Bearded Dragon

ZOO LOCATION: The Loft and Scutes Family Gallery

Lifespan: Up to 10 years

Wild Diet: Omnivorous; invertebrates, small vertebrates and vegetation, including fruits and flowers.

Zoo Diet: Crickets, mealworms, vegatables, fruits, and hard boiled eggs.

Predators: Large goannas (lizards), dingoes, and birds of prey


IUCN Status: Least Concern

Habitat/Range: Semi-arid to arid woodland habitats in the eastern half of South Australia to the Southeastern Northern Territory.

Characteristics: Bearded dragons are stocky, mid-sized lizards that can grow up to 24" long. They have prominent spines along its sides and a large triangular-shaped head. They are named bearded dragon because of their 'beard', an expandable throat pouch with spiky scales. Their coloration varies with geography. They range from shades of brown, gray and reddish-brown to bright orange.

Behavior: The bearded dragon stands on 3 legs and waves one of its forelimbs in a slow circular pattern. It looks a lot like the bearded dragon is waving hello, or swimming using only one arm. One function of arm waving seems to be species recognition. Arm waving is also used to show submission. A small bearded dragon will respond with arm waving when confronted with a larger, more dominant bearded dragon. Females will also arm wave to avoid aggression from males, especially if the male is head bobbing.

Reproduction: Sexual maturity is reached at 1 to 2 years of age. Mating usually occurs in the Australian spring and summer months of September to March. Females dig a burrow and lay up to 24 eggs per clutch, and up to 9 clutches per year.

Conservation: Bearded Dragons can be found almost everywhere in the outback area of Australia. There are several different species that can also be found throughout the continent. Populations are currently stable in the wild. If you choose to have a bearded dragon as a pet, make sure that you get one through a trusted breeding source and not from the wild.