If you want to keep your bearded dragon healthy it’s important, that you provide the best possible nutrition. Live food plays a relevant role throughout a beardies life. The best insects for bearded dragons give them the essential nutrients they need. That’s why it’s important to not only feed them fruits and vegetables, but also insects like worm and crickets. 

However, if you want to choose the best live food for them you should look for the nutrition facts, storage and price. In this article we’ll show you the best ones you can get and what you have to be aware of when feeding it to them.

What Insects do bearded dragons eat?

For a bearded dragon owner it’s important to know which insects a bearded dragon can eat. First of all you should know that beardies will devour any insect that is in their sight. You’re responsible to choose the insects that are good for them. Let’s start with the favorite insects of bearded dragons:

  • Butterworms
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Dubia roaches
  • Goliath worms (hornworms)
  • Earthworms
  • Locusts
  • Phoenix worms (black soldier fly larvae)
  • Redworms
  • Superworms
  • Wax worms

These insects are safe for bearded dragons and easily to get. Make sure that you don’t feed them insects that are caught in the wild unless they’re deemed safe. Many owners of bearded dragons typically choose the insects based on costs and personal preference. But you should always feed them different kind of live food.

Otherwise they can’t get all the nutrients they need. Make sure that you mix it up, or do you like to have the same meal every day?

What insects are the best for bearded dragons?

There’s a huge range of insects you can feed to your bearded dragon. Below we listed the ones that we think are the best for your bearded dragon. There’s no specific order because all choices on this list make fantastic food items for your beardie. Choose the ones your bearded dragon likes most.


The first one on our list are hornworms (or goliath worms). These green caterpillars are just perfect for any bearded dragon and our beardies really love it. Although hornworms are not high in protein, they’re very high in calcium that helps supporting the bones. On top of that hornworms are high in water content and especially for beardies recommended that are often dehydrated. What we like most is the low amount of fat.

Another positive fact about this live food is that these worms can rapidly grow (up to 4-5 inches in length). When you purchase it they typically come in large cups with about 15-20 worms. Within a few days the worms are fully grown and can be fed to your bearded dragon.

Key facts about hornworms (goliath worms):

  • Recommended for picky beardies
  • Very low in fat
  • Grows very fast
  • High water content
  • Good source of calcium

Nutritional information:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 3%
  • Water: 85%
  • Calcium: 46,4mg/100g

How many hornworms for a bearded dragon?

  • Juvenile: up to 20-40 a day
  • Adult: 10-14 a week

Dubia Roaches

Another really good staple insect are dubia roaches. This tropical species of cockroaches have many benefits that make it to a popular feeder insect. They are very high in protein and have a great meat to shell ratio. On top of that you need less dubia roaches to feed your beardie due to its heavier body. 

Like phoenix worms they don’t make any noises or smell. Further, they can not climb so it’s nearly impossible for them to escape.

Key facts about dubia roaches:

  • High in protein 
  • Can’t climb or jump
  • Can’t bite or scratch your bearded dragon
  • Cheap
  • Active insect
  • Slowly growing 

Nutritional information:

  • Protein: 36%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Water: 61%
  • Calcium: 20mg/100g

How many dubia roaches for a bearded dragon?

  • Juvenile: up to 20-40 a day
  • Adult: 15-20 a week

Phoenix Worms

This insect for bearded dragons is very popular among breeder and bearded dragon owner. Phoenix worms are one of our favorites as well. There are various reasons for that. One of them is the soft body that makes it easier to digest than other insects. On top of that they provide a good source of calcium and can be stored very easily. 

They last around 4 weeks at room temperature. If you store it in the fridge it can even last a couple of months. Further, they don’t have any smell or make any noises.

All those characteristics make phoenix worms to on of the best bearded dragon insects. However, these worms are a good supplemental insect for your beardies diet. You can feed them about 10-15 worms for one meal.

Key facts about phoenix worms:

  • High in protein and calcium
  • Easy to store 
  • No noises or smell
  • Cannot transmit diseases/parasites
  • Wiggles a little bit (stimulating your beardie to attack)

Nutritional information:

  • Protein: 23.4%
  • Fat: 7.2%
  • Water: 65.6%
  • Calcium: 43mg/100g

How many phoenix worms for a bearded dragon?

  • Juvenile: up to 30-80 a day
  • Adult: 30-40 a week


The next one on our list is a really popular feeder among bearded dragon owners. It’s one of the oldest and established bugs in the live food market. One of the reasons is the cheap price and that you can find it in nearly any local pet store. These insects are fairly nutritious and easy to store. With crickets you can provide your bearded dragons a good source of protein and calcium.

We recommend to buy more crickets because they tend to die pretty fast if not taken care of. Keeping crickets can be a challenge sometimes because they can be really noisy in the middle of the night.

Key facts about crickets:

  • Very cheap
  • High in protein
  • Popular feeder that you can find in most stores
  • Different sizes available
  • Easy to breed

Nutritional information:

  • Protein: 18%
  • Fat: 6%
  • Water: 74%
  • Calcium: 14mg/100g

How many crickets for a bearded dragon?

  • Juvenile: up to 40-80 a day
  • Adult: 40-50 a week


This bearded dragon feeder insect is another very popular one and a longtime favorite. They can be fed to beardies that are sixteen inches or longer. You should avoid feeding them to younger or smaller bearded dragons because it could mess up their digestive tract. Younger beardies might have difficulties digesting because of the hard husk.

We would recommend using superworms as little treats and mix it into their diet. Four to six superworms per feeding should be enough for an adult beardie.

Make sure that you place them at room temperature and you’ll have delicious treats for your beardies available for the next few months.

Key facts about superworms:

  • High amount of fiber and protein
  • Move restlessly (good for slow bearded dragons)
  • Easy to keep and store
  • Cheap

Nutritional information:

  • Protein: 20%
  • Fat: 16%
  • Water: 59%
  • Calcium: 10.8mg/100g

How many hornworms for a bearded dragon?

  • Juvenile: up to 2-6 a day
  • Adult: 2-3 a week

Insects You Should Avoid

Now you know which ones are safe to feed to your beardie. However, you should know which insects you should avoid feeding them. The following ones are unhealthy and/or poisoneous for them:

  • Fireflys
  • Elderbugs
  • Glowing insects
  • Insects you found inside or outside
  • Venomous insects (bees, wasps, scorpions)

How To Feed Insects To Bearded Dragons?

When you start feeding insects to your bearded dragons, let them eat as many insects as possible within a 15 minute time period. You can feed your beardie in three different ways:

  • Dumping method: Just dump all the insects into the tank and let your beardie catch as many as he/she can. If the time period is over you should collect the uneaten insects and leftovers for another time. Otherwise your beardie might eat too much and get fat. That’s why it’s recommended to have another tank just for feeding live food so you can avoid that problem. You surely don’t want to put your beardie on a diet right?
  • Feeding by hand: This method is for owner who are not afraid of insects at all. However, this is a great way to build trust with your reptile since they get more used to your hand being the source of food.
  • Feeding Tongs: The last method is the one we recommend most for beginners. With a tong you can easily grab the live insect and feed it to your bearded dragon without touching it. 

Where to get insects?

Like mentioned before you should never get insects that are caught in the wild. That’s why you should always get feed insects from a reliable supplier. You can purchase safe insects from a local pet store in your area or just order it online.

For us it’s much more convenient to order it online, because the prices are cheaper and it saves a lot of time. However, make sure that the insects have a good quality and don’t die instantly. By considering our tips on insects for bearded dragons you’re well prepared to take care of your beardie.

Frequently Asked Questions

What insects are good for bearded dragons?

There are many insects that are good for your bearded dragon. The best ones are hornworms, dubia roaches, phoenix worms, crickets and superworms. You can find the full list of insects and feeding instructions here.

How many insects should I feed my bearded dragon?

Feed them as many insects as they can eat within 15 minutes. Bearded dragons should be fed three times a day. If they’re juveniles they need much more insects than adult ones. They will need more vegetables and fruits. A typical juvenile can eat up to 20-40 insects a day. How many depends on the type of insect your feeding them. In our feeding list you’ll find the exact number.

How do I keep bugs off my bearded dragon

Try to feed them in an additional tank where they have enough space to walk around. However, you should avoid feeding them too many insects that bite or scratch them. One good option could be dubia roaches or hornworms.

How many crickets should a bearded dragon have a day?

You can feed a juvenile up to 40-80 every day. An adult bearded dragon needs less. 40-50 a week are good for a bearded dragon diet.

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