Adult head and body length – up to 10 inches, and tail length up to 12 inches. The body can be gray, brown, rufous or yellow, and can exhibit rhomboidal markings. A pattern of ocelli (eye-like spots) is present on the pale gray belly.
There are large, long, pointed scales on the throat and sides of the head. They have the ability to change color. There is a row of spines along each side of the body. These run down to the forelegs and continue as a broad band down to beneath the shoulders. The head is as wide as it is long.
Class: Reptile (Reptilia)
Order: Squamata Sauria
Conservation Education Program AnimalMore Info
Range: Eastern half of South Australia, Southeast part of Northern Territories
Habitat: Tropical wooded steppes, dry forest, agricultural areas
Wild Diet: Insects, fruit, green vegetation
Zoo Diet: Crickets, waxmoth larvae, lettuce, apple
Bearded dragons have a strong order of superiority, which is governed by the size of the lizards. This is evident when feeding, or during the breeding season. Males and juveniles are to some extent compatible with one another. As a rule the males establish a hierarchy following each hibernation that is accepted by all until the following season.
Females are sexually mature at a head and body length of 5 inches. The alpha male will mate with all females in the group. Females indicate their willingness to mate by lying flat on the ground and raising the tail. The male holds the female firmly in position by a bite to the neck. Using the tail, the male holds the female's legs firmly while pushing his cloacal region close to that of the female. Shortly before laying eggs, the female refuses all food. They lay two clutches of 11 to 25 eggs starting in October. The eggs are usually laid in a moist place. When the time is right the female digs a hole, using the forelegs, then the hind legs. The hole is large enough to accommodate the female, and it is here that the eggs are laid. After the eggs have been laid the hole is carefully covered and compacted by the head and feet.
Gestation: Incubation: 68 to 96 days
Litter: Clutch: 11 to 25 eggs