How big bearded dragons get is not something you can clearly forecast, as this will depend on many factors such as diet, environment, healthcare, genetics, etc.
Typically, an adult bearded dragon attains its full size between 12 – 24 inches. This is usually after it has attained its sexual maturity which itself is not exact, but can be between 8 – 18 months.
If you are looking to take the plunge and bring in a bearded dragon to join your family of pets, it is important you know its potential adult size. This will go a long way to inform on the amount of space their enclosure should have.
When you take a look at these pets in the store, it is sometimes tempting to underestimate how far they go when it comes to their size and length. A lot of pet owners have been surprised to realize that their dragons outgrew the size of their provided enclosures.
In this post, I intend to leave no stone unturned on what you should know about how big do bearded dragons get.
- 1 An Overview Of Bearded Dragons
- 2 How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow?
- 3 How Big Can A Bearded Dragon Get?
- 4 Relationship Between Bearded Dragon Size And Age
- 5 Bearded Dragon Subspecies And Their Differences In Size
- 6 Factors That Influence How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get
- 7 Final Words On How Big Can A Bearded Dragon Get
An Overview Of Bearded Dragons
The bearded dragon is one type and species of lizards that have in recent times grown in popularity.
As suggested by their name, they have a dragon-like characteristic that has gotten the attention of reptile enthusiasts. This characteristic serves as their defense mechanism in the midst of potential threats.
Affectionately referred to as ‘beardies’, they are robust-looking lizards and have the potential of growing up to about 65cm (depending on the species).
They feature lateral spines traveling down their sides and making it up to the base of their tail; fleshy tongues, and round pupils.
Bearded dragons primarily live in central Australia, particularly the deserts and arid woodlands. They are categorized as cold-blooded animals and thus thrive in a warm habitat.
There are eight species of bearded dragons commonly recognized, with the central bearded dragon, (Pogonavitticeps) as the most common of them.
Of all the pet reptiles that have grown in popularity, bearded dragons are one of the most inquisitive, active, and gentle.
In wild environments like forests, they tend to be aggressive; but docile when in captivity.
How Fast Do Bearded Dragons Grow?
A lot of owners have been seen to be overwhelmed to see their bearded dragons transform into their adulthood seemingly overnight. You don’t want to be among those types of pet owners.
Within the first say 6 months, there is usually a boom in their growth rate. At this stage of their lives, you get to notice an inch of increase in their size like every week.
After the first 6 months, most dragons drastically reduce their growth rate. But, there are some that continue growing at that initial rate into their second year of age (or say 11 or 12 months).
As they get into the second year of age, most dragons do not have much growth ahead. At the very best, you can get about an inch or a little more. Most of the time, this stage tends to go unnoticed.
How Big Can A Bearded Dragon Get?
Baby Dragon Size
When a bearded dragon is newly born up to about two months later, they are generally referred to as ‘hatchling’ or baby dragons. Their typical length during this period is about 3 inches and weighs around 4 grams.
From this moment to about two months (where they’re generally referred to as hatchling), the value of their size tends to double or even triple. This is partly because of their ravenous appetite during this stage, consuming as much as 30 – 60 crickets on a daily basis; together with fresh veggies and greens.
This implies that they can grow anything from 3 to around 8 inches in length and 4- about 30 grams in weight.
Juvenile Dragon Size
Juvenile bearded dragons are generally between 3 to 11 months. This is the stage of a bearded dragon that experiences the most dramatic rate of growth. Some are nearly full-size bearded dragons at particularly 11 months of age.
At this stage, their appetite is hearty and somewhat ramous (at least for the first few months), and they still consume a great deal of food.
Their typical length during this period is between 8 and 23 inches and their weight range from 20 to 400 grams.
Adult Dragon Size
A bearded dragon is considered an adult anything from its 18th month of age and is generally associated with their sexual maturity age.
At this stage of their lives their appetite tends to dramatically reduce (depending on the species of your beardies), and so does their rate of growth.
Their typical length during this period is between 16 and 24 inches and their weight range from 300 to 550 grams. While they grow as much as 26 inches, it is very rare.
Relationship Between Bearded Dragon Size And Age
The size of a bearded dragon roughly goes along with its age – even though these may not be accurately correct (just estimates).
In captivity, it is easy for breeders to tell the age of their dragon as long as they can tell the date the dragon egg was laid and hatched.
This is not the case when in the wild; but, the size can give an estimated clue on how old a bearded dragon is. All you need is to be familiar with the normal rate of growth of dragons in the different stages of their lives as stated above.
Generally, an estimated size when they reach one month is approximately 4 inches.
Five to six months down the line, their size tends to quadruple to about 18 inches.
By 1 year or 12 months, they are already reaching between 22 to 24 inches.
It is important to note here that the subspecies of these dragons will greatly influence these estimates. This we will discuss in detail later on in the post.
Bearded Dragon Subspecies And Their Differences In Size
Bearded dragons exist in many subspecies depending on the specific region they are discovered. As a result, their size and growth rate will differ.
Let us take a look at 8 of the common species and their differences in size.
This happens to be the most common and popular of all bearded dragon subspecies and the picture most owners have in mind when they think about bearded dragons.
They are naturally found in drier bush areas, forests, and desert areas.
As reported by most owners, this subspecies is generally gentle and enjoy climbing. They stay awake during the daytime and obviously sleep during the night hours.
When it’s a full-grown bearded dragon, the Pogona Viticeps can grow up to 24 inches.
This species of bearded dragons are generally and fondly known as coastal bearded dragons.
They tend to be territorial when kept together with others.
They are also known for their love for climbing, as well as running around their environment.
They love to be around dry, wooded areas and are stay awake during the daylight hours too. When fully grown, the Pogona Barbata bearded dragon full size can go up to 24 inches.
Pogona Minor Mitchelli
The Pogona Monir Mitchelli is generally found in northwestern and central Australia in desserts and semi-tropical woodlands. They are one of the smallest-sized bearded dragons outside the dwarf dragons and are very rare.
When fully grown, the Pogona Monir Mitchelli generally grow up to 18 inches.
This sub specie of bearded dragons is commonly referred to as the dwarf bearded dragons.
They are rarely found but naturally live along shaded woodland regions and rocky areas. Owing to their small-sized nature, they are likely to be more of insectivores, rather than herbivores like other species of bearded dragons.
When fully grown, the Pogona Minor generally grows up to between 14 and 18 inches.
Also coined as Nullarbor bearded dragon, this is another rare and small-sized species of the bearded dragon.
They are naturally found in Southern Australia and prefer to stay in a flat brush environment.
They rely on running for their mobility and are hardly domesticated. When fully grown, the Pogona Nullabor generally grows up to 14 inches.
Pogona Minor Minima
This species of a bearded dragon is also known as the Western bearded dragon.
They are classified as small-sized dragons (although not the smallest) and like to dwell in woodsy and dry environments along the Islands of Houtman Abrolhos.
When fully grown, the Pogona Minor Minima generally grows up to 12 inches.
The Pogona Henrylawsoni is another species of bearded dragon that is on the smaller side when it comes down to size.
Commonly known as Lawsons bearded dragon, they hail from the central and western Australian regions close to Queensland.
They are known for their active climbing and their preference for dry rocky and desert regions.
When fully grown, the Pogona Henrylasoni generally grows up to 12 inches or even less.
The Pogona Microlepidota is also commonly known as the Drysdale river dragon and is naturally discovered in the woodlands and coast of North Kimberley in Australia.
This is practically the shortest of all lizards (reptiles) in the bearded dragon family and features attractive markings.
This species of beardies are very rare, if not rarest; and are not really kept as pets.
When fully grown, the Pogona Microlepitoda only grows up to between 4 and 6 inches.
Factors That Influence How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get
Not all bearded dragons end up growing well. When the required conditions are not provided, your dragon’s growth stands a chance of being stunted.
Before taking the plunge and bringing in your reptilian pet, you should be familiar with conditions that impact their well-being.
The diet you provide for your bearded dragons goes a long way to impact not only their health but their growth.
Adequate attention should be given to the diet of your beardies, particularly during their hatchling and juvenile life stages.
Feed them with a complete diet and foods with high nutrients. Low-nutrients can stunt the growth of your dragons. As much as possible, you should avoid insects that are high in fats.
As a bearded dragon owner, you should be conversant with the appropriate diet at various stages of their lives.
As a rule of thumb, juveniles need more protein compared to adults. That implies about 75% of their food should be insects, and this reduces as they grow older.
The environment a bearded dragon is kept in affects its adult size. A very important part of their environment is their enclosure and house.
Enough room should be provided for your beardies if they must grow properly. You don’t want them to be struggling to move around as this tends to stunt their growth.
Other than their enclosure size, another aspect that should be given attention is correct lighting. Adequate heat helps your lizards to synthesize vitamins and absorbs nutrients.
Faulty lighting results in a compromise of their metabolic function and by extension hinder their growth.
Ever wondered how reptiles (even within the same population of species) are capable of generating a diversity of characteristics such as colors, size, and so on?
In nature, human beings from different populations differ in many characteristics. One of the explanations for this difference has been associated with their genetic makeup. Genetics have an important role they play in the maximum size your bearded dragon attains.
Most of the time, these genes were passed on from their parents. If their parent is large in size, the offspring tend to be large themselves. So also applies to small-sized bearded dragons.
Bear in mind that offspring are not necessarily carbon copies of their parents.
Gender has always been known as a significant determinant of the size of many creatures. Particularly for bearded dragons, they are sexually dimorphic.
This implies that there is a systematic difference in characteristics such as size between their males and female members of the same species.
Typically, males are bigger and longer with a length of between 21 and 24 inches. But, females usually measure between 19 and 22 inches. Females usually have a broader body and slimmer tail.
How you take care of your bearded dragons go a long way to impact how big they get.
Lack of husbandry or poor health care tends to cut short the size of your beardie. The obvious explanation for this is that poor care may lead to certain health conditions.
One health condition that is common is impaction. These conditions tend to prevent your lizards from getting appropriate nutrients. This in turn affects the physiological function of your dragon and stunts their dragon as well.
Keeping multiple bearded dragons in the same enclosure together is generally not advisable. When more than one bearded dragons are kept in the same tank, there’s likely going to be a struggle or dominance.
Even with females that are believed less dominant sex, it is not recommended that they be kept in the same tank.
You probably have noticed cases where a lizard was on top of the other. A lot of times, they are being affectionate but mostly fighting for the best spot in the enclosure.
In such a case, the more dominant or strong one wins the lion’s share of everything. This implies that the less dominant or weaker may not enjoy the necessary provisions in the enclosure.
Brumation is simply the version of hibernation for reptiles. This is when your bearded dragons get to hunker down and go to sleep in anticipation of the winter. This is usually for long periods of time.
When this happens, beardies tend to lose a significant amount of weight as a direct result of food deprivation. This state can lead to stunted growth of your dragon.
It is important that you avoid this from happening, especially during the early stages of their life. You can avoid brumation by making sure that the appropriate temperature for your dragon’s enclosure is maintained at all times (day and night).
The light cycle should also be appropriately maintained.
Bearded dragons are known for their unique personalities that need special environments to thrive.
As such, there are certain key environmental factors that if not provided can stress your beardies, and thereby hinder them from living to their full potential.
Any form of these stressors can impact the growth of your bearded dragon. If you want your dragon to grow properly, it is important that you keep them from the following stressors:
- Loud noise (from say nearby stereos or TV)
- Poor nutrition from diet
- Low temperatures
- Poor and/or too much handling
- Untidy enclosure
- Excessive light
- Not enough tank size
Final Words On How Big Can A Bearded Dragon Get
Bearded dragons are doubtless wonderful pets to have around.
When it comes down to the question of how big are bearded dragons go, this largely depends on many factors such as diet, environment, healthcare, genetics, etc.
On average, these dragons can reach as much as between 12-24inches. To the extent you pay attention to their needs and requirements will they grow well.
Now you can see how much of a role you play in how big are bearded dragons. So, if you want them to meet their maximum and bearded dragon full size, you want to pay attention to the factors that encourage them to thrive.
If for any reason you observe any abnormalities in their sizes (outside the standard size ranges), that calls for an immediate review of their diet, lighting, enclosure size, and other factors as mentioned above.
As long as they are within the stated size range, then you have a healthy reptile.
I hope this post has taught you all you need to know about the size of bearded dragons, and not only that but also how to provide them with the required care.
Should you have any questions about the above subject, I am more than happy to provide answers. Just reach out and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
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Last update on 2021-04-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API