Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Reptiles

Bearded dragons

Synonym(s): Pogona

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Kirsty Dewhurst

Introduction

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Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia.
  • Phylum: Chordata.
  • Class: Reptilia.
  • Order: Squamata.
  • Family: Agamidae.
  • Genus: Pogona.
  • Species: barbata, henrylawsoni, microlepidota, minor minima, minor, minor mitchelli, nullarbor, vitticeps.

Distribution and habitat

  • Bearded dragons are found throughout much of Australia in a wide range of habitats such as deserts, shrublands and Eucalyptus woodlands. 
  • They like to climb and will often spend time on nearby branches and rocks.
  • They also like to hide in dark, moist areas at times, especially when sedding.
  • They will burrow underground to escape the hottest parts of the day.

Species status

  • Least concern. 

Life span

  • In captivity: 8-15 years. 

Diet

  • In captivity, young Bearded dragons are mainly omnivores and their diet will consist of insects. Crickets and dubia roaches are the most popular insects fed to bearded dragons, however they can also be fed locusts, superworms, silkworms and grasshoppers Lizard nutrition
  • ​As they become adults they require a more herbivorous diet, with some insects at times. They should have a diet consisting of more than 80% plant matter, including leafy greens. 

Variations

  • Eastern or Coastal bearded dragon (Pogona barbata). 
  • Rankins or Lawson bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni). 
  • Drysdale river bearded dragon (Pogona microlepidota). 
  • Dwarf bearded dragon (Pogona minor minima). 
  • Western bearded dragon (Pogona minor). 
  • Mitchells bearded dragon (Pogona minor mitchelli). 
  • Nullarbor bearded dragon (Pogona nullarbor). 
  • Central bearded dragon or Inland bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). 

Breeding

  • Frequent head bobbing, arm waving, nipping and biting will occur before mating Lizard reproduction
  • Bearded dragons dig a deep hole for their nest. 
  • Depending on age, condition and previous breeding, the female will lay a clutch of between 15-50 eggs. 
  • Eggs incubate for between 60-80 days. 

As pets

  • Very commonly kept as pets. 
  • They are popular species among children because of their friendly and calm nature. However, they need to be well handled from a young age, and an adult must be present when children are handling.
  • They are also relatively easy to care, but researching the care of the species beforehand is advised. Many good husbandry resources are available to owners. 
  • Most are housed alone, as they are territorial in the wild and will fight with other males, and breed with females. 

Biological Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Alderton D (2018) What Set Up do I Need for my Bearded Dragon? Website: www.exoticdirect.co.uk. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Bearded Dragon Guide (2018) Breeding - Sexing Bearded Dragon Lizards. Website: www.beardeddragonguide.com. Last accessed 9th February 2018.
  • Bodenham D (2018) What can your Bearded Dragon Eat? The Best Food for your Beardie's Diet. Website: www.exoticdirect.co.uk. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • RSPCA (2018) Bearded Dragon Care Sheet. Website: www.rspca.org.uk. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Hawkins P (2017) Bearded Dragon Information and Facts. Website: www.exoticdirect.co.uk. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Herpetological Society of Ireland (2014) Bearded Dragon Care. Website: https://thehsi.org. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Girling S (2013) Common Reptile and Amphibian Diseases. In: Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 297-318.
  • Girling S (2013) Reptile & Amphibian Nutrition. In: Veterinary Nursing of Exotic Pets. 2nd edn. Wiley-Blackwell, UK. pp 286-296.
  • Pollock C (2012) Care of the Australian Bearded Dragon. Website: https://lafeber.com. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Pollock C (2012) Basic Information Sheet: Inland Bearded Dragon. Website: https://lafeber.com. Last accessed 11th June 2018.
  • Kottwittz J & Coke R (2007) Bearded Dragons. In: Unusual Pet Care Volume 2. 2nd edn. Ed: Johonson J. Zoological Education Network Limited, USA. pp 21-34.
  • Girling S et al (2004) Urogenital System. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 2nd edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 268-270.
  • Meredith A et al (2002) Lizards. In: BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets. 4th edn. BSAVA, UK. pp 228-233.

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