Location ( origins ) – Originally from Australia, Bearded Dragons first came to North America in the late 1980’s. They became extremely popular because of their gentle nature and sweet personalities. With successful breeding programs, all dragons currently for sale, are bred in North America.
Life span – Average 6-12 years
Diet – Bearded Dragons are omnivores, heavy on insects such as crickets and various worms fruits and vegetables. They love items such as dandelion greens, endive, mustard greens, carrot peelings, kiwi, grapes, banana, prickly pear fruit , spinach etc. Avoid lettuce as it has no real value. Experiment with the veggies and fruits. Dragons will eat a huge variety of items!! Exo Terra Dragon is a Bearded Dragon diet formulated to ensure proper nutritional levels for growth and long-term health. The diet provides a complete and balanced diet for agama species and other omnivorous reptiles. All ingredients have been carefully selected for their quality and digestibility and no artificial colouring or flavour is added. Exo Terra Dragon food is fortified with optimal levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids so no other food or supplements are required. The pellet foods are available in two formulas; Juvenile and Adult. The special juvenile formula is higher in protein to promote growth and the adult formula is higher in fiber to ensure proper nutrient absorption.
For variety a good pellet mixture, such as Rep Cal Bearded dragon food, soaked in a small amount of warm water, will add extra good nutrition. Rep-Cal Foods Provide 100% Complete Daily Nutrition Rep-Cal has combined the expertise of nutritional science with the best practical feeding experience to produce diets for reptiles that are superior by all standards. The staff of veterinarians has thoroughly researched optimal vitamin and mineral levels for each species of reptile. They use plant ingredients which are naturally highin protein and fibers, and add all essential nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D3; and each pellet contains the proper proportion of nutrients, so there is no need to worry about picky eaters.Adding a good calcium supplement bi-weekly is also recommended , Rep-cals calcium powderis an excellent product to bump up the calcium levels in your Dragon.
Size – Bearded Dragons can reach sizes between 15 inches and 24 inches in length. Males are typically slightly larger with a more pronounced and darker “beard”.
Housing – Typically, a larger surface area is best . An area roughly 24″ x 36″ provides the minimum requirement for either one or two Bearded Dragons. Hagen has glass tanks that vary in size and work well for dragon enclosures. When the dragon is a baby you can start it in a 20 gallon aquarium and then as it grows increase the size of the tank. Acrylic tanks can be used although they are susceptible to scratches. Try to provide the largest environment that your space and budget can afford. They prefer dry surface areas with low humidity (10-20 ). Using substrates that keep dry works best, sand, or a coconut / peat moss blend works well. Plantation Soil from Hagen is a great item, inexpensive and biodegradable. Provide a small water dish, the occasional dragon will be thirsty enough to drink from a water dish. Bathing is usually not necessary.
Temperature and lighting– Basking daytime temperatures of 100 – 120 F is normal for a hotspot and 78 -82 F for the rest of the enclosure is a good temperature to aim for. Nighttime temperatures above 20C ( 65-70 F)are best. Heat should be concentrated at one end of the enclosure with a cooler shaded area at the other end. Using a good quality heat/UVA bulb is crucial. , T-rex and Exo-terra both have all in one bulbs that provide heat and sun spectrum UVA and UVB. One bulb means less wiring and clutter above your Dragon enclosure, however you can also split the heat and UV bulbs into two fixtures . One for heat , one for fluorescent UV bulbs ( 10.0 UVB ). Normal daylight hours work best ,10-12 hour cycles (yes they need to sleep at night !! ). A good thermometer and hygrometer will help you keep accurate readings of the important heat and humidity levels in your dragons’ home.
Additional notes on behavior– Dragons are curious by nature and generally are friendly, eating a favorite treat from your hand is a common sight , however keep track of them if you let them roam in your home or in your yard !! Be aware that other pets may stress your dragon out if allowed to peer within the enclosure for extended periods. Dragons are very rewarding and easy pets to care for , providing many years of enjoyment and companionship. Few reptiles can match their laid back nature and as a result are one of the best reptiles that can be kept .
It is always wise to purchase a book for quick access to information. We carry The Bearded Dragon Manual.