Your beardie’s diet is not just made up of fruits and healthy greens that can be found nearby. This includes many insects that carry a certain nutritional value.
Blue belly lizards are just one type of insect found mostly on California soil. Most of them are nutritious, but some poisonous insects also sneak up. So what about this species – can bearded dragons eat blue belly lizards?
This can certainly be found on your beardie’s food list, but there needs to be some limit!
If this has interested you enough, stay with us until the end and discover the nutritional benefits of consuming these insects, how to properly give them to your beardie, and much more!
Lizards Are Allowed
What you may have known, but it won’t hurt to remind you is that insects make up about 60% of your bearded dragon’s diet. This means that most of the energy and protein comes from consuming them.
You’re lucky. Blue belly lizards belong to a species that is harmless to your bearded dragon. So, this is an insect that your beardie can freely hunt and eat. Interestingly, these lizards are known for their ability to climb vertical surfaces (walls) to maintain average body temperature.
This can be a challenge for your beardie.
Before we continue about the health benefits of these lizards for your beardie, it would be good to add a few facts about the blue belly lizards themselves.
As we said, these are harmless species of lizards that are very widespread and familiar to local residents. They can be found everywhere – from parks to your garden.
This type of lizard is of some average size. They can grow up to 6 inches in length over a lifetime. This can represent an obstacle to your beardie during the hunt, but it certainly won’t stop it from eating.
Some people even choose to have blue belly lizards as their pets. Their size and dietary requirements do not make them difficult to maintain, and that is already half the job.
However, if you already have bearded dragons in your household, it would be a little weird to keep a smaller lizard that is at the same time a prey to your beardie.
Our advice would be to opt for one.
As for the dangers of this lizard, they can scratch and bite – but nothing more.
We say this for an obvious reason – consuming certain insects can be dangerous given the toxicity they contain in their body.
This type of insect reproduces quickly, so if it happens that they already inhabit your yard – do not worry. Your beardie will never run out of food!
All in all, this is a safe option among insects, so stick to blue belly lizards!
Why Are Blue Belly Lizards Healthy?
From what we previously mentioned, we can conclude that lizards are very healthy for your beardie.
So, it wouldn’t be bad to list what exactly proper consumption of blue belly lizards can bring to your beardie. Here is a summary list:
- Provide energy: Your bearded dragon is omnivorous, and lizards are a great source of energy for them. Consuming blue belly lizards is healthy because of their fresh meat and the amount of protein they contain.
- Improve stamina: The amount of protein and the amino acids that make up the body of blue belly lizards can greatly improve stamina in your beardie. This is very useful, especially during the winter.
- Prevent epilepsy attacks: Few people know that the vitamins and minerals in blue belly lizards can prevent epileptic seizures. This was first discovered by the inhabitants of Asia, who used their meat for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years.
- Heal skin diseases: The acids released by the flesh of blue belly lizards actually have a positive effect on the skin of your beardie – especially if there have been some problems such as skin inflammation. Acids and minerals will help keep your beardie’s skin healthy all year.
- Help digestion: Another benefit that fresh blue belly lizard brings is that it improves the digestion of your beardie. Although many people think that consuming insects negatively affects the metabolic system, this meat is actually easy to eat and process.
In addition to these established and safe benefits, there is one particular belief regarding this type of lizard. Supposedly, it is believed that consuming this insect can prolong the life of your beardie.
NOTE: The life expectancy of bearded dragons is somewhere between 5 to 8 years.
What is the recommended dose to give your beardie?
It would be best for the beardie to consume this type of lizard 3 to 4 times a week, at most. However, it is not good to rely on this species every day because otherwise, they can cause nausea.
The Side Effects
Too many of these insects can cause nausea in your beardie. If you notice that your beardie refuses to eat you or has increased thirst, it is probably that it has had too many in a short time.
Nausea is not a dangerous side effect, but you should definitely pay attention if you notice any symptoms. Since it is not you who serves it in most cases, but the beardie chases them, watch it while it is out of the cage.
It would be recommended that your beardie rests for a few days in a cage with a healthier choice of food and plenty of fluids to get its metabolism in order.
Another side effect is diarrhea, which is also an expected outcome of too many insects. Again, the symptoms are visible to the naked eye, but you should know that this is a bit more serious problem.
If you notice symptoms of diarrhea in your beardie, it would be a good idea to see a veterinarian immediately. He will decide how severe your case is and how your further recovery will proceed.
Best Choice Of Insects
As we said, insects make up more than 60% of your bearded dragon’s diet. So with that said, why not say a word about the best choices of insects that a beardie can eat.
Here are some alternatives to blue belly lizards.
From this table, we can single out crickets as the healthiest option.
This is the most common food source for your bearded dragon, especially during the summer when this species is in huge numbers everywhere.
The good thing about these insects is that you can buy them at your local feeder shop. However, their shelf life is short, and storage can be challenging because they are too loud.
Having already mentioned acceptable choices, let’s add what should be avoided at all costs. This group of insects includes:
- Glowing insects
- Dead insects
- Poisonous insects (that you know of)
Read also: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bloodworms?
Why Is My Beardie Not Eating?
Refusal to eat is a symptom that has multiple causes. This doesn’t have to mean just that your beardie has eaten too many blue belly lizards. This includes other reasons, such as:
- Aggression: Don’t be surprised if your beardie acts aggressively from time to time. This is a common occurrence when something in the environment bothers them, and it is best to give it some time and space.
- Improper lighting: If you have had your beardie for some time, you may have noticed that the quality and intensity of the light greatly affect their mood. However, if the light is weaker or does not suit them, they will show signs of repulsion.
- Brumation period: Like many other animals, bearded dragons enter a hibernation period, which is called brumation. During this period, they need neither food nor water – only their peace in the cage.
- Parasite infection: Refusing to eat can also have to do with the health of your beardie. If they happen to suffer from some parasitic infection, their appetite can drop drastically.
- Digestion: If your beardie has eaten either strong or toxic food in the past few days, it is possible that it has a problem with digestion and that its body is not currently functioning at full capacity.
- Eng of growth period: When bearded dragons stop growing, their body will no longer need that much food. This is perfectly normal, and there is no need to worry.