Feeding Praying Mantis to Bearded Dragons
Praying mantis are nutritious treats for many different types of reptiles in captivity, and bearded dragons are no exception. These reptiles enjoy the occasional protein-rich snack, such as mantis. Here is what you need to know about feeding praying mantis to your bearded dragon.
What Benefits Does it Provide?
Praying mantis offer a variety of benefits to bearded dragons, including:
- High in Protein: Praying mantis are primarily composed of protein and have associated amino acids, which helps maintain healthy muscle mass and organ development.
- Thick Cuticles: The cuticle of the mantis is slimy and similar to the protective layer of wild-caught insects. This allows bearded dragons to build up their natural protective coating and be more resistant to disease.
- Mental Stimulation: Foraging is an important part of a bearded dragon’s natural behavior. Hunting, stalking, and capturing a praying mantis can give them mental stimulation, help to keep them active, and provide a stimulating break from their regular diet.
What to Consider?
Before giving your bearded dragon a praying mantis, there are a few things to consider:
- Size of the Meal: Make sure you only offer your pet a prey item that is no bigger than the space between their eyes. If the mantis is too large, it could cause impactions.
- Feeding Frequency: Praying mantis should not make up a regular part of your bearded dragon’s diet. They are best used as a once in a while treat.
- External Parasites: Praying mantis may carry external parasites like mites. Make sure to check your mantis closely before feeding it to your bearded dragon to ensure there are no pests.
Praying mantis can be a fun and healthy treat for your bearded dragon. They contain important nutrients, can help with disease resistance, and provide mental stimulation. Just keep in mind the size of the prey and monitor them closely for external parasites before feeding.