Best Bearded Dragon Species For Beginners




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Key takeaway:

  • Easy to maintain: Choose a bearded dragon species that is known for being easy to care for, with minimal special requirements or health concerns.
  • Popular amongst reptile owners: Look for a species that is widely recommended and popular among experienced reptile owners, as they will likely have more resources and information available.
  • Novice reptile owners: Consider a bearded dragon species that is suitable for beginners, with a friendly temperament, adaptable nature, and ease of handling.

Introduction to Bearded Dragon Species

Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles that make great pets for beginners. In this introduction, we will explore the various species of bearded dragons, including their common names and scientific names. By understanding the different types of bearded dragon species, you can make an informed decision when choosing the best one for you. So, let’s dive into the world of these unique and captivating creatures.

Common Names

Bearded dragons, a beloved reptile for owners everywhere, have lots of alternative names. These alternate names depend on the species of dragon and show off their unique characteristics.

There are three common species of bearded dragons: Central or Inland Bearded Dragon, Rankin’s Dragon, and Dwarf Bearded Dragon. Each one has different features.

The table below shows the common names of these species:

Species Common Names
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon Pogona vitticeps
Rankin’s Dragon Pogona henrylawsoni
Dwarf Bearded Dragon Pogona minor minor

It’s important to consider things like appearance, behavior, housing needs, diet, and environment when choosing a pet dragon.

This info can help you learn the different specific names for each species. By understanding the variations in common names and their scientific names, reptile enthusiasts can know more about each species’ special traits.

No matter what scientific name they have, these dragons are still just as stubborn as your ex!

Scientific Name

The family Agamidae is home to bearded dragons, whose scientific name is Pogona. They are popular pets, due to their unique look and placid nature.

Common Names Pogona
Scientific Name Pogona

Bearded dragons have many species, each with its own traits. However, they all go by the same scientific classification, Pogona.

Each species, like Central or Inland Bearded Dragons, and Rankin’s Dragons, have their own characteristics and needs. To decide which is best for a beginner, it is important to explore the details of each type of Pogona.

Selecting a species is a big decision. But, if you take the time to consider the points above, you’ll be closer to finding your perfect scaly friend!

Criteria for Choosing a Bearded Dragon Species for Beginners

Choosing the right bearded dragon species as a beginner is crucial for a successful reptile ownership journey. In this section, we will explore the key criteria to consider when making this decision. We’ll discuss the ease of maintenance, popularity amongst reptile owners, suitability for novice reptile owners, and the cost factors involved. By understanding these criteria, you’ll be well-equipped to select the best bearded dragon species that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Easy to Maintain

Bearded dragon species that are easy to maintain are a top pick for beginner reptile owners because of their low care needs. They have certain features and necessities that make them perfect for newbies.

These bearded dragons need minimal attention, making them great for people who are always busy or just starting out with reptiles. Plus, they can adapt to many environments, which makes them even more desirable.

Low costs associated with their care also put them on the radar of budget-friendly pet owners.

These simple-care species are a great option for beginners searching for a reptile that requires little maintenance, is adaptable, and is affordable.

One unique thing about them is their ability to live in various terrariums and environmental settings, such as temperature and humidity.

Plus, those new to reptile care won’t be overwhelmed, thanks to their straightforward care routine.

Did you know? Central or inland bearded dragons are a popular choice among beginners due to their easy-to-maintain nature and wallet-friendly costs.

Popular Amongst Reptile Owners

Bearded dragons have become a popular pet choice! They’ve got captivating behaviors, like head-bobbing and arm-waving. Plus, they’re visually striking, with spiky beards and vibrant colors. Also, they’re easy to maintain with simple dietary needs of insects and greens. Novice reptile owners can handle them, as they’re docile creatures. And, their initial cost and ongoing expenses are low compared to other reptiles.

Interesting fact: bearded dragons can change their appearance based on environment. Their coloration varies due to temperature, stress, and mood. This adaptability makes them very charming!

In the past, not many people knew about bearded dragons. They weren’t that popular compared to other reptiles. But, over time, more people discovered their unique qualities and ease of care. Now, they’re one of the most beloved pet reptiles!

Novice Reptile Owners

Novice reptile owners are those new to keeping reptiles as pets. They may lack experience or knowledge on how to care for them. Consequently, they look for a species suitable for beginners.

Novice reptile owners seek out species that are easy to maintain. Simple care requirements are essential and they must be able to manage them. Popular bearded dragon species are often chosen. Experienced owners can give advice and guidance when needed. Cost is important, so species that are affordable, without expensive equipment or supplies, are preferred.

It is essential for novice reptile owners to pick a species that fits their lifestyle and preferences. Appearance, behavior, housing, dietary and environmental needs should all be considered. This way, novice reptile owners can pick a suitable bearded dragon species and feel comfortable caring for it.

Low Cost

Bearded Dragons that are perfect for beginners come in a range of prices. Novice reptile owners may not have much money to spend. The Central or Inland Bearded Dragon, Rankin’s Dragon, and Dwarf Bearded Dragon are all affordable!

You can find these species in pet stores or online. Prices depend on age, size, and genetics. But they’re usually cheaper than other reptiles.

The ongoing costs of caring for a Bearded Dragon are food, housing, heat sources, lighting, and vet care. They don’t need pricey food – insects and veg are good and budget-friendly.

Housing can vary in price, but there are plenty of affordable options. So, you can have a scaly companion without breaking the bank!

Central or Inland Bearded Dragon

Central or Inland Bearded Dragons, a popular choice for beginners, are known for their unique appearance, interesting behavior, specific housing requirements, dietary needs, and environmental preferences. This section will provide insight into the fascinating aspects of their appearance, behavior, housing, diet, and environmental needs, offering valuable information for those considering adopting these captivating reptiles as pets.


Bearded dragon species have unique looks. They vary in size, color, and features.

Central or Inland Bearded Dragons are usually 18-24 inches long. Their coat is mainly brown or tan, with some patches of red or orange. These dragons have spikes along their back and a “beard” of scales under their chin that they can puff up when threatened or trying to assert dominance.

Rankin’s Dragons are typically 12-16 inches long. They come in vibrant colors from green, yellow, and blue to bright orange and pink. A small scaley beardie look has become a distinguishing feature of Rankin’s dragons.

Dwarf Bearded Dragons have no extra info about their appearance.



Bearded dragons have special behaviors. For example, they’re usually docile and make for good pets. They’re active during the day and may bob their heads or puff out their beards to show dominance. Or they may wave their arms or do gentle biting to communicate.

These behaviors depend on the species, habitat, and individual dragon. To give them the best home, you’ll need to provide the right environment and meet their needs. Get ready to give your bearded dragon a luxurious home!

Housing Requirements

Bearded dragons need a spacious enclosure. Juveniles should have a 40-gallon one, adults 75 gallons or more. This gives them room to move about and feel comfortable. A basking area with a heat lamp is also important. The temperature should be 95-105°F (35-40°C). A full-spectrum UVB light should be on for 10-12 hours daily to help them metabolize calcium. Natural substrate materials like reptile carpet, slate tiles, or paper towels keep the environment clean and safe. Monitor and adjust the habitat according to the species’ needs. Hiding spots and climbing structures enrich the dragon’s experience. By doing these things, you’ll ensure your bearded dragon’s health and happiness.

Dietary Needs

Bearded dragons need a balanced diet. It must include animal protein and plant matter. Their needs depend on the species. Here’s a breakdown:

Species Prey Items Veggies & Fruits
Central/Inland Crickets, roaches, mealworms Kale, collard greens, squash, bell peppers
Rankin’s Crickets, mealworms, waxworms Parsley, dandelion greens, carrots
Dwarf Crickets, small roaches, silkworms Beet greens, green beans, strawberries

They must have a varied diet to get all the necessary nutrients. Calcium supplement is a must too. Dust their prey with calcium powder or give them calcium-rich veggies like collard greens.

Pro Tip: Gut-load live prey with nutritious food before feeding them to your pet. This will give them even more nutrients.

Finally, create a perfect habitat for your tiny, climate-controlled dragon mansion. Hope they don’t get too snooty!

Environmental Needs

Bearded dragons have special needs to be healthy. These include temperature, humidity, and lighting.

For Central or Inland Bearded Dragons, their temperature range is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65 degrees at night. The humidity should be 30-40%. They need a UVB light source for calcium absorption.

The enclosure for Central or Inland Bearded Dragons needs to be at least 40 gallons. The enclosure should have branches and rocks for climbing, and basking areas.

Rankin’s Dragons need similar temperature, humidity, and lighting. But they’re smaller in size, so the enclosure size can be slightly smaller.

Dwarf Bearded Dragons need cooler temperatures. It should be 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees at night. The humidity should be 20-30%. They need a UVB light source for calcium absorption.

Rankin’s Dragon

Rankin’s Dragon, known for its unique appearance and fascinating behavior, is a popular choice for beginners in the world of bearded dragons. With distinct characteristics and specific housing, dietary, and environmental needs, exploring the appearance, behavior, housing requirements, dietary needs, and environmental needs of Rankin’s Dragon will provide invaluable insights for those considering this species as a pet.


Bearded dragons are famous for their distinctive looks. They have a one-of-a-kind, eye-catching physicality. These reptiles have various features such as colors, patterns, and sizes. Let’s look at them in a table.

Species Colors Patterns Sizes
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon Browns, tans, yellows, and reds Bands or stripes 18-22 inches
Rankin’s Dragon Grayish-brown and olive with blues and golds Transverse bands or bars Smaller
Dwarf Bearded Dragon Vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds Lines or bars on the sides and back Up to 10 inches

Not just looks, these bearded dragon species have unique characteristics too. Like body shape, head structure, and skin texture. These details make them fascinating creatures for reptile lovers.

By exploring the appearances of these species, people can gain a deeper appreciation for their uniqueness. From the earthy tones of Central or Inland Bearded Dragons, to the subtle hues of Rankin’s Dragons, and the vibrant colors of Dwarf Bearded Dragons. All three bring their own appeal.


Bearded dragons have varied behavior patterns. These depend on the species. Each one has its own unique behaviors, based on factors such as habitat, eating habits, and temperament. To look after these pets properly, it’s important to know about the behavior of different bearded dragon species.

Let’s create a table to show key behavior traits:

Species Behavioral Characteristics
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon Calm and friendly. May defend territory.
Rankin’s Dragon Reserved. Needs patience and gentle handling.
Dwarf Bearded Dragon Active and curious. Can get stressed in small enclosures.

Each dragon has its own personality. Reptile owners must observe their pet’s behavior and adjust care accordingly. Knowing about the behavior of different bearded dragon species helps when choosing a pet. It also ensures the right housing, diet, and environmental enrichment.

Housing Requirements

Bearded dragons have special housing needs for their health and comfort. These needs vary depending on the species.

Central or Inland Bearded Dragons need a spacious enclosure. A minimum of 40 gallons is recommended for hatchlings. As they grow, they need bigger enclosures. Inside, there should be branches or rocks for climbing and basking spots with heat and UVB lighting.

Rankin’s Dragon also needs a roomy enclosure with similar features. But, due to their smaller size, a 20-gallon tank is okay for them at first. As they grow, they need more room to explore and exercise.

Dwarf Bearded Dragons need different housing. An adult can be in a 20-gallon tank. But, they need enough room to move around.

To make an ideal home for all bearded dragon species, it is important to maintain the right temperature. This involves a warm basking area around 95-105°F (35-40°C) and a cooler area around 80°F (27°C). All species need UVB lighting to help them absorb calcium and prevent metabolic bone disease.

Dietary Needs

Bearded dragons have unique dietary needs to stay healthy. It depends on the species, but usually a mix of insects and veggies is best. Let’s take a closer look at the different kinds.

Central or Inland Bearded Dragon:

  • Appearance: Robust body, triangular-shaped head. Colour can be light tan to dark brown.
  • Behavior: Docile and friendly.
  • Housing: Spacious enclosure, with heating, lighting, and hiding spots.
  • Diet: Crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, leafy greens, and veggies like collard greens and kale.

Rankin’s Dragon:

  • Appearance: Similar to Central or Inland Bearded Dragons, but smaller.
  • Behavior: Calm and easygoing.
  • Housing: Similar to Central or Inland Bearded Dragons.
  • Diet: Insects like in the wild but in smaller amounts. Leafy greens and veggies too.

Dwarf Bearded Dragon:

  • Appearance: Much smaller than the other two.
  • Behavior: Like Central or Inland Bearded Dragons.
  • Housing: Smaller enclosures needed.
  • Diet: Small crickets for protein, dandelion greens or mustard greens for essential nutrients.

Reptile owners need to provide the right nutrition for their pets. A varied diet with both insects and veggies is important for balanced intake. Create the perfect habitat for your bearded dragon for a little Feng Shui!

Environmental Needs

Bearded dragons have special needs that must be met to keep them healthy. These include the right temperature, humidity, lighting, and substrate for their habitat. It’s important to create an environment similar to their natural habitat to give them the best living conditions.

Temperature must be monitored. There should be a warm basking spot of 95-105°F (35-40°C) during the day, and a cooler area of 75-85°F (24-29°C). UVB light is essential for vitamin D3 and calcium absorption.

Humidity levels should stay relatively low, between 30-40%. UVA and UVB lighting is also needed to promote natural behaviors and synthesize vitamin D3.

Reptile carpet or newspaper are good substrates as they’re easy to clean and can’t be impacted if ingested.

Check the temperature and humidity often with thermometers and hygrometers. This will help keep your pet’s environment in the ideal range.

In conclusion, meeting your bearded dragon’s environmental needs is important for their health and longevity. Plus, the Dwarf Bearded Dragon is a great choice for beginners who don’t want a huge reptile!

Dwarf Bearded Dragon

The Dwarf Bearded Dragon, a captivating species for beginners, offers a delightful combination of appearances, behaviors, and specific care requirements. From their unique physical features to their captivating behaviors, this sub-section explores the characteristics that make Dwarf Bearded Dragons an ideal choice for reptile enthusiasts. Discover their housing, dietary, and environmental needs, allowing us to better understand how to create a thriving and fulfilling habitat for these fascinating creatures.


Bearded dragons have a distinct look, which changes depending on the species. They are typically stout-bodied with a triangular head and long tail, covered in small scales. Colors and patterns vary by species. Here’s a table to help show the differences:

Species Phys. Charac. Colors Patterns
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon Stout body, triangular head, long tail Brown, gray, or tan Bands across back/tail
Rankin’s Dragon Similar to Central Bearded Gray/brown w/ hints of blue/green Small speckles on body
Dwarf Bearded Dragon Smaller than other species Yellow, red, or orange Mottled/striped patterns

When choosing a bearded dragon, it’s important to consider their care requirements and compatibility. Personal preferences matter too, but not more than the reptile’s health and well-being. Lastly, remember that these lizards can go from lounging like royalty to becoming a ninja during feeding time.


Bearded dragons are popular as reptile pets. They are docile and calm. They like basking in the sun and exploring. They even interact with their owners!

These reptiles have a lot of activities to do. They enjoy digging, climbing, and swimming. They also puff out their “beards” to show aggression or courtship.

Bearded dragons communicate with visual signals and body language. Darkened beards mean stress or aggression while lighter colors mean contentment.

The behavior of each dragon depends on age, health, and early socialization. Good care and handling helps them live happily.

These unique dragons are great for all reptile enthusiasts! Observing and understanding their behavior can be loads of fun.

So, if you’re planning a lizard penthouse, don’t forget to grab a mini fridge for their bearded dragon brews.

Housing Requirements

Creating an ideal home for your pet bearded dragon requires meeting certain requirements. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Enclosure Size: 40 gallons or more, so they can move around.
  • Temperature Regulation: 95-105°F for basking and 75-85°F for cooler side.
  • Lighting: 12-14 hours of full-spectrum UVB lighting for vitamin D3 absorption.
  • Substrate: Reptile carpet or non-adhesive shelf liner, avoid sand.
  • Hideouts and Decorations: Multiple hiding spots, branches, and rocks to mimic their natural habitat.

Additional considerations:

  • Smaller enclosures for juveniles, larger for adults.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Humidity levels maintained by regular misting or small water dish.

So, there you have it – to house a bearded dragon properly, ensure sufficient enclosure size, temperature, and lighting; use the right substrate; and provide enriching decorations. And remember, a well-fed bearded dragon is a happy dragon! Just don’t let them get too demanding!

Dietary Needs

Bearded dragon dietary needs vary based on their species. Each has its own food type and quantity requirements. To better understand these needs, let’s look at a table.

Species Food Preference Supplements
Central/Inland Bearded Dragon Insects (e.g. crickets, mealworms) & veggies (e.g. collard greens, bell peppers) Calcium & Vitamin D3
Rankin’s Dragon Leafy greens (e.g. kale, mustard greens) & small insects (e.g. fruit flies) Same as above
Dwarf Bearded Dragon Mainly small insects (e.g. pinhead crickets, fruit flies) Same as above

Providing balanced diets is key for a dragon’s health. It is important to research each species’ needs before choosing one as a pet. Just like people, dragons have different needs. Some may prefer a walk in the park, while others are content with Netflix.

Environmental Needs

A table has been created to provide better understanding of environmental needs of different bearded dragon species. It lists their temperature range, humidity level, lighting setup, and enclosure type.

Species Temperature Range Humidity Level Lighting Setup Enclosure Type
Central or Inland Bearded Dragon 95-110°F (35-43°C) 30-40% humidity Full spectrum UVB lighting Glass or PVC enclosure with secure lid
Rankin’s Dragon 90-100°F (32-38°C) 30% humidity Full spectrum UVB lighting Glass or PVC enclosure with secure lid
Dwarf Bearded Dragon 85-95°F (29-35°C) 30% humidity Full spectrum UVB lighting Glass or PVC enclosure with secure lid

Though these are general guidelines, individual dragons may need slightly different environmental conditions. To ensure specific needs are met, research and consult experts.

Environmental needs of a bearded dragon are essential for its health and well-being. Mimicking their natural habitat helps ensure their pet thrives and stays healthy.

Conclusion: Choosing the Best Bearded Dragon Species for Beginners

Choosing the ideal dragon species for a beginner needs thought. The temperament of the species matters. Some may be calmer and simpler to manage, ideal for beginners. Also, check the size and upkeep needs.

Another point to consider: the diet of the species. They may need different food, so get one that’s easy to feed and maintain a good diet for.

Also, look at the lifespan and overall health. Some species may live longer and need special care, which may not be perfect for a beginner.

In sum, when selecting the right dragon species for a beginner, consider things like temperament, diet, and health. Taking these things into account helps beginners pick a species suitable for their level and makes owning a dragon more enjoyable.

Some Facts About the Best Bearded Dragon Species for Beginners:

  • ✅ The Central or Inland Bearded Dragon is the most recognized and recommended species for beginners. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Bearded dragons are gentle and friendly, making them ideal reptile companions for beginners. (Source: Terrarium Quest)
  • ✅ They have a diverse diet, enjoying both insects and plant-based food sources. (Source: Bearded Dragon Care Guide)
  • ✅ Bearded dragons are relatively low-maintenance and adaptable, making them easy to care for. (Source: BioBubble Pets)
  • ✅ With proper care, bearded dragons can live up to 15 years, providing years of companionship. (Source: The Spruce Pets)

FAQs about Best Bearded Dragon Species For Beginners

What is a bearded dragon and are they good pets for beginners?

A bearded dragon is a reptile with spiny scales, a wide mouth, and a distinctive flap of skin under their chin. They make great pets for beginners due to their docile nature and ease of care.

What are some unique behaviors of bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons exhibit interesting behaviors such as glass surfing, head bobbing, and arm waving. These behaviors can indicate various things about their health or environment.

What are the best bearded dragon species for beginners?

The Central or Inland Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) is the most recognized and widely bred species for beginners. They are quite easy to maintain and have a friendly temperament.

What are the key elements for proper bearded dragon care?

Proper bearded dragon care requires providing a well-balanced diet, adequate heat and lighting with fluorescent bulbs and a basking spot, maintaining appropriate temperatures and humidity, and regular tank maintenance.

What is the life expectancy of a bearded dragon?

With proper care, bearded dragons can live from 6 to 12 years, with females tending to have slightly shorter lifespans than males.

Where should I purchase a bearded dragon?

It is recommended to buy a bearded dragon from reputable breeders rather than pet stores. Reputable breeders can provide healthy and well-cared-for bearded dragons.

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