If you are one of those fantasy lovers who always dreamt of having a dragon with flying abilities, maybe your dreams are not so unrealistic. The Australian bearded dragons may not give you the satisfaction of flying or breathing fire but you can keep them as your pets. These reptiles that are scientifically named Pogona can live up to 10 years, and they are fairly sociable and interesting to keep as a pet. Native to the savannahs of Australia, the bearded dragons are known for their dragon-like structures, such as spiky armor, scaly reptilian skin and color changes according to their surroundings. The bearded dragons have a spiky neck, which they turn puffy and black under stressful events, giving them the name black bearded dragon. Here are the common questions that will answer everything you need to know about these creatures.
What Is A Black Bearded Dragon Morph?
Just like we see so many different kinds of dragons in the history books, bearded dragons or black bearded dragon lizards also come in ranging colors, sizes, head shapes, and patterns collectively referred to as black bearded dragon morph. The morph explains the type of dragon you have, for instance, from a small scaly to a huge spiky one.
Each morph has its separate set of characteristics, such as the breed, the food it consumes, the mating habits, the color, and the price range. The breeders of these creatures experiment a lot with mating different kinds of morphs, so you have to be careful when choosing which morph, you are bringing home. This magnificent reptile can have the same morph but different patterns, scales, and colors due to the mating variations. Many reptile pet shops have selective bred bearded dragon morphs, that cost way more than the classic morphs but they have rare qualities.
Let’s look at some of the facts about the black bearded dragon lizard.
Are Black Bearded Dragons Rare?
The black bearded dragon lizard that has originated from the Australian lands is fairly common in the US now, as the pet breeders now sell artificially bred bearded dragons as well. Although Australian wildlife organizations banned the export of bearded dragons in the late 1900s, the pet trade of these reptiles in the US continued.
The pet traders learned to breed new kinds of morphs that were not native to the wildlife of Australia. Since then, they are not considered rare, in fact, they are one of the typical pet choices for any citizen living in the USA.
The morphs of all varieties originated from the most common species of bearded dragons known as the Central Bearded Dragons. The Central bearded dragons are omnivore reptiles that are found in the rocky deserts and scrublands of central Australia. In scientific terminology, they are called Pagona vitticeps and are the most popular among reptile pet keepers. Other species of bearded dragons are also kept as pets but the central bearded dragons are more friendly and have a unique personality which makes them a preferable choice among pet dragon lovers.
Is A Black Bearded Dragon Morph Rare?
The black bearded dragon morph is somewhat rare because although there is a wide range of colors in the bearded dragon morphs, an entirely black bearded one is almost impossible. All the bearded dragon morphs turn black from time to time due to environmental and emotional changes but having a bearded dragon that is black is rare.
The standard colors found in bearded dragons include red, orange, green, white, grey and, tan, but you can get a combination of new colors by the selective breeding of two different colors of bearded dragon morphs.
The black bearded dragon morphs can be divided into various distinct types based on their physical features, colors, and scaly skin. Here is a list of the famous types of bearded dragon morphs you can get as a pet:
- Leatherback Bearded Dragon
A leatherback bearded dragon is recognized by its smooth and colorful skin due to the absence of spikes on its back. The leatherback dragons have small scales on their sides and head but none present on their backs. These bearded dragons have unique bright colors due to a genetic mutation that causes the absence of scales and spikes on their backs.
- Classic Bearded Dragon
These bearded dragons look the most like the original wild bearded dragons from the savannas in Australia. They come in a variety of colors like brown, red, orange, and tan, all of which are the best shades for camouflage in the wildlife. With the large puffy heads, black-lined scaly bodies, and spiky beards, these classic reptiles are the closest to an authentic one.
- Silk Back Bearded Dragon
Silk back bearded dragons are one of the toughest types of morphs, in terms of taking care of them as a pet. Mating two leatherback bearded dragons produce a Silk back bearded dragon, which has no scales at all. Having a completely scaleless body makes them vulnerable to outside danger which is why they are difficult to take care of. Their smooth body allows them to have unique and lively colors.
- Hypomelanistic Bearded Dragon
As the name suggests, these bearded dragons lack the normal amount of melanin pigment in their bodies, giving a very dull color to their skin. These dragons have spikes on their bodies but they have a cloudy white or yellowish color. Hypomelanistic dragons are unable to produce offspring with darker colors, even their nails are of clear white shade.
What Do Black Bearded Dragons Eat?
Since these fascinating creatures originated from a place where the food sources were limited, their descendants had learned to eat any food which was available to them. This quality of the bearded dragons makes them omnivores meaning they feed on both animal-based and plant-based foods.
So, for someone who has a pet bearded dragon, you don’t have to worry about the food, these creatures will eat pretty much everything you feed them. The reptile experts, however, suggest that you follow a diet plan for your pet with all the necessary nutrients. These are the common food items that your bearded dragon pet would like to eat the most:
From a very young age, the bearded dragons start to munch on leaves and some basic green vegetables. According to the experts, 25% of your bearded dragon’s diet should consist of vegetables of different sorts. Although they like to eat vegetables as much as meat, you should be careful not to give them vegetables that can cause food poisoning. The cherished vegetables for the bearded dragons include turnip greens, kale, zucchini, mustard greens, carrots, red cabbage, pumpkin, radish, cucumber (peeled), basil, and dandelion greens.
Bearded dragons fulfill their dietary protein requirements by munching on insects of different nature. The young, as well as adult bearded dragons, enjoy feeding on gut-loaded insects but bear keep in mind that the insects you capture from outside are not recommended for your dragon pet. The insects roaming in your backyard or your garden can have insecticides sprayed on them, which can be toxic if fed to your dragon. Always get the insects for your bearded dragon’s meal from a pet shop or reptile breeders, because they have non-toxic animal-based dragon food. Grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, Dubai roaches, silkworms, mealworms, wax worms, locusts, fly larvae, and earthworms, are the preferred insects for your bearded dragons’ everyday meal.
Giving water to your bearded dragon is important, but if your bearded dragon is not interested in drinking water, you can compensate the water requirement with juicy fruits. Fruits are not a necessary diet portion for the bearded dragons but they prove helpful when your dragon is not eating the same boring meal every day. Bearded dragons like to eat fruit salads with guava, peeled apples, strawberries, apricot, peaches, mangoes, and plums. Watermelons are a great alternate for the water deficit bearded dragons as they contain more than 90% water content.
Where To Find Black Bearded Dragons For Sale?
If you are looking for a friendly black bearded dragon lizard, several companies and reptile breeders have exported pet black bearded dragons for sale. You can easily check out the type and species of the morphs you wish to purchase from those breeders.
In the US, there are so many reptile sellers who offer black bearded dragons for sale, both online and in person. They sell healthy and selectively bred bearded dragons, with complete care instructions, diet plans, and vaccinations. The reptile shops also deal in pet bearded dragon enclosures, feeders, bearded dragon supplements, and other supplies.
One such company that sells these creatures across countries is Morph market. On the Morph market, you can choose your region, bearded dragon morph type, and get it delivered to you carefully. In the US, you can find a black bearded dragon for sale from Lllreptile Company and CB reptile.com. Both of these sellers make sure that your reptile gets delivered to you safely and on time. You can also find a black bearded dragon for sale from your local pet breeders and reptile stores after making sure you know which bearded dragon morph is the best for you.
How Much Does A Black Bearded Dragon Cost?
Figuring out the black bearded dragon price and the black bearded dragon cost of maintenance is an initial step before you decide to buy a pet reptile. Although the black bearded dragon price is not as high as some of the other pets like dogs, having an idea of finances beforehand always proves beneficial. When we talk about the black bearded dragon price only, it revolves around $50 – $200 but that having a pet means there are other costs as well.
The black bearded dragon cost for the enclosure, food and minerals, vet visits, and pet care supplies, reaches up to $700. The bigger your pet reptiles become, the more expensive it gets to keep them because you have to spend more on their food and a bigger enclosure is needed.
An important factor that determines how much your black bearded dragon cost will be, includes the pet seller. The well-known pet breeders are known to charge lower than the local pet retailer and offer better services for the bearded dragons bought from them. Keeping a baby or a young bearded dragon takes a lot of hard work and responsibility but they will cost you less than the adult bearded dragons. Getting bearded dragons from the reptile shows offer so many opportunities for you to get rare and unique bearded dragon morphs.
The pet breeders in the reptile show come from all across the states and even across the country which means greater chances of getting your hands on various types of dragon morphs. The cost for a rare morph can easily go as high as $1,300, so get ready to spend a lot of money there. The most economical choice for dragon lovers is to adopt them instead of buying them. Adoption organizations charge the minimum fee for the adoption and you get a scaly little dragon of your own.
How To Tell If Your Black Bearded Dragon Baby Is A Boy Or Girl?
Determining the sex of your black bearded dragon baby is a lot more difficult than sexing the adult bearded dragons. That is because knowing the gender of your bearded dragons solely depends on the bodily features which are not fully developed in a baby. Still, if you have a black bearded dragon baby whose gender you want to reveal, there are two basic ways. Both of those methods are not fully reliable but they provide a general idea about the sex of your dragon baby. Here they are:
Checking The Hemipenal Bulges
The easiest way to figure out the sex of your black bearded dragon baby is by looking below its tail. This can only be done after the baby dragon is a minimum of four weeks older because these features take time to develop.
The male has two bulges near the anus which can be seen when you lift its tail. Whereas the female bearded dragon has only one bump near its anus, under the tail area. These bumps or bulges are their reproductive parts known as Hemipenal bulges. You can gently put your bearded dragon on a table or a counter and hold its tail to reveal the bumps and make the decision about the sex of your bearded dragon.
For the bearded dragons younger than four weeks, whose bumps are not visible you can use a flashlight to see the bulges from the tail area. The Hemipenal bulges in the bearded dragon babies appear as red spots underneath the tail.
Checking The Tail Thickness
The second method for determining the sex of your bearded dragon baby is by measuring the tail size and the thickness. The tails of the male bearded dragons at a younger stage are relatively thicker than the tails of female bearded dragons. The female tail size is also bigger due to its narrow shape than that of males, who have comparatively shorter tails.
The difference can be identified more clearly as the bearded dragons grow older. You can also observe the difference in their head sizes; females have narrower heads while males’ skulls are wider. But there is merely any variation in the head size of bearded dragon babies so this method should not be used.
What Does It Mean When A Bearded Dragon Turns Black?
Your bearded dragon turning black can have different causes which a lot of pet reptile keepers are unaware of. Not only is it an important part of the pet keeping to know the meaning behind your bearded dragon turning black but it also prevents your reptile from serious health issues. Seeing your bearded dragon turning black in front of you can be pretty scary. But don’t worry as because we have listed the possible meanings behind your bearded dragon turning black:
Your Bearded Dragon Is Sick
Your bearded dragon can change its color to black if it is sick. As soon as you notice that the color of your bearded dragon is changing into black, it is wise to give the dragon an examination. For the illness examination you can either take your reptile to a vet or examine it yourself by following these steps:
- Keep a check on the eating habits of your dragon, the loss of appetite is an important factor that talks about your dragon being unhealthy.
- Check the bearded dragon for any dark pigmentation on the belly area, if you see the black belly of your dragon, it means there is sickness.
- Any sign of discharge from the nose or eyes is another indicator of your dragon is sick.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Experiencing Thermoregulation
Thermoregulation is a physiological response of all animal bodies to maintain body temperature. It can occur when a reptile is feeling extremely cold and needs an extra layer of warmth to keep its body at a normal temperature. Under such situations, the bearded dragons start obtaining heat from the sun or other hear sources, and their bodies appear black.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Shedding
Shedding is a natural process for all reptiles which can bring some psychological as well as physiological changes in them. Your bearded dragon turning black can be a sign that your pet reptile is about to shed. If the color has turned black but the shedding has not started within the next few days, then the black color is due to some other reason.
Your Bearded Dragon Is Under Stress
Just like humans turn red or pale under stress, the bearded dragons turn black when faced with stressful events. The stressful events can make your dragon turn black, such as the temperature changes, the habitat change, and the eating disorders. Another reason for stress among bearded dragons is when they are disturbed during their rest hours.
What Should Black Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?
For the reptile pet keepers, knowing the color and consistency of black bearded dragon poop is important for the dragon’s health. The perfectly healthy poop would look yellowish or white, with moderate consistency. Several different kinds of black bearded dragon poop indicate the underlying health issues your dragon might be facing.
And as gross as it may sound, checking out the poop is a crucial step to determine the healthiness of your dragon. The healthy dragons have brown-colored and a rod-shaped stool with white urate. In a healthy bearded dragon, the brown poop and the white urate come out simultaneously, so that is another sign to look for.
What Colors Do Black Bearded Dragons Hate?
These creatures show distinct responses towards certain colors, regardless of the object. There is no fixed rule for the colors bearded dragons like and the colors they hate. But most of the bearded dragon keepers have reported their dragons getting angry or stressed about the colors like orange, brown, and yellow. Whereas, they show excitement over objects with bright purple or red colors.
Knowing which colors your bearded dragon hates can prevent it from getting angry all the time. You can learn about their color choices by noticing the change in behavior of your dragon when your wear different color of fabrics. Another good way to see which color your bearded dragons hate is by giving them color-coded food items, such as salads. The food they refuse to eat is the least favorite color of these reptiles.
What Are The 5 Reasons A Black Bearded Dragon Neck Or Beard Turns Black?
Sometimes your black bearded dragon neck or beard turns black and there are various reasons for that to happen. Some of those reasons pose no threat to your dragon while the others are of serious nature and should not be ignored. Here are the top 5 reasons a bearded dragon neck or beard turns black:
They Are Looking To Mate
It is a common practice for bearded dragons to turn their necks or beards black when they are trying to attract another bearded dragon for mating. Bearded dragon black beard is a signal from the male dragons that they are attracted to a female dragon and are looking to mate with them. The bearded dragon black beard is used by the lizard to attract its counterpart. This can only be the reason behind the black neck and beard if you have both male and female bearded dragons together, otherwise, this cannot be possible.
They Are Uncomfortable
It is very much possible for a bearded dragon to feel uncomfortable with humans. Sometimes when you buy a pet reptile, they take their time getting to know you and trusting you. Many people do not understand this and try to get close with their pet reptiles, which results in the neck turning black. To avoid that, always give your new bearded dragon some time to trust you before being too friendly with them.
They Are Getting Ready For Brumation
All the reptiles have an inbuilt tendency to hibernate, regardless of whether or not they are in an enclosure. When they are getting ready to brumate for some time, they turn their beards or necks black. Sometimes your bearded dragon might show the black neck or beard after the brumation process has been finished.
They Have A Bad Diet
An imbalanced diet for your bearded dragon can also result in them turning their necks black. An imbalanced diet can either be a diet solely based on proteins, or a diet completely comprised of vegetables or fruits. They can also turn their beards and necks black if you feed them excessively or less than their daily food requirements.
They Are Scared Or Lonely
The neck turning black can also be an indicator that your dragon is scared or lonely. Bearded dragons are wild animals, they have the natural instincts to turn their beards and neck black when they feel under pressure due to fear or loneliness. Sometimes loud noises or dirty enclosures also make them scared and turning their necks black.
How Do You Know When A Bearded Dragon Is Mad?
These reptiles may not speak but they have unique ways of communicating with you to let you know what they are feeling. You as a reptile pet keeper must decipher those communication signals to bond better with your beardie. Bearded dragons are wild animals, which means they get mad easily. So, here are some indicators for you to take actions when they are mad:
- It Is Fluffing Its Head.
A bearded dragon black beard is what they are best known for, but that also symbolizes some important emotional responses. When a black beard is mad, it will fluff its head, making the head look bigger and scarier. The bearding process also takes place when the dragon is aggressive, where you see black spots on the bearded dragon neck and beard.
- It Is Gasping A Lot
Bearded dragons make sure they reveal their anger to everyone around them by opening their mouth wide (gasping). It is an instinctive behavior in the bearded dragons where they try to look superior to the sources of aggression and make an effort to scare them.
- It Is Biting
The most common sign that your dragon is mad is biting. Biting is a universal sign that your pet is mad, whether it’s a cat, dog, or a reptile. Normally you might receive a bite from your young bearded dragon if you carry it the wrong way, but biting can also be a sign of an angry reptile.
- It Is Bobbing Its Head
Head bobbing is a clear indication that something has upset your bearded dragon. Usually, it can occur when your bearded dragon is trying to get the attention of its female counterpart. Not being able to draw enough attention makes them angry and they can be seen nodding their head quickly. Another thing that makes your dragon really mad is when they see their reflection in the mirror, they show their aggression by bobbing their heads.
Can Black Bearded Dragon Tail Rot Kill Your Beardie?
Like any other pet animal, your bearded dragon suffers from a lot of different diseases and infections that require frequent visits to the vet. One such condition is known as the black bearded dragon tail rot. It is an inner body infection where your bearded dragon loses its tail. Now you must be thinking that losing a tail for the reptiles is not of a problem since they can grow it back but in the case of black bearded dragon tail rot, there is no such thing as regrowing the tail.
So, the answer for whether the black bearded dragon tail rot kills your bearded dragon is yes. If the infection persists and reaches complicated stages, it is most likely to spread to the upper body parts of your dragon from the tail. When the infection enters the body, it harms the inner body organs and causes them to decay, which can be fatal for your beardie.
The first sign to detect tail rot is by looking at the tail and toes of your dragon. A bearded dragon with early stages of tail rot will have a black and dry tail. A bearded dragon black tail indicates that the infection has entered the body and it has started to damage the tissues in the tail.
The sooner you detect the infection the better chances your bearded dragon has of survival. Upon finding that your dragon might be suffering from this infection, immediately take it to your vet and start the treatment. The most typical reason for the tail rot is the insect bites, or the fights with other beardies, where they bite each other. An imbalanced diet and the lack of sunlight can also put your dragon at the risk of getting the tail rot.