Can Bearded Dragons Eat Darkling Beetles? 3 Benefits | Full Guide

Can bearded dragons eat darkling beetles

Feeding a worm can be a good idea since lizards mostly rely on insects for nutrition. Nutrition is one of the essential things in the process of development and growth of the animal. However, if the pet owner feeds food items that are not suitable for beardies can bring many harmful results. If the feeder adds certain food items harmful to beardies, it can even cause the death of the bearded dragon. 

Bearded dragons require a nutritious diet for proper growth of the bearded dragons. However, many pet owners have doubts about feeding any bug. Generally, the most common doubt is can bearded dragons eat darkling beetles. Will darkling beetles be safe for bearded dragons or not? Let us conquer this doubt by looking at what a darkling beetle is and how healthy it is for bearded dragons.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Darkling Beetles?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat darkling beetles, but due to their nutrition count, they are not preferred. Darkling beetles are not just a name of a single beetle; they can be a common name for a group of beetles called Tenebrionidae. There can be as many beetles as possible and nearly 20,000 species of beetles in a single clan.

Although bearded dragons love to eat insects and can serve as a good snack for their diet routine, if specifically talking about feeding darklings beetles to beardies, the answer is NO! Don’t feed darkling beetles to beardies, as they have zero nutritional value. However, darkling beetles are safe and easier to consume for your bearded dragon. However, ingesting larvae is better than feeding only beetles. However, larvae have a high-fat value that can create an imbalance in the body of beardies.

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Darkling Beetles?

Experts suggest feeding only two to three beetles as an occasional treat to beardies. For feeding a juvenile beardie, add 20-50 bugs to their diet. 

Feeding darkling beetles can even become hazardous if the feeding quantity is high compared to the required amount in the diet. Adding bugs to other food items, such as veggies and fruits, can be a good choice. 

Also, make sure that the bearded dragon is enjoying eating a beetle. Start feeding the beardie with one beetle, then gradually increase the amount the bearded dragon likes to eat it. Remember to remove uneaten beetles because uneaten beetles can become hazardous to health. 

3 Benefits of Feeding Darkling Beetles to Bearded Dragons

Though darkling beetles lack essential, there are still some benefits of it. Some of the benefits of feeding darling beetles to bearded dragons are:

1: Fat-Rich Bugs Aids in Growth

Even though darkling beetles have zero nutritional value, still, they are rich in fat count. It is good to add to the meals of beardies as it improves growth.

Adding 20-50 darkling beetles per week into the diet of bearded dragons maintains the fat count in their body and helps keep the liver healthy. However, the count should get reduced for adult beardies. However, the feeder must avoid giving beetles and insects as a diet part as it has some negative results also. Apart from darkling beetles, the feeder can give mealworms, hornworms, and superworms a snack.

2: High Fiber, Better Digestion

Bugs are highly rich in fiber, and it improves the digestion quality of animals. It is good to add bugs into the diet of bearded dragons as it can help them get good motion in their body, as it excretes harmful elements from the body of an organism. 

It also helps in preventing constipation. However, bearded dragons are quite energetic and active animals; they require every ingredient in the proper count.

3: Low Sodium Count Maintain Blood Pressure

Beetles and worms have a low sodium count, making them suitable for bearded dragons to eat. It also helps maintain the sodium count of those animals with heart and high blood pressure problems.

Clean their surroundings after feeding the bugs and insects because if their surroundings are not clean they will hide the remaining worms underneath their body which can be harmful for them.

2 Risk of Feeding Darkling Beetles to Bearded Dragons

Though, darkling beetles are risky as well. Some of the risks of feeding darklings beetles are as follows:

Dragons Can Become Obese

If the feeder gives too many insects to eat, it will cause health issues. The bearded dragon can also become obese. Obesity never affects the lizard’s movement but affects other organs’ functioning. It can also affect the lizard’s reproductive tract, digestion, heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs. Even obesity can affect the bones by being overweight. So, feeding without any moderation is hazardous for the health of bearded dragons.

Parasite Attack On Beardies

It is common for bugs to have parasites in their body. If the bugs with parasites enter the body of bearded dragons it will cause health issues. Sometimes, the count of these gets so high such that it can hamper their lifestyle. It is suggested to purchase the worms and bugs from a renowned shop. Do not let your bearded dragon eat the worms from the grass. Make sure to check their eating habits.

How to Feed Darkling Beetles to Bearded Dragons?

Most of the time, the feeding techniques can become so successful that it maintains the body weight with health. Feeders should always try specific techniques which make beardies eat certain food items. 

Live Beetles Attract Pet Dragon

Bearded Dragons love to eat insects in live form. Living insects can have a good impact on their brain such that they can eat them with enthusiasm. The jiggly body of the insect is enough to grab the attention of bearded dragons to eat it. Usually, beardies eat insects by pointing their long tongue toward them. The insect gets stuck in their tongue, and they eat it. This way, live insects are good for lizards to eat.

Add with Fruits

Adding fruits with some beetles to feed bearded dragons is a perfect combination to give them their required diet. Sometimes giving the same food every day can make beardies bored of eating it; they refuse to eat it. So, to maintain their interest try to add fruits and veggies.

Sprinkle Remaining Vital Nutrient

To make the diet fulfilling, sprinkle some additional nutrient that is insufficient in the food composition. Make a powder of those vital nutrients and sprinkle them over the food. Also, before giving the meal to beardies, consult the vet for better understanding about the feeding pattern of the bearded dragon.


Bearded dragons are picky eaters and love to eat new things. Dangling insects attract their attention, stimulating them to eat more. Bugs add nutritional value to the lives of bearded dragons. Now we can conclude with the query: can bearded dragons eat darkling beetles? Beardies can eat beetles; however, they will not provide any nutrition to bearded dragons. Still, they can eat bugs as a snack. Feed them in limited quantities for best results. Try adding more food varieties to enhance their mood and diet. Not everything is suitable for bearded dragons to eat.


Can baby bearded dragons eat darkling beetles?

Darling beetles can be offered as a treat. However, most veterinarians suggest not feeding darkling beetles as they have zero nutritional value, and feeding them will only cause health issues.

Do bearded dragons like darkling beetles?

Bearded dragons love to eat insects, and the jiggly soft worms are the perfect diet partners for bearded dragons. So feeding them is a good idea but with limits.

Are darkling beetles safe for bearded dragons?

Yes, Darkling beetles are safe for bearded dragons to eat. However, they do not add any nutritional value to the health, and feeding them in moderation is fine. Also, make an appointment with the vet if something goes wrong with the bearded dragon.

Can bearded dragons eat dead darkling beetles?

Yes, feeding a dead insect is not harmful until the dead insect is fresh in looks. Make sure that the insect did not die a few days ago. A dead insect might have parasites in its body that enter into the bearded dragon’s body, and bearded dragons can have a parasitic attack.

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