What Are the Different Bearded Dragon Morphs?

B. Leslie Baird

Bearded dragons are available in many types, and new morphs are expected in the future. The term morph applies to the variety of colors that come from the lizard’s environment and breeding. Bearded dragon morphs include Sunburst, Leucistic, Snow, and Salmons. Blood Dragons, German Giants, and Sandfire™ dragons are also variations of this exotic pet.

There are many different varieties of bearded dragon morphs.
There are many different varieties of bearded dragon morphs.

Gray is the most common bearded dragon color, and is often combined with shades of brown, black, or orange tones. Color changes can occur due to variations in the lizard’s emotions. When a bearded dragon becomes aggressive or is startled, the colors typically become stronger and more noticeable. The reptiles also are able to regulate their body temperatures by making slight color changes. In warmer weather, the lizard changes to a lighter shade and becomes darker in cold weather.

Gray and brown are the most common colors for bearded dragons.
Gray and brown are the most common colors for bearded dragons.

Selective breeding creates many color variations. Bearded dragon morphs can be found in blues, reds, apricot, gold and even stripes of assorted colors. It is often recommended to breed male and female reptiles of different colors to obtain the greatest variety of bearded dragon morphs.

The Sandfire™ dragon is a lizard with bright red and orange tones against a sandy colored base. Blood dragons have a rich, deep red color that is evident even when they are hatchlings. The German Giant is not named as much for its color as for its strength. This bearded dragon grows quickly, produces numerous eggs, and is hardy in many environments. As their name indicates, salmons have colors in pink and orange shades that may include lavender markings.

Hypomanelistic and Snow bearded dragon morphs typically have shades of yellow, pink, lavender and white. When first hatched, they are a translucent pink shade that quickly becomes beige. The color continues to lighten and most of these morphs have no color patterns by the time they are six months of age. Leucistic dragons are white at the time of hatching and remain so through adulthood. The Sunburst morph has a yellow base color with orange and red markings. Its tail normally has bands of orange and yellow.

Other terms for bearded dragon morphs include hypo, translucent, Leatherback and Silkback. A hypomelanistic, or hypo, dragon has less pigmentation and a lighter appearance. As one might imagine, one can almost see through the underside of a translucent morph. Leatherback refers to very small scales on the back that are almost smooth. Silkbacks are a cross-breed of two leatherbacks and have very smooth skin.

Bearded dragons are a lizard in the Pogona genus. The beard is actually a spiny projection on the throat. When the dragon is threatened, the spines puff outward. Males of the species tend to have darker beards than females, and this color will also darken during mating season.

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