dietary compatibility of bearded dragons with cicadas

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas?

Did you know that bearded dragons are often fed a variety of insects as part of their diet?

One insect that sparks interest among reptile enthusiasts is the cicada. However, before incorporating cicadas into your bearded dragon's diet, it's important to understand the potential benefits and risks involved.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the safety and nutritional value of cicadas, as well as precautions to consider. By arming yourself with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions to ensure your bearded dragon's well-being.

Key Takeaways

  • Cicadas are safe and protein-packed insects for bearded dragons.
  • Feeding cicadas can provide nutrition and enrichment for bearded dragons.
  • Bearded dragons should not eat cicadas larger than the space between their eyes.
  • Feeding wild cicadas to bearded dragons is not recommended due to the risk of disease and parasites.

Safety and Nutritional Benefits

Bearded dragons can safely and regularly enjoy the nutritional benefits of eating cicadas. These protein-packed insects provide a valuable source of nutrients for these reptiles.

Cicadas are rich in protein, which is essential for the growth and maintenance of bearded dragons' muscles and tissues. Protein content is particularly important for juvenile dragons, as they require higher levels for their rapid growth.

Additionally, cicadas offer a variety of other essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that contribute to overall health and well-being. Feeding cicadas to bearded dragons can help meet their dietary needs and provide them with enrichment through natural hunting and feeding behaviors.

However, it is important to ensure that the cicadas are obtained from a reputable source to avoid potential risks associated with wild-caught insects.

Risks of Feeding Cicadas

Feeding cicadas to bearded dragons poses potential risks that need to be considered.

One of the main risks is the possibility of parasites. Cicadas, especially those found in the wild, may carry parasites that can make bearded dragons sick.

Additionally, there is a concern about potential toxins. Wild cicadas can be exposed to chemicals or pesticides, which can be harmful if ingested by bearded dragons.

Another risk is the tough exoskeleton of cicadas, which can put bearded dragons at risk of gut impaction. It is important to ensure that the size of the cicadas being fed is appropriate for the bearded dragon's size, and that the exoskeleton is trimmed to avoid any complications.

If a bearded dragon ingests chemicals or shows abnormal behavior, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.

Feeding Cicada Wings, Shells, and Legs

Continuing from the previous subtopic, when considering the nutritional value and potential risks of feeding cicadas to bearded dragons, it is important to address the topic of cicada wings, shells, and legs.

Bearded dragons can eat cicada shells, but it is advisable to trim the exoskeleton to avoid the risk of impaction. Cicada wings can be fed to bearded dragons after removing them from the body. However, some bearded dragon owners choose not to feed them cicada legs due to the potential risk of impaction.

It is worth noting that calcium is an essential part of a bearded dragon's diet, and cicada shells can contribute to their calcium intake. By removing the wings and trimming the exoskeleton, cicadas can be made safer for bearded dragons to consume.

Risks of Feeding Wild Cicadas

Feeding wild cicadas to bearded dragons poses potential risks due to disease, parasites, and exposure to harmful chemicals.

Wild cicadas may carry parasites that can make bearded dragons sick, leading to health issues. Additionally, these insects may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals or pesticides, which can be toxic to bearded dragons.

The tough exoskeleton of cicadas also presents a danger as it can put bearded dragons at risk of gut impaction. It is important to note that bearded dragons should not consume cicadas larger than the space between their eyes.

If a bearded dragon ingests chemicals or exhibits abnormal behavior after consuming wild cicadas, it is advised to consult a veterinarian. Considering the risks and dangers associated with wild cicadas, it is best to avoid feeding them to bearded dragons and instead obtain them from reputable sources.

Feeding Flying Cicadas

Flying cicadas can be safely incorporated into a bearded dragon's diet, provided they are free from harmful parasites and obtained from a reputable source. When feeding flying cicadas to bearded dragons, it is important to consider the potential hazards and take necessary precautions.

Since flying cicadas are more likely to carry parasites compared to non-flying ones, it is crucial to ensure that they are parasite-free before offering them to your bearded dragon.

If there is limited flying space in your bearded dragon's terrarium, you can catch the flying cicadas and place them in a container with holes to prevent escape. However, it is not recommended to feed bearded dragons cicadas found outside, as they may be exposed to harmful chemicals or pesticides.

To ensure the safety of your bearded dragon, it is best to obtain flying cicadas from a reputable dealer.

Obtaining Cicadas From a Reputable Dealer

When obtaining cicadas for your bearded dragon, it is essential to source them from a reputable dealer to ensure their safety and quality. Reputable dealers for cicadas can provide you with healthy and parasite-free insects that are safe for your pet. These dealers have strict quality control measures in place to ensure the well-being of the cicadas they sell.

By obtaining cicadas from a reputable dealer, you can have peace of mind knowing that the insects have been properly handled, fed, and cared for. Additionally, reputable dealers can offer a variety of cicada species, allowing you to provide a diverse diet for your bearded dragon.

Precautions for Feeding Cicadas

It is important to take certain precautions when feeding cicadas to bearded dragons.

While cicadas can be a nutritious and enjoyable food option for these reptiles, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, consider the feeding frequency. Cicadas should be offered as part of a varied diet, rather than as a sole food source. This ensures that bearded dragons receive a balanced nutritional intake.

Secondly, it is worth exploring alternative insect options. While bearded dragons may enjoy cicadas, it is beneficial to introduce other insects, such as crickets, mealworms, or dubia roaches, to provide a diverse range of nutrients.

Ensuring Parasite-Free Cicadas

To ensure the safety of bearded dragons, it is crucial to obtain cicadas from reputable dealers to minimize the risk of parasites. Preventing parasitic infections is essential for the well-being of these reptiles.

Reputable dealers are knowledgeable about the proper care and maintenance of their insects, including cicadas. They take measures to ensure that the cicadas they sell are healthy and free from parasites. By purchasing cicadas from safe sources, bearded dragon owners can significantly reduce the risk of introducing harmful parasites to their pets.

It is important to remember that feeding wild cicadas to bearded dragons is not recommended due to the potential for disease and parasites. By taking precautions and obtaining cicadas from reputable dealers, bearded dragon owners can provide their pets with parasite-free insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Be Fed Cicadas?

Bearded dragons should be fed cicadas as a part of their varied diet. However, the feeding frequency should be moderate to avoid potential health risks such as gut impaction or exposure to parasites. Monitoring their overall health is crucial.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat the Entire Cicada, Including the Head and Abdomen?

Feeding cicadas to bearded dragons can be a nutritious choice, but caution is advised regarding the consumption of the entire insect, including the head and abdomen. Potential risks include impaction and the presence of parasites.

Are There Any Specific Precautions or Safety Measures to Take When Feeding Cicadas to Bearded Dragons?

When feeding cicadas to bearded dragons, it is important to take precautions to ensure their safety. Potential risks include parasites, chemicals, and the risk of gut impaction. Consulting a vet is advised if abnormalities occur.

What Is the Recommended Size of Cicadas to Feed to Bearded Dragons?

The recommended size of cicadas to feed to bearded dragons depends on the size of their eyes. Cicadas should not be larger than the space between their eyes to prevent the risk of choking or impaction. Feeding frequency should be determined based on the dragon's individual needs.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas That Have Been Frozen or Dried?

Bearded dragons can safely eat frozen or dried cicadas to enjoy their nutritional benefits. However, it is important to provide a varied diet by incorporating alternative food options, such as crickets or mealworms, to ensure a balanced and healthy diet.


In conclusion, while bearded dragons can safely consume cicadas, it is important for owners to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions.

Cicadas can provide nutritional benefits, but there are concerns regarding parasite exposure and chemical contamination.

Feeding only the wings, shells, and legs of cicadas can help mitigate these risks.

Additionally, sourcing cicadas from reputable dealers and avoiding wild and flying cicadas is crucial.

By following these guidelines, bearded dragon owners can ensure the safety and well-being of their pets.

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