Bearded Dragon: Stats & Facts

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Bearded Dragons originate in Australia. The most common species in the pet industry is the Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, which was formerly called Amphibolurus vitticeps. The Inland Bearded Dragon is sometimes referred to as the Central, or Yellow-headed Bearded Dragon. Other members of the Pogona genus include:

- Pogona barbata — Common Bearded

- P. henrylawsoni — Rankin's

- P. minima — Western

- P. minor — Dwarf

- P. mitchelli — Northwest Bearded

- P. nullarbor — Nullarbor

- P. microlepitoda

Natural Environment

The Inland Bearded Dragon lives in the arid woodlands and deserts of central Australia. It spends much of its waking hours in bushes and trees, and is also found basking on rocks. When it is extremely hot, the bearded dragon will burrow underground. The bearded dragon is diurnal and an omnivore. It forages for food such as insects, small lizards and mammals, fruit, flowers, and other plant material during the day time.

Physical Characteristics

The Bearded Dragon is tan to yellow in color. It is called "bearded" because of the dragon's ability to flare out the skin in the throat region when it is threatened or territorial. Its body has a flattened appearance, which becomes even more pronounced if the dragon is alarmed. There are spines on the throat, sides of the head, and sides of the body. The head is wedge-shaped, and the Bearded Dragon has a tail that is almost as long as the body. It is difficult to distinguish males from females among hatchlings and juveniles. When they become adults, sexual differences become more apparent. The males generally have larger heads and larger, darker beards. The femoral pores of males also help to distinguish them from females.

Quick Stats: Bearded Dragon

Family: Agamidae

Origin: Australia

Size: Adult males up to 2 feet in length (including tail)

Diet: Omnivorous: Chopped meat, crickets, pinky mice, earthworms, leafy greens, squash; may want separate feeding tank

Water: Water dish, droplets, misting

Terrarium: 10-15 gallon aquarium for hatchlings; minimum of 55-60 gallon for adults

Substrate: Playground sand, indoor/outdoor carpet, newspaper

Decoration: Hidebox; provide rocks and branches for climbing and basking

Lighting: Fluorescent full spectrum lighting with UVB

Temperatures: 78-88°F; basking area of 95-100°F; night time temperatures in the 70's

Compatibility: Typically social; bearded dragons of similar size can be housed together, but should be monitored; appear to enjoy interaction with humans

Sexing: Males have larger heads, darker beards, and enlarged femoral pores

Life Expectancy: 10 years

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