The bearded dragon’s reptiles of the agamid family. This beautiful reptile originates from the semi-desert and desert regions of Australia. It is named for the pointy scales below the neck. Its scientific name is Pogona vitticeps.
Bearded Dragons characteristics
Bearded dragons are medium-sized lizards. They can measure up to 24 inches long, and weigh almost 1 pound as adults, the females being smaller. Their long and robust tails make up a large part of this length. The legs have not retractable claws.
Physically they are characterized by having a lizard-like appearance. They have earthy skin colors such as brown, sand, or gray, although they can also be green, reddish, or orange. This color will be slightly different depending on the place of origin of each subspecies. Also, it will vary when regulating its body temperature, as well as to show its mood. Its belly is rather cream-colored.
They have a triangular head that is surrounded by sharp scales, especially under the throat. When this reptile feels threatened, it has the peculiarity of opening its mouth wide by unfolding its beard of thorns. Also, it will turn black, to frighten its adversary. It also has two rows of scales along its back along with two rows of spots that serve to camouflage with the stones and go unnoticed by possible predators.
The main sense that bearded dragons use to orientate themselves in their environment is sight. To protect their eyes, in addition to having mobile lower and upper eyelids, they have a membrane called a nictitating membrane.
Bearded dragons are semiarborícolas terrestrial reptiles, the reason why they are good climbers and spend a good part of their time on branches or bushes. Although these are animals of diurnal habits, like most animals whose habitat is the desert, spend the hours of greater solar exposure hidden in caves underground.
As for their diet, these lizards are omnivorous, as they eat insects, small vertebrates, and also plants, herbs, fruits, and some flowers. Their varied diet is because in their place of origin food is usually scarce, so they are not very picky when it comes to feeding.
What do bearded dragons look like?
These are the main characteristics of bearded dragons:
- Class: reptile
- Length: between 15 and 24 inches.
- Weight: between 0.8 and 1 pound.
- Longevity: between 10 and 15 years
- Maturity: 1-2 years
- Reproduction: oviparous
- Hatchlings per clutch: 20 to 24 eggs
- Incubation: 60-80 days
- Habits: diurnal
- Power supply: omnivorous
- Character: solitary, curious, and docile
How many years does a bearded dragon live?
The life span of a bearded dragon varies according to race and the living conditions of each one, generally lasting from 10 to 15 years in captivity.
In their natural habitat, this time can be reduced by predators or by the conditions of an adverse environment, as well as by diseases acquired in their environment.
Types of Bearded Dragons
There are 8 different species within the genus Pogona (the genus of the bearded dragon).
This is the bearded dragon we’ve been talking about and the best known as a pet.
The Pogona barbata is a lizard native to Australia like the others. It is also a semi-arborist and diurnal animal and is dark in colors such as grey, black, and yellow. Males of this species can measure up to 60 cm long and females 50 cm. They have their “beard” of practically black color. Pogona barbata is often confused with Pogona vitticeps, but the latter is slightly smaller. This species has poison glands in the upper and lower jaws.
The Pogona henry lawson is physically very similar to the Pogona vitticeps, however, it has a flattened head with fewer spines and is smaller in size (about 25-30 cm). It originates from Central and Western Queensland, Australia. It is a more sociable dragon if it fits that the Pogona vitticeps, however, it does not like so much to climb.
The Pogona microlepidota is a small specimen, measuring only about 10-15 centimeters. It originates from the northernmost part of northwest Australia. It lives in stony areas and dry forests.
Pogona minor is native to the North, South, and West of Australia and is found in both desert and scrubland areas. The main difference with the other species of Pogona is that it is strictly insectivorous. It can measure up to 40 cm and needs a terrarium similar to the Pogona vitticeps.
The Pogona mitchelli is a species that can measure up to 40 centimeters in length (25 cm tail only) and has a larger body compared to other species. It lives in the north of Australia, in rocky areas and dry tropical forests.
Pogona Nullarbor is native to southern and western Australia and reaches a size of about 34 cm in length. Its tail and snout are shorter compared to other species. It receives its name, Nullarbor, from the Nullarbor plain.
The Pogona minor is a species that usually measures about 35 centimeters, but with a more stylized body than other species. They live in the most western part of Australia and can be found in a multitude of habitats, from forests to more coastal areas. It is mainly insectivorous.
The behavior of bearded dragons
They are very curious animals, nice and very docile. They can hold on without problems and move from one side to the other, although in some cases if they feel threatened, they can swell their throats.
Concerning character and temperament, although this lizard sometimes has a terrifying appearance, it adapts perfectly to life in captivity.
This reptile will be a very good choice as a pet, especially for beginners’ terrarium lovers. It quickly becomes accustomed to human presence and is not frightened at all by the cuddles and sudden gestures of children.
Since this reptile is diurnal, we can observe it during the day. With strong and powerful claws, the bearded dragon turns out to be an unusual climber and will spend much of its time clinging to the branches. However, depending on the temperature of its habitat, this animal will also hide in the rocks and on the ground, so don’t forget to put some stones in its terrarium.
When there are other pets at homes such as dogs and cats, it is necessary to pay attention to barking and meowing; dogs and cats can be considered predators by beards. Nothing simpler than to observe your bearded dragon well when it is in the presence of these animals if the lizard leaves its mouth open while the scalp beard is inflated, this is a sign that it is being placed in a defensive posture. To avoid stress, immediately remove it from the cat or dog.
They are diurnal animals, with more activity during the day than at night, in their natural state, they molt as they grow, and then once a year as an adult. Their fat reserves are in their tails.
These reptiles are capable of emitting soft whistles when they are really annoyed. They hear only low frequencies but have very good eyesight.