© Crocodile Encounters 2016
Unique Reptile Parties and Shows
Snakes, Lizards, Giant Tortoises and Crocs
Bearded Dragons Latin name Pagonna are a type of lizards containing seven species, which are often known by the common name bearded dragons. The term "bearded dragon" is most commonly used to describe the Central Bearded Dragon. Members of this genus live in the arid, rocky, semi-desert regions and dry open woodlands of Australia. They are adept climbers, spending time on branches and in bushes, even found on fence posts when living near human habitation. Bearded Dragons bask on rocks and exposed branches in the mornings and afternoons. The species are found throughout Australia, Several species of this genus have been domesticated, especially Pogonna vitticeps and are often kept as pets or exhibited.
The genus is in the subfamily Agaminae of the family Agamidae. Their characteristics include spiny scales arranged in rows and clusters. These are found on the throat, which can be expanded when threatened, and at the back of the head. The species also displays a hand-waving gesture, this is to show submission between Dragons. They also have a head bobbing act to show dominance. They have the ability to change colour during rivalry challenges between males, and in response to temperature change and other stimuli. They can grow to the size of about 13 to 24 inches (330 to 610 mm).
Bearded dragons, agamid lizards of the genus Pogona, are often kept as pets, They are a popular species among children, because of their friendly and calm nature, along with the relative ease of caring for them. Bearded dragons have broad triangular heads and flattened bodies, with adults reaching approximately 16 to 24 inches (410 to 610 mm) from head to tail and weighing 350 to 600 grams (10 to 20 oz).
Bearded dragons are native to the central Australian desert, where food is often scarce. Bearded Dragons are omnivorous capable of subsisting on a wide variety of food sources.
A typical captive bearded dragon's diet consists mostly of leafy greens, vegetables and non citrus fruits, supplemented regularly with insects. Crickets are the most popular feeder choice, but bearded dragons can also be fed other insects such as locusts, super worms, wax worms, silk worms, butter worms, and even certain varieties of roaches. Young dragons require a significantly greater insect-to-plant matter ratio in their diets than adults.
Not all insects are equally recommended as feeders, however. The mealworm, a popular feeder insect for other kinds of reptiles, has a hard chitin exoskeleton which makes it difficult for dragons to digest. It is also relatively low in nutrients. Waxworms and superworms can be given as occasional treats, but should be fed sparingly as they are extremely fatty (think of these as being the bearded dragon equivalent of chocolate bars). They are best used as food for undernourished or gravid bearded dragons. The size of the insect being fed must also be taken into account. The general rule of thumb is that the food being provided must not be larger than the space between the animal's mouth endings; feeding anything larger could lead to fatal inpaction The distance between the eyes is the quickest way to assess the space between mouth endings
Suitable leafy green vegetables include collard greens, spring greens, cabbage, carrot tops parsley and Dragons may also eat orange-fleshed, green, yellow, squashes, peppers, zuchinni, carnations and rose petals. Suitable fruits are strawberries, melons, mangoes. Insects captured in the wild are not recommended, due to the increased risk of infection or disease