Bearded Dragons are among the most popular pet reptiles in the hobby today. Their interesting behaviors and docile nature make them an excellent pet for first time reptile hobbyists. All Bearded Dragons found in the USA are captive bred. Many different color morphs are becoming available making the Bearded Dragon a great choice for any level reptile keeper.
Common Name: Bearded Dragon
Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps
Life Span: 5-15 years
Juvenile Bearded Dragons need a minimum 20 gallon terrarium. Juveniles can be housed together. Adult Bearded Dragons need a minimum 40+ gallon terrarium. Provide plenty of hiding and basking places. Thick branches, rocks, Repti Hammocks, or Mopani Wood are an excellent choice for climbing and basking.
Daytime Terrarium Temperature: 83-88° F.
Basking Spot: 95-105° F
Nighttime Temperature: 70°- 80°F.
A nighttime drop in temperature is naturally beneficial and can be done by turning the tank lights off and keeping the under tank heater (UTH) on 24 hours a day. Basking Spot Lamp, mercury vapor, Ceramic Heat Emitters, and under tank heaters are good choices for heating Bearded Dragon enclosures.
UVB lighting and heat are essential for Bearded Dragons to process calcium in captivity. Without UVB lighting Bearded Dragons will develop serious health problems such as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). UVB Lighting should be left on for 10-12 hours per day and turned off at night. Linear florescent and compact fluorescent lamps are a great choice for providing Bearded Dragons with UVB. The mercury vapor lamp is the best way to provide both UVB and basking heat all in one lamp!
Bearded Dragons live in arid, sandy places in the wild and will do well on a variety of sand-type substrates in captivity. Hatchling Bearded Dragons will do best on reptile carpets. Burrowing Substrate will allow you to create a naturalistic terrarium complete with burrows and tunnels for your animals. Mixture of sand and substrates can be used also.
Bearded Dragons are omnivorous reptiles that change their diet throughout their lives. Juveniles will need to be fed pinhead to small size crickets daily along with other small insects such as mealworms. Collard or Dandelion Greens, Romaine lettuce, Kale and other veggies can be offered 1-2 times per week. Always remove uneaten food after each feeding.