Bearded dragons display a diverse range of skin colors depending upon their species. For a novice reptile fan, it can be a daunting phase to choose an appropriate type. In this article, you will learn about the bearded dragon colors.
Bearded dragons are highly popular reptile pets in households in the UK and the US. These fascinating creatures originally come from the arid lands of Australia. Because of their social personalities and controlled temperaments, they integrate well into households.
Despite their native homeland, these exotic lizards are now found in all the corners of the world. They are omnivorous creatures, which means that their diet consists of a mixture of insects and plants. If you take good care of them, they can live up to 10 years without any complications.
In the wild, beardies display a multitude of skin coloration depending upon their terrain and its surroundings. These colors not only provide the perfect camouflage for survival purpose but they also have other functions. They might use it to attract potential mates during the breeding season.
With the domestication of bearded dragons, you can now find them in almost every color. The breeding efforts have made it possible for an average homeowner to choose from a variety of colors and patterns. The vividness and smoothness of their hues can increase their prices in the market.
Color variations in bearded dragons
You shouldn’t confuse the colors of beardies with their morphs. You can find different color combinations and mixtures in a single morph. Some morphs are more likely to have particular skin tones, but color alone doesn’t describe the morph. Some shades and designs are more sought after than others.
Each breeder has its own method of naming a specific skin tone of the dragon. Some individuals might identify the yellow color of their beardie as “citrus” while others might prefer calling it “lemon”. So you should stick with your own methods of identifying the basic colors, such as red, grey, and brown. The saturation and clarity of these shades can make them expensive in the pets market.
There are almost limitless possibilities of skin color due to selective breeding. If you are a newbie bearded dragon lover, then you should familiarize yourself with different color combinations.
Types of Bearded Dragon Colors
As a result of crossing different breeds together, the reptile lovers can now select from a wide color variety. From crimson red to dull pink, you can purchase a bearded dragon of your specific color choice. Some of these colors are naturally found in the wild, as they allow them to blend in with their surroundings. Bearded dragons are on the food menu of many predators in their habitat. They have evolved to have different patterns and colorations to increase their survival prospects.
Some shades can also occur due to a genetic mutation, such as albino bearded dragons. Due to inbreeding at a massive scale, some dragons can even suffer from a recession in their genes. Therefore, you should educate yourself about the actual color types in the market. This way you would have better prospects of ending up with a dragon that displays eye-catching natural skin tone.
Red Bearded Dragons
The red color is available in shades of blood red and ruby red. They are brown when two bearded dragons with a higher amount of red coloration breed with each other. With each generation, the offspring acquire a greater proportion of red color on their bodies. You would be able to find a lighter red coloration and darker red coloration in your local pet store. Some of the common subspecies that have red patterns include:
- Sandfire red bearded dragon
- Sunburst bearded dragon
- Belgium X blood bearded dragon
- Citrus tiger bearded dragon
Blue/purple Bearded Dragon
This is a highly rare color that is formed by the breeding of two translucent bearded dragons. They are only able to retain these exquisite colors when they are babies. Once they become fully mature, these bluer hues would turn into a translucent shade. You should be prepared to pay extra dollars for these rare dragons.
Yellow Bearded Dragons
To make a yellow-colored bearded dragon, two adult bearded dragons with a higher amount of yellow patterns are bred. As each generation passes, this dominant color becomes deeper and richer than before. Similarly, a golden bearded dragon is born when a yellow bearded dragon mates with a red-colored bearded dragon. Some types of beardies with a consistent yellow tint include:
- Lemon fire bearded dragon
- Gold bearded dragon
- Sandfire gold bearded dragon
White/silver Bearded Dragons
These pale-colored bearded dragons belong to the leucistic morph. To get a white beardie, the breeder breeds two bearded dragons with paler skin tones. With the passage of time, new offspring are born with predominantly white color.
Orange Bearded Dragons
These visually stunning bearded dragons are commonly available in pet shops. The babies usually have dim skin tone until they shed their skin layer several times. After several successful shedding cycles, you will end with a brilliantly burnt orange bearded dragon. Some common variations of orange coloration include:
- Sunburst bearded dragon
- Tangerine bearded dragon
- Citrus tiger bearded dragon
Standard color Bearded Dragons
Standard color comes in different combinations of colors, such as sandy brown, beige, and muted tan. You can also get them in solid skin coloration like green, yellow, and red. These standard colored beardies are comparatively cheaper in the market and you can easily find them.
Why does my bearded dragon change colors?
Australian researcher Kathleen Smith conducted a survey by catching bearded dragons of different species in the wild. They found that beardies can change their skin tone according to changes in their environment, such as temperature or background.
This change of coloration also happens when they are communicating with other lizards in their territory. You might also notice heading-bobbing and arm-waving gestures during the communication process. The scientists also discovered that their skin color becomes darker as the temperature around them decreases. This allows them to absorb the maximum amount of heat during the winter days to stay warm. Similarly, their scales would become pale yellow when it gets sweltering hot outside.
A bearded dragon’s normal body temperature is around 95 degrees Fahrenheit when they are healthy. Due to their cold-blooded nature, they aren’t able to regulate this temperature on their own. By adopting a lighter hue during warm weather season they can better reflect light away from them.
Surprisingly, beardies aren’t the only lizards that can switch their colors, as chameleons also have this ability. Almost all species of beardies can color-match according to the intensity of light striking their bodies.
Wild-caught specimens exhibit this behavior for camouflage purposes in their natural habitat. The color shift in the chest and beard is also used for social interaction, and it doesn’t change according to the heat in the environment.
Do bearded dragons change color as they get older?
Young hatchlings and juveniles are more likely to possess striking stones. As they grow old, their skin colors might become darker or lighter. Despite this change of color, their patterns and designs would remain the same.
The head and chest of your bearded dragon would expand with the passage of time. This would cause the skin to stretch, which in turn can affect the brightness of their skin coloration.
Many novice reptile owners have a perception that their pet’s skin color might change due to improper diet. It’s a genetic pigmentation that would not get affected by the type of food they eat. Make sure to have a proper UVB lighting setup to ensure that they display vibrant colors.
Why does my bearded dragon get dark?
The darkening of your beardie’s skin should not be taken as an alarming thing as it is totally natural. They do this mostly to absorb more heat during the daytime so that they can regulate the desired body temperature. You would notice your beardie becoming lighter in color as the night approaches every day. They would adopt this habit to increase their skin’s natural heat absorption capabilities. So your beardie would tent to adopt a darker hue when it is lying down in the heat zone.
Your exotic lizard might also become darker if he feels threatened due to any external factors. Your dragon might also freak out if they come in contact with your other pets like a cat or a dog. Make sure to minimize the chances of such interactions to make your beardie feel safe. Their pouches would grow bigger when they come in close vicinity with another dominant dragon. His beard might also become darker to attract females in heat during the mating season.
Now you must have a better idea about the possibilities of bearded dragon colors you can find in your local pet shop. Some of these shades and patterns would be more highly sought after than their simpler counterparts.
If you are looking for a particular bearded dragon colors, pattern or shade, then you should contact breeders in your area. By explaining to them your demands, you would have better opportunities for finding what you are looking for.
You should also keep this in mind that some patterns and coloration of your beardie would change over time. If a baby bearded dragon exhibits muted tones of a yellow tint, then they might get more pronounced as it gets older. So you should be prepared for this change when your dragon reached adulthood.
You should also not get tempted to buy a particular beardie just be looking at its picture. What you see in reality is oftentimes different than what is portrayed in edited photographs. Once you pick up your favorite color, we advise you to personally visit the pet shop.