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Are Calci Worms Good for Bearded Dragons? (w/ Pics)

If you have a Bearded Dragon and looking for an ideal meal for them (Click here to see what Beardies should be eating and much more), then no doubt you have heard of Calci worms. But, are they a good option for you or not? Let me explain…

Are Calci worms good for bearded dragons? Yes, they are good for them. They have great nutritional benefits. Such as ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio and Lauric Acid. In fact, 53% of their body fat is this nutritional lauric acid.

Now that you know that they are a great option for your beardy, let me go on to explain the benefits of these worms, exactly what they are, how long they will last, whether or not it is a good idea to refrigerate them and more.

What is a Calci worm?

black soldier fly

You may be wondering what exactly is a Calci worm, right?  For that reason, I’m going to explain, in this section, exactly what it is. The Calci worm is the larvae (maggot) of the black soldier fly.

It is often called a number of different names, which can cause confusion. It is known as:

  • Phoenix worm.
  • Repti worm.
  • Calci Worm.

Even though they have very different sounding names they are all one of the same thing. One of the reasons why these Calci worms are so sought-after is the simple fact that they store a lot of fat and calcium in the pupation stage of their life cycle.

What does this mean for your lizard? It means that they are a great nutritional meal for your bearded dragon. And, they find them delicious as well.

Benefits of Calci worms

You may be thinking, what is so great about these Calci worms to even make you consider buying them, right? In this section, I’m going to explain some of the benefits of these worms for your benefit.

Easy to maintain

Firstly, one of the benefits is you really do not have to do much work to keep these worms happy. You can keep them at room temperature (what about reptiles, can they survive at this temperature? click here) without having to refrigerate them, which is a great benefit on its own.

In addition to this, you do not necessarily have to feed them, they can literally be kept in the same pot that you purchased them in and they can last a few weeks until your lizard is ready to consume them.

These are some of the reasons why lizard keepers think they are a good option.

Should these Calci worms be their staple diet?

You may be wondering with all this talk about high calcium and great nutritional facts. Should they not just be the staple diet for your Bearded Dragon?

Should you just focus solely on these worms and not beat around the bush? These are all good questions and what I plan to cover within this section.

Firstly yes we did discuss that the calcium has great nutritional benefits and the great fat they have. But as far as treating it as the staple diet for your bearded dragon goes, especially about thinking of it as potentially the only food for your bearded dragon (click here to see what the Bearded Dragon’s throat pouch is for?) , I wouldn’t advise this. But, let me explain…

Too much fat

The fact that they have a high-fat content makes me suggest that you need to be careful with this. Not that they are dangerous in any way mind you, but you want to avoid your beardy becoming overweight/obese, are you with me?

Therefore, you will better off offering them as treats and combining them with other insects. The variety is good too.

To be perfectly honest with you, beardies like variation anyway. They will easily get bored with the same thing day in day out.

Do Calci worms turn into flies?

There are many people that forget that these worms are just flies in the making. To cut a long story short, yes calci worms will eventually turn into flies.

However, the fact that you have purchased these for feeding your bearded dragon, the chances of you seeing them turning into a flight is quite low.

However, it is definitely possible. Especially if, for some reason, your bearded dragon stopped eating. Or maybe you’ve bought too many of them.

In the event that they do you turn into flies. They only really live for a few days before reproducing and the cycle continues. Obviously you don’t want a whole load of black soldier flies in your house, so this is not best practice.

The reality is they are quite harmless flies because they do not regurgitate and cause issues that normal other flies do (more on this later).

How do you store Calci worms?

You may be wondering after you purchase these Calci worms how are you going to store them in your house, right?

If you’re new to this, it may be a concern or cause some slight anxiety for you. Therefore, I will explain exactly how you go about this in this section.

The reality is, Calci worms need very little thought when it comes to storage. Do not worry about filling up your refrigerator with these worms. It is really not required, in fact, you can keep them in the same pot that you purchase them in and keep them at room temperature.

The reality is they can tolerate high temperatures. That does not mean that you should keep them at sky-high temperatures though.

In the event that it is a hot summer day, you should keep them in the vicinity of an AC unit so that they are not too overly exposed.

Conversely, on a ridiculously cold day, they have been known to survive small stints in the freezing cold conditions, but this is not necessarily the ideal situation for them.

You may be wondering what is the ideal temperature for them? In this case, you need to aim for 50 to 60 degrees to keep them at their optimal temperature.

Related question:

In this section, I’m going to answer some questions related to Calci worms and Bearded dragons. If you have any additional questions that you feel have not been covered here please leave a comment below.

Q: How long do Calci worms live?

In reality, Calci worms are pretty good. They can last a few weeks left at room temperature. I mentioned this earlier as one of their main benefits in fact.

Beyond these few weeks, they are likely to pupate and turn into flies so you want you do not want to go further than this.

However, in my opinion, this is ample time for your beardy to consume these worms. Unless you have over-purchased.

Q: Can Calci worms climb?

Yes, they can. You may be wondering if you keep them in a pot what are the chances of them escaping and trying to climb out of it.

The reality is, they do climb. But, if you are concerned about this, there is a simple way to avoid this happening.

If you apply water to the dish then this will give them the ability to climb out. Therefore, it is advisable to have a dry dish with the worms altogether. This will actually reduce the chances of them coming out.

Q: Do Calci worms like to wriggle?

Yes. They do like to wriggle. This is one of the reasons why they are ideal for bearded dragons. Because their movement actually excites them and makes them inclined to eat them.

Q: Do you need to dust Phoenix (Calci) worms?

Yes, but, not with calcium. In fact, if you attempt to dust them with calcium it will actually be dangerous because they already have high calcium content already. Instead, you should consider dusting them with a vitamin supplement to optimize their nutritional benefits.

Are soldier flies dangerous? No. In fact, they are one of the good ones. Why? Because they do not have mouthparts and they do not fly around all day hoovering up waste, then regurgitating it, as most flies do. Also, they do not bite and are not known for passing on diseases. All in all, a great fly.


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.