Best Live Food For Bearded Dragons: Food List & Feeding Tips

Best live food for bearded dragon

Bearded dragons are omnivores as they eat both plants and animals. In general, a young bearded dragon eats 80% bugs and 20% plants while the diet of adult bearded dragons consists of 80% plants and 20% bugs and insects. Besides, sometimes people will find it difficult to feed their young dragons on any vegetables. This page will give you some knowledge about how to feed your bearded dragon properly and the best live food for bearded dragons.


Bearded Dragon Diet List: What Do Bearded Dragons Eat?

A different variety of vegetation would be the most optimal option for your beardies as they can maximize opportunities for nutrients and limit the risk of antinutrients.

Below is the safe food list diet collected with data from researchers and veterinarians.

1. Vegetables, Leafy Greens, Fruits, and flowers

Do Not Feed!

As mentioned before, there are many unhealthy or even toxic insects and plants which can be fatal so knowing them clearly will allow you to avoid feeding your beardie.

Castor beans
Juniper berriesSweet peas
Citrus fruits

2. Insects (Live food for Bearded Dragons)

Insects to Feed Bearded Dragons

The nutritional quality of the insects is essential. Therefore, gut loading insects is an efficient way to target special nutrients for your beardie, not for the insects.

In specific, mortality can be caused in some invertebrates within days by nutrients such as calcium.

This is the key reason why you should only perform gut loading within a day before feeding to your reptile.

Do Not Feed!

Some insects that can glow in the dark such as fireflies, lightning bugs, or any worms contain highly toxic chemical substances so you should never feed on them.


Elder bugs

Insects you found outside

Venomous insects, such as bees, wasps and scorpions

Insects sold as bait for fishingAny insects that glow

Insects found inside your home

3. Commercial food

calcium sand for bearded dragons

Pet owners can prepare some commercial diets by themselves to improve as well as limit the risks of imbalanced diets.

Food List Sources

The food lists have been collected from veterinary and researcher suggestion.

Specifically the following sources: Girling, 2013; Divers and Mader, 2005; Finke, 2012. Brown, 2012; Johnson, 2006; Stahl, 1999; UCDavis, 2019; Mitchell and Tully, 2008; Stahl; Boyer, 2015; and NC State Veterinary Hospital.

Every individual tortoise has distinctive needs, desires, and digestive ability so make sure you know exactly the particular species you’re keeping before feeding your pet tortoise anything.

We recommend: 

Live food for Bearded Dragons – Diet

1. Baby

best food for baby bearded dragon

Maybe it is quite clear now, but I’ll emphasize again that the percentage of protein is the main difference between a young and old beardie’s diet.

a. Feeders

As you may know, a baby beardie requires a richer diet of protein.

Therefore, regarding beardie between 0-2 months, just feed them as many crickets as possible in a 5-10 minute time frame 4-5 times per day.

For 3 to 4-month-old beardie feed them as many crickets as they want 3-4 times a day in a 5-10 minute time frame.

b. Greens & Veggies

Greens and veggies are still suggested in the diet for baby beardie but not nearly as much as older beardies.

A diet including 80% feeders and 20% veggies is suitable for your baby. 

Also, remember to take out whatever food not eaten within around 30 minutes.


c. Calcium & Vitamins

This period is fundamental for your baby so you should dust their feeders with a calcium/D3  supplement once a day for 5 days a week, but NEVER twice a day.

Besides, on the 2 days a week you shouldn’t provide this supplement, just douse their feeders with their multivitamin.

2. Juvenile

bearded dragon humidity level

A high volume of protein plays an important role in young bearded dragons to develop appropriately and be big and strong.

By contrast, If an older beardie consumes too much protein, it will simply become overweight and even suffer from health problems.


a. Feeders

When your baby is a little older, you should let your juvenile bearded dragon eat as many crickets as possible 2-3 times a day for 5-10 minute intervals until they reach 9 months of age.

From 9 months to 12 months of age, let them eat as many crickets as possible in 5-10 minutes just 2 times per day.

For example, if your beardie is eating 20 feeders twice a day for a total of 40 crickets, try giving them 15 crickets twice a day instead of veggies.

By contrast, if you want to slowly reduce the number of crickets for a couple of months, you can raise their veggie intake.

*Please note, I recommend you still provide your beardie with his salad daily, regardless of the feeder schedule!

b. Greens & Veggies

bearded dragon questions and answers

Just be free to apply the 80/20 rule if you like until your beardie is about 9 months old.

At this time, you should start adding more greens to their diet and also give them opportunities to try different food types as well. 

Variety is key!

When it is at the age of 12 months, a diet of roughly 50-50 between feeders and greens is ideal for them.

As they grow up at 18 months, the green intake will account for around 80%, whereas the feeder intake will lower to be about 20%.

c. Calcium & Vitamins

  • When they reach 12 months of age, you should maintain the rate at which your beardie receives the same amount of calcium/D3 and a multivitamin.
  • From this point on, reduce the calcium/D3 to just 3 times a week (no more than once per day) and the multivitamin to one time per week.

3. Adult

Adult bearded dragons don’t need to absorb the protein as younger dragons do. Therefore, an adequate beardie diet includes 80% greens and only 20% protein.

bearded dragon food chart

a. Feeders

The number of feeders requires will in part depend on their size. 

In specific, Some adult bearded dragons in large size can consume twice as many crickets a week as smaller adult beardies, without becoming overweight.

  • 10 crickets per day OR 20 crickets every other day
  • 3-5 large Dubias (2”) or 5-9 nymph Dubia (1”)
  • 7-10 super worms every other day
  • 5-20 phoenix worms per day (in addition to another feeder)
  • Regarding the Phoenix worms, I’ve only recommended 5-20 per day because of being VERY expensive feeders.

b. Greens & Veggies

good insects for bearded dragons

Adult beardie will develop well on a diet consisting of 80% greens and veggies

c. Calcium & Vitamins

Regarding your adult bearded dragon, you can use a dose of calcium/D3 just 2-3 times per week and a multivitamin once per week.


The beardie’s temperament, long life span, and general hardiness would bring interesting things to any family.

If you’re wondering to get your first bearded dragon or take another beardie to your family, these nutrition instructions “Best Live Food For Bearded Dragons” will help make sure that your bearded dragon stays healthy for many years to come.

Further Reading:

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