Bearded dragons are popular reptile choices for exotic pet enthusiasts. They all hail from Australia and usually have triangular heads, spikes, long tails, and scales on their bodies.
Furthermore, bearded dragons come in various dimensions and colors. In the United States, reptile pet enthusiasts started to enjoy taking care of bearded dragons since their introduction into the country in the 1990s.
These attractive lizards have actually sustained their popularity as extraordinary domesticated home companions, even after Australia prohibited the sale of its wildlife as pets in the 1960s.
We gathered that interested bearded dragon owners are unfamiliar with the eight types of bearded dragons. Additionally, we noticed that they confuse bearded dragon “types” with the “morphs.”
In this discussion, we explained the eight types of bearded dragons. We also provided our readers with general information about each of these bearded dragon varieties.
We differentiated the types of bearded dragons with the morphs. Moreover, in this article, we wanted to assist lizard pet keepers and potential bearded dragon owners in knowing which species are available for purchase in online pet stores and brick-and-mortar pet shops.
After all, not all of the eight types of bearded dragons are readily available in the market as pets because plenty of them are rare.
Differentiating Bearded Dragon “Types” and “Morphs”
We recognized that many prospective bearded dragon owners are confused between the types of bearded dragons and the bearded dragon morphs.
We want to let them understand that when we speak of the eight types of bearded dragons, we are talking about their features, including their appearance, size, natural habitat, habitat location in Australia, and so forth.
On the other hand, when discussing bearded dragon “morphs,” we focus more on these reptile pets’ color and genetics. Bearded dragons’ “morph” element is a result of the selective breeding of these lizards.
Herpetologists mate bearded dragon morphs to produce diverse colors and patterns, and there are now more than 20 morphs. The “morph” feature makes the bearded dragons physically dissimilar, in which some have colorful patterns on their backs, while others possess shiny, bright, and smooth skin.
We want to highlight to our readers that there are three main types of bearded dragon morphs. According to the information from Everythingreptiles.com, they are color, scalation, and pattern.
1. COLOR MORPHS
This element focuses on the color variations, highlights, and specks on the bearded dragon’s body. These visible differences are based on the reptile pets’ natural genetic makeup, melanin level in their bodies, or their natural environment.
Examples of bearded dragon morphs focusing on the color are albino, black, blue, citrus, citrus tiger, green, lemon fire, orange, purple, and red bearded dragon morphs.
Plus, there are color morphs such as ruby red, sandfire, sandfire red, silkie, snow, sunburst, tangerine, translucent, white, and yellow bearded dragon morphs.
2. SCALATION MORPHS
This kind of bearded dragon morph focuses on the types, shapes, position, amount, and size of a bearded dragon’s spikes and scales on its body.
Examples are leatherback bearded dragon, silkback bearded dragon, microscale bearded dragon, and Dunner bearded dragon, which are the most popular reptiles specifically bred by bearded dragon enthusiasts.
3. PATTERN MORPHS
This morph type centers on the patterns on the bearded dragon’s body. Reptile enthusiasts such as bearded dragon aficionados love pattern morphs because of their distinct and interesting appearance.
Some examples of pattern morphs are Dunner, Witblits, Tiger Stripes, and Paradox bearded dragons. Some bearded dragons can fall under the color, pattern, and scalation morph all at the same time.
Bearded dragon morphs are, indeed, captivating. One example of them is the zero bearded dragon morph bred in Germany. One type is the hypomelanistic zero bearded dragon morph which tends to be pure white.
Meanwhile, the non-hypomelanistic zero bearded dragon morph is more silvery or gray. The zero bearded dragon morph is one of the three leucistic-like bearded dragon morphs that possesses no markings on its body at all.
That is right: When a bearded dragon keeper looks at this reptile pet under a UV lamp, he will see zero colors, scales, patterns, or other distinguishing features. The zero bearded dragon morphs’ black shoulder pads are the only thing that differentiates them from a Witblits or a silverback bearded dragon.
Indeed, selective breeding of bearded dragons leads to the many different versions of the central or inland bearded dragon, which is the most common specie of this reptile kept as domesticated pets. This process also enables pet enthusiasts to get the particular trait they prefer.
In this discussion, we focused on the eight types of bearded dragons found in Australia’s wild. They include the most common, the central or inland bearded dragon, which is widely available in pet stores.
8 Kinds of Bearded Dragons
We want to educate our readers that bearded dragons come in eight varieties. These animals all belong to the Pogona genus or family.
They are all different in appearance, and the most common colors are tan, yellow, olive green, and red. Moreover, we want to enlighten interested bearded dragon owners that these species in the wild are all found in different parts of Australia.
This territory in Oceania is the bearded dragons’ natural habitat. Each of the eight types of bearded dragons actually originates from a slightly different natural environment, making them possess their own unique set of behaviors.
Before purchasing a bearded dragon, we believe it is best if potential bearded dragon keepers understand the eight kinds of these species, which are the following:
The central bearded dragon’s scientific name is Pogona Vitticeps. We want to inform our readers that they will also encounter this specie with its other name, which is the inland bearded dragon.
Central bearded dragons are usually found in central Australia’s arid and semi-arid woodlands and rocky desert regions. As for their natural habitat, they thrive and live healthy in dry brush environments, such as deserts, brush fields, and dry forests.
Additionally, the central bearded dragon has a maximum length of 24 inches long as an adult, with its tail accounting for half of its length. As among the eight types of bearded dragons, this specie is the most common in captivity.
We want to emphasize that pet stores typically have central bearded dragons as pet lovers’ preferred reptiles purchased and domesticated as home companions. When considered as a domesticated pet, these lizards are endearing for their calm and gentle natures.
They are awake and active during the daytime. Central bearded dragons also enjoy climbing since, in the wild, they are excellent climbers that tend to spend their morning sunning themselves on exposed branches or rocks.
They also retreat into a shady location or burrow in the heat. Therefore, tank items like hangout decor or hideout decor big rock are useful for the central bearded dragon.
We want to let our readers know that if they are contemplating keeping a central bearded dragon at home as a pet and wonder if it is available in various hues, we want to confirm that this lizard comes in different colors.
They comprise brown, yellow, and red. Some central bearded dragons kept as pets also come in various shades of orange and white.
The coastal bearded dragon has other names, including the eastern bearded dragon, Jew lizards, and frilly lizards. Its scientific name is Pogona Barbata.
This type of bearded dragon is typically found in Eastern Australia and can sometimes be found in southern and central parts of the country as well.
It thrives in the island nation’s wooded and dry locations.
A healthy coastal bearded dragon that receives its regular dose of multivitamin supplements can grow to a maximum length of 24 inches long.
Nevertheless, its female species are usually a little smaller at just about 20 inches long.
Moreover, this kind of bearded dragon usually comes in shades of red, gray-black, and gray, with juveniles being paler in color than the adults.
We want to highlight the fact that plenty of coastal bearded dragons develop a subtle blue, yellow, or pale green tinge on their foreheads.
These reptile pets are active during the daytime and enjoy climbing.
After all, coastal bearded dragons come from Australia’s densely wooded areas, making them much stronger climbers than the other types of bearded dragons.
They can also be territorial when they are around other bearded dragons.
We want to emphasize to potential coastal bearded dragon keepers that these domesticated animals relish moving on the ground.
Hence, putting a reptile carpet on their lizard’s tank is a recommended idea.
(3) DRYSDALE RIVER
The Drysdale River bearded dragon has its other name, which is the Kimberley bearded dragon. Its scientific name is Pogona Microlepidota.
The Drysdale River bearded dragon is typically found naturally on Northern Australia’s woodlands and the coast of North Kimberley. It comes in tan or red and can grow to a maximum length of merely 4 to 6 inches long, making this reptile type small.
We want to stress that the Drysdale River bearded dragon is very rare. Therefore, the chances of this lizard being a pet keeper’s number-one choice are slim to zero.
This kind of bearded dragon is also known as the western bearded dragon with the scientific name Pogona Minor Minor. Additionally, dwarf bearded dragons are rare, similar to the Drysdale River bearded dragon.
They are found in Australia’s western or central parts, thriving in rocky and dry environments and woodlands. Dwarf bearded dragons come in tan or brown hue and can grow to a maximum length from 14 to 18 inches long.
We want to inform prospective Lawson’s bearded dragon owners that they can find this specie in other names such as Rankin’s bearded dragon, black-soil bearded dragon, and dumpy bearded dragon. Its scientific name is Pogona Henrylawsoni.
Furthermore, Lawson’s bearded dragon is typically found in the western and central parts of Queensland, Australia. Its natural habitat consists of dry, rocky, and arid locations such as deserts.
Lawson’s bearded dragons’ maximum length is 12 inches long and are available in pet stores in yellow and tan colors. These domesticated pets feature shorter and blunter snouts.
Moreover, Lawson’s bearded dragons are active during the daytime and love climbing more than anything else. Being small species, these bearded dragons are used as substitutes if a reptile pet owner has less housing space available.
The Mitchell’s bearded dragon is also known as the northwestern bearded dragon with the scientific name Pogona Minor Mitchelli. These rare lizards are not commonly seen in the pet trade.
Additionally, Mitchell’s bearded dragon, which hails from northwestern Australia, thrives in semi-tropical woodlands and deserts. They usually come in red or tan colors, though there are also those with yellow and brown tones.
The Mitchell’s bearded dragon can grow up to a maximum length of 18 inches long. We want to advise prospective bearded dragon owners that this bearded dragon kind is usually not available in brick-and-mortar or online pet shops because of its rarity.
The Nullarbor bearded dragon is another rare reptile. Its scientific name is Pogona Nullarbor and can be found in Southern Australia.
Nullarbor bearded dragons thrive in flat and brush environments. They are usually brown or tan and can grow up to 14 inches long when they become adults.
The western bearded dragon is also known as the Abrolhos dwarf bearded dragon. Its scientific name is Pogona Minor Minima.
Furthermore, the western bearded dragons are rare lizards. They thrive in the dry woodlands of Western Australia and along the Houtman Abrolhos Islands.
This reptile pet can grow to a maximum length of 12 inches long and is much smaller than its related subspecies. We want to inform potential bearded dragon owners that the western bearded dragon is usually tan or brown, though there are also species with grey-brown color.
After discussing these eight types of bearded dragons, we want to emphasize that although the most popular of them is the central bearded dragon, usually kept at home as a domesticated companion, this fact does not translate to all of these animals being available for purchase and pet keeping.
After all, not all of these bearded dragon types are common. It is only the central, coastal, and Lawson’s bearded dragons that are not rare.
The Drysdale River, dwarf, Mitchell’s, Nullarbor, and western bearded dragons are uncommon, and they are usually not sold in pet stores to be domesticated as home companions.
The Rewarding Experience of Keeping Bearded Dragons as Pets
Bearded dragons, specifically the central, coastal, and Lawson’s species, commonly sold as pets, are ideal home companions. We want to provide potential bearded dragon owners the following four amazing reasons why these reptile pets are great options:
1. BEARDED DRAGONS’ DEMEANOR
Bearded dragons are generally solitary creatures. Owners typically house male bearded dragons alone because they will fight with other males and breed with the females. Furthermore, bearded dragons are generally docile and can be social with their owners.
These lizards, which are affectionately referred to as “beardies,” are wonderful pets calming to have in the house. After all, for as long as they get fed with Dubia roaches, these tamed reptiles are usually gentle and not noisy, making them relaxing home companions.
2. EASE OF CARE
Bearded dragons are fairly easy to domesticate. They naturally develop their own unique personalities that add an extra layer of satisfaction to their keepers.
We also want to highlight that bearded dragons can be just fine as domesticated home companions for as long as their tanks are covered properly and they do not get exposed to other pets like dogs and cats.
3. ORNAMENTAL NATURE
Healthy captive bearded dragons that reach adulthood can be about 16 to 24 inches or 40 to 61 centimeters long from head to tail. They can also weigh 10 to 20 ounces or 350 to 600 grams heavy.
These reptile pets are extremely one-of-a-kind and eye-catching. Bearded dragon morphs come in various patterns and hues, some of which feature surprisingly vibrant colors. Hence, they can make fine and amusing live home ornaments.
4. IMPRESSIVE LONGEVITY
With proper care, bearded dragons can keep their owners happy for a long time. After all, these lizard pets can live for approximately 10 to 15 years old and longer.
Moreover, we want to inform prospective bearded dragon keepers that these reptile pets have been known to live up to roughly 15 years in captivity, and the present world record is 18 years.
Indeed, a bearded dragon’s long lifespan is among the many advantages of considering it as a home companion. We also want to stress that it is best to avail of a juvenile reptile.
After all, we guarantee that pet keepers can experience and relish the joy of getting to know their “beardies” and taking care of them for a long time, similar to a beloved son or daughter.
Beginner reptile pet enthusiasts will relish their experience of caring for bearded dragons. We have also observed that older children requesting for a unique pet from their parents have their faces light up when they receive a bearded dragon as a present.
We highly recommend getting one of the common types of bearded dragons kept as pets at home to prospective reptile pet owners.
By learning about their specific maintenance needs, including mimicking their natural habitat in the wild and providing a health-giving diet, we believe these captive lizards can be the best pets any reptile aficionado could ever have in their home.