A blue bearded dragon, also known as a blue phase bearded dragon, is not a distinct species or type of bearded dragon. Instead, it refers to a color variation or morph within the bearded dragon species (Pogona vitticeps). Bearded dragons are known for their diverse range of colors and patterns, and there are several different morphs or color variations, including blue ones. Here are some common bearded dragon morphs
- Brown: Wild bearded dragons often have a base coloration of brown, which helps them blend into the rocky and sandy terrain of their native habitats.
- Tan: Tan or beige shades are also common, providing additional camouflage against the arid landscapes they inhabit.
- Gray: Gray tones are sometimes present, especially in certain populations. This coloration can help them blend in with rocks and other natural features.
- Olive: Some bearded dragons may display olive or greenish hues, which can be particularly useful in vegetation-rich areas.
- Darker Markings: Wild bearded dragons typically have darker patterns or markings on their bodies. These markings can include stripes, blotches, and bands of darker brown or black coloration, which serve as further camouflage and can vary in intensity.
- Subdued Patterns: The patterns and markings on wild bearded dragons are generally subdued and designed to help them remain inconspicuous to potential predators and prey.
Bearded dragons belong to the species Pogona, and within this genus, there are several recognized species and subspecies. Each of these species can have variations in size, color, and location. Here are some of the prominent bearded dragon species
Pogona vitticeps (Central or Inland Bearded Dragon)
- Adult Size: Typically ranges from 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm) in length.
- Color: Typically light to medium brown with a series of dark, triangular markings along the sides, which can vary in intensity and pattern.
- Location: Found in the arid and semi-arid regions of central Australia.
Pogona barbata (Eastern Bearded Dragon)
- Adult Size: Similar to Pogona vitticeps, with lengths of 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm).
- Color: Typically brown to gray with darker patterns on the body.
- Location: Native to eastern Australia.
Pogona henrylawsoni (Rankin’s Dragon or Lawson’s Dragon) and The Blue Bearded Dragon
- Adult Size: Smaller than Pogona vitticeps, with adults reaching around 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) in length.
- Color: Variable, with a range of browns, grays, and oranges, often with lighter stripes or bands.
- Location: Found in the northwestern parts of Australia.
Pogona minor (Western Bearded Dragon)
- Adult Size: Similar in size to Pogona henrylawsoni, with adults typically around 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) long.
- Color: Variable, with shades of brown, gray, and orange, often with distinct bands and patterns.
- Location: Native to the western regions of Australia.
Pogona microlepidota (Small-scaled Bearded Dragon)
- Adult Size: Smaller than other bearded dragons, with adults measuring around 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm).
- Color: Typically gray to brown with a series of light and dark bands or stripes on the body.
- Location: Found in parts of northern Australia.
Pogona mitchelli (Mitchell’s Bearded Dragon)
- Adult Size: Variable, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 20 inches (50 cm).
- Color: Typically brown to gray with various patterns and coloration, including orange hues.
- Location: Native to parts of northern and western Australia.
Translucent Bearded Dragon
A translucent bearded dragon is a specific morph or variation of the common bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Translucent bearded dragons are known for having a somewhat transparent or translucent appearance, especially in their scales. This unique trait sets them apart from the standard bearded dragon morphs.
Translucent Scales: The scales of translucent bearded dragons are thinner and often appear somewhat see-through, giving them a translucent or glass-like appearance.
Lighter Coloration: They typically have lighter coloration overall, with shades of light gray, white, or pale pastel colors. The translucency of their scales allows more light to pass through, contributing to their overall light appearance.
Reduced Markings: Translucent bearded dragons may have fewer or less pronounced markings than some other morphs. Their patterns tend to be subdued.
Bright Eyes: Their eyes can appear relatively large and bright due to the translucent quality of their head scales.
Genetics Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragon genetics, like genetics in many other organisms, determine the traits and characteristics of individual dragons. Understanding the basic principles of bearded dragon genetics can be useful for breeders who want to predict the outcomes of breeding pairs or simply for those interested in the inheritance of certain traits. Here are some key genetic concepts related to bearded dragons:
Dominant and Recessive Traits
In bearded dragons, as in other organisms, traits are often classified as dominant or recessive. Dominant traits are expressed when an individual carries at least one copy of the dominant allele, while recessive traits are only expressed when an individual carries two copies of the recessive allele.
Bearded dragons come in various morphs, which are specific genetic variations that affect their appearance. These morphs are the result of different combinations of alleles for various traits. Some morphs are codominant, meaning that both alleles are expressed, resulting in a distinct appearance.
Mating and Alleles
When two bearded dragons breed, they pass on a combination of their alleles to their offspring. Each dragon has two alleles for each trait, one inherited from each parent.
Heterozygous and Homozygous
If a bearded dragon carries two different alleles for a trait, it is said to be heterozygous for that trait. If it carries two identical alleles, it is homozygous for that trait.
Breeders often use Punnett squares to predict the possible outcomes of a breeding pair. By knowing the genotypes (the combination of alleles) of the parent dragons, breeders can estimate the likelihood of certain traits appearing in the offspring.
Some traits in bearded dragons, such as coloration and pattern, are controlled by multiple genes (polygenic traits). These traits can be more challenging to predict because they involve the interaction of several genetic factors.
Bearded dragons have temperature-dependent sex determination. The temperature at which their eggs are incubated during a critical period of development determines the sex of the offspring. This is not determined by traditional sex chromosomes, as in mammals.
Inheritance of Color Morphs
Different color morphs in bearded dragons are the result of various genetic combinations. For example, the “hypo” trait, which leads to reduced melanin pigmentation, is a recessive trait. To produce offspring with this trait, both parent dragons must carry a copy of the recessive allele.
A “blue bearded dragon” typically refers to a bearded dragon with a blue coloration, which is often a product of selective breeding for specific color morphs. Bearded dragons are popular reptile pets, and various color morphs have been developed through selective breeding to create unique and visually appealing appearances. Here’s some information on blue bearded dragons, including facts, care, and potential pricing
Facts About Bearded Dragon
- Coloration: Blue bearded dragons have a bluish tint to their scales, which can vary in intensity. The blue coloration is a result of selective breeding for this specific trait.
- Temperament: Bearded dragons, including blue morphs, are known for their relatively docile and friendly nature. They are often a good choice for reptile enthusiasts, including beginners.
- Lifespan: Bearded dragons typically have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years when properly cared for.
- Size: Adult bearded dragons can reach lengths of 16 to 24 inches (40 to 60 cm) from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail.
Care About Bearded Dragon
Proper care is essential to keep a blue bearded dragon healthy and happy. Here are some care guidelines.
- Housing: Provide a spacious enclosure with appropriate heating and lighting. A 40-gallon or larger terrarium is suitable for an adult bearded dragon.
- Temperature: Maintain a basking spot with temperatures around 95-100°F (35-38°C) and a cooler side of the enclosure around 75-85°F (24-29°C).
- Lighting: Bearded dragons require access to UVB lighting to metabolize calcium properly. Use UVB fluorescent bulbs specifically designed for reptiles.
- Diet: Their diet primarily consists of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as leafy greens and vegetables. Dust prey items with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.
- Hydration: Provide fresh water in a shallow dish, but most bearded dragons primarily hydrate from their food.
- Handling: Handle your blue bearded dragon gently and regularly to help them become accustomed to human interaction.
- Substrate: Choose a safe substrate, such as reptile carpet, paper towels, or ceramic tiles, to line the enclosure.
- Habitat Enrichment: Include hiding spots, branches, rocks, and basking platforms for mental and physical stimulation.
Price of Bearded Dragon
The price of a blue bearded dragon can vary significantly depending on factors such as the specific morph, the breeder’s reputation, and the dragon’s age and sex. Blue morphs may be more expensive than common morphs due to their unique appearance. Prices can range from $100 to several hundred dollars or more for high-quality, rare blue morphs.
How to Take Care of Blue Bearded Dragon
Taking care of a blue bearded dragon, like caring for any bearded dragon morph, involves providing proper husbandry, nutrition, and a suitable environment to ensure their health and well-being. Here’s a guide on how to care for a blue bearded dragon
- Enclosure: Provide a spacious terrarium or vivarium. For adult bearded dragons, a 40-gallon (or larger) enclosure is appropriate.
- Substrate: Use a safe substrate, such as reptile carpet, paper towels, or ceramic tiles, to line the enclosure. Avoid loose substrates like sand or loose wood chips, as they can lead to impaction if ingested.
2. Temperature and Lighting
- Basking Spot: Maintain a basking spot with temperatures between 95-100°F (35-38°C).
- Cool Side: Keep the cooler side of the enclosure between 75-85°F (24-29°C).
- Nighttime Temperature: Allow nighttime temperatures to drop slightly but not below 70°F (21°C).
- UVB Lighting: Provide UVB lighting for 10-12 hours a day to allow your bearded dragon to metabolize calcium. Use UVB fluorescent bulbs designed for reptiles and replace them as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Insects: Offer a variety of gut-loaded insects, such as crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, and superworms. Insects should be smaller than the space between the bearded dragon’s eyes.
- Vegetables and Greens: Provide a mix of leafy greens (e.g., collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens) and vegetables (e.g., squash, bell peppers, carrots). About 20% of the diet should consist of vegetables and greens.
- Fruits: Occasional fruits are acceptable as treats but should not make up a significant part of their diet.
- Supplements: Dust prey items with calcium powder with D3 two to three times a week and a multivitamin supplement once a week.
- Provide a shallow water dish for drinking, although most bearded dragons prefer to drink from droplets or through their food.
- Handle your blue bearded dragon gently and regularly to help them become accustomed to human interaction. Be mindful not to stress them or handle them excessively.
- Include hiding spots, branches, rocks, and basking platforms in the enclosure for mental and physical stimulation.
- Provide opportunities for climbing and exploring.
7. Health Monitoring
- Regularly monitor your bearded dragon for any signs of illness or injury, such as changes in behavior, appetite, or feces.
- Schedule annual check-ups with a reptile veterinarian.
- Maintain cleanliness by spot-cleaning the enclosure daily and performing a thorough cleaning at least once a month.
- Disinfect and replace the substrate regularly to prevent the buildup of waste and bacteria.
- Bearded dragons are generally solitary animals and do not require companionship. Introducing two bearded dragons can lead to stress and territorial conflicts.
Remember that individual bearded dragons may have unique preferences and needs, so it’s essential to observe your pet and make adjustments to their care routine as necessary. Providing a stable and enriched environment is key to ensuring the well-being of your blue bearded dragon.