Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles around the world. Their docile nature, ease of care, and unique appearance make them a fascinating companion for any reptile enthusiast. In recent years, a new variation of bearded dragons has become increasingly popular in the pet trade: the white bearded dragon. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the white bearded dragon, including their physical characteristics, habitat, diet, and care requirements.
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What is a White Bearded Dragon?
The white bearded dragon is a color morph of the inland bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), which is native to the arid regions of Australia. This color morph is characterized by a white or pale yellow coloration on their skin, with some individuals having patches of light grey or blue. The white coloration is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color.
White bearded dragons have a similar body structure to their inland counterparts, with a broad triangular head, stout body, and long tail. They can grow up to 24 inches in length, with males being larger than females. The skin of white bearded dragons is smooth and covered in small scales, with spiny projections on the sides of their head and along their spine. Their eyes are large and expressive, with a range of colors from brown to orange.
White bearded dragons are native to the arid regions of Australia, where they live in rocky outcrops, sand dunes, and scrublands. In captivity, they require a similar environment, including a spacious terrarium with a basking spot, hiding places, and a substrate that allows for burrowing. The temperature in their enclosure should be maintained between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a basking spot of 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. At night, the temperature can drop to 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
White bearded dragons are omnivores, and their diet should consist of a variety of insects, vegetables, and fruits. Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and roaches are some of the most common insects fed to bearded dragons. Vegetables such as collard greens, kale, mustard greens, and squash should also be included in their diet. Fruits such as berries, melons, and apples can be given as treats in moderation.
White bearded dragons require specific care requirements to thrive in captivity. They need a spacious terrarium with proper lighting, heating, and substrate. Their enclosure should be cleaned regularly, and they should have access to fresh water at all times. Bearded dragons are social animals and can be kept in groups, but males may become territorial during breeding season. Regular health check-ups with a veterinarian specializing in reptiles are also recommended.
Common Health Issues
White bearded dragons are generally hardy animals, but they may develop health issues if their care requirements are not met. Some of the most common health issues seen in bearded dragons include metabolic bone disease, respiratory infections, and parasitic infections. Signs of illness include lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, and abnormal behavior. If any of these symptoms are noticed, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
Breeding bearded dragons requires specific conditions and expertise. The female should be at least 18 months old and healthy before breeding. A nesting box should be provided in the female’s enclosure, where she can lay her eggs. The eggs should be incubated at 84-88 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity of 70-80%. The eggs will hatch after 60-90 days
Handling and Temperament
White bearded dragons are known for their docile and friendly nature, making them an excellent pet for beginners and experienced reptile keepers alike. They enjoy human interaction and can be easily tamed with regular handling. However, it is important to handle them gently and avoid grabbing them by the tail, as this can cause them stress and may result in them dropping their tail.
In conclusion, the white bearded dragon is a unique and fascinating variation of the inland bearded dragon. Their beautiful white coloration and friendly nature make them an excellent pet for any reptile enthusiast. As with any pet, it is important to provide them with proper care, diet, and environment to ensure their health and happiness.
- Are they rare?
White bearded dragons are not considered rare, but their unique white coloration can make them more expensive than their inland counterparts.
- Can white bearded dragons live with other reptiles?
White bearded dragons can be kept with other bearded dragons or reptiles of similar size and temperament.
- How often should I feed my white bearded dragon?
White bearded dragons should be fed daily, with a diet consisting of insects, vegetables, and fruits.
- How long do white bearded dragons live?
White bearded dragons can live up to 15 years in captivity with proper care.
- Are white bearded dragons more difficult to care for than inland bearded dragons?
White bearded dragons require the same care and environment as inland bearded dragons, but their white coloration may make them more sensitive to bright light and require extra attention to avoid sunburns.