Everything You Need to Know About Bearded Dragons

Posted by Mateja Lane

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Reptile lovers call them beardies.

The official genus of the bearded dragon is Pogona which includes eight different lizard species; the most common domestic species is Pogona Vitticeps. While they do live in the wild, specifically in Australia, bearded dragons are also one of the most common reptiles kept as pets.

They are generally calm and docile lizards. When they do get agitated or scared, their "beards," or area under their mouths, will turn black, giving them their names. Beardies are a popular exotic pet since they are relatively smart and have certain behaviors like arm waving that make them more endearing.

Beardies have specific care requirements, similar to other reptiles, like UVB lighting and a heating source to ensure the temperature never gets below 65 degrees. The tank needs a basking side under direct heat, up to 100 degrees F, but also need a cooler side for them to thermoregulate. Bearded dragons also need a substrate in their tank. Sand is a controversial substrate as it can cause blockage if ingested. Newspaper or reptile carpet can work for the tank lining.

This particular reptile eats both vegetables, insects, and even mice. Because they are desert creatures, they don't need much water nor humidity. You can use a spray bottle to mist your beardie or put a shallow dish of water for him to sip out of when he is thirsty.

Bearded dragons in captivity with proper care can live for up to 12 years.

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Bearded dragons have spiny heads that are triangular in shape. The throat, or beard, will turn black when agitated or threatened, giving them their names. The spikes behind the head make beardies look like dragons from mythical stories.


Beardies are loved by reptile enthusiasts due to their docile natures and intelligence. Some of their beloved characteristics include waving their arms as if they are greeting you and winking. They are relatively easy to keep and make gentle pets with proper handling.


The tail of the bearded dragon is usually half the size of the length of the body. They generally grow between 12 and 24 inches depending on age and sex.


Bearded dragons have flat bodies with spikes running alongside their bellies. They can be lots of different colors, depending on where the species originated. The coloring ranges from white to different shades of yellow, to deep reds.


To keep your beardie healthy, it is important to have the correct habitat requirements including a safe substrate, proper heating/basking requirements, and limited moisture.

Do you have a beardie? Show us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About Bearded Dragons