To begin, let’s define mealworm beetles. Darkling beetles produce mealworm beetle larvae. The scientific community also refers to them as Tenebrio Molitor. Mealworms resemble little caterpillars and may reach a length of around 3 inches; they can come in two different colors, brown and yellow. Although bearded dragons often won’t eat mealworm beetles, there are instances when your pet could find them tasty.
Are mealworm beetles safe for bearded dragons to eat? To put it simply, they can. Yet, beardies seem to like them in the forms they take before to metamorphosing into beetles.
Can bearded dragons eat mealworm beetles?
Mealworm beetles are a suitable diet for bearded dragons. In fact, mealworm beetles are often suggested as a nutritious food choice. Nevertheless, since too much of anything is bad for you, bearded dragons should only be given 5-6/8 mealworm beetles once a week. Bearded dragon hatchlings should stay away from mealworm bugs.
Bearded dragons are diverse, with eight different species now recognized. They originated in the dry parts of Australia. They are not fans of hot weather, despite having evolved in desert environments.
During the day, when the light is shining strongly, they are most easily recognized in their little dwellings. After spending the blistering day in their lairs, they emerge at night, when the temperature is more agreeable.
Beardies, both as adults and as children, have quite different dietary needs. Please tell us whether bearded dragon hatchlings can consume mealworm beetles.
Can Baby bearded dragons eat mealworm beetles
Baby bearded dragons are those between the ages of 0 and 4 months. Size and growth charts from many credible sources might help you estimate how old your bearded dragon is.
Mealworm beetles have a low calcium content, a high fat content, and a low protein content.
But, young bearded dragons need a lot of calcium to develop properly. This makes them a poor food source for the developing bearded dragons.
Mealworms come in a wide variety of species from all over the globe. Bearded dragons like a variety of these foods, including “Normal Mealworms,” “Super Mealworms,” and “Mealworm Beetles.”
The external sections of “normal” mealworms, despite their little size and prevalence, are made of very durable chitin. Its tough chitin presents a significant challenge for juvenile bearded dragons’ digestive systems. Young and juvenile bears may get quite ill if exposed to this.
To reiterate, the “super” mealworms are far larger and more succulent than the standard mealworms. Bearded dragons are drawn to this quality in particular.
As was previously established, juvenile bearded dragons have a hard time digesting the chitinous exoskeleton of mealworms. Hence, don’t feed the baby bearded dragons mealworm bugs.
Mealworm beetles should only be fed to adult beardies on a sporadic basis due to their high fat to protein ratio and absence of calcium, which prevents them from meeting their daily nutritional needs.
We may conclude that mealworm beetles are not appropriate for the juvenile bearded dragons.
Are mealworm beetles good for bearded dragons?
Due to their high fat and protein content, mealworm beetles are good for bearded dragons. Mealworm beetles are a great treat for bearded dragons, but they should only be given to them once a week at most. Its high fat content makes them prone to weight gain.
In addition, mealworm beetles are naturally harmless. Mealworm insects provide no health risks to bearded dragons. So, a bearded dragon’s diet would benefit from the inclusion of the mealworm beetle.
Bearded dragons may benefit from a balanced diet that includes mealworm beetles and other vitamin and mineral-rich foods like green vegetables and insects to meet their daily nutritional needs.
Phosphorus is another nutrient that may be found in abundance in mealworm beetles. But, bearded dragons may have trouble absorbing calcium if they consume too much phosphorus.
So, the ideal ratio of calcium to phosphorus for bearded dragons is between 1.5:1 and 2:1, as recommended by experts.
Moreover, a 100g serving of mealworm beetles has around 62% water, 20% protein, 150-152mg of cholesterol, 13% fat, and 13-13.5mg of calcium.
Finally, we have evidence that mealworm beetles are beneficial to bearded dragons’ health.
3 reasons why bearded dragons can eat mealworm beetles
Rich in essential food nutrients
Bearded dragons have specific nutritional needs, including dietary fat, calcium, protein, and phosphorus. Bearded dragons get part of the nutrients they require as adults from mealworm beetles.
Mealworm beetles are safe for bearded dragons to eat as a treat, despite the fact that they have a higher proportion of fat, protein, and phosphorus and a lower proportion of calcium.
For being non-toxic and safe
Beardies may safely coexist with mealworm beetles. It is also considered a safe diet for bearded dragons if served once weekly.
In addition, it makes a good addition to the beardies’ diet when mixed with other healthy foods like green-leafy vegetables, insects, sweet potatoes, and so forth.
Good supplement to the overall diet
Bearded dragons are often fed mealworm beetles as a supplement to their normal diet.
Nevertheless, it is not enough to meet the dietary requirements of bearded dragons. Hence, a healthy diet for beardies may be constructed by including 5-6 mealworm beetles in addition to the other food items.
Because of their strong chitin covering, mealworm beetles shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis. Bearded dragons do best when fed mealworm beetles once weekly.
How many mealworm beetles can bearded dragons eat?
A bearded dragon may eat anywhere from five to eight mealworm bugs in a single day. They should only have bugs once a week, and only then as a special treat.
Each month has four distinct weeks. So, on average, they are fed between 20 and 32 mealworm beetles every month.
Beardies may develop an addiction to mealworm beetles if they are regularly supplied with them. Overweight pets are at increased risk for health problems, including those affecting the liver and heart.
When cooking up a special treat for your bearded dragon once a week, all you need to do is add 5-8 mealworm beetles to the main course.
Can I feed my bearded dragon mealworm beetles every day?
You can’t give your bearded dragon a steady diet of mealworm beetles. Daily feedings should be avoided for several reasons.
As was previously mentioned, mealworm beetles’ external chitin covering makes them difficult to digest on a regular basis.
Second, as was previously said, your pet dragon’s health may suffer if it becomes overweight on a diet of mostly mealworm beetles.
Finally, as was previously said, mealworm beetles alone are not enough to provide the body’s nutritional needs.
Bearded dragons shouldn’t be given mealworm beetles on a daily basis.
At what age can I give my bearded dragon mealworm beetles?
Bearded dragons, after 18 months in age, are able to consume mealworm beetles. Because bearded dragons under 18 months in age are considered subadults.
Little children should never be given mealworm beetles. Because these beetles have a very tough chitin shell. The young beardies have a hard time breaking down and digesting the food. They might become really ill from it as well.
Hence, mealworm beetles should only be fed to adult bearded dragons once per week.
How to feed mealworm beetles to bearded dragons?
You may prepare mealworm beetles in a variety of ways for your bearded dragon.
Get started by tossing the mealworm beetles with your favorite salad greens. Verify whether the bugs are still alive and well.
Beardies benefit from dried mealworm beetles, as previously mentioned. Also, you can find them in any store for a low price. Bearded dragons may be fed dried mealworm beetles.
In addition, bearded dragons like a diet rich in fresh fruit. So, you can give beardies a variety of seasonal fruits alongside mealworm beetles.
Bearded dragons thrive on a diet of insects, and while mealworm beetles are a common staple, you can prepare a special bowl of insects for your pet. You may also add vitamin and mineral supplements in the bug dish.
Beardies also enjoy the sweet nectar of the mealworm beetle. Therefore, if you can, try to get some tasty mealworm beetles for your pet dragon.
Pros of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Mealworm Beetles
Mealworm beetles are a good source of protein and have little calories from fat. In addition, they are a complete source of the amino acids necessary for the growth and maintenance of the bearded dragon’s muscles, bones, skin, and internal organs including the liver and kidneys.
Mealworm beetles and other kinds of beetles provide calcium, which is good for your bearded dragon. According to studies, bearded dragons are better able to take calcium from beetle larvae than they are from plant stuff.
Cons of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Mealworm Beetles
The safety of your bearded dragon is most at risk if you feed it mealworm beetles that have been chemically treated. If you can’t identify the mealworms, don’t feed them to your bearded dragon. They’ll merely end up tainting the other treats.
Mealworm beetles, when given solely to bearded dragons for too long, have been observed to have a detrimental impact on the animals. As a consequence, the bearded dragons started showing the following symptoms:
- Rough, crusty skin
- fatigue, a symptom of stress
- Abnormal, black, dry, and liquidy poop.
Around twenty percent of mealworm beetles are made out of chitin, which is indigestible to most mammals. Bearded dragons are able to digest certain plant fibers, but chitin is one thing their body just can’t handle.
How to Feed Mealworm Beetles to My Bearded Dragon without Getting Them Sick?
So, you’ve decided that mealworm beetles are OK for your bearded dragon to eat. Keep in mind that if these insects escape, they might potentially contaminate your pet’s food, so it’s important to keep them contained.
Just around 5 mealworms should be fed to smaller dragons, while bigger ones may have up to 10. Ensure that the bearded dragon consumes all of them and discards none.
Mealworm beetles may be obtained from pet shops or online, but for the sake of your bearded dragon’s health, it’s best to produce them yourself. You should avoid giving your bearded dragon any chemicals by accident.
Bearded dragons thrive on the protein-rich diet of mealworm beetles. Larger dragons may consume as many as 10 of these insects at once, while smaller ones should only be given a few.
It’s recommended to cultivate your own mealworms (if feasible) or to acquire them from organic sources because of the risk of chemical contamination. Feeding your bearded dragon just mealworm beetles is a bad idea since it might stunt its development or cause it to become malnourished.