Are you interested in learning more about superworms?
Do you know why some people love superworms for bearded dragons, and others avoid them?
There are some excellent reasons to use superworms as a part of a beardie diet, but you may wonder how many superworms to feed a bearded dragon.
It is safe to feed superworms to your adult bearded dragon 2-3 times a week as a treat, with only 1-2 worms per feeding. Superworms are an excellent source of protein, but they are also high in fat. To avoid the risk of choking, do not give superworms to baby or juvenile bearded dragons.
Read on for more info on superworms, and their place in a beardie diet.
Table of Contents
Superworms are larvae for beetles similar to the mealworm, but with a few distinct differences.
In this section, we look at the reasons for and against the insects.
Pro: Storage And Keeping
Superworms are pretty easy to keep alive and healthy for as long you need.
Keep them in a container with bran or uncooked oatmeal.
You may also want to add potato in the container to keep it moist enough.
Look to keep the temperature of the container between 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C) and 80° degrees Fahrenheit (27° C).
Also, if one of the worms starts to morph into the beetle, remove it right away, or it may eat the others.
And this is all you need to do!
Unlike mealworms, you shouldn’t put the superworms in any cooler or freezer, as this will kill them.
Superworms are also reasonably common in many pet stores and online stores.
Their price will also be more affordable than rarer insects.
Superworms are high in fat (as we’ll discuss more below).
While this isn’t necessarily a good thing, it does mean bearded dragons enjoy the taste of them a lot.
The superworms are one of the most abundant insects a bearded dragon will eat.
It’s also pretty physically active.
All this adds up to a critter which not only tastes good but looks appetizing as well.
Beardies will notice these insects right away and go after them, in most cases.
This is helpful for beardies when they get picky.
Putting a big, juicy superworm in front of them may be enough to get them to start eating again.
Superworms are also a part of one of the common tricks to getting a beardie to eat greens.
All you need to do is put a superworm on the green salad you chop up and watch the reptile start eating.
Superworms are made up of the following:
- 59% moisture
- 19% protein
- 15% fat
- 6% carbohydrate
- 1% ash
The higher looking moisture and proteins would seem like this insect would be a great source of protein.
But the substantial fat content changes this fact.
This ratio isn’t good.
If a bearded dragon eats a lot of these insects, it will eventually become overweight and malnourished because its system won’t be in balance.
On top of this, you may also notice your pet refusing to eat healthier insects and greens because it has become addicted to the tastes of the fatty superworms.
Counter the unhealthy nature of the superworm a little by dusting it with a supplement before feeding it your pet (just like you should do with all food).
Superworms are aggressive insects.
When handling them, they will bite you if you don’t handle them properly or wear gloves, which we recommend.
On the same lines, if you leave a superworm in the tank with a bearded dragon and the reptile doesn’t eat it right away, it may bite your pet and cause injury.
This aggressiveness is the root of the myth of superworms (along with mealworms) staying alive after being eaten and chew their way out of a reptile’s stomach.
This rumor is scary but untrue.
Many experts still recommend tearing off the head of the superworm before feeding it the lizard, but this is unnecessary.
How Many Superworms Should A Bearded Dragon Eat?
How many superworms can a dragon eat?
5-10 in one sitting, most likely.
How many superworms should a beardie eat?
1-2, once or twice per week.
As the last section talked about, superworms aren’t very healthy.
They’re way too high in fat to be considered a staple insect in your pet’s diet.
Superworms are larger than most other insects.
For this reason, you may find it difficult to feed them to younger bearded dragons.
Remember, you should only feed the reptiles food smaller than the space between their eyes.
This is difficult for baby bearded dragons as superworms are never quite small enough.
If you get superworms small enough, they may be fed to juvenile bearded dragons from ages 5-15 months.
During this high protein stage, the beardy can eat 3-7 superworms per day throughout 1-3 meals.
The higher fat is more OK because the juvenile is still in the fast-growing stage.
As they reach adulthood, the superworms should be scaled back to treat status.
Adult bearded dragons need much more greens in their diet, but the juvenile can have more.
We recommend 70% protein/30% greens for babies and juveniles, and the opposite for adult bearded dragons.
Adult bearded dragons should also be only fed once per day.
For adults, we recommend a 3-Day Cycle.
- Day 1 Greens
- Day 2 Protein/Insects
- Day 3 No food
Use superworms on insect days but stick with 1 or 2.
In my experience, it’s best to put them in the middle or end of the feeding, or your pet may then refuse to eat the other healthier insects.
You want them to eat healthier insects like crickets, hornworms, or Dubia roaches.
As we said before, you may want to use one superworm as a trick to get your bearded dragon into eating some greens.
Now you know how many superworms to feed a bearded dragon.
They should be used as a treat and eaten only in smaller amounts.
Juvenile bearded dragons can eat 3-7 per day on occasion.
Adults should stick to 1-2, twice per week only.
Baby bearded dragons could eat them if you found one small enough to feed them to.
However, these larger insects are usually too big for the smaller bearded dragons.
But, the superworms are quite tasty!
(Or so the beardies seem to think).
Check out the best bearded dragon names.