Central Bearded Dragon - Reptile Encounters

Central Bearded Dragon

Scientific name:

Pogona vitticeps

Other names:

Inland bearded dragon, ‘Beardie’ (Colloquial)


Least Concern

Central Bearded Dragons are a medium-large dragon species with short, robust bodies that come in a variety of colours, including brown, reddish-brown, red, yellow, white, and orange. They can also show moderate changes in the shade of their colour depending on light, temperature and mood. Spines along both sides of the throat, neck, and head that run down the side of the body to the tail.

Bearded dragons get their name from the spiky ‘beard’ on the underside of the neck and chin area. Males typically have a darker ‘beard’ than females, and during mating season and courtship it can be almost black. Like most dragon species, they have strong legs which enable it to lift its body completely off the ground while it moves. This means they have less contact with the hot desert ground,, as well as increasing the airflow over the belly to further cool the body.

Adults can get up to 60cm in length, and half of that can be tail.

Omnivores, eating a wide variety of foods in the wild. Flowers (especially yellow flowers), leafy plants, beetles, grasshoppers, cicadas, spiders, flying termites, snails, worms and occasionally small mammals, birds eggs and even other lizards.

Arid woodlands and arid to semi-arid grasslands.

Semi-arid interior of eastern Australia, including western NSW and the Riverina.

Central Bearded Dragons are semi-arboreal, and can be seen surveying their surroundings from raised perches such as stumps, rock piles and termite mounds. They will also use fence posts in areas that have been cleared for grazing.

When threatened by a predator or rival, a bearded dragon will flatten its body against the ground, puff out its spiny throat and open its jaws to make itself look bigger and more threatening.

In more populated areas, Central Bearded Dragons will happily take up residence in backyards.
Males will have a large territory, which they will defend by rapidly bobbing their head from an elevated perch so any male rivals can see the display of dominance. Females and juveniles, who have smaller territories, will respond with slower head bobs and waving forelimbs to show submission.

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