Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms? Is It Toxic For Beardies?

Hornworms are great hydration and nutrition, and they serve as the best foods for chameleons and leopard geckos. But can bearded dragons eat hornworms?

Despite wondering if hornworms are suitable feeders for bearded dragons, people also ask the following questions. When the beardies eat hornworms, how many hornworms to feed, whether wild-caught feeders are good, etc.

I’m glad you chose to read my article, and you will appreciate reading it. Now, let’s explore hornworms and see if it’s worth feeding them to bearded dragons, how often can the beardies eat hornworms, and a lot more.

Cute Reptiles as Pets x
Cute Reptiles as Pets

The Nutritional Information of Hornworms?

The Nutritional Information Of Hornworms?
The Nutritional Information Of Hornworms?

If I tell you that bearded dragons can eat hornworms and I have no idea about its nutritional profile, then it’s close to lying to you. Before everything else, we first need to know the nutrients in hornworms and see if they can benefit bearded dragons.

Check the table below, which contains the nutrients in hornworms, but these are only a few nutrients relevant for bearded dragons.


From the table, we can see that hornworms are super high in calcium and moisture and contain low fat content, which is a bonus if we choose to feed them to bearded dragons.

However, hornworms don’t supply much protein as they only contain 9g of protein per 100g.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?

Bearded dragons can eat hornworms, but you need to include them as part of the diet and other feeder insects to produce a varied diet. Hornworms provide little amounts of proteins than many feeder insects, hence the need to mix them with other nutritious foods.

Bearded dragons originate from the desert, where they have little access to water, and that’s why they rarely drink water even in captivity. However, these lizards obtain much of their water from foods and maybe through bathing, misting, etc.

Therefore, feeders like hornworms with a lot of moisture, accounting for 85g/100g, are an excellent choice for hydrating bearded dragons. Another good thing about hornworms is their low-fat content.

Bearded dragons don’t need a lot of fat in their body because they are famous for gaining a lot of weight within a pretty short time. So, with hornworms, you don’t need to worry about your pet becoming obese.

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms?
(Image Source: Carrie Creatures YouTube)

Hornworms make a generous contribution to the beardies’ diet as they add sufficient amounts of calcium. But since they don’t offer much protein, you need to include other nutritious feeder insects in the diet, and this way, your lizard, will benefit from hornworms.

So, how often should you feed hornworms to your bearded dragons? This is an important question since the beardies don’t need to have the same meal day-in-day-out; of course, a varied diet is paramount each day.

Ideally, you can confidently add hornworms to your dragon’s diet about one time a week, or as you see fit, but not every day.

It is always best to listen to your reptile vet, whom, of course, you trust, as they still have useful information concerning feeding bearded dragons.

Why are Hornworms Good Feeders for Bearded Dragons?

There are a couple of things that make hornworms excellent feeders for the beardies. The primary reasons are that feeders have only a small fat content and that they are pretty high in calcium.

If you don’t bother about the calcium intake in your beloved dragons, then you are genuinely risking its health. Bearded dragons need to take adequate calcium every day, and it plays significant roles in their body.

Without calcium, your lizard is likely to get metabolic bone disease, which is a fatal condition and is famous for killing the beardies.  Also, excess calcium is poisonous to bearded dragons and exposes them to severe health issues.

Hornworms tend to grow pretty; thus, they take a short time to reach the appropriate size for feeding bearded dragons. Immediately you buy a package of hornworms; the worms are ready for baby dragons to eat.

But I’m afraid if you let the feeders spend some days, they will be too big for the babies to handle. That’s why hornworms are more preferred for adults than babies.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomato or Tobacco Hornworms?

If you didn’t know, there are two varieties of hornworms; we have the tobacco and tomato hornworms. Tomato hornworms display a V-shaped marking on the back, and their tail shows a black spike.

On the other hand, tobacco hornworms have a red spike on the back of their tail, black margins on their white stripes, and on the side, you can see seven diagonal markings. The nutritional content in both hornworms is significantly the same.

Having almost the same nutritional value, you can choose to buy either of the worms. The only thing you need to consider is purchasing the feeders from a pet store with a good reputation. 

You should also check the price and availability of the worms, and go for the one you prefer. Bearded dragons can eat both tomato and tobacco hornworms.

The Best Way to Serve Hornworms to Bearded Dragons

It is easy to serve hornworms to bearded dragons as you only need to consider a few things. The beardies prefer to have these worms or any other feeder insect when alive, and you should feed them that way.

The other thing you shouldn’t forget is to feed hornworms in combination with other foods. You can add it to the foods that you usually feed your lizard.

Dangling the worm in front of your dragon will stimulate the pet to snatch it immediately after you provide the food.

You can rely on hornworms alone to supply enough nutrients to your lizard friend, and that’s why you need to incorporate them with other nutritious foods. Some foods to go for are super worms, phoenix worms, silkworms, mealworms, etc., plus veggies and greens.

Hornworms don’t get too big, and bearded dragons can eat them the way you purchase them. When it comes to feeding bearded dragons, the rule of thumb states that the beardies should not eat anything larger than the size of their eyes.

Wrapping Up

Now, we have come to the end of the article, and I hope you have learnt much about hornworms. These feeders have considerable benefits to bearded dragons when you feed them correctly and incorporate them with other nutritious foods in the diet.

Hornworms contain a lower percentage of protein, but they are super high in calcium and moisture. They have an added advantage because they grow extremely fast, and you can readily get them from the pet stores.

1 thought on “Can Bearded Dragons Eat Hornworms? Is It Toxic For Beardies?”

  1. Can you explain why a horn worm that eats tomatoes and tomato plants, is toxic to beardies? I would just like to know it’s actually a thing and why. I wouldn’t chance it, but when I give others advice, I’m telling them it’s toxic to feed tomato fed horns to beardies, just would like to have actual knowledge. Thank you.


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