What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

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What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby ryanaeon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:13 am

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obviously in the wild in Australia they wouldn't have access to some of the diet we give them, and they don't even have supplements


If we were to replicate what they eat in nature, what would be their real diet?
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:56 am

From what I understand, in the wild they forage quite a bit and pick up whatever small bugs, plants, flowers, etc that they can find. They can go for quite a while without food if needed and can conserve energy by sitting and waiting for bugs to come near them. The variety of different bugs and what those bugs gutload on provides them with the vitamins and nutrients they need. The common feeders we offer in captivity don't come close to that which is why supplements are needed. The best thing you can do in captivity in my opinion is to provide as much variety in terms of both bugs and salads as you can. Make them work for the food a little bit and change up the offerings to keep them on their toes a bit. Adding some interactivity such as displayed in this video (and similar things you can think of) may be helpful for trying to simulate feeding in the wild and be good for overall mental and physical health https://www.facebook.com/bloodbankdragons/videos/1133664499992638/
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby Taterbug » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:22 pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25773132

The central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is one of the most popular pet lizards. However, little is known regarding their nutrient requirement, or their natural diet. Therefore, the stomach contents of 14 free-roaming P. vitticeps were determined by flushing. These stomach contents were described taxonomically, and analyzed for crude protein content as well as fatty acid content and composition. Most of the dry matter intake was in the form of animal material (61%) stemming from nine arthropod orders. The most abundant were alates of the termite Drepanotermes sp., accounting for 95% of the total number of prey items and more than half of the total dry matter (DM) intake. Plant material contributed 16% of the total DM intake. The diets were high in crude protein (41-50% DM) and the total fatty acid content was 14-27% of the DM intake. The main fatty acid was C18:1n9c (51-56% of total fatty acids), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3 and n6) comprised 6-8% of the total fat intake. Our data suggest that P. vitticeps is an opportunistic predator, which exploits the seasonal availability of prey. Based on our data and other studies, a diet consisting of several insect species, supplemented with leafy vegetables, rich in n3 FA's, would best resemble the expected natural diet of P. vitticeps. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby Taterbug » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:39 pm

Interestingly, termites are also associated with changing the soil composition at their mounds, raising nutrient levels including calcium.

"Lee and Wood (1971) in their investigation in Australia found that exchangeable Ca, Mg, K were generally high in termite modified soils than unmodified samples." http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=ijss.2007.1.14
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:42 pm

I was hoping you'd come through with some data =). Thanks for sharing that!
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby Taterbug » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:53 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I was hoping you'd come through with some data =). Thanks for sharing that!


:D

I have another one somewhere about coastal bearded dragons.... I think they had some vertebrates as well, can't find the book mark now though :( I suspect they eat most things they can get in their mouth.
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby CooperDragon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:59 pm

I would suspect so as well. I've seen plenty of "it moved, get it!" behavior even in captivity.
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby ryanaeon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:03 pm

Taterbug wrote:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25773132

The central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is one of the most popular pet lizards. However, little is known regarding their nutrient requirement, or their natural diet. Therefore, the stomach contents of 14 free-roaming P. vitticeps were determined by flushing. These stomach contents were described taxonomically, and analyzed for crude protein content as well as fatty acid content and composition. Most of the dry matter intake was in the form of animal material (61%) stemming from nine arthropod orders. The most abundant were alates of the termite Drepanotermes sp., accounting for 95% of the total number of prey items and more than half of the total dry matter (DM) intake. Plant material contributed 16% of the total DM intake. The diets were high in crude protein (41-50% DM) and the total fatty acid content was 14-27% of the DM intake. The main fatty acid was C18:1n9c (51-56% of total fatty acids), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3 and n6) comprised 6-8% of the total fat intake. Our data suggest that P. vitticeps is an opportunistic predator, which exploits the seasonal availability of prey. Based on our data and other studies, a diet consisting of several insect species, supplemented with leafy vegetables, rich in n3 FA's, would best resemble the expected natural diet of P. vitticeps. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

yay! that certainly answers the question!
:blob5:
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby AHBD » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:50 pm

That's a surprise, very interesting ! I'm sure they eat baby lizards [ including their own kind ] as well.

So now who's going to start breeding termites ?
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Re: What do beardies actually eat in the wild?

Postby Drache613 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:01 pm

Hello,

I don't have any other links, but my friend who lives in Cairnes used to go nearby to a park where there were a lot of wild barbatas (eastern or coastals) & they ate grubs quite often. I have a few pictures stored of him holding one while eating a large grub.
Grubs also live in the ground to where they may have higher calcium & other minerals in them.

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