How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get? Size + Growth Chart
Knowing how big bearded dragons get is an important step to take if you’re considering getting one as a pet. Knowing their potential size will give you an idea of what you’re getting into, and what conditions you’ll have to provide.
But many future owners don’t have any clue how large bearded dragons get, or what factors influence their size. Understanding what impacts their size makes it significantly easier to provide better care.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about bearded dragon size. By the time you’re done reading it, you’ll be ready to go!
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get When Fully Grown?
In order to properly care for your bearded dragon, you first need to estimate how big they get when fully grown. This is important because it will help you pick the best enclosure and determine a feeding plan.
These reptiles grow quickly for the first 3 months of life. Afterward, bearded dragons grow roughly another 1 to 2 inches each month for the rest of the year. Later, these reptiles can still grow another 1 to 2 inches during its entire second year of life.
Once they’re done growing, bearded dragons can be anywhere from 12 to 24 inches long when fully grown (this measurement includes the tail). This is very manageable and makes them a good pet no matter how big your home is.
Expert Tip: Typically, a bearded dragon is considered to be fully grown once they’ve reached 11 to 12 months in age. However, some are not considered an adult until up to 18 months.
As you can probably tell, there isn’t a perfect rule to predict exactly how big your bearded dragon can get.
This is because there are a number of factors that need to be considered related to a bearded dragon’s growth processes. Some will reach their maximum size early at 8 to 10 months, and others will not reach their maximum growth size until later during its second year of life.
How Big Should They Be At Certain Ages?
Along with knowing the species of your new bearded dragon, it can be helpful to have a bearded dragon growth chart handy.
The growth chart below gives a high-level look of roughly how big your bearded dragon should be at various points throughout their first year.
|0-1 months||3-4 inches|
|2 months||5-9 inches|
|3 months||8-11 inches|
|4 months||9-12 inches|
|5 months||11-16 inches|
|6 months||11-18 inches|
|8 months||13-20 inches|
|12 months||16-24 inches|
Expert Tip: Remember to measure them from head to tail tip for an accurate length.
The Max Size Of Each Common Species
There are a number of species of bearded dragons, and each species has a different max size and growth rate.
Below we go into the differences in size and growth for each of the common species to help owners determine how big their bearded dragon will get.
This central bearded dragon is considered the most popular and most common. These larger reptiles are naturally found in desert areas, forests, and drier bush environments.
Most owners of a Pogona Vitticeps report that this species is typically gentle in nature and loves to climb. As a general rule, these lizards stay awake during the daytime.
This bearded dragon can grow up to 24 inches in length when fully grown.
This is also one of the larger bearded dragon species, and when grown can reach 24 inches long.
The Pogona barbata is also known as an Eastern Bearded Dragon or may be called a Coastal Bearded Dragon. Prospective bearded dragon owners should be aware that this species is known to be territorial when around others. Owners can also expect these lizards to be awake during daylight hours.
Like most other species, the Pogona barbata enjoys climbing and wandering around exploring their environment. In the wild, these lizards are found in wooded areas known to be dry.
Pogona Minor Mitchelli
These are commonly called the Mitchelli Bearded Dragon and can grow up to 18 inches in length.
In general, this species is quite rare. Expect to find these lizards in desert regions and in semi-tropical wooded areas.
The Pogona minor is commonly called the Dwarf Bearded Dragon although it can grow up to 14 to 18 inches during their lifetime. This is another lizard that is considered a rare species, and these reptiles prefer rocky areas as well as shaded wooded regions.
The Nullabor Bearded Dragon is another rare species, and it can grow to be up to 14 inches long when fully-grown. These mid-sized lizards make their home in drier brush environments that are mostly flat.
Pogona Minor Minima
Another name for this type is the Pogona minor minima or simply the Western Bearded Dragon.
These hard-to-find lizards like dry and woodsy environments and may only grow up to 12 inches in length.
These smaller dragons are commonly called the Lawsons Bearded Dragon. Owners can expect these lizards to remain on the small side only reaching 12 inches or less.
In their native environments, these reptiles prefer arid desert regions or drier rocky settings where they spend their days happily climbing.
The common name for the Pogona microlepidota is the Drysdale River Bearded Dragon. This lizard is quite rare, and tend to live in woodland areas or in coastal geographical regions.
This beardie is the smallest growing only up to 4 to 6 inches during their lifetime!
Average Bearded Dragon Size At 1 Year Old
As we mentioned before, the most commonly kept species of beardie is the Pogona vitticeps. These popular bearded dragons should be around 15 to 18 inches in length at approximately 1 year of age.
Some will be a bit smaller, and others could grow another few inches over its second year. These beardies are generally considered adults between the 12 and 18-month mark.
How Does Gender Influence Their Size?
Like most creatures, the gender of your bearded dragon will influence its overall size. For example, a commonly kept beardie will end up being around 16 to 24 inches long when fully-grown.
Males are typically longer, so expect their length to be on the higher side at 21 to 24 inches. Females should measure somewhat smaller at 16 to 19 inches.
However, even though a male bearded dragon is usually longer, the body of a female is a bit broader. The female’s tail is also somewhat slimmer than their male counterparts. A male beardie’s head is generally bigger as well.
Possible Causes For Slow Growth
As already stated, the above measurements and growth ranges will vary somewhat between species.
However, there are also a number of other factors that will influence the potential size of your bearded dragon (or the growth-rate). Most of them can be influenced by the quality of care you provide, so it’s important to understand them thoroughly.
1. Not Proper UVB Lighting
To remain healthy, a bearded dragon needs the proper amount and intensity of UVA and UVB lighting. There are special UVB light bulbs that are designed to be placed in your beardie’s tank.
In order to stay healthy, bearded dragons need a basking bulb and spot to soak up these critical UVB rays. The size of a bearded dragon can be stunted or slowed down dramatically if they do not get the right amount of UVB light during their normal day to night rhythms.
The lack of UVB light can also lead to serious health concerns including weak or brittle bones. This is because not enough UVB light results in the bearded dragon becoming unable to properly absorb the calcium in their diets.
They may become lethargic for no apparent reason and might lose their appetite, further stunting their expected growth and size.
Expert Tip: These UVB bulbs need to be replaced roughly every 6 months. Make sure to keep track of this, because there’s often no clear sign that the bulb isn’t working anymore!
2. An Insufficient Diet
Your bearded dragon will need the right food and diet containing plenty of protein-rich insects during their first three months (also considered the baby phase). During this time, feed your pet three times per day to assist their growth.
These insects should be preferably bought from a reputable breeder or supply retailer to avoid dangerous insecticides and other toxins that may be present in freshly caught bugs.
Additionally, bearded dragons will need fresh or thawed frozen veggies to help them reach their maximum size. Gradually decrease the number of insects in favor of more vegetables as your beardie grows.
3. Early Brumation
While in their natural environment, bearded dragons regularly go into brumation as winter approaches. This brumation period is similar to the hibernation phase we’re see in some mammals.
Bearded dragons will slow down, sleep more, and reduce the amount of food they’re eating. This is designed to help them conserve energy and make it through the tough winter months.
It’s quite common for bearded dragons to go through brumation in captivity, and it’s usually not anything to be concerned about. However, if this happens when they’re too young there can be problems.
These early years are crucial for your bearded dragon to grow and reach their full size. If they spend this time resting and avoiding food, that can obviously set them back when it comes to growth.
Expert TIp: If this happens we recommend that you read our guide (linked above) to better understand the process. Then contact your vet to come up with a plan.
If your bearded dragon gets seriously sick, it might impact how big they end up getting (assuming this happens while they’re still growing).
There are a number of different ways this can happen. A decreased appetite might lead to insufficient food consumption, or a parasite could be stealing vital nutrients that your beardie needs to grow.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prevent this from happening. They’re all fundamentals of good care, but are always worth repeating:
- Keep their enclosure clean
- Don’t feed them insects caught in the wild
- Make sure the water in their cage is clean
- Give them the proper light
- Maintain recommended humidity levels
If you stay on top of these the chance of your bearded dragon getting sick decreases significantly. This will help them grow to their maximum potential size!
As you can see, there are a number of factors that can influence how big bearded dragons get. Just like any animal, their growth can be hindered if they’re kept in suboptimal conditions.
We hope this guide not only teaches you about the size of bearded dragons in general, but how to provide them with great care.
If you still have questions we’re more than happy to help you out. Just reach out to us directly and we’ll respond as soon as we can!
Hunter Briggs is an experienced reptile breeder who has been keeping and raising various species over the past seven years. What initially started as curiosity quickly turned into a deep passion for herpetology, and a connection with the reptile community as a whole.
If you’re considering adding a bearded dragon to your family, you may be looking to learn more about them.
One of the most important things to know about any pet is how big it will get – after all, you need to know how much room you will need to dedicate to keeping your beardie comfortable.
There are quite a few variables that can help determine how big your bearded dragon may get. Some of those variables include the animal’s health and nutrition, subspecies, and gender.
In this article, we cover all of those angles and can give you an idea of what to expect in each case, including a thorough discussion of the sizes of the most common subspecies of bearded dragon.
We also explain how to measure the size of your bearded dragon, the benefits of doing so, and when you can expect your dragon to be fully grown.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?
Most bearded dragons average around 18″ to 21″ long and weigh approximiate 0.6 to 1.1 pounds at adulthood. Of course, this is a very general answer and can depend on a lot of variables!
In this article, we’ll be helping to clarify one of the essentials of bearded dragon ownership: exploring just how big bearded dragons grow, how quickly they grow, and how best to record this data to ensure your pet is fit and well.
How Fast does a Bearded Dragon Grow?
Bearded dragons are considered to be fully grown at around 18 months, though it is not uncommon for bearded dragons to reach their final length by the time they are a year old. As they start off at only 3-4 inches upon hatching, and can grow to be 24 inches long, they have a lot of growing to do in quite a short period of time!
This rapid growth is how a baby or ‘hatchling’ beardie is able to survive in the wild. While an adult bearded dragon is sizable enough to fend off or simply deter most of its natural predators, at just 3-inches, a freshly hatched juvenile is an easy meal. Therefore, this rapid growth helps increase the likelihood of a baby bearded dragon reaching maturity by minimising the amount of time the reptile is small and vulnerable.
Bearded dragons are classified into four different categories by age, which can be useful for owners to know in regards to monitoring growth rates:
- Hatchlings are beardies that are 0-2 months old
- When a beardie reaches 2 months, it is known as a juvenile until it is 7 months old
- Between 7 and 18 months, a bearded dragon is considered a sub-adult
- From 18 months and onwards, it has reached adulthood.
While freshly hatched bearded dragons will be around 3-4 inches in length, over the next 6 to 7 weeks, in optimal conditions, this length will double to approximately 6-8 inches.
At around three months, most well fed beardies will be approaching or exceeding a foot in length. By six months, roughly around the time when a bearded dragon reaches its sexual maturity, their length should increase to approximately 16 inches.
The last 8 inches will tend to appear gradually over the next year.
However, a captive bearded dragon’s growth rate is highly dependent on the level of care and the quality of nutrition they receive from their owners.
In the wild, a bearded dragon is able to source exactly what they need to grow, but in captivity, it is up to their owners to provide the best possible care.
Therefore, whilst it is possible to project the average growth rate of a bearded dragon, many owners may find the rate of growth for their beardie may take twice as long. Many captive beardies will not reach their full potential adult size.
How to Measure Your Bearded Dragon’s Size
A bearded dragons size is determined by measuring its length, which is a relatively easy process. To get an accurate measurement of your beardie’s size you should measure from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail.
It is important not to stop your measurement at the base of a beardie’s tail, as this will give you an inaccurate reading and could cause you undue worry in regards to the health of your dragon.
Once you have your dragons length measurement, you should check your numbers against the growth chart specific to your breed to make sure your beardie is reaching the correct growth markers.
How to Weigh Your Bearded Dragon
Weighing your dragon is also a great way to monitor its size, and also is good practice for helping to monitor the overall health of your beardie.
To do this, you should use a gram scale. While you could use a scale that can measure ounces, beardies rarely way over a pound.
Measuring your beardie in grams will give you a far more accurate measurement, and you can always convert this into imperial measurements after the fact, should you require.
Actually getting your beardie on to the scales, may require more effort. If your dragon is particularly docile, or basking, then they may pause on the scales long enough for you to record their weight.
However, for more energetic dragons, beardie owners have taken to using a variety of different methods to get an accurate reading.
Some opt to place their bearded dragon in a fabric bag, but this could cause your beardie undue stress. Others opt to place them in a container, and then place the container on to the scales. This is certainly a less stressful method, but you must be sure to account for the weight of the container when weighing your beardie, or you could accidentally record an inaccurate reading.
While plastic containers don’t weigh much, when you’re dealing with a creature that should be weighed in grams, it can actually make quite the difference!
Create a Growth Chart
You should record your measurements, and any other information you find pertinent, on a growth chart.
This can be as simple as a table noting the age, length and weight at various stages, but many professional bearded dragon owners will also note down the food they gave their beardie, and any supplements or vitamins given.
They also record the temperatures of the tank (ambient, basking, and nighttime), as well as the type of lighting used, and the hours on average that it was used.
This additional level of accuracy will help you to best keep track of your beardie’s development, and will help you to troubleshoot if their growth begins to plateau. You can then make adjustments, and document any improvements.
A Measured Bonus
Aside from monitoring the growth of your beardie, measuring your pet will also help determine your bearded dragon’s age if you didn’t raise it from a hatchling, and will also help you ascertain your beardie’s gender.
Bearded dragons, like humans, are dimorphic. This means that the males are typically larger than the females, and size can usually be a good initial indication of your beardie’s gender.
So long as your dragon isn’t too skittish, measuring them also provides you a good opportunity to give them a quick look over for any injuries, skin conditions, or any other factors which may be of concern.
Finally, measuring your dragon gives you a great opportunity to practice your handling skills, as well as allow your beardie to start to become familiar with you, and being held by you.
Species and their Sizes
The main factor that will impact how big your beardie will grow is its species or subspecies.
It is a common misconception that ‘standard’ bearded dragons (Pogona Vitticeps) are the sole form a beardie can take.
This is largely believed due to the fact that this is the most common species of domesticated bearded dragon. However, there are actually a large variety of subspecies: some wild, others perfect as pets.
Below are some of the most common types of beardie you might come to own, and how large you can expect them to grow.
Bear in mind, these are averages and every beardie is different. These averages also reflect the projected size for a bearded dragon in the wild, and it is not uncommon for dragons in captivity to be around 10% smaller than their wild counterparts due to the difference in nutrients when growing.
Like with most species, the males are slightly larger than the females, and usually have noticeably larger heads.
The Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps)
As mentioned, this is the most common bearded dragon you’re likely to come across and is the species that most people envision when picturing a beardie in their minds. For this type of beardie, you should expect a final length (from nose to tail-tip) of around 18 to 22 inches. A general weight range for the Central Bearded Dragon is anywhere between 0.6 to 1.1 pounds.
Rankins Dragon (Henrylawsoni)
This is another common bearded dragon subspecies, though they are notably smaller than the Central Bearded Dragon. In fact, to the untrained eye, they could possibly be mistaken for a gecko, or another type of small lizard. These dragons are popular for those who want to own a bearded dragon, but do not have the room for a larger Central Bearded Dragon. Rankins Dragons grow to approximately 8 to 10 inches and should usually weigh anywhere between 0.1 to 0.2 pounds.
Eastern/Coastal Bearded Dragon (Pogona Barbata)
This beardie, though less common than the central version, is very similar in size. This subspecies is usually around 18 to 24 inches in length. This beardie is darker in color than its central counterpart, and tends to weigh around 0.6 to 1.1 pounds.
Dwarf Bearded Dragon (Pogona Minor Minima)
This is the adorable pocket-sized version of the central bearded dragon, and can have similar markings, or those of a more orange or rust-toned hue. In terms of length, adult dwarf bearded dragons tend to reach between 14 to 18 inches in length, and should weigh around 0.1 to 0.2 pounds, similar to the Rankins Dragon.
Mitchell’s Bearded Dragon (Pogona Minor Mitchelli)
These bearded dragons sit in the middle of the size spectrum at around 18 inches in length, and tend to have a rusted orange hue that is distinct, but not as vibrant as the the dwarf bearded dragon’s. As this is a beardie which is not as common as a pet, accurate weight expectations seem hard to find. However, if we assume an average length to weight ratio, then it is fair to suggest that a Mitchell’s bearded dragons weight should sit between that of the central bearded dragon, and that of the Rankins dragon.
Western Bearded Dragon (Pogona minor minima)
This is a rare beardie that you are unlikely to ever have as a pet. Native to Western Australia and the the Houtman Albrohos islands, these dragons have skinny bodies and streamlined ‘flat’ heads, and are usually around 12 inches in length.
Drysdale River Bearded Dragon (Pogona microlepidota)
This sub-species of bearded dragon is very rare. It is only being found in Kimberly West Australia and is not commonly domesticated. One of the smallest beardie subspecies, the Drysdale River Bearded Dragon has attractive markings, and only reaches around 4-6 inches when fully grown.
Nullarbor Bearded Dragon (Pogona nullarbor)
Another dragon not commonly domesticated, the Nullarbor bearded dragon is native to South Australia, and is covered in spiky scales. As an adult, it is usually around 14 inches in length, putting it in the middle in terms of the size of bearded dragon subspecies.
While bearded dragons are highly rewarding pets to own, they also require a lot of specialised care, and require a knowledgeable hand to properly grow and flourish.
They can be highly reactive to their environment and diet, both of which can either positively or negatively impact their weight and well being.
Therefore, purchasing a bearded dragon should never be a spontaneous decision, and you should do a great deal of research before making a decision.
However, should you find yourself in possession of a beardie short notice, there are a wealth of care sheets and bearded dragon forums online that will help you get up to speed quickly, as well as answer any of your burning questions.
If you become overly concerned with the growth, weight, or development of your beardie, do not hesitate to take your pet to a vet or reptile specialist.
It truly is better to be safe than sorry, and while your concerns may pan out to be nothing serious, your vet will be able to give you sound advice to best ensure your bearded dragons health.
Bella RysePosted in Care & Info Sheets, Pygmy Bearded Dragons
Pygmy Bearded Dragon Care and Advice Sheet
|Common Name:||Pygmy Bearded Dragon or Black Soil Bearded Dragon|
|Scientific Name:||Pogona henrylawsoni|
|Colour:||Grey and light-to-dark tan in alternating bands|
|Size:||Generally 20 – 25cm however, can grow as big as 30cm|
|Life expectancy:||Approximately 10 years in captivity|
|Temperament:||Calm but active, and non-aggressive social lizards|
|Natural Habitat:||Parts of central western Queensland (black-soil plains)|
This care/advice sheet has been broken down into the following subjects:
– Housing, Lighting, and Enclosure Setup
– Feeding, Diet, and Handling
Click here to access a PDF version of this care sheet.
Housing, Lighting, and Enclosure Setup
The size of your enclosure will be dictated by how many Pygmy Bearded Dragons (PBD) you are housing.
For 1 – 2 adult PBD’s it is recommended that your enclosure is at least 600 x 450 x 500. Housing two PBD’s together can be tricky though as you will generally find that one will assert dominance over the other which can result in life threatening issues, such as the subordinate ceasing to eat. We recommend that you either choose to house one or three or more together, and not two so as to avoid this from occurring. We also recommend graduating your PBDs to a 120cm enclosure if you have three, once they start to mature. PBD’s are typically social lizards who enjoy a community environment.
– Ensure your enclosure is big enough for the number of PBDs you will have
– Choose one, three or more, not two PBDs
Lighting and Heating:
PBDs are diurnal, which means they are day time animals so it’s important to set your heating and lighting accordingly to have a day/night cycle of 14 hours of day and 10 hours of night.
Using at least a 5.0 UVB will ensure your PBD is getting the UV it needs to help nutrient absorption and maintain bone development which is extremely important in growing PBDs.
Placing your enclosure in natural light can cause confusion for the PBDs when the sun goes down as they will tend to pay more attention to that and go off to bed then, rather than when the lighting in the enclosure goes off. So where possible, don’t place your enclosure where there is a lot of exposure to natural light.
Along with being diurnal, PBDs are also ectotherms (cold blooded animals). This means that a constant heat source is required.
A basking light is recommended to push heat down into the enclosure, along with a heat mat or cord, to help with food digestion and regulating the night time temperature.
You will find that your PBD will spend most of its time basking under the heat lamp, so the mat and/or cord will be primarily to ensure that the most amount of energy is absorbed from the food it consumes, as heat helps to promote digestion, and to keep the floor warm at night.
The preferred body temperature of a PBD is between 32-34ºC meaning that you will need to ensure the basking area hits at least the 35-40ºC mark.
The cool end of the enclosure should be sitting at around 27ºC. If you are having trouble regulating the high in one end and low in the other, you may be using a globe that is too powerful or the enclosure could be too small.
- PBDs are day time animals that need a constant heat source
- A UV bulb IS required to keep your PBD healthy
- Try to avoid placing enclosure in natural light
- The basking area temperature should be 35-40ºC
- A heat cord or mat is needed to keep the enclosure floor warm all day/night
- The cool area of the enclosure should be around 27ºC
This is the fun part, decorating the enclosure for your new pet/s.
PBDs aren’t very picky and are easily kept happy as long as the temperatures are right and they have something to climb on. Generally, placing logs, rocks, pavers, anything that can be scaled, underneath the basking light will prove to be their favourite place in the enclosure, that and their food bowl!
You can be as creative as you like just think through your choices to make sure the items you place in the enclosure are practical for the PBD and are non-toxic.
We’ve placed a picture below of our PBD enclosure to give you some ideas. We do recommend moving things around every now and again to promote curiosity and interest.
The use of a reptile hammock is not only a great way to help create a temperature controlled basking area, but is also a lot of fun for your PBD to explore and sleep on.
For more details about custom made reptile hammocks please contact us at: [email protected]
- Place items that your PBD can climb on to bask in the heat
- Ensure no toxic items are used as decorations
- A reptile hammock is the ideal way to create a temperature controlled basking area
There are a variety of substrates that are safe to use in a PBD enclosure, ranging from wood shavings, to sand, cat litter, and even fake grass. All of these need to be cleaned out and changed every four weeks (fake grass can be kept but needs to be disinfected), with any little surprises that have been left for you overnight being removed each day to keep the enclosure clean and safe.
– Choose a substrate that can be easily cleaned but not digested
– Clear out any poops daily
– Change substrate every 4 weeks
Feeding, Diet, and Handling
Feeding and Diet:
PBDs will primarily eat a diet of chopped vegetables and various insects, with fruit as a treat.
Crickets will be your primary go-to-food as they are not only popular with PBDs but are also very good for them and readily available. Giving the crickets a light sprinkling/dusting in calcium and vitamin dust before placing them in the enclosure for feeding time is recommended to help fight against metabolic bone disease (MBD) and to keep your PBD in general good health.
As a guide for calcium/vitamin dusting:
- From a few weeks old to two months old, PBDs needs calcium and vitamin dust once daily.
- From two months up to six months, PBDs need calcium daily and vitamin dust every other day.
- From six months to one year old, PBDs now need calcium every other day and vitamin dust roughly three times a week.
- Once they pass that age you can reduce the calcium intake to every two–three days, and the vitamin to twice a week.
There are a variety of different brands of calcium and vitamin dust on the market, however a good vitamin should contain beta carotene and not vitamin A. Since beta carotene is converted into vitamin A when digested this is a safe way to provide this supplement without reaching toxic levels, as vitamin A is actually toxic for PBDs in high doses.
It’s also important to look at the calcium to phosphorus ratio, you want a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus. This will assist with calcium absorption, which would otherwise be difficult for your PBD.
The various insects you can feed to your PBDs that are readily available are:
Make sure that the size of the insects is less than the distance between your PBDs eyes, otherwise it is too big for it to eat.
The various vegetables that you can feed your PBDs that are readily available are:
|Artichoke Heart||Asparagus (raw)||Bell peppers (raw)||Bok choy|
|Butternut squash||Cabbage (raw)||Carrots||Celery|
|Cucumber (peeled)||Green beans||Lentils (cooked)||Kale|
|Parsnips||Turnip greens||Zucchini (raw)|
Vegetables can also be dusted however, you will find it easier to get a light coating over insects.
The various fruits that you can feed your PBDs that are readily available are:
In all instances we recommend you removed seeds to avoid any chock hazards.
Whilst you will rarely see your PBDs drinking water from their water bowl, if at all, it’s very important to have one in the enclosure. Not only does the water bowl serve as an important assistant to keeping up the humidity in the enclosure, but on the rare occasion your PBD does want a drink, you need a water source to be there.
When picking a water bowl of younger PBDs ensure the water won’t be too deep to avoid accidental drowning.
When your PBD is a baby it is recommended to keep your handling time down to only a few minutes per day so you don’t scare it. As it grows older you will be able to increase the time you have it out of the enclosure, allow it out to explore, etc, however ensure your environment is safe, chemical free, and there is no likelihood of a dog/cat or similar, wondering into the same room when you do, as you don’t want your PBD becoming someone else’s meal.
If you have any concerns or would just like some advice please feel free to contact The House of Scales via the following:
– Facebook: The House of Scales Reptiles
– Email: [email protected]
– Website: www.thehouseofscales.com.au
All have a flat body, a broad head and stout legs. Sharp spikes run along the sides of their bodies and their throats. Larger species grow to 60cm long from head to tail tip, but the Pygmy Bearded Dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) is only 30cm long.
How old is a 12 inch bearded dragon?
2 months 5″ to 9″ inches
3 months 8″ to 11″ inches
4 months 9″ to 12″ inches
5 months 11″ to 16″ inches
How big is a 5 month old bearded dragon?
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Size Over the course of these five months they will grow from 8 grams to 280! Juveniles grow 1 – 3” per month. During this age it is crucial they get proper nutrition.
Do Bearded dragons grow to the size of their tank?
So do Bearded Dragons grow to the size of their tank? Bearded Dragons will actually only grow to the size of their environment. If a Bearded Dragon is kept in a tank that is too small whilst it is still growing then it can hinder the overall size when it reaches adulthood.
How big should a tank be for a bearded dragon?
Growing between 40 and 60cm in length (including the tail), the recommended size for a bearded dragon’s enclosure is at least 100cm long x 50cm wide x 60cm high.
How much food should a bearded dragon eat a day?
around 10 crickets per day
Are bearded dragons good pets for a 10 year old?
Bearded dragons make a great pet for children and adults on the go. The main aspect of their care is getting the environment right. Once you have the correct setup with the right UVB and temperatures they are incredibly easy animals to care for.
How big is a 3 month old bearded dragon?
0-1 months 3-4 inches
2 months 5-9 inches
3 months 8-11 inches
4 months 9-12 inches
How long do Pygmy bearded dragons live for?
How old is a 17 inch bearded dragon?
approximately 6 months old
How big is a 6 month old bearded dragon?
A Beardie at six months that is 11 inches in size will most likely be between 16 to 18 inches as an adult. Normally Bearded Dragons stop growing after they reach sexual maturity at 8 – 18 months.
How old is an 8 inch bearded dragon?
0 to 1 month 3″ to 4″ inches
2 months 5″ to 9″ inches
3 months 8″ to 11″ inches
4 months 9″ to 12″ inches
How big should a bearded dragon be at 3 months?
0-1 months 3-4 inches
2 months 5-9 inches
3 months 8-11 inches
4 months 9-12 inches
How big is a 1 year old bearded dragon?
16 to 18 inches
How big does a pygmy bearded dragon get?
How big is a 4 month old bearded dragon?
Age Size (Length)
2 Months 5-9 inches
3 Months 8-11 inches
4 Months 9-12 inches
5 Months 11-16 inches
How often should you feed a Pygmy bearded dragon?
Feeding. Juvenile Bearded Dragons are predominantly insectivorous, and should be offered small crickets 2-3 times daily. They should also be offered finely chopped vegetables and fruit. These foods can be lightly dusted with calcium powder every second day.
How old is a 8 inch bearded dragon?
2 months 5″ to 9″ inches
3 months 8″ to 11″ inches
4 months 9″ to 12″ inches
5 months 11″ to 16″ inches
How much is a pygmy bearded dragon?
Depending on species, bearded dragons will cost from $60 up to $200. Pygmy bearded dragons are most expensive, though strong colour variations will fetch up to $400.
What is the smallest breed of bearded dragon?
How long will it take for my bearded dragon to grow full size?
11 to 12 months
Bearded full dragon dwarf grown
What Is a Dwarf Bearded Dragon?
N. SwenssonN. Swensson
The dwarf bearded dragon is a lizard native to the deserts of central and western Australia. It is smaller than other bearded dragons, reaching a maximum size of approximately 6 inches (15.2 cm), with shorter limbs and tails. Its most distinctive characteristic is the loose skin that hangs from its neck, which looks like a beard. The dwarf bearded dragon is an omnivore, meaning that it eats a variety of plants and small insects such as crickets. Owing to its docile temperament, distinctive appearance, and relatively easy care requirements, this type of lizard is growing in popularity as a household pet.
All lizards in the Pogona genus share certain characteristics. They live primarily on land, but some inhabit deserts while others are found in forested areas. These lizards also have a tan-colored body with a darker gray or brown spotted pattern across their backs and can darken or lighten their pigmentation depending on the outside temperature. Bearded dragons can often be found basking in full sun but retreat to shady spots during the hottest parts of the day like most lizards. They are most active during the day, and they rely primarily on their keen eyesight to hunt. All bearded dragons eat a variety of plants as well as crickets and other insects.
As the name suggests, the dwarf bearded dragon is the smallest of this group of lizards, reaching a maximum size of about 6 inches (15.2 cm), while others can grow to as much as 20 inches (50.8 cm). All bearded dragons have the characteristic flap of skin under the jaw and spikes along the sides of the head and across the throat, which they can flare outward to frighten potential predators. These feature, however, are less pronounced on the dwarf bearded dragon. The dwarf species also has a smaller and narrower head than its larger cousins as well as a shorter tail and limbs.
There are many characteristics of the dwarf bearded dragon that make it a good pet, although care must be taken to house and feed it properly. Due to their relatively small size, they need less space than larger lizards. Most of the animals come from an arid climate, and aquariums that house them should not be too humid and should mimic typical desert temperatures as much as possible. Providing live food on a regular basis and ensuring that all food and water sources are kept clean is also essential to keeping a dwarf bearded dragon healthy.
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More About Your Bearded Dragon’s Development
Before taking the plunge and buying a bearded dragon, it’s good to know just how big they can grow eventually. It can be easy to underestimate just how big of an enclosure you will need, particularly when you see the little guys in the store. So…
How big and how fast do bearded dragons grow? The Pogona Vitticeps or Central Bearded Dragon is the most common bearded dragon kept in the United States and can grow to a maximum of 24 inches long. Bearded Dragons generally grow to around 11 inches long within the first three months, then 1-2 inches every month thereafter, slowing to 1-2 inches growth in the entire second year.
Your bearded dragon’s growth will be gradual and may catch you by surprise when one day you look at it, and it’s suddenly almost two feet long! Nonetheless, there are a few factors that can impact your bearded dragon’s size and growth rate that you should probably know.
Bearded Dragon Growth Rate
As alluded to above, bearded dragons tend to grow rapidly within their first few months of life and then the growth rate slows dramatically in the following months.
You can expect your bearded dragon to be almost fully grown within their first year, while they may only grow as little as one or two inches in total for their entire second year.
The following chart shows the average growth rates of 50 bearded dragons during their first year of life.
|Bearded Dragon Length||Bearded Dragon Age|
|3-4 Inches||0-1 Months|
|5-9 Inches||2 Months|
|8-11 Inches||3 Months|
|9-12 Inches||4 Months|
|11-16 Inches||5 Months|
|11-18 Inches||6 Months|
|13-20 Inches||8 Months|
|16-24 Inches||12 Months|
These figures give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to the speed at which your bearded dragon will grow.
When Do Bearded Dragons Stop Growing?
Beardies will usually stop growing before they reach the two-year mark. Depending on their growth rate, they are usually considered adults at around 12-18 months.
These are just guidelines. Some owners have reported their bearded dragons to have reached a healthy adult size at as young as 8 months old!
Factors For Bearded Dragon Growth Rate
There are different factors you should take into consideration when it comes to bearded dragon size and growth rate, such as:
- Disease and Parasites
Let’s investigate how some of these different factors affect a bearded dragon’s size and how to ensure your bearded dragon reaches it’s naturally intended stature.
Stunted growth generally results from poor quality of life and can also impact a bearded dragon’s lifespan. The good news is that aside from the top two on the list, we as owners have control of most of these factors.
8 Species of Bearded Dragon (Pogona) and Their Sizes
First of all, to accurately chart your lizard’s growth, it’s important to know which species you’ve acquired. Here are the eight known species of bearded dragons and how they vary in size and availability.
1. Pogona Microlepidota – The Drysdale River Bearded Dragon is the smallest at 4-6 inches in length and is very rare. They are usually found in coastal and woodland areas.
2. Pogona Henrylasoni – Lawsons Bearded Dragon will only getup to 12 inches long. These dragons are known for their:
- Daytime activity
- Love of climbing more than anything
- Natural habitat of dry, rocky, arid areas – deserts
3. Pogona Minor Minima – Also called the Western Bearded Dragon is very rare and only grows up to 12 inches. These dragons are usually found in dry woodlands.
4. Pogona Nullabor – Also rare, the Nullabor Bearded Dragon grows up to 14 inches long. These lizards prefer flat brush environments.
5. Pogona Minor – More commonly known as the Dwarf Bearded Dragon, it grows up to 14-18 inches and is also very rare. It prefers rocky areas and woodlands.
6. Pogona Minor Mitchelli – This rare lizard is called Mitchells Bearded Dragon and can reach up to 18 inches long. These rare dragons are usually found in semi-tropical woodlands and the desert.
7. Pogona Barbata – The Coastal or Eastern Bearded Dragon grows up to 24 inches. These are known for:
- Being very territorial around other dragons
- Being active during daytime hours
- Being found in dry, wooded areas
- Climbing and running along the ground
8. Pogona Vitticeps – The Central Bearded Dragon is the most common and most popular and will get up to 24 inches long. This is the type of bearded dragon owned by most bearded dragon lovers in the United States. These lizards:
- Are known for their gentle nature
- Are indigenous to dry brush environments, forests, and deserts
- Are awake during the day
- Enjoy climbing
In the same way that dogs have often been bred to emphasize certain characteristics, there are a host of hybrid bearded dragons that have been specifically bred to enhance their color – red, yellow/gold, orange, and white. A natural bearded dragon will usually have some mixture of green, yellow, red, and tan.
Bearded Dragon Gender Size Differences
As with most animals, there are definitely size differences when it comes to bearded dragon gender. If you compare a male and female bearded dragon of the same species you should notice a few things.
Firstly, male bearded dragons tend to grow longer (from head to tail) than their female counterparts. If you take the Pogona Vitticeps for example, they have a size range at 12 months of approximately 16-24 inches. Typically you can expect the males to lean nearer the upper limit of 24 inches, and the females to be more towards the 16-inch mark.
Whilst females may not be as long as males, they actually have a broader body, generally speaking. The female’s tail, on the other hand, tends to be more slender than the males. Males typically also have larger heads than females.
While there are some clear differences when it comes to male and female bearded dragons, some people may suggest that you can identify the sex of your bearded dragon based purely on its size or even certain behavioral traits.
Unfortunately, neither of these are completely reliable methods as each dragon is different and you may even have two different species of lizards that look very similar to one another.
Instead, once your bearded dragon is an adult (8-12 months old), you can tell the gender difference by looking at its underside. The male will have two bumps called hemipenile bulges above the vent/slit between his back legs. The female will have a single bump behind the vent/slit on her tail.
Male shown on the left vs Female shown on the right.
Note that all young bearded dragons will appear to be female until they reach sexual maturity.
How Dominance Can Affect a Bearded Dragon’s Growth
It’s not advisable to keep multiple dragons in the same tank together and for good reason, even if they are both females, which are the less dominant sex of the species.
Keeping more than one bearded dragon in the same enclosure will almost always result in a struggle for dominance. Unfortunately, in this case, you will find that the more dominant lizard will end up on top, quite literally…
If you see one bearded dragon on top of the other, it may seem as though they are being affectionate with one another. In reality, they are most likely fighting for the best lighting spot and the more dominant will always win. This means that the less dominant lizard may not receive all of the UVB that it needs for healthy bone growth.
The more dominant bearded dragon will end up with the lion’s share of the food as well if you are not careful. Many owners who keep more than one dragon in the same tank together will feed them separately because of this. However, this is still not a perfect solution.
Quite often, just being in close proximity to another dragon will put your lizards under a great deal of stress. This can cause them to eat less even if given the option. This is why it is always advised to house bearded dragons separately and so they are out of each other’s line of sight.
For more information on keeping bearded dragons together, check out my other article Can Bearded Dragons Live Together?
Bearded Dragon Diet for Healthy Growth
Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles. They love eating both plants and insects. Getting used to their dietary requirements may seem a bit complicated at first, but as you learn the routine, you will soon feel that you’re an expert ready to train other owners.
To keep your dragon’s growth on track, you’ve got to understand their dietary needs. If they aren’t getting all of the nutrients that they require they can become malnourished and will be unable to grow to healthy proportions.
It should be noted that a baby bearded dragon’s diet is different from that of an adult.
1. Baby Bearded Dragons
Many breeders recommend that people avoid buying baby lizards because they are more sensitive and susceptible to various illnesses and injuries. If you do get a baby bearded dragon, consider the following tips for their basic diet:
- Offer more insects than vegetables. A typical juvenile bearded dragon will eat between 20 and 60 crickets (or other insects) per day – depending on where it is in its growth cycle
- Feed it insects three times per day from your reputable breeder or pet store – as many as it can eat within a 10-15 minute period.
- Do not feed your baby (or adult) bearded dragon wild insects as they may carry parasites that can harm your reptile. Remove any uneaten bugs after the 10-15-minute eating period.
- Make sure the insects aren’t too big. The insects should not be any larger than the space between the lizard’s eyes. Insects that are too large for your reptile can cause it harm.
- Dust the insects with a reptile-specific calcium/vitamin D3 supplement once per day.
- Dust the insects with a multi-vitamin supplement like Herptivite twice per week
- Always leave fresh (or thawed frozen) vegetables available in their dish.
- If you spray the fruits, plants, and vegetables with water, it will help keep the food fresher and your bearded dragon hydrated.
2. Adult Bearded Dragons
Your adult reptile only needs to eat insects once per day, along with their sprayed greens. You will be able to reduce the calcium dusting to three times per week and the vitamin/mineral supplement to once per week.
Edible insects for your bearded dragon include:
- Black Soldier-Fly Larvae
- Waxworms (as special treats)
- Butterworms (as special treats)
Reminders about insect size:
- Insects offered should never be larger than the space between your bearded dragon’s eyes, or it may cause your reptile to suffer from impaction and/or hind leg paralysis.
- Leftover bugs should be removed after the 10-15-minute insect feeding period has completed.
- Obtain insects from reputable breeders or pet stores as they should be free of parasites or poisons.
Safe plants, fruits, and vegetables for your bearded dragon to eat include:
- Maple Leaves
- Mint Leaves
- Rosemary (fresh)
- Thyme (fresh)
- Dandelion Greens
- Rose Petals
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Collard Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Spaghetti Squash
- Turnip Greens
- Yellow Squash
- Bok Choy
- Cabbage (raw)
- Cucumber (peeled)
- Bell Peppers (raw)
Note: All of the above fruits and vegetables are designated as safe for your bearded dragon to eat. However, you should be aware that eating too much of any particular food can be detrimental to your pet’s health as some foods may be lacking-or too rich with-a particular vitamin.
Remember a healthy diet is a varied one. If in doubt you should check with a reputable pet store or breeder for more tailored advice depending on the size and age of your dragon.
In general, leafy greens are the safest for your bearded dragon to eat on a daily basis as they contain high levels of vitamin D3 which is crucial for your bearded dragon’s growth and overall wellbeing.
Bearded dragons in captivity will often suffer from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which causes their bones to become very brittle and week. Vitamin D3 helps with the absorption of calcium, which is why it is so important for them to get enough in their diets.
Do NOT feed your bearded dragon the following:
- Lettuce – any type of lettuce – it isn’t nutritious for your reptile
- Spinach – it’s difficult for your dragon to digest
- Insects captured “in the wild” (or from your backyard) – as previously mentioned, these may be hosts to parasites or have pesticides attached to them
- Fireflies or other insects that glow – these can be lethal to your bearded dragon
- Avocados – They are toxic
The following plants are among those deemed poisonous and/or unsafe for your bearded dragon:
- Angel’s Trumpet
- Bird of Paradise
- Wild Daffodil
- Elephant’s Ears
- Shamrock Plant
- Sweet Pea
Bearded Dragon Habitat for Healthy Development
One of the factors for a bearded dragon to develop and grow properly is habitat. Without the right environment, your bearded dragon may develop health issues which can lead to stunted growth.
Do Bearded Dragons Grow to the Size of Their Enclosure?
A commonly held beliefis that similar to goldfish, your bearded dragon will only grow to the extent that its living space allows. However, a small enclosure is not necessarily the root cause of a bearded dragon staying small.
Stunted growth in bearded dragons is more likely a result of improper lighting, poor diet, stress, diseases, and parasites.
That said, an amply proportioned living space is easier to fit with proper lighting and to regulate the temperature inside. Being kept in a tiny enclosure can also lead to more stress which can negatively impact your bearded dragon’s health and therefore growth.
There is also something to be said regarding owners who provide a properly sized enclosure being more vigilant in other aspects of their pet’s care which facilitates the proper development of their animals.
Recommended Enclosure Size
If you have purchased, or are planning on purchasing, the most common type of bearded dragon – the Pogona Vitticeps – a 55-gallon tank should be sufficient, however, you should ideally aim for 75-gallons or larger. Your beardeddragon will thank you for it. The more room to run around the better!
You’re pretty sure you’ve chosen your bearded dragon’s enclosure correctly, but should it have a specific type of top or lid? Yes!
Tempting as it may be, do not use glass, plexiglass, or wood to keep the top of your bearded dragon’s cage covered.
You need to have a mesh or screened top (amazon) on your lizard’s habitat. This will allow for excellent airflow, which will also help in ensuring the tank doesn’t get too humid.
To maintain light levels, you need to purchase lighting that will extend the full length of the enclosure and will replicate sunlight. There are specific lights created for reptile environments that will provide both UVA and UVB lighting. Unfortunately, these will need to be replaced nearly every 6-months.
UVB lighting, in particular, is crucial for vitamin D production in bearded dragons. Vitamin D which is critical to your lizard’s bone growth and overall health.
In addition to the light that replicates the sun throughout the entire tank, the warm end of the tank also needs to have a “basking bulb” to provide the extra heat your reptile needs for its daily sunbathing routine. (no SPF necessary!)
This basking light needs to have a bright white bulb as bearded dragons don’t seem to do well with other colors of lighting.
Another reason a larger enclosure is better is that you will need to have two different areas available for your pet – one side that is kept warmer during the day (between 95 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit) for “sunning” itself, and another side for it to be able to hide and retreat, that is kept at a more temperate 85 degrees.
During the night, the temperature can go as low as 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended for night-time temperature.
Does that sound hot? Well, these are desert reptiles, so in that context, the temperatures make more sense. So does their need for a low humidity environment.
Thermometers and Humidity Gauges
Bearded dragon experts suggest that you invest in accurate and reliable thermometers for both the warm and cool sides of your tank to ensure you keep the tank at the right temperatures. Day and night temperature differences are important for your lizard’s health.
It is also recommended to keep a humidity gauge in your reptile’s tank to make sure the humidity stays at around 35-40 percent.
Much like any other baby, young bearded dragons are very curious and like to taste everything. With that in mind, for young dragons, do not use:
- Crushed walnut shells
- Shavings or any other loose substrate
- Reptile carpet
- Paper towels
- Butcher paper
When choosing your adult lizard’s reptile carpet, it is recommended that you choose the kind that looks and feels like grass. Avoid the kind that is more like felt – it has loops in its construction which can hook onto your lizard’s toes or nails and injure it.
While it is not advised, particularly for younger dragons, you can use sand in your adult dragon’s enclosure but you should never use crushed walnut shells as they cannot be digested
Fascinating Items of Interest
You’ll also want to provide your bearded dragon’s terrarium or enclosure with a background – especially if it is clear. This will be the first thing that you’ll do to help your lizard feel more secure.
Another thing you’ll want to add to your bearded dragon’s enclosure is what is called a “hide.” This will give your lizard a place it can go when it wants to sleep or just to get away from prying eyes. Yes, even your reptile may crave some privacy!
A Personal Playground
Your bearded dragon will also enjoy climbing on items, so get creative and give it some things on which it can play – branches, rocks, logs, even reptile hammocks. It will also enjoy climbing through artificial plants where it can explore and hide.
Your lizard will also want a basking platform – a surface that’s closer to the basking light.
If this is the first time you’ve owned this type of pet, there are certain things to know about your lizard.
- A bearded dragon that has been treated well and carefully cared for will typically live to be between 8-12 years old in captivity
- Bearded dragons who are in the wilds of Australia, or who are neglected by their owners typically live between 5-8 years.
- The maximum lifespan of bearded dragons in captivity as pets is 12-14 years.
- In highly unusual circumstances, there have been (unsubstantiated) reports of bearded dragons living beyond 14 years!
Your bearded dragon is a reptile, and as such, will shed its skin. Baby/juvenile bearded dragons will shed more frequently as they grow. Adults, on the other hand, will usually only shed twice per year.
During the shedding season, it is recommended that you use a spray bottle to occasionally mist your lizard. This will keep the skin moist and help it slide off properly when ready.
In general, you should not pull the skin off of your reptile until it is at the tail and toe areas, as these are difficult for it to complete the process itself. Do NOT tug on the shedding skin – it should easily come off. If it seems to be still attached, try the next day again, and so on, until the skin slides straight off.
Prematurely peeling the skin off your bearded dragon will damage the scales on its new hide and may also do damage to its fragile extremities.
Unlike other types of lizards, bearded dragons are not able to regrow parts of their tails or their toes that become detached.
Bearded dragons are reptiles you can own that will still offer you a level of companionship.
For first time owners, it is recommended that you do not purchase a baby dragon, but that you get one that is at least 6 months old, if not beyond its juvenile stage (i.e. older than 8-12 months).
Your bearded dragon will become accustomed to your touch and will enjoy perching on your shoulder, head, arm. But if you startle it and it starts running, good luck catching up with it – they’re very fast creatures.
There are even harnesses made specifically for lizards so you can even teach it to go on walks with you, but it’s something you’ll have to figure out how to manage. Just announcing the type of pet, you have will be more than enough to start an interesting conversation.
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