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Bearded dragons are very curious. They love having diversity in their diets. So, what can your bearded dragon eat and not eat? Can they eat insects? Can bearded dragons eat cicadas?
Like most other insects, cicadas are a great source of protein. But, should you add them to your bearded dragon’s meals? In this article, you will learn the answers to these questions and more. Let’s get started.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat cicadas. They actually love eating this crunchy insect. They are very nutritious and are great for your beardie’s health. But there are also a few issues that come with feeding this insect to your dragon.
Some cicadas can contain parasites that may be harmful to your beardie. It is important to make sure that the cicada is free from these things. If you ever feed your pet with cicadas that are infected with parasites, they will get sick. When this happens, schedule a visit with a vet immediately.
Pro-Tip: There are other foods that your dragon can eat. Check out this article to get you started on other options for your dragon.
What Are the Problems with Bearded Dragons Eating Cicadas?
Bearded dragons may love cicadas, but this protein-packed insect has its issues. Here are a few issues you need to be aware of:
- Dangerous chemicals. Cicadas usually fly around, and you do not know where they’ve been or what they’ve been exposed to. If they come into contact with any fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, it won’t be good for your dragon.
- Hard Exoskeleton. Cicadas have a tough shell that can be difficult for your beardie to digest. Semi-solid masses in their digestive tracts can cause impaction and discomfort for your bearded dragon.
- Size. Your bearded dragon cannot eat insects that are larger than the space between its eyes. Cicadas can easily grow more than an inch long, which can be an issue for smaller dragons.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas?
Yes, young dragons can eat cicadas. These insects are nice treats for baby beardies because they find that they taste great, and their texture is a huge plus. However, like with older bearded dragons, it is best to only feed them cicadas that you are certain are free of chemicals and parasites.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Wild Cicadas?
You might think that going out in the fields and bringing a net to catch some free cicada treats for your bearded dragon is a good idea, but it is not. In general, the bearded dragon shouldn’t eat wild bugs that are possible carriers of parasites and diseases.
Cicadas fly around for miles, and that can be an issue. You don’t know where they landed or come in contact with. Since these insects are like carriers of parasites and diseases, it is best to not feed your beardie wild cicadas.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicada Shells?
Beardies can eat cicada shells. Not only do they like the slight crunch in the shells, but these are also an amazing source of calcium. There are also several minerals in cicadas that are beneficial for your bearded dragon’s growth.
After feeding cicadas to your dragon, make sure to remove the uneaten parts of the cicada. This should greatly eliminate the chances that your bearded dragon can choke from the excess shell.
Pro-Tip: If you need other tips for bearded dragon care, you can check out this article to get you started.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicada Wings and Legs?
In the wild, a bearded dragon can eat cicada wings. But, if you plan to feed cicadas to your beardie, it is better to remove the wings first. This will help avoid any chances of choking. Meanwhile, cicada legs are also safe for your bearded dragon. But, some owners do not recommend giving them to your dragon. It is better to remove the legs first to be safe.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Flying Cicadas?
Generally, no. Bearded dragons shouldn’t eat flying cicadas. This iteration of the cicada more likely has parasites since they spend more time above ground. Compared to non-flying cicadas, these have been exposed to different elements for a much longer time.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dead Cicadas?
Yes, but depending on how long it has been since they died. Bearded dragons can eat dead cicadas, but it is still better to feed them fresh ones instead. Avoid giving them cicadas that have been lying in the sun for a couple of days. The decaying parts of the dragon can cause different illnesses for your dragon.
What Do You Do if Your Dragon Is Scared of Cicada Noises?
Suppose you are living in an area where cicadas spawn. There is a chance that your beardie will get sacred once they resurface. In large swarms, these noises can be louder than lawnmowers. If you see any discomfort and appears stressed whenever cicadas are flying around, here are a few things you can do:
- Cover them up with a towel. Bundle your bearded dragon up with a towel and hold it close. If your dragon is used to being held, this should do the trick.
- Bathe them. If your bearded dragon enjoys water, give them a relaxing bath to calm them down.
- Turn off the light. Some dragons may find a change of scenery better in these situations. Turning the lights off in their terrarium for a little while can help them with their anxiety. Just remember to turn them back on after they calm down.
- Give them space. If your breaded dragon does not like being handled, leaving them alone is best. They may need some time to adjust to the noise before they can calm down.
Pro-Tip: To make their enclosures more comfortable, adding a nice eco-carpet will give them extra comfort!
Bearded dragon can eat cicadas. But there are several caveats you need to consider. It would help if you avoided several things. Plus, it’s difficult to ensure that the cicadas are clean. So, is it worth it? Well, that depends on you. Especially since the safest way to feed cicada to your dragon is by catching them yourself. If you see your dragon loving the meal, it would be rewarding for you and your pet.
Overall, yes, it’s safe for them, but there are better insects out there. More nutritious too, it may be better for you to consider other insects instead. Check out these Dubai roaches that are much better as treats for your dragons than cicadas.