Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)

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Eastern Bearded Dragon
Pogona barbata
Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)
Name Eastern Bearded Dragon
Name Lat. Pogona barbata
Family Agamas
Family lat. Agamidae
Order Scaled Reptiles
Order lat. Squamata
Origin Australia
Habitat Semi-desert
Diet Insects, vegetables, fruits
Humidity 40-60 %
Behavior ♂ territorial
Keeping Individual, pair, harem
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Oviparous
Housing Dry terrarium
Life Span 10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 40-50 cm
Temperature 25-33 °C
Temperature Local 50 °C
Housing Size 150 x 120 x 90 cm
US Units
Size 16"-20"
Temperature 77-91 °F
Temperature Local 122 °F
Housing Size 60" x 45" x 35"

Distribution and habitat

The diurnal common bearded dragons live in the scrubby and arboreal savannahs and desert areas of much of eastern Australia. They shelter from the heat of the day and the low night temperatures in burrows they have dug themselves or under large stones.


Minimum dimensions for the terrarium, according to the size and number of animals

1-2 animals 5KRL x 4KRL x 3KRL (L x W x H)

Head-torso length (KRL) is measured on the largest animal. For each additional animal, increase the footprint by 15%. A terrarium of e.g. L 150 x W 120 x H 90 cm is recommended, which should be placed in a quiet and vibration-free place

You will need a desert terrarium structured with roots and stones (hiding places and privacy screen), a graveable substrate of sand/clay mixture and rubble, a small water container and potted plants (e.g. euphorbia, aloe, oleander). A very small portion of the substrate should be kept moist at all times. Once a day, preferably in the evening, the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water, but not directly the animals (risk of shock).

Temp. day: 25-33 °C Temp. night: 18-22 °C Temp. local: up to 50 °C Humidity: 40-60

Thermostatically controlled floor heating is recommended. Lighting duration must be 10-14 hrs depending on the season. They need a high light intensity. Special lamps that produce the necessary heat and UV light are ideal. Daily UV irradiation is essential.


Young animals feed mainly on insects, with plant food predominating as they get older. The diet consists of live insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers and crickets, as well as nest young mice for adults, alternatively commercial ready-made food for insectivorous reptiles, plus wild herbs, fruit (pears, melons, bananas) and vegetables (lettuce, peppers, zucchini, etc.). Wax moths should rarely be fed in small amounts to adults, but not to juveniles, because of their large fat content. Regular addition of minerals and vitamins is important. Young animals should be offered food daily, adults 4-5 times a week. Drinking water must always be available.

A varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

Males usually have a broader head and a thicker tail root, where the hemipenis pockets are clearly visible.

The female buries her eggs (5-30 pieces) in the substrate (about 15 cm), which must accordingly consist of a substrate suitable for burrowing. The incubation period is 60-100 days at a temperature of 27-31 °C. Small insects such as fruit flies and micro crickets are suitable as initial food for the young

The life expectancy can be 10 years.


Adult males behave very territorially and are incompatible with each other. The large throat fold with spiny scales, when spread imposingly, looks "full beard-like"

For the resting phase, shorten the lighting duration by 2-3 hours and lower the temperature by 3-4 °C for about two months.

With fruit and honey water as food for the feeders, their quality can be upgraded.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: BMELV (1997): Mindestanforderungen an die Haltung von Reptilien, ENGELMANN (2006): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Reptilien und Amphibien, Harri Deutsch Verlag

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF