These delightful reptiles are some of the UK’s most commonly kept members of the lizard family. Here are some key facts to help improve your knowledge of these fascinating creatures.
- Bearded Dragons, most commonly known as Pogona Vitticeps, originate from Australia.
- Bearded dragons are called “bearded” because the spikes and scales they have around their head resembles a beard. They use this as a defense mechanism and will expand their throat whenever they feel threatened.
- The average lifespan is anywhere between 4-10 years, though some have been reported to live as long as 14 years in captivity.
- The average Bearded Dragon can reach between 16-22 inches in length. Males being larger than females.
- They will reach sexual maturity between 8 and 12 months of age and can mate successfully all year round.
- They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal based foods. The majority of their diet should consist of shredded leafy greens with a little bit of deseeded fruit. Crickets are a good source of protein which is also a key part of their diet. Never feed them ice burg lettuce.
- In the wild, endangered bearded dragons often stand on their hind legs to run from threats. They are not particularly fast runners and can only run up to 9 miles per hour.
- If your bearded dragon’s back turns black in colour and their legs turn light yellow, they may be unwell and require a Vets attention.
- After a while they will recognise their owners voice and touch. They are usually even tempered and happy to be handled. Washing hands after handling is very important as all reptiles carry salmonella bacteria.
- In captivity your bearded dragon’s habitat is absolutely key to their health and survival. The need UV light, heat and moisture and are usually kept in a vivarium.
Pauls points:“Remember, before buying any pet, to do lots of research to ensure you understand all of their requirements first. Reptiles especially have very particular needs, ask your Vet for as much information first”.