Interested reptile pet keepers may have heard about bearded dragons coming in different morphs and colors. They may have actually seen these lizards that have become popular to be kept as pets and felt enticed to own one.
After all, bearded dragons have signature looks and mellow demeanor that make them delightful to keep as domesticated home companions.
These reptiles are native to Australia’s open deserts and scrublands and are easily identifiable due to their spiky chins, usually small size, and gentle dispositions.
Additionally, bearded dragons, once tamed as a pet at home, can form emotional bonds with owners seeking the same from an animal home companion.
In this online discussion, we tackled the different kinds of bearded dragon morphs and the various hues of these reptile pets.
We wanted to help prospective bearded dragon owners learn about the wide variety of these lizards from which they can choose, purchase from online or brick-and-mortar pet shops, and keep as beloved pets in their residences.
We also provided our readers with some insights into the common health problems of some of the morphs. In this way, they can be fully informed about getting ready to take home and properly care for their domesticated reptiles.
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Increasing Popularity of Bearded Dragons as Domesticated Home Companions
Bearded dragons have become well-received as domesticated home companions. They originated from Australia, and the most common species of them kept in captivity is the central bearded dragon with the scientific name Pogona vitticeps.
Most bearded dragon morphs materialized from cross-breeding the central bearded dragon with another type. However, nowadays, many breeders have worked on cross-breeding common captive morphs of the Pogona vitticeps with the eastern bearded dragon or Pogona barbata.
Bearded dragon owners prefer these lizards as domesticated home companions for many reasons. One of them is their ease of care.
Bearded dragons can grow from a handheld size to more than two feet or 24 inches long. Furthermore, they are highly recommended for prospective lizard pet keepers who desire an unusual or unique pet outside the norm.
Bearded dragons are different from other reptiles kept as domesticated home companions because they may have docile tempers, but they are actually engaging and active. These tamed lizards can become attached to their owners, unlike other pets such as turtles or snakes.
Moreover, bearded dragons relish receiving physical affection, getting caressed or petted, and handfed by their keepers with healthy foods such as green leafy vegetables, Dubia roaches, live crickets, and so forth.
These domesticated reptiles do not tend to give their owners a hard time, thanks to their expressive body language. Bearded dragon owners can easily determine if their lizard pet is excited, annoyed, or terrified. Additionally, these tamed reptiles display curiosity in their surrounding environment.
An enthusiast’s bearded dragon-keeping journey can be exciting because these domesticated reptiles come in various morphs with a broad array of patterns and colors. Hence, they leave their potential keepers with a wide array of choices and sheer delight.
Fundamental Terminologies Relating to Bearded Dragon Morphs
We strived to be informative in this online discussion by providing a quick guide permitting enthusiasts to easily know the bearded dragon morphs. We wanted to help potential bearded dragon owners learn about the exact morph that is right for them.
We also aimed to assist these lizard pet enthusiasts in identifying their domesticated home companion’s morph. Before discussing the common bearded dragon morphs, we want to educate our readers about how these physical attributes are inherited from the reptiles’ parents.
The following are some of the fundamental terminologies for describing certain morphs:
A) DOMINANT TRAIT
A single bearded dragon parent may carry this physical attribute. Its offspring may exhibit the trait whether both parents carry it or otherwise. One example of the bearded dragon morph with a dominant trait is the Dunner morph.
B) RECESSIVE TRAIT
Physical characteristics produced by a recessive gene are inherited from both bearded dragon parents. Common examples of these recessive attributes are translucency and hypomelanism.
The dominant and recessive traits are some of the basic concepts that help prospective bearded dragon owners understand how the morphs came about. They relate to the genetics of bearded dragons and breeding them.
15 Bearded Dragon Morphs Available for Prospective Owners Today
Bearded dragons come in different morphs, which are unique and defined traits different from those of the wild and original bearded dragon specie, the central bearded dragon. We want to inform our readers that the morphs are like the concept of “breed” in dogs.
The bearded dragon morphs enable every lizard pet to display a wide range of characteristics and affirm that biology and nature are unpredictable and can be controlled by the breeders. Hence, this list of the 15 morphs is not all-inclusive as new ones get discovered now and then.
The following are the most common morphs in the bearded dragon community and their basic attributes:
4. Genetic Stripe
5. German Giant
The albino bearded dragon morph is also known as the amelanistic bearded dragon. These bearded dragons completely lack melanin.
Hence, albino bearded dragons require special care because they are more sensitive to the necessary ultraviolet lights produced by UV lamps that emit UVA and UVB lights.
This morph features red or pink eyes and white scales. Furthermore, they are rarely kept as domesticated home companions despite their striking blizzardy look.
The classic bearded dragon morph has other names like “wild-type” or “normal” bearded dragons. These reptile pets are the same as their undomesticated counterparts, making them earn their “wild-type” label.
We want to inform our readers that the classic bearded dragons feature similar coloration as the wild ones, which is tan or sandy brown used for camouflaging purposes.
Additionally, the classic bearded dragons are genetically and visually the closest to the “pure” bearded dragons due to the spikes running down their backs and sides, spiky beards, and triangular heads.
The Dunner bearded dragon morph got its name from bearded dragon breeder Kevin Dunne. We want to highlight the fact that this reptile pet possesses a distinctive pattern of blotched or spotty markings rather than the stripes common in most bearded dragons.
Moreover, Dunner bearded dragons feature thicker tails and larger feet. Their scales pointing in all different directions produce a haphazard or textured look.
Additionally, this morph’s spikes on its beard jut out sideways rather than straight. Wholesome Dunner bearded dragons that get regular doses of calcium powder with vitamin D, calcium supplements, multivitamin supplements, or liquid vitamins usually possess big and strong appetites.
They love holding their food at their throats’ backsides before swallowing as if they are savoring their food’s taste. Young Dunner bearded dragons will sometimes regurgitate their food rather than swallow it, though we want to stress the fact that they usually outgrow such behavior.
4. GENETIC STRIPE
The genetic stripe bearded dragon morph is a dominant mutation. It causes lucid racing stripes on each side of the bearded dragon’s spine.
Moreover, we want to point out to potential keepers that the genetic stripe bearded dragon’s stripes run all the way from its neck to the tail and often extend into it.
5. GERMAN GIANT
The full-grown German giant bearded dragon morph easily tells owners that it is, indeed, the German giant type, unlike the babies. We want to emphasize the fact that today, few pure-bred German giant bearded dragons exist.
We want to inform curious keepers that this morph tends to lay record-setting clutches, which is over 50 eggs at once. Hybridizers have bred most of them into other morph strains to heighten their reproductive vigor.
German giant bearded dragons are highly aggressive. Most of them are tan or brown and with silvery irises.
Furthermore, German giant bearded dragons are significantly longer from snout to tail than the typical sixteen-inch-long ones.
Because of its large size, this morph requires a big terrarium complete with a hide hole for bearded dragons, a safe substrate like a piece of newspaper or paper towel, a basking lamp, and other essential tank accessories to stay healthy.
The hypomelanistic bearded dragon morph is eye-catching with its pastel or light shade. It is bold and brightly colored.
Hypomelanistic bearded dragons grow paler with age. This attribute results from a mutation that causes this reptile pet’s body to produce less melanin.
We want to enlighten our readers that melanin is the pigment responsible for the dark color in a living specie’s eyes, hair, and skin.
The hypomelanistic bearded dragon morph features clear nails and a wide range of skin tones, running the gamut like snow, pale orange, pink, powder blue, and yellow.
This reptile pet can also be a component of other bearded dragon morphs, besides being a morph in its own right. Some examples are the hypo-leatherback bearded dragon, hypo-translucent bearded dragon, hypo-witblits bearded dragon, and many more.
The leatherback bearded dragon morph lacks a ridge of spine on its back. This physical trait makes this animal’s colors appear more vivid, enhancing their blues, yellows, and reds.
We highly recommend the leatherback bearded dragon to prospective owners who desire a lizard pet featuring a very smooth skin with zero “bump friction.” This attribute of leatherback bearded dragons has made them well-received among breeders, collectors, and other enthusiasts.
They appreciate this tamed reptile’s vivid hues, smooth skin, and unique appearance. We want to stress the fact that leatherback bearded dragons are relatively scarce compared to hypomelanistic and classic bearded dragons.
Breeding the leatherback bearded dragon morph is for professional or experienced hybridizers. Cross-breeding leatherback genes can lead to three different morphs depending on the genetics involved.
The microscale bearded dragon morph is a component of the clutch produced by cross-breeding a bearded dragon with one recessive and one dominant gene and a lizard with two dominant leatherback genes.
Under a daytime light, owners or breeders can tell the microscale bearded dragon is similar to leatherback bearded dragons.
However, the microscale reptile pet possesses fewer spines and none on the sides of its body or on its beard. This morph also has smaller spines than normal ones on its head’s backside.
The paradox bearded dragon morph is rare. However, this reptile pet is certainly beautiful and sought-after.
Baby paradox bearded dragons have bodies with one solid base color. Nonetheless, we want to inform potential keepers that these lizard pets start to develop the unique adult patterns that give them their “paradox” name over the first few months after hatching.
Full-grown paradox bearded dragons appear as though their bodies got splashed with bright paint. Their colors create blotches and speckles strewn randomly across their physiques.
The silkback bearded dragon morph has other names like “scaleless” or “silkie.” Some of these bearded dragons are offspring of two homozygous parents for an incomplete or co-dominant leatherback gene.
Silkback bearded dragons do not have scales at all. We also want to highlight the fact that these domesticated reptiles feature smooth and dry skin that is soft to touch.
Silkback bearded dragons resemble amphibians more than reptiles. These lizard pets are the only bearded dragon morph without a “beard” in the classic sense, and the wrinkled skin under their heads does not seem to change color and cannot be inflated.
Silkback bearded dragons are delicate and demand a more intensive care regimen than other bearded dragons. We want to inform prospective owners that without the protection of scales, silkback bearded dragons shed skin more often compared to most bearded dragons.
Moreover, their skin gets damaged, bruised, cut, or dangerously dried out more easily. Even non-aggressive contact can wound this morph.
Additionally, scaleless bearded dragons commonly miss toes or parts of their tails. Their skin begins to tighten when it dries, cutting off blood flow to the extremities, withering, and dropping off.
If preferred, we highly recommend owners provide their reptile pet with regular bathing and moisturization to promote healthy blood circulation. We also want to advise keepers to keep the silkback bearded dragons in their own terrariums to prevent fighting and hurting other bearded dragons.
Besides putting healthy food on the morph’s feeders, we advise owners to carefully select tank landscape features and toys when setting up their lizard pet’s artificial habitat.
The silverback bearded dragon morph is a recessive one that eliminates most of a regular bearded dragon’s pattern and hue. This lizard pet originated in Japan and reportedly never caught on in the United States.
Furthermore, the silverback bearded dragons are born with markings that fade over time which owners notice under a basking light. They are typically brownish, off-white, or beige.
The translucent bearded dragon morph features cloudy and very thin skin when it is young, making this lizard pet partially transparent. Its inner organs’ black lining is visible through the membrane, creating the illusion of blue bellies and backs.
We want to inform potential translucent bearded dragon keepers that some of these tamed reptiles have solid black eyes. Moreover, their skin thickens as they get older, and their blue tint usually goes away.
The wero bearded dragon morph is the offspring of a zero bearded dragon and a witblits bearded dragon. This lizard pet is the newest morph in the bearded dragon breeding community.
The wero bearded dragon is nearly identical to zero bearded dragons in appearance. Nevertheless, we want to highlight the fact that this domesticated reptile has a few dark blotches around its tail’s base portion.
The witblits bearded dragon morph’s South African name comes from the expression “white lightning” in English. This lizard pet was originally bred in South Africa.
Additionally, the witblits bearded dragon’s breeder produced a pale animal of one solid color. This bearded dragon is another leucistic morph.
The witblits bearded dragon is not actually white. A recessive gene caused this bearded dragon’s unique appearance, featuring gray, dull earth, or pastel color.
We want to emphasize the fact that this morph does not have body markings or patterns. It also does not have colors on its shoulders at all, unlike the silverback, wero, and zero bearded dragons.
We want to inform interested owners that they need to be prepared. After all, the witblits bearded dragon is rare and usually expensive.
The zero bearded dragon morph was originally created in Germany. It is one of three leucistic-like morphs and features no markings on its body at all.
Indeed, the zero bearded dragon has zero colors, patterns, or distinguishing features. Its black shoulder pads are the only thing differentiating it from a witblits or a silverback bearded dragon.
Moreover, this morph has naturally pale skin. We want to inform our readers that the zero morph has variants. The non-hypomelanistic zero bearded dragons are silvery or gray, while the hypomelanistic zero bearded dragons tend to be white.
These reptile pets are the 15 bearded dragon morphs. Besides their unique genetic and physical attributes, bearded dragons can also come in various colors.
(D) Various Bearded Dragon Shades That Make Them Exciting Pets to Own
Besides the physical and genetic features indicated by the bearded dragon morphs, bearded dragons can also come in different hues.
We want to inform potential bearded dragon owners that the diverse colors result from breeders’ practice. They usually meticulously pair the greenest, orangest, or reddest bearded dragon from one clutch with a similarly-colored bearded dragon from another clutch.
Then, these breeders repeated this practice several times to produce vibrantly colored lizard pets. Indeed, bearded dragons of various colors help pet stores’ businesses thrive.
Above all, they make bearded dragon collectors and enthusiasts very happy as the latter get wide color selections they can select from, besides the morphs.
The following details show the main bearded dragon colors and their associated shades from which prospective owners can choose:
|MAIN COLOR||ASSOCIATED SHADE|
|1. Blue or Violet||not applicable|
|2. Brown or Tan||beige|
|4. Orange||citrus, sunburst, tangerine|
|5. Red||blood, citrus, ruby|
|6. Gray, Silver, or White||off-white|
|7. Yellow||gold, lemon, sandfire|
With these seven bearded dragon colors and their associated shades, we want to inform interested bearded dragon owners that reptiles with these hues were selectively bred over many generations for most of the time. Additionally, the colors can be among a specific morph’s features.
Bearded dragon morphs sometimes change color as a conscious reflex. These lizard pets employ their shades for camouflaging, regulating body temperature, and communication.
For example, a bearded dragon will puff out its beard and turn black in times of stress, which is a warning for lizards nearby to back away.
Additionally, these tamed reptiles’ colors can grow lighter to absorb less heat in scorching climates, and they can grow darker during cold snaps.
Besides discovering the bearded dragon morphs and colors, we highly recommend interested keepers learn about these animals’ health-related problems.
In this way, they can properly provide the essential care and remedies once they have already gotten hold of their domesticated home companions.
Advice on Health-Related Issues Common to Bearded Dragon Morphs
We want to inform interested bearded dragon owners that it is significant that they learn about the health-related considerations or problems of some of the morphs. This step is effective before they purchase a lizard pet.
In this way, they can mitigate the health-related issues head-on and avail of the proper supplies for their bearded dragon’s artificial habitat. We want to stress the fact that high-color and selectively-bred bearded dragon varieties are most likely the healthiest options in the market.
After all, these reptile pets were not line-bred as heavily since most colors are naturally-occurring. Moreover, we want to tell our readers that genetic variation makes for strong and wholesome reptile pets.
Meanwhile, we want to highlight the following bearded dragon morphs with health-related concerns that owners need to address right away:
The silkback bearded dragon morph is highly controversial that many lizard hobbyists believe breeding it should already be prohibited. This tamed lizard suffers from many wellness problems.
Among them are missing toes and tails, shedding difficulty, having an overall short lifespan, and heightened vulnerabilities to other ailments. We want to emphasize the fact that female silkback bearded dragons are notorious for getting easily seriously injured during mating.
Hence, for potential owners, we advise them to have special creams within reach. This medicine can assist silkback bearded dragons with their shedding process.
Moreover, we advise keepers to research and learn more about silkback bearded dragons’ sensitive skin. In this way, they will know how to provide their domesticated lizard with the special bulb emitting UV light to aid it in its special lighting requirements.
Like the silkback bearded dragon, the albino bearded dragon demands special health maintenance. This morph requires UV lighting that has safe UVA and UVB bulbs.
In the basking area, the lower-strength UVB bulb producing ultraviolet light of up to 3 milliwatt-seconds per square centimeter (mW/cm2) should also be harmless for the albino bearded dragon.
We highly recommend that owners limit their domesticated lizard’s light exposure to only one-half of the enclosure’s length. Hypomelanistic, leatherback, silkback, and translucent bearded dragons also have special lighting considerations.
We want to advise potential owners to perform their thorough research to safeguard their domesticated home companion’s health and ensure its overall wellness at all times.
In this article, we discussed the 15 different bearded dragon morphs and colors. The morphs comprise albino or amelanistic, classic, Dunner, genetic stripe, German giant, hypomelanistic, leatherback, and microscale bearded dragons.
There are also the paradox, silkback, silverback, translucent, wero, witblits, and zero bearded dragons. Meanwhile, as for the colors, potential bearded dragon owners can select from blue or violet; brown or tan; green; orange; red; gray, silver, or white; and yellow and their associated shades.
We believe bearded dragon owners interested in caring for a unique reptile pet can choose from these features. Our informative guide aimed to help potential keepers comprehend how morphs can be inherited from the bearded dragon parents.
Additionally, we enlightened prospective owners about the different hues of the lizard pets that they will most likely encounter from the pet shops.
Finally, our online discussion aimed to assist bearded dragon enthusiasts in determining their choice of reptile morph or hue to adopt and take home as a domesticated home companion.
Bearded dragons are generally interesting and enticing animals to keep as pets. Healthy ones are calm, docile, and are curious about their surrounding environment.
These popular lizard options have various traits, body markings, and patterns, making them exciting to keep as tamed animal companions. Before potential bearded dragons owners decide, we advise them to study and learn about the possible special care and health requirements of their desired morph or “breed.”
Furthermore, we highly recommend these bearded dragon aficionados research and know more about the care requirements for bearded dragons in general. We advise interested breeders to research and learn about bearded dragon genetics.
By performing these steps, we believe potential bearded dragon owners and breeders can best decide on the morph or color they would like to hybridize or domesticate at home.
Moreover, we believe these lizard pet enthusiasts will be able to take care of their domesticated home companions for their entire lifespan, making them all set to bring their unique reptile pet home today.