The specific epithet, henrylawsoni, is in honor of the Australian author, poet, and philosopher Henry Lawson.
The name is noted as invalid in some sources, and given as a synonym for Pogona brevis.
Usually very docile and trusting the Rankins dragon is a perfect pet for beginners and families with younger children.
P. henrylawsoni has a life span of six to eight years, and its natural environment is hot, dry and rocky, which must be mimicked in captivity. It is a social species and with supervision can be handled by children, but the dragon does not like to be turned upside down and will struggle when it is. Most specimens outside of Australia in captivity are descendants of dragons illegally imported in the 1980s.
A formal description was not published for this dragon until 1985, despite being known to herpetologists. The scientific name for this species was disputed, along with the other taxonomic treatments of Wells and Wellington, but was published again by Harold Cogger (2000) and others as a valid name.
Can be sexually mature as early as 6 months of age, but wouldn't recommend breeding any younger than 8 months of age. After a slight cooling period, breeding occurs with clutches of 9-16 eggs being produced. On average, eggs hatch 45 days after incubation at 27C and a humidity level of 70%.
P. henrylawsoni is similar to the larger central bearded dragon (P. vitticeps), but is usually less than 30 cm (12 in) in total length (including tail).
- An enclosure measuring 36” x 18” x 24” (90cm x 45cm x 60cm).
P. henrylawsoni is also commonly called Lawson's dragon, dumpy dragon, pygmy dragon, dwarf bearded dragon, or black soil bearded dragon. It is native to Queensland in Australia.
The Rankins dragon (also known as Lawson's dragon) is like a smaller version of the bearded dragon. They are usually grey or tan to help them blend in with their surroundings and when threatened they will open their mouth and their throat will turn a dark blackish colour. They have rough skin on their back and a smooth soft underbelly.
Rankins dragons are found in the hot, dry rocky areas of Australia. They can sometimes be found climbing trees and rocks but are mainly found foraging in the vegetation on the ground.
These dragons will require both UVA and UVB lighting to stay healthy and get the vitamins they need. The UVB rays reach roughly 18" as if the light is too close or too far away it can greatly affect the amount of ultra violet radiation your dragon receives and absorbs.
- An Exo Terra desert heat mat measuring 26cm x 28cm
Adults grow between 25-30cms including the tail with the male usually being bigger than the female.
Rankin's dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni ) is a species of Australian agamid lizard.
- A 24" Exo Terra Repti Glo 10.0 UVB and UVB starter unit
Breeding: Lawson's Dragons are egg-layers, producing an average of 25 eggs at a time. Eggs are buried by the female in moist substrate. The eggs require an incubation period of 50-75 days at 82-85F temperatures.
Diet: Lawson's Dragons are omnivores that eat almost anything available. They accept a wide variety of insects (crickets, roaches, grasshoppers, locusts) and worms, as well as leafy greens and chopped vegetables.
Other common names: Rankin's Dragon; Lesser Bearded Dragon; Dumpy Dragon; Dwarf Bearded Dragon; Black Soil Bearded Dragon; Black-soil Plains Bearded Dragon; Prairie Dragon
Rankins dragons are omnivores and will need a mixture of crickets, mealworms and locusts with the occasional wax worm as a treat and green vegetation such as collard greens, dandelion greens and mustard greens. All food should be dusted with calci powder and D3 Vitamin, and fresh water should be provided daily.
- A light holder such as the Large Exo Terra Glow Lamp
Behavior / temperament: Lawson's Dragons are somewhat new to the pet trade, but are well liked as pets because of their flexible diet, hardiness and ease of care, docile temperament, and friendly, curious, and social behavior. They may display aggressiveness by opening their mouths and hissing but they rarely attack or bite their owners.
The Rankins dragon can live for upto 6-8 years!
A Rankins dragon will need a range of temperature in its enclosure to help it self regulate its body temperature. The best way of doing this is to have your heat bulb on one side of the cage. The cool side should be 21C, with the warm side increasing to 26C and basking area should be 32C - 37C. At night the temperature should be around 18C but don't let it drop below this.
Appearance / health: Lawson's Dragons are reddish to tan or sandy colored to blend with the ground. Older adults are one-colored but younger ones have light and dark brown dorsal blotches and paravertebral lines. Lawson's Dragon lack the "beard" of the more common Bearded Dragon and have shorter limbs and tail.
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Daily tasks include spot cleaning the enclosure and providing fresh drinking water. A 5% bleach solution is excellent for deep cleaning the tank but you must make sure to thoroughly rinse the enclosure before putting your pet back in.
The Rankins dragon is a sociable dragon but due to territorialism its not a good idea to put two males together in an enclosure as they may fight, but a male and a female or two females together should be fine.