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Ball Python Care

This document is for guidance only and should not be used as the sole source of information. New information is being developed regularly. It is recommended to find multiple sources of information before buying a pet. 


Common Name: Bearded Dragon                   

Scientific Name: Pogona vitticeps

Native to: Australia 

Size: 18 to 24 inches

Life span: 10 to 15 years

Difficulty Level: Beginner

General appearance: Medium sized lizard with small spiny scales covering the body with longer scales from the back of their large triangular shaped head. They have a flattened body with a tail measuring half the length of the animal. When threatened a bearded dragon will puff out its throat resembling a spiky beard, which can turn black. There are many different designer phases available that can produce many different colorations.


Enclosure: Hatchlings to juveniles can be kept in a 20-gallon aquarium for up to 10 months. Adults will need a 40-gallon aquarium or larger sized cage. However, a 4x2x2 enclosure is usually better as it gives them space for proper exercise and enrichment. Branches/ rocks/hammocks are needed for climbing and basking. A screen top is needed for ventilation.


Temperature: Ambient: 80º - 85º F. Night: 68º - 75º F. Basking: 100º - 110º F.  Use digital thermometers or temperature gun to measure the temperature.

Heating and Lighting: Basking or incandescent bulbs, ceramic emitter, or heat panels can be used for the basking spot. Full spectrum lighting (UVB) should be provided using one of the fluorescent bulbs. Lights should be on twelve hours a day and can be controlled through the use of timers.


Substrate: We start our babies on paper towels or butch paper and after a few months we upgrade them to Repti -Chips, play sand is cheap and creates a desert looking environment. However, use caution with hatchlings as some people feel it may cause impaction. We spot clean daily and a full cage clean every 6 months.


Environment: Desert habitat

Humidity: Bearded Dragons are a desert species and does not require humidity in the cage. Some bearded dragons like to be misted and lap up the water that way. However, we bathe adults once a week and babies twice a week.   


Handling: Bearded Dragons are extremely popular as they calm and easy to handle. Hatchlings tend to be more skittish and defensive, but calm down with proper handling. These animals are great climbers, and enjoy hanging out on your shoulder or head. 

Diet: Bearded Dragons are omnivores. They need both animal and plant material in their diet. Crickets, cockroaches, mealworms, waxworms, silkworms, super worms, and hornworms, will all be enjoyed by your bearded dragon. You should NOT to feed fireflies as they are toxic to Bearded Dragons.

Hatchlings 0-4 months should be fed bugs everyday. Juveniles 4-8 months can be fed bugs every other day. Adults 1 year and older can be fed 2 to 3 times max per week. 

Maintenance: If using newspaper/ paper towels then change as needed. Wood shavings should be spot cleaned as needed. The enclosure should be disinfected every 6 months or so. 

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