Frilled Dragon Diet | What Do Frilled Dragons Eat?

What do frilled dragons eat?

A frilled dragon diet should consist of a variety of live prey along with some vegetables and fruit. Frilled dragons, also known as frilled neck lizards are omnivores. However, most of their diet should consist of live prey. With that in mind lets talk about what frilled dragons eat and what are the best food choices to feed them.

Frilled dragons love to eat insects and small prey. Various insects and small prey should be the base of a frilled dragons diet. Some frilled dragons will also eat a small number of fruits and veggies as well.

Best Foods To Feed Your Frilled Dragon: 

  • Crickets
  • Dubia Roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms
  • Locusts
  • Grubs
  • Limited Pinky Mice
  • Fruit and Vegetables

Frilled Dragons are an exotic option for those in the hobby, though their dietary needs aren’t too exotic. While feeding them is fairly straightforward, these lizards still do have some quirks when it comes to how they feed and how they get their water.

What Do Frilled Dragons Eat In The Wild?

Frilled Dragons feed in much the same way that many other lizards do. Though frilled dragons can be fed leafy greens, fruits, and veggies, in the wild they eat almost  exclusively insects and other small prey.  This would include insects, small rodents, small reptiles, and other small prey. 

Their fearsome reputation is merely an assumption based on the lizard’s frills and open, toothy mouth, commonly seen in photos. This might make you think they are taking down bigger prey in the wild.

However, this is just a defensive display to ward off predators and isn’t indicative of their temperament or feeding habits. If interested I actually wrote a whole article on the temperament of frilled dragons

So, let’s look first at the ways that these interesting lizards feed just like the more popular lizard pets. 

Best Food Choices To Include In A Frilled Dragon Diet

Juvenile frilled dragons can eat a lot of food. In fact, you might even want to feed them up to three times per day. Simply add food until they are done eating. As they grow larger you can reduce the frequency of their eating. You will probably be feeding them daily until they reach full adulthood.

A fully grown adult whose body weight is filled out nicely can be fed every other day as long as they are maintaining their proper weight and appearance.  The size of there food should about two-thirds the width of their head or smaller. 

Frilled Dragons can be picky eaters so it is important that their diet has a lot of variety, otherwise, they can become easily bored and refuse food. What can you feed a frilled dragon in order to give them a varied diet? We’re glad you asked.

  • Crickets: Crickets are a popular staple of feed lizards. They are an especially good choice when your lizards are small as you can get different sizes of crickets at the pet shop or through mail order. You may have the desire to dump a load of crickets into your lizard’s enclosure, but you should instead add them slowly, a few at a time. You should find out how many crickets your lizard will eat before they are full. Any uneaten crickets should be removed from the enclosure as the insects are omnivores and will try to take a bite out of your lizard given the chance. 
  • Locusts: Locusts are a popular choice and can be a good option as your lizard grows. They tend to be larger than standard brown crickets and they are very hoppy. This, combined with their bright coloration, can cause a very strong reaction of your reptile’s prey drive. This makes them a great choice to add to the dietary rotation as it can create a lot of enthusiasm in a predatory lizard.
  • Dubia Cockroaches: Dubia Roaches are a popular food source for pet reptiles for several reasons. Firstly, they don’t chirp like noisy crickets and are completely silent. Secondly, they won’t easily escape their cage or the mouth of your pet, as they are much slower and don’t climb or hop. They are also naturally high in protein and calcium, which is necessary for metabolizing an insectivorous diet. 
  • Worms: There are a ton of different worms available for reptile chow. Mealworms, waxworms, hornworms, super worms, and beetle grubs are all available at your local pet shop or online and are great sources of nutrients for your reptiles. Some of them, like calci worms and wax worms, are very high in fat so they should be eaten in moderation, else your reptile develops obesity. They are also fairly easy for your lizard to catch. Morio worms and beetle grubs can get fairly large and are a good option as your lizards grow in size.
  • Pinky Mice: Pinky Mice, or baby mice, are a popular food item for many reptile pets. For omnivorous, or insectivorous lizards they are a great, and well-received treat. They should be used in great moderation, or once or twice a month at most. They should also only be fed to a lizard that is fully grown and capable of swallowing the creature whole.
  • Canned Insects: Canned insects are a good choice for a backup food to have on hand. Some lizards may not enjoy these options but if fed from tongs or by hand, most tame lizards will still accept these freeze-dried foods. 

Note: You should never feed your frilled dragon wild-caught insects. They can carry illnesses and can be very harmful to your dragon. 

Should Fruits And Veggies Be Included In A Frilled Dragon Diet?

Some frilled dragons will eat some amount of fruits and veggies. This is a little bit more common as they age and is less common for juveniles. That said, not all frilled dragons will include vegetables in their diet. When you try, I would suggest cutting the veggies up into easy-to-digest bites.

Chop up things such as leafy greens. You can throw a few mealworms on top of the chopped greens to encourage your frilled dragon to eat. I should also note that not all fruits and veggies are safe for a frilled dragon.

So please do not feed your frilled dragon anything that you are not sure of.

Veggies And Fruits You Can Include In A Frilled Dragon Diet: 

  • Collard Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Cantelope
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Carrots

Adding Supplements To A Frilled Dragon Diet

Calcium is the most important supplement for reptiles that subsisted primarily on insects and arthropods. The tough exoskeletons of most of these insects are high in phosphorus and in order to properly metabolize that high amount of phosphorus, reptiles need a high amount of calcium. 

It is important to get a high-quality calcium powder, preferably with additional vitamin D3. You simply sprinkle this on whatever you intend to feed to your lizard. It is that easy.

How To Water A Frilled Dragon

We learned how to feed them, but how do they drink? Since these lizards come from arid desert regions in Australia and New Guinea, they might not ever see a large body of water in the wild.

For that reason, a dish of water alone doesn’t work too well for Frilled Dragons. It will most likely become a soaking tub or a toilet more often than a watering bowl.

For a frilled dragon, you simply mist their enclosure with a spray bottle whenever you feed them. Frilled Dragons get all of their hydration this way, by lapping up droplets in their habitat. In the wild, they would find dewdrops of water collected in the branches of the trees where they make their homes. 

So, we learned that feeding these unique lizards isn’t as different as you might think. It is actually pretty simple. Just keep it high quality and give them a variety of food in their diet and you should have a happy dragon for years to come. 

In Summary

A frilled dragon’s diet should consist mostly of insects and worms such as cricket, mealworms, superworms, and Dubia roaches. However, you should always buy these insects from a reputable source and never use wild-caught insects.

On occasion, you can feed an adult frilled dragon a pinky mouse or two as well. Some frilled dragons will allow a small number of fruits and veggies into their diet. Just make sure you are picking options that are approved for frilled dragons. For more on the frilled dragon check out my Complete Frilled Dragon Care Guide!

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