The red bearded dragon is a stunning and unique species of reptile that has gained popularity among reptile enthusiasts and pet owners. With their striking red coloration and distinctive bearded features, these dragons make a mesmerizing addition to any reptile collection. The red bearded dragon, also known as Pogona vitticeps, is native to the arid regions of Australia. This article will explore the world of a red bearded dragon, shedding light on its charming traits and providing insights into its care and maintenance as a pet. So, let’s launch a journey into the fascinating world of this dragon!
Appearance and Physical Characteristics
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When it comes to their appearance, these dragons are truly a sight to behold. Here are some characteristics that set them apart from other dragons:
Red Coloration: As their name suggests, these dragons exhibit a red coloration that spans across their bodies. This striking hue is especially apparent on their heads, necks, and limbs. The intensity of the red color can vary between each dragon, with some displaying a deeper shade while others have a more subtle red hue.
Size and Body Structure
They are moderate-sized reptiles that typically reach an average length of 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm) from snout to tail tip. They have stout bodies with good limbs and strong claws that enable them to navigate their environment. Their bodies are covered in scales that protect and give them a distinctively textured appearance.
They have mesmerizing eyes in various colors. While the most common eye color is dark brown or black, some dragons may have lighter shades, including yellow or orange.
Some Facts About Red Bearded Dragon
up to 42 inches
(350 to 600 kg)
17 to 20 years
up to $30,000
Dark Red Bearded Dragon
A dark red bearded dragon is a variant of the bearded dragon lizard species & has mostly dark red coloration.
The dark red color in bearded dragons can vary in intensity and maybe depend on factors like genetics and environmental conditions. While most bearded dragons have various colors, including browns, yellows, and oranges, dark red specimens have a more prominent red hue throughout their scales.
If you have a dark red bearded dragon or are considering getting one, first educate yourself about their care needs, including proper housing, temperature and humidity requirements, diet, and regular veterinary check-ups.
Habitat and Environment
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Creating a suitable habitat and environment is essential for the health of these dragons. Here are some key factors to consider:
- Enclosure: These dragons require spacious enclosures to accommodate their active nature. A glass terrarium or vivarium is commonly used as their habitat. The enclosure size should be appropriate for the dragon’s age and size.
- Temperature and Lighting: They require a basking spot with a temperature ranging between (40°C to 42°C) to regulate their body temperature. The ambient temperature in the enclosure should keep between (22°C & 26°C) during the day and slightly lower at night.
- Substrate: Choose the correct substrate to maintain a clean and healthy habitat. The reptile carpet, newspaper, or ceramic tiles are commonly used for dragons as they are easy to clean and do not pose a risk of ingestion.
Furnishings should include a combination of hiding spots, climbing branches, and basking platforms. These elements provide opportunities for this dragon to explore, hide, and bask under the heat source. Ensure that all furnishings elements are placed securely to prevent injuries.
- Humidity and Ventilation: These dragons thrive in relatively low-humidity environments. Keep the humidity level between 35% to 40% to prevent respiratory issues. Proper ventilation is necessary to maintain fresh air circulation and prevent odors in the enclosure.
Diet and Feeding Habits
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These reptiles are omnivorous, which means they can eat plant and animal protein. Here is essential information regarding their diet:
They require a mixed and balanced diet. Their meals should consist of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and protein sources. Leafy greens such as mustard, dandelion, and collard are excellent options to include in their diet. Vegetables like squash, bell peppers, and carrots provide additional nutrients.
They also need a source of animal protein. Insects such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, and silkworms are favorites for this dragon. These insects should be small in size for the dragon to consume without difficulty.
Proper hydration is essential for the red bearded dragon. Provide a shallow dish of clean water in their enclosure at all times. While they may not drink water directly, it helps to maintain humidity levels and allows them to soak if needed.
Calcium and Vitamin Supplement
For proper bone health and growth, calcium supplementation is necessary for these dragons. So, their food should include calcium powder formulated for reptiles a few times a week. Additionally, they need vitamin supplementation to meet their nutritional requirements. Using a reptile-specific multivitamin powder once or twice a month is beneficial.
Juvenile red bearded dragons have a higher metabolic rate and, therefore, they require more frequent feedings. Feed them daily with insects and finely chopped greens. Adult dragons can be fed every other day or three to four times a week, depending on their activity level and overall health.
Behavior and Temperament
These dragons are generally peaceful. However, they display territorial behavior, especially among males. Here’s what you need to know:
- Diurnal Nature: They are diurnal reptiles, meaning they are most active during the day. They require a consistent light-dark cycle to maintain their natural behavior. So, establish a regular day-night light schedule for them to accommodate their diurnal nature.
- Docile and Tolerant: They are generally known for their docile and tolerant nature. With proper handling and socialization, they can become comfortable with human interaction. So, approach them calmly and gently to build trust and prevent stress.
- Burrowing and Climbing: These dragons are skilled climbers and diggers. They may burrow in the substrate or climb on branches and furnishings in their enclosure. So, provide them these opportunities to engage in natural behaviors because it will stimulate their instincts and keeps them mentally stimulated.
- Communication: These dragons communicate through various body language cues. These can include head bobbing, arm-waving, and color changes. They may also puff up their beards to display dominance. Observing and understanding their communication signals can help you to gauge their mood and level of comfort.
How To Take Care of The Red Bearded Dragon
Proper care is the key to health for your dragon. Here are some essential aspects to consider.
Hygiene and Cleanliness
Maintain a clean and hygienic environment for your dragon. Regularly clean their enclosure, remove uneaten food, and sanitize their water dish. A clean & neat habitat reduces the risk of bacterial growth and keeps your dragon healthy.
Regularly watch the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure to ensure they remain within the suitable range. Use accurate thermometers and hygrometers to maintain optimal conditions for your dragon’s health and comfort.
Avoidance of Harmful Substances
Keep your red bearded dragon away from harmful substances. Avoid products that contain chemicals or pesticides near their enclosure. Also, refrain from feeding them toxic plants or insects.
Regular exercise is beneficial for your dragon because bearded dragons are very active in the wild. Allow supervised exploration outside of their enclosure, providing a safe and secure space for them to roam. It provides physical activity and mental stimulation for the dragon.
While these dragons are generally hardy reptiles, they can still experience health issues.
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
Metabolic Bone Disease is a common disease in reptiles, including bearded dragons. It occurs due to calcium and vitamin D deficiency. MBD can lead to weak bones, deformities, and even organ failure. To prevent MBD, provide a balanced diet, proper lighting for vitamin D synthesis, and calcium supplementation.
Respiratory infections can occur due to improper temperature and humidity levels, poor ventilation, or bacterial/fungal pathogens. Symptoms include wheezing, open-mouth breathing, and lethargy.
Internal and external parasites, such as worms, mites, and ticks, can affect bearded dragons. Regular fecal examinations can detect parasites. Proper hygiene, regular cleaning, and quarantine procedures can help to prevent parasite infestations.
Breeding can be a rewarding experience for reptile enthusiasts. However, it requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. Here are some aspects of breeding:
- Sexual Maturity: These dragons typically reach sexual maturity at between 1 to 2 years of age, although the age may vary among dragons.
- Egg Laying: After successful mating, female dragons will lay eggs. Therefore, provide a suitable nesting site within the enclosure, such as a sand or soil substrate, where the female dragon can dig and lay eggs.
- Incubation and Hatching: The optimal temperature for incubating bearded dragon eggs is around 84°F to 88°F (29°C to 31°C), but 29°C is recommended.
- The incubation period for bearded dragons typically varies between 60 to 80 days, influenced by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated. After hatching, it is crucial to provide proper care, suitable housing, and an appropriate diet to ensure the well-being of baby bearded dragons.
Are red bearded dragons good pets?
These dragons can make excellent pets for reptile enthusiasts. They have gained popularity as pets due to their beautiful appearance, manageable size, and generally docile nature. Here are some reasons why these dragons are considered good pets:
- These dragons are known for their generally calm and friendly nature. Therefore, they are often more tolerant of handling than other reptile species.
- They are medium-sized reptiles. They have a length of around 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm), including the tail. This manageable size makes them easier to handle.
- They require a minimum set-up enclosure with appropriate heating, lighting, suitable temperature, and humidity levels.
- Their diet consists of various insects, vegetables, and occasional fruits, making it easier to provide them with a balanced diet.
- They can live for 10 to 15 years or even longer. This longer lifespan makes them an excellent choice for those seeking a reptile companion for the long term.
Red Bearded Dragon Price
On average, the price for a red bearded dragon can range from $50 to $300 or more, depending on the specific characteristics and qualities of the dragon. The price of these dragons also depends on several factors, including their age, morph, origin, and overall health.
It is recommended to research prices from various sources to ensure you are getting a fair deal and a healthy bearded dragon. Remember, the quality of care for your dragon should always be the top priority when considering its price.
Red Bearded Dragon Lifespan
The lifespan of a red bearded dragon is around 10 to 15 years, but with proper care, it can live even longer.
It’s worth noting that some bearded dragons are known to live beyond 12 years. However, individual bearded dragons may have different health conditions and genetic predispositions that can affect their lifespan.
In conclusion, the red bearded dragon is a wonderful pet for reptile lovers. However, it’s important to remember that owning this bearded dragon, like any pet, comes with responsibilities to meeting their specific care requirements. You can ensure a happy and healthy life for a red bearded dragon by providing suitable habitat, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care.
Where do red bearded dragons live?
Red bearded dragons are native to the dry regions of central Australia. They inhabit various habitats, including deserts, woodlands, and scrublands. In the wild, they live in areas with light vegetation, rocky outcrops, and access to water sources.
Are bearded dragons friendly?
Yes, bearded dragons are known for their generally docile and friendly nature. With proper socialization, they can become domesticated and enjoy their owners.
Can red bearded dragons swim?
These dragons are not natural swimmers and are not well adapted for swimming. However, they can swim and move in shallow water if necessary. Their bodies are better suited for climbing and walking on solid ground than swimming.
Do red bearded dragons have teeth?
Yes, red bearded dragons have teeth. They have small, sharp teeth used for gripping and tearing their food. However, some bearded dragons can have 80 teeth that are located in their upper & lower jaws.
I’m Zubi Boss, the founder and editor of petforcat.com. I like animals, especially cats. I have also raised one cat with 3-hens in my home. After graduating Bsc, I made this website to share knowledge with my audience. When I’m free, I like to keep myself informed about current world affairs by watching the news.