Bearded dragons (Pogona spp.) have become increasingly popular as exotic pets, admired for their unique appearance and charming personalities. One of the most fascinating aspects of these reptiles is their wide range of morphs and color varieties. When considering bringing a bearded dragon into your life, understanding these variations is essential to choose the right one that suits your preferences and lifestyle. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of bearded dragon morphs and varieties, helping you Choosing the Right Bearded Dragon.
You may also want to read about the perfect Bearded Dragon habitat.
What Are Bearded Dragon Morphs?
A morph, short for “morphology,” refers to a specific physical appearance or color pattern of a species. Bearded dragon morphs are the result of selective breeding, where breeders carefully choose individuals with desired traits and breed them to produce offspring with those traits. This selective breeding has led to a remarkable array of bearded dragon morphs and color varieties.
Common Bearded Dragon Morphs and Varieties
Bearded dragon morphs and varieties can vary significantly in appearance, including differences in coloration, patterns, and scale textures. Here are some of the most well-known and sought-after bearded dragon morphs and varieties:
1. Normal/Wild Type:
The “normal” or “wild type” bearded dragon is the most common variety, resembling the appearance of bearded dragons found in their natural habitats in Australia. They typically have tan to brown coloration with subtle patterns and a beard that can darken when they feel threatened or excited.
Citrus bearded dragons are known for their bright, vibrant colors. They can have yellow, orange, or even red hues. This morph often includes vivid patterns and can be quite striking.
Hypo bearded dragons have reduced melanin, resulting in a lighter overall appearance. They often have lighter backgrounds and may display brighter colors and patterns.
Translucent bearded dragons have translucent scales, giving them a unique and somewhat ethereal appearance. They may have patterns that are more visible through their skin.
Leatherback bearded dragons have smoother scales compared to the typical bearded dragon. This results in a softer, leather-like texture. They are often bred with other morphs to produce visually striking combinations.
Silkback bearded dragons have extremely smooth scales and lack the typical spiky appearance on their backs. This morph is the result of breeding two leatherback dragons and is more delicate than other varieties.
Witblits bearded dragons are known for their stunning white or off-white appearance. They often have reduced patterning and can be quite visually striking.
8. Zero/Zero Bearded Dragons:
Zero bearded dragons lack the black markings typically found on their heads. This can result in a cleaner, more uniform appearance with minimal patterning.
Dunner bearded dragons have a unique, “dunner” stripe along their sides. This morph can add a distinctive touch to their appearance.
Paradox bearded dragons display unusual, random patches of color or markings on their bodies. These patches can be quite eye-catching and make each dragon unique.
Red bearded dragons have vibrant red coloration. This morph can vary from deep crimson to bright orange-red.
Blue bearded dragons exhibit shades of blue in their scales, creating a striking and less common appearance.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Bearded Dragon Morph
Choosing the Right Bearded Dragon: Selecting the right bearded dragon morph or variety is a personal choice influenced by your preferences and goals as a pet owner. Here are some factors to consider:
Your aesthetic preferences will play a significant role in your choice. Consider the colors, patterns, and textures that appeal to you the most.
While personality can vary among individuals, some morphs are associated with particular traits. For example, citrus bearded dragons are often known for their outgoing and social behavior.
3. Care Requirements:
Different morphs may have slightly varying care requirements. For instance, silkback bearded dragons are more delicate and may require extra attention to their skin health.
Availability can vary by region and from breeder to breeder. Some morphs may be rarer and more challenging to find.
5. Breeder Reputation:
Choosing a reputable breeder is crucial to ensure the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. Research breeders in your area and read reviews to find a trustworthy source.
Bearded dragon morphs can vary significantly in price. Set a budget for your new pet and explore options within your price range.
Caring for Your Chosen Morph
Regardless of the bearded dragon morph you choose, proper care is essential for their health and happiness. Here are some general care guidelines:
Provide a spacious enclosure with appropriate heating and lighting. Bearded dragons require a basking spot with a temperature of around 95-105°F (35-40°C) and a cooler side with temperatures in the mid-80s°F (27-30°C).
Choose a safe and easy-to-clean substrate. Options include reptile carpet, ceramic tile, or paper towels for young dragons.
Feed your bearded dragon a balanced diet consisting of insects (crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms) and a variety of leafy greens and vegetables. Dust insects with a calcium supplement.
Provide calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to ensure proper bone health. Use a multivitamin supplement sparingly.
Offer fresh water daily in a shallow dish. Some bearded dragons may prefer to soak in water occasionally.
Handle your bearded dragon gently and frequently to build trust and create a bond. Be mindful of their comfort and avoid stress.
7. Veterinary Care:
Schedule regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian to monitor your bearded dragon’s health and address any concerns.
Choosing the Right Bearded Dragon: Conclusion
Choosing the right bearded dragon morph or variety can be an exciting and fulfilling part of becoming a reptile owner. Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant colors of a citrus bearded dragon or the unique textures of a leatherback, each morph has its appeal. Remember that the well-being of your bearded dragon is of utmost importance, so provide the appropriate care, attention, and environment to ensure a happy and healthy life for your scaly companion.