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Latin name: Pogona vitticeps
This individual is an adult female who is eating large crickets dusted with vitamin and calcium powder as well as finely chopped dark leafy greens.
Other names: Mainland Bearded Dragon, Inland Bearded Dragon
General Info: Bearded dragons are one of the most popular and widely available lizards to keep as pets. The reason for this is for their manageable size and very tame and personable dispositions and they are known to form lifelong bonds with their owners.
They’ve also been bred to produce a variety of beautiful patterns and colors. In addition to this, bearded dragons also have the ability to temporarily change their color depending on their social environment and their surrounding temperatures.
It is believed they were first brought to the United States from Australia in the 1970s and all bearded dragons available in the pet trade are exclusively captive bred.
Lifestyle and Habitat: This species of bearded dragon is found in the west/central part of Australia and has a very broad range. They inhabit lots of different habitats from dry forests to open rocky deserts. While they do spend a lot of time on the ground they also can be found perched high up on rocks, logs and fences during the day to bask in the sun and to survey their territory.
Size and Lifespan: Males can usually reach a snout to tail tip length of 24” while females grow closer to 20”. Males grow to be larger than females both in size and in proportions. Males will have larger heads, thicker tail bases, a wider vent opening and very prominent femoral pores. Their lifespan in human care is typically 10-14 years.
Quick care stats:
Temperatures: 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the basking area, 80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool end. The use of two thermometers is ideal. One should be placed just off-center from the basking area on the floor of the tank and the other one should be placed furthest away from the basking area also on the floor of the tank.
Humidity: On the dry side 30% Misting once daily is recommended in the morning to simulate the desert dew.
Tank size: 20 gallons for babies/juveniles, 50+ gallons for adults. The bigger the better.
Tank type: Standard rectangle - allow ample for floor space as well as vertical space for your breardie to climb up and bask. These guys can be very active and like to wander, especially when young
Lighting: Both a heat pad and a dimmable heat lamp are recommended for housing this species in glass tanks. Dimmable heat bulb only for a wood or melamine tank. Thermostats are always helpful. Full spectrum UVB lighting required for this species and should be on 12-14 hours per day.
Substrate and furniture: Sand substrate 2” deep. Provide lots of rocky hiding places and a nice flat rock in the basking area. Provide a shallow water dish as well.
Handling: Bearded dragons tolerate handling very well and some even seek out physical contact with their owners. They can be handled several times per week for 30 minutes - an hour depending on room temperature and how comfortable your beardie is with handling.
Keep in mind that baby bearded dragons might be a little bit skittish at first but tame down very quickly.
When not to handle: When you first bring your beardie home or move it to a new enclosure, wait at least 3 days before handling it to give it a chance to settle in to the new environment.
Diet and feeding: For baby bearded dragons, feed them as much as they’ll eat! While you should be offering both live insect prey and dark leafy greens, a young beardie will be more interested in the insects. Offering upwards of 50 small crickets per day is sometimes required as they go through their growth spurts.
For adults, Offer live crickets/feeder roaches 2-3 times per week. Gage the number of insects your lizard will eat based on the number they leave behind. We recommend starting with an offer of 10 feeder insects and then adjusting from there. Fattier food items like worms can be offered 1x weekly for variety and as a treat!
Produce such as spring mix, romaine, and dark raft greens can be offered as a chopped small salad 1-3 times per week.
Always remove uneaten feeder insects if they have not been consumed after a day.
*All food items must be dusted with both vitamin and calcium powder prior to feeding.*
Food size: The feeder insect should be able to fit width-wise between your beardie’s eyes.