Category Archives: Nature & character of Bearded dragons

How To Set Up a Home for a Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are ectotherms. This means that they need external heat sources to warm their bodies This means that they have the opportunity to thermo-regulate.

What does thermo-regulation mean?

Thermo-regulation means that the lizard can move between areas of differing temperatures so as to regulate their own internal temperature.

What space does a bearded dragon need?

Bearded dragons can be kept on their own or in sexual pairs. They can also be kept in groups that contain a male with two or more females.

If the enclose is quite big, and it contains numerous hiding places and places for them to bask, then two males and multiple females can be put together.

However, fighting make occur between males even when the enclosure is quite large.

What should the enclosure size be?

To house one bearded dragon, the enclosure size should be 180 cm long x 45 cm width x 40 cm in height.

Whenever another bearded dragon is added, the floor area of the enclosure needs to increase by 0.36 square cm for each bearded dragon.

However, the larger the housing, the better it is for them.

More bearded dragons = More facilities needed

The more Bearded dragons that you have, the more requirement there is for multiple basking lights, feeding stations, spectrum lights. If there is not enough of these, then the weaker bearded dragons of the group will suffer because of this.

Getting a vivarium

The best type of enclosure for a bearded dragon is called a vivarium. These can be purchased from a pet store or constructed at home.

A large aquarium will also suffice, but access to the bearded dragons will have to be from the top.

The difference with a vivarium is that the have access doors on the side of the enclosure which is really helpful in accessing the bearded dragons.

Making a vivarium

If you are planning to make a vivarium, then use materials that are non-absorbent and that can be cleaned easily. Melamine-faced wood and glass  can be used to make them.

However, they do have a lifespan that is quite limited as they are not as easily cleaned as commercially purchased vivariums.

Purchasing a vivarium

Vivariums that are sold in stores are usually lightweight with rounded corners that can be easily cleaned. They have ventilation grids and places to fit lights and heaters.

Where to put the vivarium in your home

Choosing the best place for a vivarium is something that needs good consideration.

Here are some places to avoid in the home;

  • The kitchen. Avoid anywhere where food is prepared as their may by faecal contamination when handling a bearded dragon.
  • Where there is direct sunlight. The vivarium will become like a greenhouse and the bearded dragon will suffer inside it because it will trap the sun’s rays.

The best place to put an enclosure for a bearded dragon is the room in your house which is the warmest and most insulated. This is so as to reduce the variability in the ambient temperature.

The lower the ambient temperature that is surrounding the enclosure, the more difficult it is to achieve the correct temperature inside it.

Setting the right temperature for a bearded dragon

During the daytime

The temperature should range from 77 to 86 degrees farenheit.

It should have a basking site temperature of between 86 to 95 degrees farenheit.

During the night

The temperature should be between 68 to 71.6 degrees farenheit.

Monitoring the temperature

After setting up the enclosure, the temperature needs to be monitored closely. In order to do this, use a thermometer to help record the minimum and maximum temperatures.


What heat sources should I use for my bearded dragon?

What you need from a basking light, is that it radiates heat.

This can be an incandescent light bulb or a special heating bulb, such as a ceramic heater.

A basking light should be positioned at one end of the enclosure to help provide a temperature gradient within the enclosure.

Where to position the basking light

The basking lights should be positioned at a high point in the enclosure.

The bearded dragon will respond to a heat source from above and will want to climb up towards it as they will use the heat that is transmitted to optimize their body temperature.

The basking light should be positioned at one end which will be the hot end.

The height of the lamp should be varied to get the required temperature for the basking area which is between 86 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you can imagine, the light can get very hot and so if it is in reach of the bearded dragon,  it needs to be surrounded by a guard to prevent it from getting burnt.

Then measure the temperature range from the hot end to the cold end. This range should differ from 86 to 77 degrees farenheit.

What to put in the basking area

Place a dark rock that has a flat area on its top under the basking light. It will warm up quickly and provide an additional ventral heat pad for the bearded dragon.

A large log can also do the same job, if you can’t find a dark rock.

Don’t use hot rocks that are made from clay cement or plastic that is formed around a heating coil, as it will overheat for the bearded dragon and burn them

The bearded dragon will climb up on the rock to optimize its body temperature. They ewill thermo-regulate instinctively when responding to raditated heat from above and so do not have any use for a hot rock.

Using additional heat sources for your bearded dragon

Additional heat sources can also be used to help get the enclosure up to the required temperature range of between 86 to 95 degrees farenheit.

The best way to do this is to use a heat mat which can be placed underneath the enclosure. This needs to be insulated from the ground, or the work surface on which the enclosure is placed so that the heat travels up.

The heat mat can also be placed on the sides of the enclosure if it is pressed up against cold walls.

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Flatten Out?

Bearded dragons are renown for their ability to puff out their beards or spines and make themselves look much larger than they actually are.

This is their way of scaring off potential predators who look like they are going to attack them.

It is a defense mechanism which helps them.

However, another thing they can do is to flatten their stomach’s.

It makes them look like they’ve flattened themselves out and it is one of the strange things that bearded dragons do.

So why does my bearded dragon flatten out?

There are three reasons they flatten themselves out.

1. They are trying to regulate their temperature

Beaded dragons will flatten themselves out to keep their body regulated in hot climates.

They do this to warm up and will flatten themselves on a rock or hard surface.

In captivity, they will do this on their basking rock taking in the rays of the uv lamp to keep themselves at the right temperature.

If they are not warm enough, they will not be able to digest the food that is in their stomach’s as they digestive system is dependent on being at the right temperature.

2. It is a defense mechanism.

When a bearded dragon believes it is in danger, they will flatten their stomach instinctively.

Just like flaring up their beard’s or spines, this posture gives the impression of them being much larger and much stronger than they actually are.

They will display this to a predator.

However, instead of intending to invite conflict, they will do this to avoid it.

They are doing this because something has scared them and they are looking to protect themselves.

3. They are not feeling good

A bearded dragon can also flatten their belly and lie flat on the ground if they are sick and haven’t got the energy to move.

If you don’t seen your bearded dragon moving and they generally very listless, then it is time to consult a veterinary surgeon to get them checked out.


Why Does My Bearded Dragon Turn Black?

A strange quirk of the character and nature of bearded dragons is that they can do perculiar things with the bristly spines which are underneath their throats and around their eyes. They can turn them black at various times.

This ability to turn their throat spines and other areas of their bodies black has bewildered people for generations.

So why does my bearded dragon turn black in these areas?

This blackening of their throat spines and around their eyes can mean one of a few things.

Here are 4 occasions where you may see your bearded dragon turning areas of their body black.

1. During courtship

This happens with male dragons during mating with a female.

Their throat spines will blacken during courtship to warn other males away.

When this happens, this may be accompanied by a slapping of the hand on the ground and a bobbing of the head.

This will indicate arousal.

If the female is ready to do the same, they will wave their arm to indicate that they are ready do to so.

2. They are in distress

They may also do this when they are in distress.

Sometimes, a bearded dragon will have their throat spines turn black when they have an illness or are stressed.

Other parts of their body may turn black as well during this time as a way of getting the message across.

3. The want to play

Another time when this may happen is when they want to attract the attention of an owner to come out and play.

This has been noted by owners previously and can cause confusion.

But really they just want to come out and enjoy themselves.

Before making a judgement on this, note their demeanor and state of being.

4. They are being territorial

Lastly, male beardies are quite territorial.

When they are like this, their throat spines will blacken so as to indicate their authority over the others in their group such as smaller males and females.

They may also bob their heads during this ritual.

By blackening their throat spines or beard, they are saying ‘keep away’.


The reason a bearded dragon turns black

So in summary, the reason this happens is the bearded dragon trying to communicate to those around them.

It is a very unique way of communicating to either their fellow dragons or us as owners.

It is an unusual method of communication to ensure their needs are met.

Pay attention to them, its your bearded dragon talking to you in an amazing way when they turn parts of their body black.

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Wave At Me?

A common action that you may find your bearded dragon doing is waving to you.

This is pretty weird but very cute all the same.

So why does my bearded dragon wave at me?

This seems to be a form of communication that beardies commonly do.

A common belief is that dragons wave their arm as a passive message to indicate when a more dominant or larger dragon is nearby.

It indicates that they are submitting to them.

So when your beardie waves to you, it is basically them saying to you that you are far bigger than them and that they won’t attempt to fight you.

It is them submitting to you.

Take it as a compliment 🙂

Do bearded dragons come in different colors?

Do bearded dragons come in different colors?

Bearded dragons can often come in subtle coloration differences such as green, black, tan, gray, and dark brown.

Some also have an off-white coloration on their bodies. The reason for these differentiation’s is to keep themselves from predators when they are in the wild.

Some bearded dragons are also bred in more vivid colors by selective breeders. This is where two bearded dragons of different varieties will breed together to produce young that have the traits that the breeder is looking for. There are many different color variations of bearded dragons, but their coloration’s can be separated into red, yellow or white categories.

Within these categories, different varieties of color for the bearded dragons are separated.

Do Bearded Dragons Climb?

Do bearded dragons climb?

Yes bearded dragons do like to climb and there are several reasons for this.

  1. It is good exercise for them
  2. It is a good way for them to regulate their body temperature.

They are creatures that very much enjoy climbing, and you may find that they spend much of their time in elevated positions.

This is why it is important for them to have large and sturdy branches and rocks for them to climb in their enclosure. Without them, they can easily overheat and also become bored. A big enclosure will mean you can provide an interesting environment for them to explore and to roam around.

You can also get tall tanks for them so you can put in tall branches. They will enjoy the challenge of climbing taller objects.

Do bearded dragons change colour?

Do bearded dragons change colour?

Yes bearded dragons do change colour. There are a number of reasons why this might happen.
1. There is a change in their body temperature.
If they are cold, bearded dragons will become darker in colour. What this does is to help them absorb the heat faster. When they do this they will also inflate their bodies which enables them to increase the surface area of their skin so as to take in more heat.
2. They get stressed
When they get stressed by a situation this can also cause them to change do a darker shade. They can also gain lines and ovals underneath their chin and underside of their body because of this.
3. They get aggravated
When Bearded dragons get aggressive they can also turn a darker shade

Do bearded dragons change colour as they get older?

Do bearded dragons change colour as they get older?

Yes they do. When they are young they will start off as one shade of a colour and as they get older they will change colour shade.

Some bearded dragons will get brighter in colour and some will get duller in colour.

In particular the white belly and back drop that baby bearded dragons have will change colour into their adult base colour as the bearded dragon develops.

Do bearded dragons carry diseases?

Do bearded dragons carry diseases?

Yes bearded dragons can carry diseases.

They have been known to carry salmonella which can also be contracted from other reptiles.

Salmonella is spread through their fecies. This means that if you carry out good hygenine practices by washing your hands after you have cleaned up their poop and don’t touch your face then you will be fine.

If you don’t though, you could well become ill, so always wash you hands after you have come into contact with bearded dragon poop. Using good anti-bacterial soap or hand wash several times will suffice in this regard.

So just because they can carry diseases such as salmonella, this shouldn’t be a reason not to get a bearded dragon. This can be the same with a lot of household pets.

Do Bearded dragons bite?

Do Bearded dragons bite?

Bearded dragons do bite and can do so powerfully if they want to.

Their teeth although small are powerful and can cause a deep wound where they clamp down on.

The good thing is that bearded dragons are tamed very welland if they are handled often from when they are young, you may only be bitten by accident when feeding or if they become stressed or distressed..