Bearded Dragon Caresheet

 

Background Information
Bearded Dragons are an australian species of Agama. Found in arid regions of eastern Australia this lizard reaches a total length of 2ft average size tends to be around 1.5ft in length. The name bearded dragon derives from this lizard puffering out its spiky chin (beard) when they feel threatened to make itself look bigger, turning it jet black and sharp so if attacked by a predator it would be able to defend itself. Along with its beard these dragons also have spikes running across their body which look sharp but if not puffed out are actually incrediably soft. Spending the majority of their day basking in the sun (heliothermic behaviour) to hunt insects they change the angle of their bodies to absorb as much heat and light possible to become active throughtout the day. Occasionally they'll stop and recharge by basking on a warm surface such as a rock known as thigmothermic behaviour they'll flatten out their chest and chin to absorb the heat from the hot object.

Level of Experience

Beginner

Habitat

Desert - Semi Arid Regions

Life Span

10 - 12 years

Active Time of Day

Diurnal

Natural Prey

Insects and Vegetation

Terrestrial / Semi Arboreal / Arboreal / Aquatic / Fossorial

Terrestrial although would benefit from some form of branches to give the beardie a vantage point to view its surroundings

Reproduction

Mate: Spring
Lay: Summer

Clutch Size

Average is normally 10 – 20 but can be up to 40 or as few as 3 depending on females size

Breeding Weights / Length / Age

Males: 150g+ / 1.5ft / 1 year of age
Females: 250g+ / 1.5 - 2ft / 2 years of age

Brumation Time

2 months

Brumation Temperature

18 – 25 ‘C

Incubation Time

65 - 75 days

Incubation Temperature

28 – 31 ’C

 


Captive Requirements and Welfare
Bearded Dragons are the ideal starting Agamid. They don't mind being handled, highly active and fun to watch, various colours avaliable, they interact with and can recognise owners and they are easy and hardy to keep making them perfect starters. Bearded Dragons have a quick growth rate, they can be sexually mature as early as a year and fully grown with 16 months. Coming from such an arid enviroment beardies gain their hydration from eating vegatation. This should be provided alongside insects for healthy body growth. When young beardies will eat more insects then vegatation to grow, once older this will swap and they'll revert more to their greens. It is important when designing the beardies enviroment to give it an elevated area and areas of shade to help the beardie regulate its UVB cycle.

Vivarium size

4ft x 1.5ft x 1.5ft for hatchling / adult

Daytime Temperature (cool – warm)

28 – 35 ‘C

Basking area : 45 'C

Night-time Temperature

22 – 26 ‘C - A blue bulb NOT RED can be used for this also simulates a natural moonlight

Heating / Lighting Equipment (on timers)

Arcadia T5 / T8 D3+ UVB tube with a high wattage bulb (80w min) Ideally the Arcadia all in one bulb allows the beardie bask whilst utilising more UVB

Substrate

Most Natural: Sand
Alternatives: Beech Chip , Aspen

Hides

Beardies are confident lizards so proper hides aren't essiential hilly areas would suffice.

Decor

Branches, fake plants and hilly areas allow the opportunity to climb and find shade

Water

Fresh water can always be provided but it is unlikely they'll touch it as they get most of their water source from vegatation

Food (Feeding)

Hoppers are the best source of prey as like the dragons they are a diurnal animal but crickets will also do. Vegatation wise leaf greens such as watercress and kale suit best

Cleaning

Spot pick every other day, full clean monthly