Can bearded dragons eat cicadas?

image with a bearded dragon, cicadas and a text that says: can bearded dragons eat cicadas?

Are Cicadas A Safe End Of Summer Treat For Bearded Dragons?

Cicadas are inch-long bugs swarming through the air with thunderous chirping. Bearded dragons love Cicadas and can only dream of over-indulging on them.

But, can bearded dragons eat cicadas?  Believe it or not, cicadas are safe, protein-packed insects for your bearded dragon to enjoy. 

Note: do not feed them cicadas that you find outside. You need to find these bugs from a reputable dealer. 

With this article, we will look at the risks and benefits of feeding cicadas to your bearded dragon and much more.  So, keep reading.

Risks Or Benefits Of Feeding Cicadas To Your Bearded Dragon 

You need to be aware of certain issues before letting your bearded dragon gobble up cicadas.  Bearded dragons can eat cicadas as a staple food in their diet or as an occasional treat.


Cicadas are very nutritious for bearded dragons, but they can contain parasites.  If you feed you a parasite-infected cicada and your bearded dragon gets sick, you might end up with quite a hefty vet bill.

Dangerous chemicals

The biggest concern with cicadas, especially wild ones, is that it’s impossible to tell where they have been.  They may have been in contact with chemicals, fertilizers, or other pesticides that are dangerous to bearded dragons.  

If your bearded friend eats a cicada infected with dangerous chemicals, your beardie can get very sick or even die.  Always call your vet if you think your bearded dragon ingested chemicals or have abnormal behavior like lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.


Cicadas have a tough exterior shell that is difficult for your bearded dragon to digest, putting them at risk of gut impaction.  When your bearded dragon eats cicadas, it is best to give them ones that have already shed their exoskeleton.


Bearded dragons should not eat any food that is larger than the space between their eyes.  Cicadas grow over an inch long, so consider that before feeding your beardie cicadas.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cicada Wings And Shells?

Bearded dragons can eat cicada shells.  A certain percentage of their diet should be in the form of calcium.  To eliminate the danger of impaction, it is best to trim the exoskeleton from the body before feeding the cicada to your dragon.

Beardies can also eat cicada wings.  Remove the wings before feeding them to your pet dragon.

The whole cicada leg is also safe for bearded dragons to eat but, some bearded dragon owners prefer not to due to the risk of impaction.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Wild Cicadas?

As a bearded dragon owner, it is always a great concept to feed your bearded dragon wild insects.  You must remember that wild cicadas might be carriers of disease and parasites.

Wild cicadas may have been close to insecticides or dangerous chemical substances that might poison your dragon. With consideration to parasites, disease, and poisoning, it is no longer wise to feed your beardie wild cicadas.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Flying Cicadas?

Bearded dragons can eat flying cicadas as long as they don’t contain harmful parasites.  Flying cicadas are more likely to contain parasites than non-flying ones.  

If there is not enough flying space in your bearded dragon’s terrarium, you can catch some and put it in a container with holes in it.

We don’t recommend feeding them cicadas that you find outside. You need to find these bugs from a reputable dealer.

Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat Dead Cicadas?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat dead cicadas.  However, you should always try to feed your dragon fresh bugs rather than ones that died and sat in the sun for a few days.  Dead bugs will decay and cause illness in your pet.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cicadas?

The answer to this question is yes, and no.

Yes, cicadas’ bodies have a soft texture that helps baby beardies with eating practice and tastes good.  Baby bearded dragons should only eat the bodies of cicadas.

No, because aside from chemicals and fertilizers, cicadas are not safe to feed your baby bearded dragons due to their size and danger of gut impaction.  We recommend that you wait until your beardie is bigger.

What If Cicadas’ Noise Scares Your Beardie?

Living in cicada hot spot areas, bearded dragon owners will know that at nearly 100 decibels, male cicadas can be louder than a lawnmower.  If your bearded dragon seems to be stressed out by this noise, we recommend you try the following:

  • Bathing.  For some water-loving bearded dragons, a nice relaxing bath does the trick.
  • Darkness.  Sometimes turning off the light in the terrarium for a bit can calm your bearded dragon’s anxiety.  Just remember to turn the light on again after a while.
  • Bearded burrito.  Bundle your beardie up in a towel or blanket and hold him close.  It is usually quite successful for bearded dragons that like being handled.
  • Space.  Some dragons do not like being handled when they are stressed.  Maybe he just needs ‘me’ time in his terrarium to adjust to the noise.


Feeding cicadas can be a potential source of nutrition and enrichment for bearded dragons, but take extreme caution when selecting potential insects for food. With time, experience, and immense care in avoiding hazards and toxins, your bearded pet dragon can enjoy cicadas.

We suggest including fruit and vegetables in your bearded dragons’ diet, such as Collard greens, pineapple, etc.

Your bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruit, vegetables, and insects, but we recommend that you first read before you feed.  The healthiest food can also have certain risks.

Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:

Photo of author


I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.