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What Is a Dwarf Bearded Dragon?

Crickets are a staple of the dwarf bearded dragon's diet.
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  • Written By: N. Swensson
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2014
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The dwarf bearded dragon is a lizard native to the deserts of central and western Australia. It is smaller than other bearded dragons, reaching a maximum size of approximately 6 inches (15.2 cm), with shorter limbs and tails. Its most distinctive characteristic is the loose skin that hangs from its neck, which looks like a beard. The dwarf bearded dragon is an omnivore, meaning that it eats a variety of plants and small insects such as crickets. Owing to its docile temperament, distinctive appearance, and relatively easy care requirements, this type of lizard is growing in popularity as a household pet.

All lizards in the Pogona genus share certain characteristics. They live primarily on land, but some inhabit deserts while others are found in forested areas. These lizards also have a tan-colored body with a darker gray or brown spotted pattern across their backs and can darken or lighten their pigmentation depending on the outside temperature. Bearded dragons can often be found basking in full sun but retreat to shady spots during the hottest parts of the day like most lizards. They are most active during the day, and they rely primarily on their keen eyesight to hunt. All bearded dragons eat a variety of plants as well as crickets and other insects.

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As the name suggests, the dwarf bearded dragon is the smallest of this group of lizards, reaching a maximum size of about 6 inches (15.2 cm), while others can grow to as much as 20 inches (50.8 cm). All bearded dragons have the characteristic flap of skin under the jaw and spikes along the sides of the head and across the throat, which they can flare outward to frighten potential predators. These feature, however, are less pronounced on the dwarf bearded dragon. The dwarf species also has a smaller and narrower head than its larger cousins as well as a shorter tail and limbs.

There are many characteristics of the dwarf bearded dragon that make it a good pet, although care must be taken to house and feed it properly. Due to their relatively small size, they need less space than larger lizards. Most of the animals come from an arid climate, and aquariums that house them should not be too humid and should mimic typical desert temperatures as much as possible. Providing live food on a regular basis and ensuring that all food and water sources are kept clean is also essential to keeping a dwarf bearded dragon healthy.

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