
The bearded dragons from the age of birth to 4 months are considered the babies. You can determine the age of your bearded dragon by observing its size and growth as per charts from different authentic sources.
Moreover, mealworm beetles are enriched with a minimal amount of protein, a lot of fat and are comparatively very low in calcium.
But, calcium is very essential for the growth of young bearded dragons. Therefore, they are not the ideal option for the young beardies to feed on.
There are different types of mealworms around the world. Some of them, which the beardies prefer, are the “Regular Mealworms,” the “Super Mealworms’ and the “Mealworm Beetles.”
Although they are quite small and common, the “regular” mealworms have very hard chitin in their exterior parts. For young bearded dragons, digesting this hard chitin is very difficult. The young and the juvenile beardies might even get severely sick from this.
Again, the “super” mealworms are quite big and juicier than the regular mealworms. This particular characteristic is very attractive to bearded dragons.
As previously mentioned, mealworms have a hard exterior covering of chitin, which is very difficult for the young bearded dragons to digest. Therefore, avoid giving mealworm beetles to the young bearded dragons.
As the ratio of fat is very high in mealworm beetles and they lack calcium, the adult beardies should also be given mealworm beetles occasionally as it won’t fulfill their daily nutritional requirements.
In the end, we can say that the young beardies should not be given mealworm beetles at all.
Are mealworm beetles good for bearded dragons?
Yes, mealworm beetles are beneficial to bearded dragons since they are high in fat and protein. However, since they are abundant in fat, which can lead to obesity, it is best to feed the mealworm beetles to the beardies once a week as a supplement treat.
Besides, mealworm beetles are non-toxic in nature. Beardies have no bad repercussions after eating mealworm insects. As a result, the mealworm beetle is a beneficial addition to a bearded dragon’s diet.
Mealworm beetles, in addition to other vitamin and mineral-rich foods like green vegetables and insects, can be introduced to the diet as an overall healthy meal that will help to fulfil the daily nutritional requirements of beardies.
Moreover, mealworm beetles also contain quite a bit of phosphorus as well. But too much phosphorus can prevent the absorption of calcium in beardies.
Thus, professionals recommend that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus for bearded dragons should be 1.5:1 or 2:1.
Furthermore, mealworm beetles typically contain 62% moisture, 20% protein, 150-152 milligrams (approximately) of cholesterol, 13% fat, and 13-13.5 milligrams of calcium per 100g.
So, lastly, we can say that, mealworm beetles work as a good and healthy supplement for bearded dragons.
3 reasons why bearded dragons can eat mealworm beetles
There are several reasons why bearded dragons can eat mealworm beetles. 3 of those reasons are as follows:
Rich in essential food nutrients:
Bearded dragons require fat, calcium, protein, and phosphorus in their diet. Mealworm beetles provide some of the nutrition that an adult bearded dragon needs to grow and develop properly.
Beardies can consume mealworm beetles as a treat, despite the fact that the ratio of dietary ingredients is different, with fat, protein, and phosphorus being relatively greater than calcium.
For being non-toxic and safe:
Mealworm beetles are not harmful to beardies. Also, if fed once a week, it is regarded as a safe meal for bearded dragons.
Moreover, when combined with other nutritious meals like green-leafy vegetables, crickets, sweet potatoes, and so on, it complements the beardies’ overall diet pretty well.
Good supplement to the overall diet:
Mealworm beetles are thought to be an excellent complement to the bearded dragon’s eating routine.
However, it is insufficient to provide all of the nutritional needs of bearded dragons. As a result, adding 5-6 mealworm beetles to the other food items is a smart way to construct a nutritious diet for beardies.
Mealworm beetles have a tough chitin coating that is difficult to digest on a regular basis, so this shouldn’t be done every day. It is preferable to treat the beardies once a week with mealworm beetles.
How many mealworm beetles can bearded dragons eat?
In a single day, a bearded dragon may consume 5–6 or 8 mealworm beetles. It is preferable to give them beetles only once a week as a special treat.
A month is divided into four weeks. Thus, they are usually given 20–32 mealworm beetles every month on average.
If provided over an extended period of time, beardies might get addicted to mealworm beetles. It may also lead to obesity, putting your pet at risk of several liver and heart ailments.
Simply add 5-8 mealworm beetles to the main dish of the meal when producing a weekly special treat for your bearded dragon.
Can I feed my bearded dragon mealworm beetles every day?
No, you can’t feed mealworm beetles to your bearded dragon every day. You should avoid feeding it on daily basis for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, the hard chitin coating found on the exterior of mealworm beetles is tough to digest on a daily basis, as previously stated.
Second, as previously said, frequent feeding of mealworm beetles can lead to obesity, which can result in heart and liver illness in your pet dragon.
Third, like noted previously, mealworm beetles alone cannot provide the daily dietary demand.
Mealworm beetles should not be fed to bearded dragons on a daily basis.
At what age can I give my bearded dragon mealworm beetles?
Mealworm beetles can be eaten by bearded dragons once they reach the age of 18 months. Because beardies under the age of 18 months are considered juveniles.
Mealworm beetles should never be fed to juveniles. Because the chitin coating on the outside of these beetles is exceedingly hard. As a result, the juvenile beardies find it difficult to chew and digest. It may also make them severely sick.
Therefore, only adult bearded dragons should be given mealworm beetles, and only on a weekly basis.
How to feed mealworm beetles to bearded dragons?
Mealworm beetles may be fed to your bearded dragon in a number of different ways.
To begin, place the mealworm beetles in a salad dish with all of the green and leafy vegetables. Check to see whether the insects are still fresh.
Again, dried mealworm beetles are beneficial to beardies. Furthermore, they are both inexpensive and readily available on the market. As a result, you may feed your bearded dragons dry mealworm beetles.
Additionally, fruits are also a favorite of bearded dragons. Thus, mealworm beetles can also be offered to beardies with different seasonal fruits.
You may prepare a special bowl of insects to feed your bearded dragon several varieties of insects in addition to mealworm beetles. In the insect bowl, you may also put vitamin or mineral supplements.
Beardies also like to consume juicy mealworm beetles. So, if possible, feed your pet dragon some succulent mealworm beetles.
Bearded dragons can absolutely eat mealworm beetles. However, it should not be given to young bearded dragons under the age of 18 months since it is difficult for them to digest and chew. Moreover, to keep your pet dragon’s daily meals interesting, feed the adults 5–6 or 8 mealworm bugs once a week.