Pogonas or better known as bearded dragons, are a genus of reptiles which basically consists of eight lizard species. The name given to these animals, “bearded dragons” essentially refers to the beard of the dragon that can be found around the chin of the pogona or at the underside of the throat. These beards often turn black due to stress. They’re a semi-arboreal which means they often do live on trees, spend a significant amount of time on branches, in the bushes and near human habitation.
They usually bask on rocks and exposed on branches in the morning and afternoon time of the day. They can be found throughout the lands of Australia, especially in deserts, shrublands and Eucalyptus woodlands. They’re exhibited in zoos due to their hardy nature and several species of these animals are also kept as pets. The most popular being the central bearded dragon. This is where the question arises as to what is the food that they consume, what can they be fed and what are the best worms for bearded dragons.
What does their usual diet look like?
Bearded dragons can be seen eating different foods throughout their life span. Their diet changes as time passes. Juvenile and baby bearded dragons mainly eat insects. This is because they require large and substantial amounts of protein. They eat insects about three times a day, thus making up the three meals for the day for the animal. After a few feedings, their diet can be better analysed and determined. Some of the insects that are popular with pogonas are crickets, spiders, fruit flies, and grasshoppers. Superworms, silkworms, butterworms – these are some of the best worms for bearded dragons.
They also eat large and increasing amounts of plant based foods. This progressively increases as they grow older. The adults diet mainly consists of plant matter, of which the most important are leafy greens. Spring greens, kale, Chinese leaf, endives are some of the vegetables and leaves they consume. Butternut squash, pea shoots, bell peppers are also some integral parts of their diet.
The best worms for domestic bearded dragons
As established before, reptiles like the bearded dragon eat any kind of moving insects and plants. But when kept as a pet, it is imperative that the food given to them in the form of worms are good for them and are actually safe to be consumed by them. Some of the best worms for bearded dragons include:
– These worms are also known as trevo worms. They are extremely high in nutrients when it comes to invertebrate, amphibians and reptiles. They are also high in terms of their calcium content which is around 100 grams or 43 mg. So, they do not need to be gutted. They can be refrigerated before being fed to the bearded dragon.
– These types of worms are large and have very soft and delicate bodies. They’re similar to silkworms, but exist in a bright shade of green. They can grow up to 4 inches long. They bright green colour of the worms are a great stimulant of food response from the bearded dragon for the fussy and picky eaters. They’re a good feeding source as they will hydrate your pet and even provide them with the nutrition they need. A lot of reptile owners give this worm as a treat for their pet instead of a daily staple food because of the high cost and price of the hornworms.
– Mealworms like the other two worms mentioned above have a high amount of fat, but low amounts of protein. This is not recommended to be a staple food of the pet reptile as it has the potential to lead to obesity and a poor growth rate. It can however, be fed to them occasionally as it is an extremely tasty treat for them but can lead to an addiction to its taste. They are only to be given to adult bearded dragons as the skin of the larvae is too hard for the younger ones to chew and digest.
– Superworms unlike mealworms, have a high amount of protein and an extremely low amount of fat. They are just as appetising for the animals as the other feeding worms but have a lower ratio of calcium. They should be fed only occasionally, which is about once a week. The right length of the superworm must be given to the pet based on their age. It is definitely one of the best worms for bearded dragons.
– These types of worms are good for all insectivores as it has the perfect balance of calcium and phosphorous which is really good for the bearded dragons’ health. They can be fed to both adult as well as young bearded dragons. Must a higher number should be given to the older pogonas as the worms are quite small. Since they are low in fat, they can be used as a staple food for the animal and do not need to be gut loaded.
– These are probably the most nutritious worms. They are also highly economical and convenient. They are low-fat and have a high nutritional value in the sense of iron, magnesium, sodium and calcium.
– Wax worms also have a high-fat content which is why they are extremely tasty for the reptiles and have a soft and short body, which makes them easy to digest for the animals as well.
Besides these, some of the best worms for bearded dragons also include red worms or red wrigglers, zilla mealworm munchies and even dragonfly larvae. It is important to understand the nutritional value of the food you are feeding your pet reptile and ensure that it is of best quality. You have to also take into consideration their age, their tastes and their body weight because each worm that can be fed has a different value to add to the body of the animal. It is imperative to feed your pet only healthy good which will not harm their body or growth rate.