Can bearded dragons eat hornworms?

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Facts About Feeding Bearded Dragons Hornworms

Can bearded dragons eat hornworms? 

Yes, bearded dragons can eat live hornworms.  It is one of the most popular protein types to feed a bearded dragon.  These insects have had a lower protein, calcium, and water percentage.

Make sure that these worms come from a reputable source. Pet stores or breeders are great places to get these worms. Do not pick them out of your garden and give them to your bearded dragon.

This article will explain how hornworms fit into a beardie’s diet.  Read on to find out more about feeding hornworms to your bearded dragon.

Benefits Of Hornworms In Your Bearded Dragon’s Diet

Hornworms make a generous contribution of calcium and moisture to your bearded dragon’s diet.  Although hornworms are rich in calcium, we recommend pairing them with other insects such as crickets and dubia roaches.

High calcium levels

As a bearded dragon owner you should always be aware of the calcium levels in their bearded pet’s diet.  A calcium deficiency in your bearded dragon’s diet can be very dangerous to their health and lead to metabolic bone disease. 

Luckily hornworms have high calcium levels to keep your bearded friend healthy.


Bearded dragons don’t need a lot of fat in their diet because they are famous for gaining a lot of weight in a short period.  You don’t need to worry about your pets becoming obese when feeding them hornworms.

Nutritional Value Of Hornworms

It is always important to check the nutritional value of the food you intend to feed your bearded dragon.

Moisture85 %
Protein9 %
Calcium46.4 mg/100g
Fat3.1 %

From the above table, it is clear that hornworms are incredibly high in calcium and moisture.  It also contains a low-fat content which is beneficial when fed to bearded dragons.

Risks Of Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Hornworms

To feed hornworms to your bearded dragon have several benefits, but we must not lose sight of some of the risks involved.

Low in protein

Hornworms have a protein value of 9%.  It could be beneficial for adult bearded dragons since they do not need that much protein in their diet.  

It is irrelevant for young bearded dragons.  A Young bearded dragon needs a high-protein, fat-rich diet to aid growth development.

If you decide to use hornworms in your bearded dragon’s diet, we recommend using them as a source of calcium and hydration.


Hornworms tend to have very high levels of moisture.  Ensuring that your bearded dragon is well hydrated is very important, but overdoing it can lead to diarrhea.  Reptiles only need 10 to 30ml of water based on their weight.

Feeding your bearded dragon too many hornworms may lead to overhydration.

Can Baby And Juvenile Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?

Baby bearded dragons and younger bearded dragons can eat hornworms.  It can serve as an excellent source of calcium for baby dragons.  Your baby bearded dragon can eat hornworms combined with other protein-rich feeder insects.

How Often Can Beardies Eat Hornworms?

Hornworms are not a staple in a bearded dragon’s diet, especially not for adults.  You can feed your bearded pet hornworms every two to three days.  Feeding your beardie too many hornworms will lead to an imbalanced diet and can harm your bearded dragon.

If you have a juvenile bearded dragon, you can feed them 20 to 50 feeder insects per day, including hornworms and other insects.  This amount is appropriate for young bearded dragons because they need extra protein to grow. 

An adult bearded dragon needs more of a vegetation-based diet.  Full-grown bearded dragons should eat 20 to 50 insects a week, not per day.  We recommend serving your bearded dragon 3 to 5 hornworms three times a week.

It might be helpful to have a three-day rotation when feeding your beardie hornworms.

  • Day 1:  Only feed your bearded dragon vegetables, vegetation, and fruit.
  • Day 2:  Feed the pet insects and hornworms
  • Day 3:  You can either take a break from feeding them or give them some vegetables to nibble on.

It is essential to select the best hornworms and ensure the worms are not bigger than the gap between your bearded dragon’s eyes.

Larger worms can lead to impaction, paralysis, and even death.

Preparing And Serving Hornworms To Your Bearded Dragon.

You only have to consider a few things when feeding hornworms to your bearded dragon.  Bearded dragons prefer to have hornworms and other feeder insects alive.  

Remember to feed hornworms in combination with other foods.  You can add it to the foods you usually feed your bearded dragon. 

Dangling the food in front of your bearded dragon can stimulate your beardie to snatch it immediately. 

Hornworms do not grow very big, and you can feed them to your reptile friend the way you bought them.  Remember to make sure they are no larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes.

Final Thought

Always make sure that your bearded dragon has a perfect diet.  Hornworms provide calcium, protein, and water to your bearded dragon’s diet.  Only include hornworms as a feeder insect in your dragons’ diet three times a week.  You might be squeamish handling the worms, but your bearded friend will absolutely love it.  Suggestions of other feeder insects include grasshopper, cicadas, etc.

Always read about any new food you want to introduce to your bearded dragon.  Even the healthiest food could have health 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:

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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.