Superworms often get a bad rap. But they’re actually an excellent addition to most reptile diets due to their nutritional value, interactive nature, and affordable price.
In this blog post, we’re demystifying the rumors and myths associated with superworms. Read on to get the straight facts about these wiggly little guys – the truth may shock you!
Superworm Myth 1:
“Superworms will eat their way out of a reptile’s stomach if you don’t remove their heads before feeding.”
If you’re anything like us, you hang out in a TON of reptile forums online. A common belief among novice reptile keepers is that superworms can bore out of a reptile’s stomach if their heads aren’t removed before feeding time.
Many experienced reptile keepers consider this an old wives’ tale. In our years of breeding reptiles professionally, we’ve never once seen this happen. In fact, the acids in a reptile’s stomach will kill any superworm (if your pet doesn’t kill it first during mealtime).
Superworms have been known to bite reptiles in the mouth while being eaten – they can be cranky little buggers. You can avoid biting incidents by supervising your feedings and avoiding feeding your pet any superworms that are larger than the space between their eyes.
But if a reptile dies, superworms WILL start to eat them (the circle of life), which may be where this myth started. Remember always to select the correctly sized feeder insect for your pet because incorrectly sized food can be a choking hazard. Learn more about feeder insect safety here.
Keeping all that in mind, you can choose to crush the worms’ heads before feeding your pet if it makes you feel safer, but it’s absolutely not necessary.
Superworm Myth 2:
“Superworms have no nutritional value.”
Another reptile forum myth we repeatedly encounter is that superworms are void of nutritional value.
Superworms are a beneficial food for leopard geckos, crested geckos, bearded dragons, and more, providing health benefits like:
- They help fussy eaters bulk up. Beardies, cresties, and more love superworms making them perfect for picky eaters. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a special treat? Because of their high-fat content, superworms are a great help to malnourished bearded dragons.
- Protein. Bearded dragons in particular need to regularly eat insects to supply them with the protein they need. Because superworms are 19% protein, they are a suitable protein source for your beloved beardie.
- The thrill of the chase. As with dubia roaches, superworms are an interactive meal that ignites the thrill of the hunt in your reptile. This is good for your pet’s mental wellness.
- Water-rich. Because superworms are over 50% moisture, they are an excellent source of hydration for your crestie or bearded dragon. Proper hydration helps your pet avoid impaction, diarrhea, dehydration, and other gut health issues.
Want specifics? Take a look at the chart below for a superworm nutritional breakdown:
Superworm Myth 3:
“Superworms cause impaction.”
Dehydration is the #1 cause of impaction in reptiles – not superworms. As we mentioned above, superworms are over 50% moisture, making them a hydrating food source.
Common signs of dehydration in bearded dragons:
- Tacky saliva
- Wrinkled skin
- Sunken eyes
- Flaky skin
- A decrease in appetite
If your dragon (or other reptile species) displays these symptoms – it may be time to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Can superworms contribute to compaction?
Yes, they can, but superworms shouldn’t cause compaction in a healthy lizard that eats a varied diet of superworms, dubia roaches, fruits, and vegetables. When dealing with juvenile or baby reptiles – it’s best to hold off on introducing them to superworms as they have undeveloped digestive systems.
Buy Superworms Now
So, now you have the straight facts about superworms. Are you ready to add them to your reptile’s diet? Pop over to our shop right away and get your order in! We’ll send them directly to your doorstep!