Other Feeder Insects

Posted by Spencer Doepel on

Feeder Insects Larvae Other Than BSFL

There are many Feeder insects given to reptiles other than Black Solider Fly Larvae. However, only give them when you are in short of Black Solider Fly Larvae (BSFL). These Feeder insects larvae are the best diet for any reptile, including anoles, geckoes, chameleons, or bearded dragons.

1.   Crickets

Nutritional Content Ratio: 66%  moister 20% protein 6% fat 3% and 5% ash


  • Crickets are usually relatively inexpensive as compared to all other feeder insects
  • Readily available at almost all the stores
  • Favorite for pet owners due to its availabilty and low price.
  • Crickets often come in various sizes so that you can buy them in any size for your pets


  • Crickets are composed mainly of Ash that has no use in nutrition.
  • They are lower in Nutritional Content than silkworms, super worms, or dubia roaches.
  • Crickets chirping or their noises are also a real problem for the unlucky pet owner who has an escapee cricket loose in the enclosure for days or even weeks
  • Often smelly, if kept in larger quantity

2.   Meal Worms

Nutritional Content Ratio: 64% moisture, 14% fat, 18%protein,3% carbohydrate and 2% ash


  • Very trendy and easy to find feeder insects.
  • Mealworms are effortlessly kept for moths in a refrigerator for several months.
  • They have huge amount of fat. So always give them in moderation. Otherwise, it leads to obese reptile.
  • Mealworms come in multiple sizes and can be found at most bait shops and pet stores.


  • Without refrigeration and a warm climate 75F-95F, they will grow and metamorphous into beetles within a few weeks.
  • If you are not an avid fisherman, the idea of keeping mealworms next to your food in the refrigerator could be a little troublesome for you.
  • Not readily available in all pet shops

3.   Superworms

Nutritional Content Ratio: 56% moisture, 20% protein, 15% fat, 6% carbohydrate and 2% ash


  • Sometimes called "king worms" because they are larger than almost every other worm/larvae
  • There is a myth that indigested super worms cause stomach upset in reptiles. But they are very healthy and nutritious for larger reptiles such as adult bearded dragons or comodo dragons.
  • Superworms are bulkier than mealworms, so they are a better option for feeding more giant reptiles.


  • Superworms' metamorphous process occurs very fast.
  • They can not be refrigerated to slow down the metamorphous process.
  • So breeders have to take the particular procedure to maintain their larval stage, which is not economical
  • Supersworms are also much harder to breed since each worm at the pupal stage must be separated from the other super worms to complete the transformation process into a beetle. Which is very difficult and laborious


Nutritional Content Ratio: 59% moisture, 14% protein, 24% fat, 2.5% carbohydrate, .5% ash


  • Soft-bodied & Thin-skinned (Delicious snack for Geckos, Dragons, Chameleons, Anoles, etc.)
  • They are high in calcium level and protein content.
  • Many professional breeders use Wax Worms during the breeding season of reptiles to meet their protein and fat requirements.


  • They cannot tolerate high temperatures
  • Best maintained between 60 and 65 degrees, which is tough to keep.
  • Not readily available in tropical areas


Nutritional Content Ratio: 73% moisture, 11% protein, 11%fat. 


  • Silkworms are known as one of the healthiest feeder insects you can get to feed your pet.
  • Silkworms have a high source of Calcium and Protein and low-fat content, which make them a perfect food for reptiles in every season.


  • Silkworms are very sensitive and more prone to bacteria, which makes their farming and shipping difficult.
  • Silkworms only eat mulberry leaves or a mulberry chow from the mulberry leaf, which is not readily available.
    They are costly, and their diet is not economical


Nutritional Content Ratio: 66% moisture, 22% protein, 7%fat, 3% carbohydrate 2% ash


  • Not good climbers, so easily accessed by any reptile
  • A glass tub or slick plastic with proper climbing surfaces will house your dubia feeders properly.
  • They also do not smell as do Crickets and are very clean if adequately cared for.
  • One adult dubia roach worm is equal in weight to seven large crickets, making them an excellent option for feeding larger reptiles.

7.   Butterworms (Also known as Trevo, Chilean Moth, or Tebro worms):

Nutritional Content Ratio: 70% moisture, 20% protein, 7%fat, 3% carbohydrate


  • It can be refrigerated. They can last for up to 5-6 months in the fridge.
  • No risk of chitin impaction. However, overfeeding on them results in worms being pooped out undigested.
  • Move very slowly, which makes them excellent for poor hunters like sick or injured reptiles.


  • Butterworms are not bred all over the world. They can only be imported from Chile. Butterworms is also known as Chilean Moth in Chile
  • They are pretty big can't be fed to young geckos because they would be a choking hazard.
  • They were somewhat fatty.
  • Low in calcium. Previously, it was thought that butterworms are rich in calcium, but a recent study has proven otherwise.
  • Professional experts recommend not to use them as a daily feeder. Geckos and Bearded dragons start to pass butterworms completely undigested if fed daily.

Important Note: Should not be given to any Rhacodactylus or Correlophus geckos (crested gecko, gargoyle, chahoua, leachie, etc.). Butterworms have caused severe acidic burns to these geckos.

8.   Hornworms (The Goliath hornworm)

Nutritional Content Ratio: 62% moisture, 15% protein, 24% fat, 2.5% carbohydrate, 6% ash.


  • Incredibly nutritious.
  • Like the silkworm, its protein content is high, almost up to 68%.
  • Its fat content is 20%, which is also very high.
  • Remarkable for picky eaters. The bearded dragon will randomly go off his usual food at any given moment, but they always love hornworms.
  • They are also very huge. Each adult hornworm is roughly worth 35 crickets. Hornworms can grow up to 4 inches long but are more commonly around 3.
  • No impaction risk despite their large size because they are soft-bodied.


  • They are expensive. You'll be paying around 10-11 dollars for 25-30 small ones, depending on where you go.
  • Even the smallest ones are pretty big. If you have small reptiles, they could be a choking hazard.
  • Have a specialized diet.
  • They are not usually bred in the US.

Important Note: Do not feed the hornworms from your garden, especially if they come from petunias, tomato, jimson, tobacco, or eggplants. These plants are all toxic to reptiles, and the hornworms will possibly carrying those toxins.


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