<< Previous Next >>

Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-09
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Reptiles - Monitors, monsters, & dragons 1, My Photos for my website [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-19 1:23
Viewed: 6692
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bearded Dragon is the common name for any agamid lizard in the genus Pogona. Bearded Dragons are popular exotic pets in many places, notably Pogona vitticeps the Inland or Central Bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons have broad triangular heads and flattened bodies, with adults reaching approximately 20 inches head-to-tail. If startled they will expand a spiny pouch under their jaw to make them appear larger. Males are slightly longer than females, but females are slightly heavier. They owe their name to a distinctive series of lateral spines (specialized scales) radiating horizontally from the head and base of the tail. As juveniles, they are semi-arboreal. As adults, they are mostly terrestrial but climb to bask and search for prey. They inhabit mostly open [[woodl

Distribution and Life Span
All species are native to Australia, but they have been exported worldwide; and due to their convenient size, hardiness, and omnivorous diet, they are popular reptile pets. They are one of the most popular pet lizards in the United States and Canada. Bearded Dragons live for 8-12 years with proper care. Some owners reported bearded dragons that lived 15 years. The life span depends on the quality of their lives (correct temperature, lighting, diet and care). Solid substrates, such as paper towel (for babies) or non-adhesive shelf liner are considered the safest. This is because of the risk of impaction, which occurs when too many indigestible particles (sand, kitty litter) have been ingested and are clogging the digestive tract. Like many reptiles, bearded dragons require UVB/UVA as well as an appropriate heat lamp, to maintain correct basking and ambient temperatures.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they eat both insects and plants. The ideal staple for these lizards are gut-loaded crickets (gut-loaded meaning pre-fed before feeding them to your lizard for at least 24 hours; do not go for vegetables or scraps as these are not nutritious to your bearded dragon). Commercial gut-load cricket foods are available [1]. Many breeders have shifted away from the use of crickets and are opting for the more easily gutloadable superworms as a main staple in the bearded dragon diet. Hornworms, butterworms and silkworms are a favorite choice by breeders as well since they grow quite large, and with silkworms and hornworms, a few of them can fill the bearded dragon up as opposed to feeding 50 to 100 crickets a day. Any food fed to your bearded dragon should be dusted with a calcium compound twice a week and a vitamin and mineral compound once a week to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition. The size of the insect must be smaller than the space between its eyes. Never feed it fireflies, as this is fatal.

Bearded dragons also eat a variety of leafy greens. Collard greens being a favourite among many. Examples of everyday greens are as follows: collard greens, mustard greens, squash (acorn, scallop, hubbard, and summer), turnip greens, alfalfa plant, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, asparagus, and parsley. A mixture of these plants make a delicious salad for a bearded dragon to enjoy.

A common problem with bearded dragons as pets is their refusal to eat vegetables. Usually this can be solved quickly by mixing greens with crickets or worms.[1]

Recognized species of bearded dragons:

Eastern or Common Bearded Dragon, Pogona barbata
Black Soil Bearded Dragon, Pogona henrylawsoni
Kimberly Bearded Dragon, Pogona microlepidota
Western Bearded Dragon, Pogona minima
Dwarf Bearded Dragon, Pogona minor (some authorities group this with Pogona minima)
Northwest Bearded Dragon, Pogona mitchelli
Nullarbor Bearded Dragon, Pogona nullarbor
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, the most commonly kept pet.

Due to domestication, beardies have exhibited rather unique colorations. These "designer" dragons display brilliant hues of pastel oranges, violets, and reds. The most popular morphs thus far has been the "sand fire" and "tiger" dragons. Much like designer dogs, the price tags of these customized pets are many times the price of "generic" ones. Currently, breeders are working towards and showing some progress of developing a green morph. Since breeding beardies is a relatively new area, it may take some time before that dream of a green dragon is fully realized.

Bearded dragons are known to be very docile and trusting, yet at the same time, outgoing and curious lizards. Their behaviour includes body language such as head bobbing and leg waving. Some owners have mimicked these behavioral patterns and have successfully aroused a mirrored response in their dragons.

Pogona vitticeps is the most docile and friendly of all lizard species which is why they make desirable pets. Unlike iguanas, monitors, water dragons, and the flightier lizards of the exotic pet trade, bearded dragons tend to enjoy human contact and to be handled by humans. They rarely bite, scratch, or otherwise attack a human. As a result, bearded dragons are a suitable reptile for younger children (always with proper supervison).

They can have up to 50 eggs a month. Females have been known to eat the eggs that were not fertilized/stillborn.

Just as dog owners find they cannot keep two males and one female as it causes dominance issues, the same rules are true for bearded dragon owners if they plan on owning more than two dragons. If an owner desires three dragons to be kept in the same habitat, two females and one male is the best situation. If there are two males and only one female, this will cause dominance issues and the males may even end up fighting to the death.

Captivity Habitat
A popular size enclosure for baby bearded dragons is 20 gallons; adults require enclosures of 40 gallons and larger, with 8 square feet of floor space being preferable. Bearded dragons should be upgraded to adult-sized enclosures within the first year of life. Baby bearded dragons should use astro turf, so they do not get sand in their eyes or eat the sand.

Bearded dragons also like to bask on rocks, and they use the edges of rocks to shed their skin as well. It is important you have at least or two good "basking rocks" in your dragon habitat. However, you should only use naturally formed medium to large rocks (such as finding them in your backyard, in the woods, etc. though sometimes pet shops will sell large rocks for reptile basking). Do not use electric or battery powered heating devices such as HotRocks™ because they can cause stomach burns and flesh tearing on bearded dragons and pretty much all basking reptiles, especially babies.

In addition to basking and shedding, the other reason why having at least one or two large rocks in the dragon's habitat is to successfully simulate its natural habitat. Most bearded dragons come from desert environments, which get cooler by night. Bearded dragons need a rock they can burrow under to sleep for the night, to give them shade and coolness.

In addition to rocks, the playful and active bearded dragon needs things to hide, burrow, and play in. Pre-made holey logs sold in pet shops are ideal for this.

Thankyou for your comments

Kathleen, haraprasan, gannu, PaulH, IulianGherghel, angybone, Proframe, dew77, vanderschelden, SelenE, eqshannon, jaycee, jmirah, gurupawan, hester, Silvio2006, smitha, GLEM, marhowie has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Joe.
Stunning detail and colour. Absolutly pin sharp and perfect exposure.
Wonderful image and interesting notes. Sounds like quite a few have one of these for a pet.

New Zealand

Hi Joe,
A nicely captured portrait of this garden lizard. Very good composition and fine details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

WOw Joe,this one is really good!
great sharpness,great DOF!

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-19 2:57]

joey, Good composition and lovely POV. the shot is very very nice. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-07-19 3:12]

Hi Joe,
nice shot, good colour,lots of detail and an interesting subject. Would've preferred a little more Dragon and less space on the right, but that's just personal prefernce!
Good work.

Beautiful work. Good colors and great focus.

Very Cool, Joey! Amazing detail in this unique face - wonderful angle.

Great head shot Joe.
Sharpness and exposure are spot on and colors and details are very beautiful.
I also love the way the dragon turned the eye a little sidewards and that is the reason that I think there's a little to much empty space in front of him.
If his eye would have been turned more to the right side that space would be needed for the dragon to look in to, but in this case that is'nt the fact.
That all is just a minor flaw imho and this is a beautiful image anyway.
Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-07-19 6:11]

Hello Joey,
Wonderful capture.Lighting,sharpness,exposure,3D effect and harmonious colors are excellent.

Hi Joey,
Beautiful image; superb displayed details and sharpness.
Well done

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-07-19 7:02]

Hi Joe,
Details, focus and sharpness are very good. I liked your low POV, colors and the composition. TFS
Best wishes,

Although the picture is as sharp and clear as any you have done, the notes alone are a novel by themselves! Imagine that....the personality of a bearded dragon..Who woulda' thunk!


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-07-19 8:15]

Hi Joe,

Wow - this is a superb close-up of this Dragon. Lighting and focus are perfect. Fantastic colors and details could not be better. Excellent work.


Great capture...Detail is amazing and colors are fantastic...Outstanding POV to capture it's eye and "smile"...Well composed...TFS

Hi joe,

An amazing shot with great details and compositon , Pic perfect is what i can only say about it. Love this shot.



  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-07-19 11:05]

Hi Joe

Lovely sharp shot capturing some amazing details. Wonderful colours and a great POV as well



Hi Joe, lovely dragon portrait, splendid colors and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2007-07-19 21:05]

Hello Joey,
Superb shot!Clarity and focus is spot on.Beautiful lighting, good eye contact, good pOV and composition.Wonder how people rear them as pets.For me it looks like a Dinosaur in pocket edition.:)
Thanks for the photo,

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-07-20 2:31]

salut joe,
superbe portrait de gros lézard, la couleur jaune/marro est de grande qualité, la netteté excellente pour définir précisément les écailles.


Hi Joe,
This looks great. Nice & sharp with excellent sharp detail, color, exposure, DOF, and a low POV..Very good notes also.
Well done!

Calibration Check