When threatened, it inflates its throat and displays its beard. If further provoked, it opens its mouth to display the bright yellow colour of the lining of its mouth. In its close relative, the central bearded dragon; the lining of the mouth is of a reddish-pink hue. However the eastern bearded dragon will perform this beard display more often than its cousin.
Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Pogona.
Within Australia you’re able to keep most species of Bearded Dragon, but will need to be a licensed keeper and this depends upon the species and territory that you’re in, for example, in NSW you can keep:
Several of the Pogona genus are bred in captivity as pets; the two most popular are this species, P. vitticeps, and the western bearded dragon (Pogona minor minor). The bulk of captive-bred bearded dragons today are thought to have originated from stock illegally exported from Australia during the 1970s.
Whether you live in or outside of Australia, always check that you’re buying a legally captive bred Bearded Dragon. If you live outside of Australia and you see species other than a Vitticeps or Lawsons/ Rankins then question the legality of it and where it’s come from and it’s lineage.
Aland, K. 2008. Dragons, Family Agamidae. From Swan, M. (ed.) 2008. Keeping and Breeding Australian Lizards. Mike Swan Herp Books. Lilydale.
A bite from an adult Central Bearded Dragon can cause pain, break the skin and leave a bruise. Avoiding a bite from this species as not difficult as the lizard will puff, hiss, display and run away before resorting to biting, and only then if it feels physically threatened or severely agitated.
Central Bearded Dragons are primarily diurnal, however they are sometimes seen out on roads after dark, especially after hot days. This suggests that the species may be more active after dark than previously realised.
One female was observed basking in winter (August) when the air temperature was 15º C. During the hottest part of the activity season, the dragons are usually active only during the early morning and late afternoon.
This dragon is native to the semiarid woodland, arid woodland, and rocky desert regions of Central Australia. They are skilled climbers, and often spend just as much time perching on tree limbs, fenceposts, and in bushes as they do on the ground. They spend the morning and early evening sunning themselves on exposed branches or rocks, and retreat to shady areas or underground burrows during the hottest parts of the afternoon.
P. barbata resembles its close relative, the central bearded dragon, but may be distinguished from the latter by its less robust body and the row of spines along the lateral edge of the body, which continues over the forearm.
Yearling eastern bearded dragon found in a suburban yard in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Swan, G. 1990. A Field Guide To The Snakes and Lizards of New South Wales. Three Sisters. Winmalee.
When under direct attack, the central bearded dragon opens its mouth to display its yellow membranes and extend its beard. It darkens the colour of its skin and flattens its body, and will hiss and make small jumps towards the attacker. Bearded dragons are not known to attack humans.
Pogona Vitticeps/ Central Bearded Dragon is the most commonly bred and outside of their natural habitat in Australia this will be the most common pet dragon available, exporting any of these dragons from the wild is illegal and there are very few programs outside of Australia that breed anything but Vitticeps or Lawsons/Rankins dragons along with their associated cross, Vittikins.
On the below map the main 8 species locations are marked and showing the overlap between them.
Courtship involves the male "head bobbing" to display dominance. If the female displays submissive behaviour, the male will use its mouth to grab the back of the female's head and the male will also wrap its front legs around the female's upper torso to keep her from moving. Copulation and insemination are quick. The gestation period averages about a month and a half.
The following eight species are recognized as being valid.
Ehmann, H. 1992. Encyclopaedia of Australian Animals: Reptiles. Angus & Robertson. Pymble.
The several different kinds of head bob gestures are:
The known predators of the species include the Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica (based on carcasses in tern colonies), goannas, Black-headed Python Aspidites melanocephalus, Dingo, birds of prey as well as introduced carnivores such as cats and foxes.
When the female is ready to lay eggs, she will generally stop eating and spend most of her time trying to dig.
Keeping a lizard, or any animal for that matter, in a substandard and cramped enclosure is going to stunt growth as will a poor diet lacking all necessary nutrients. Figures quoted are for the maximum documented size for the species in perfect condition in the wild, captive species and cross species/ morphs may produce slightly different lengths. You can expect captive dragons realistically to grow to about 10% less than these maximums.
Recent research has indicated that Bearded Dragons poses primitive venom glands, the use of venom in dragon lizards is not yet understood, however a bite from this species should pose no long-term ill effect. The bite site should be cleaned with a mild disinfectant, as with any animal bite.
It is most common in eastern Australia south of Cape York Peninsula, but specimens have been collected from Cape York, through central Australia, and even from the west coast of Australia.
Fry, B.G. Vidal, N. Norman, J.A. Vonk, F.J. Scheib, H. Ranjan, S.F. Kuruppu, S. Fung, K. Hedges, S.B. Richardson, M.K. Hodgson, W.C. Ignjatovic, V. Summerhayes, R. and Kochva, E. 2006. Early evolution of the venom system in lizards and snakes. Nature 439, 584-588.
Central Bearded Dragon
The male will only wave to show submission to a dominant male, whereas the female will wave, followed by a slow head bob, to show she is ready to mate. Gravid females will often refuse the advances of a male by chasing him and lying on his back.
The species basks to maintain preferred body temperature. When the animals’ body temperature rises to relatively high and presumably dangerous levels, they open their mouths to varying degrees, presumably in order to cool the blood passing through the head by evaporative cooling from the moist membranes of the mouth.
Several species of this genus, especially the central bearded dragon, are often kept as pets or exhibited in zoos due to their hardy nature and easy care in comparison to other exotic reptiles.
Central Bearded Dragons are hosts to parasites such as protozoa, nematodes, protozoans, cestodes (round worms) and trematodes (fluke worms).
Bearded dragons have been shown to be able to learn from watching the behaviour of conspecifics. An experiment demonstrated that after one individual was trained to open a door to reach a food item, most other bearded dragons watching this action were able to perform it as well.
The Bearded Dragon is classified scientifically with the following taxonomy:
In the wild, Bearded Dragons are originally from Austalia, however, there are different species in different parts of the country
These omnivorous lizards feed on vegetation including fruit and leaves in the wild, as well as any invertebrates (including ants and beetles) and small vertebrates (such as lizards) that they can catch.
Pogona vitticeps, the central (or inland) bearded dragon, is a species of agamid lizard occurring in a wide range of arid to semiarid regions of Australia. This species is very popularly kept as a pet and exhibited in zoos.
Kis, Anna; Huber, Ludwig; Wilkinson, Anna (January 2015). "Social learning by imitation in a reptile (Pogona vitticeps)". Animal Cognition. 18 (1): 325–331. doi:10.1007/s10071-014-0803-7.
<a href=”http://pogopogona.com/bearded-dragon-facts/where-do-bearded-dragons-come-from”><img alt=”Bearded Dragon loss of appetite flow chart | PogoPogona.com” src=”http://pogopogona.com/content/uploads/where-do-bearded-dragons-come-from.png” width=”718″ height=”756″ /></br>Where do Bearded Dragons Come From | PogoPogona.com</a>
But you can’t keep Pogona Nullarbor or Pogona Minor Mitchelli. In Western Australia, you can only keep Pogona Minor Minor (Western Bearded Dragon) under a class 2 license and none of the others.
The length/ size of a Bearded Dragon depends on a few things; the species, the environment and their diet/ health
A 2016 study showed that high-temperature incubation of eggs transforms genetically male individuals into functional females.