Dale's Bearded Dragons

Breeder of quality bearded dragons and supplies.

About Bearded Dragons

The bearded dragon or beardie, as some call them, grow to a length of 17-19 inches from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. It is rather difficult to tell a male from a female although experienced herpers can do it rather accurately.  These lizards are omnivores both in captivity and in the wild.  They need exposure to UVB light in order to produce D3 in their skin which enables them to process calcium.  Without UVB exposure, they will get bone and or growth deformities.  They will eat a variety of vegetation and insects and while some people insist on feeding pinkies (baby mice), I do not advise it as they are very hard for beardies to digest.

Unlike some lizards, bearded dragons do not grow back lost tails or limbs. So, if a tail or foot is lost (sometimes siblings will nip at eachother) it will heal over and never grow back. 

Many people do not know that they have a specialized scale on the top of their heads, between the eyes but farther back which can be distinguished by a black dot in the center.  This scale is called a parietal eye or third eye and it is photosensitive.  A bearded dragon's biggest predator in the wild is birds and birds attack from above. They have developed this scale that senses differences in light and shadow.  If a shadow falls across the parietal eye, the dragon will take a defensive stance.  This is why I suggest approaching the beardy from the front and lift from the chest, so you do not freak it out by it sensing a shadow before it realizes that it is you.

Bearded dragons shed their skin. As babies, they will usually shed quite often and most of the body all at once.  As adults, they will generally shed the skin on each part of the body once a year but in various peices at a time. 

These lizards go through a semi-hibernation period called brumation in the winter and this can vary greatly from dragon to dragon.  Some do not brumate at all, some sleep deeply, some sleep lighty and wake often.  The length of this brumation period also varies greatly from dragon to dragon, some only going down for a week or so and some for nearly 5-6 months.  I believe that brumation levels will change with exposure to natural sunlight so that a dragon who is placed near a window will brumate deeply while one who is not exposed to a window will not sleep as deeply. 

Bearded dragons grow extremely fast and will generally reach their full length by 9 months to a year old, then until about a year and a half old they will continue to fill out.  Females reach a safe breeding age at a year and a half and males can breed as early as 4 months.  In captivity, they can live for 10 years or more.  Early demise of a dragon is generally related to improper care, usually diet or lighting.

I believe these are the most mellow and docile reptiles on the pet market today.  I call them cats without fur, but the truth is they are more mellow than cats.  Anyone who knows one or owns one will tell you that they actually enjoy petting and will close their eyes and relax while you stroke their heads.  They make wonderful pets and rarely bite or  hiss.  If they don't like what you are doing with them they usually just deal with it or walk away. 

Beardies are native to Austalia but selective breeding has made the colors that these lizards posess much more vibrant then you would see in the wild.  Over the years, certain breeders in the US have worked long and hard to selectively breed high color specimens together so eventually they have achieved the high colors on some of the true morphs in today’s pet trade.    Many people have asked me what morph their dragon is and have sent me pictures so I could tell them, my answer to them is you can’t tell a dragon’s morph by looking at it, a morph is a name given by the selective breeder to describe their color line.  So unless you know the parents lineage and that happens to have a morph in it’s bloodlines then you have what is termed a normal.  Having a normal in no way diminishes the pet value and you could end up with one that has a lot of color, maybe even more than the morphed pedigree.  So, I wouldn't concern yourself so much with the morph of your dragon.  If purchased at a pet store it will usually be a normal and if purchased by a breeder you will probably request a certain morph or they will tell you his/her lineage.





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