Blue bearded dragons, also known as blue phase bearded dragons or blue tongue lizards, are a type of bearded dragon with a distinctive blue coloration. They are fascinating and unique reptiles and have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years. This article will explore the history and origin of them, their unique physical characteristics, and why they are such fascinating creatures to keep as pets.
These dragons are a subspecies of the familiar bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps). They are characterized by their striking blue coloration, which is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the pigmentation of their skin. Unlike other bearded dragon morphs that result from selective breeding, blue bearded dragons naturally occur in the wild.
Blue bearded dragons were first discovered in the wild in the 1990s in Australia, where they are native. They are believed to result from a genetic mutation that occurred in a small population of bearded dragons. Due to their striking appearance, they quickly gained popularity among reptile enthusiasts. They have since been bred in captivity to produce more unique animals.
Blue bearded dragons are known for their striking blue coloration, which is one of the primary reasons they are so popular as pets. This section will explore the physical characteristics in more detail.
Blue bearded dragons resemble other bearded dragons, with a stocky build and a spiny, flattened tail. However, their skin color ranges from light blue to dark blue, and they often have black spots or markings on their bodies. They have a triangular-shaped head with a prominent, spiky beard under their chin, used for defense and display.
The blue coloration of blue bearded dragons is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the pigmentation of their skin. This mutation causes the melanin in their skin to be distributed differently, resulting in a blue hue. While the exact genetics behind this mutation is not fully understood, it is believed to be recessive. Both parents must carry the gene for their offspring to display the blue coloration.
Blue bearded dragons are a distinct morph of a bearded dragon, and there are several differences between them and other morphs, including:
- Their striking blue coloration is unlike anything seen in different bearded dragon morphs, making them a highly sought-after pet.
- They are relatively easy to care for and can make excellent pets for novice and experienced reptile keepers.
- Blue bearded dragons are friendly and docile and can be easily handled and socialized.
- They have a long lifespan of up to 20 years, which means they can be a long-term companion for their owners. Read more on Bearded Dragons life span.
There are several different types of bearded dragons, including:
- Electric blue bearded dragons have a bright, vibrant blue coloration
- Pastel blue bearded dragons, which have a more muted, pastel blue coloration
- Lavender blue bearded dragons, which have a purple-blue coloration
- Blue bar bearded dragons, which have blue coloration only on certain parts of their body, such as their legs or tail
Proper care and husbandry are crucial for ensuring the health and wellbeing wellbeing of blue bearded dragons. This section will explore the various aspects of caring for blue bearded dragons, including their habitat, diet, temperature, lighting needs, humidity requirements, and how to provide enrichment for these fascinating creatures.
These bearded dragons require a spacious enclosure with enough room to move around, bask, and explore. An adult blue bearded dragon needs a minimum enclosure size of 40 gallons. The enclosure should be glass or plastic and have a screen top to provide ventilation.
Inside the enclosure, provide a safe substrate for the dragon to walk on, such as a reptile carpet, paper towels, or ceramic tiles. Decorate the enclosure with branches, rocks, and other structures for climbing and hiding.
Blue dragons are omnivorous and require a varied animal- and plant-based diet. Offer a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as collard greens, mustard greens, squash, carrots, and blueberries. They also need a source of protein, such as crickets, mealworms, or dubia roaches. Avoid feeding them wild-caught insects or ones found in pet stores due to the possibility of them carrying parasites.
They require a basking spot with a temperature of 95-105°F and a cool side of the enclosure with a temperature of 75-85°F. Provide a UVB light that is replaced every six months to ensure that your dragon receives adequate UVB radiation, which is necessary for proper calcium metabolism.
They require a relatively dry environment, with a 20-30% humidity level. Too much humidity can lead to respiratory issues, so monitoring humidity levels and adjusting as needed is essential.
These blue dragons are intelligent and curious animals that require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and promote good health. Please provide them with toys, such as basking logs or tunnels to explore, and regularly rotate the items in their enclosure to keep things interesting. Additionally, take your dragon out of its enclosure to examine your home, provided it is safe, and supervise it closely.
Blue dragons are known for their calm and docile nature. They are great pets for beginners and experienced reptile owners. In this section, we will explore the typical behavior of them, their interaction with other animals and humans, and how to properly handle and care for them.
They are diurnal animals, meaning they are most active during the day and sleep at night. These dragons spend most of their time basking under a heat lamp and exploring their surroundings. They are generally very docile and tolerate handling well. Still, they may become stressed or agitated if handled too frequently or roughly.
Blue bearded dragons are solitary animals and should not be housed with other dragons or reptiles. However, they can coexist with certain species of animals, such as dogs and cats, as long as they are supervised closely and kept in a secure enclosure.
These dragons can develop a bond with their owners and enjoy interacting with humans. They can be trained to recognize their owners and respond to their presence. However, handling them gently and respecting their boundaries is essential, as they can become stressed or frightened if mishandled.
When handling bearded dragons, it’s important to support their body correctly and avoid grabbing their tail or limbs, as this can cause stress or injury. It’s also important to wash your hands before and after handling them to prevent the spread of bacteria.
In terms of care, they require a clean and well-maintained enclosure, a varied and balanced diet, and regular veterinary checkups. It’s essential to monitor their behavior and health closely and seek veterinary care if any issues arise.
Like any other pet, blue bearded dragons can face health problems and concerns that may require attention from a veterinarian. This section will explore some common health issues that they may face, how to recognize signs of illness or injury, steps to prevent health issues, and what to do if your blue bearded dragon gets sick. Read more on Bearded dragon health issues.
Blue dragons can be prone to specific health problems, including:
- Metabolic bone disease (MBD)
- Parasites and infections
- Respiratory infections
- Fungal infections
- Digestive issues
It’s essential to closely monitor your blue bearded dragon’s behavior and appearance to identify any signs of illness or injury. Some common signs to watch out for include:
- Lack of appetite or weight loss
- Lethargy or weakness
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abnormal breathing or wheezing
- Swelling or discharge from the eyes, nose, or mouth
- Limping or favoring a limb
- Behavior changes, such as aggression or hiding
Preventing health issues in blue bearded dragons starts with providing proper care and husbandry. Some steps you can take to avoid health issues include:
- Maintaining a clean and well-maintained enclosure
- Feeding a varied and balanced diet
- Ensuring proper temperature and lighting conditions
- Regular veterinary checkups
- Quarantining new animals before introducing them to your blue bearded dragon
Suppose you suspect that your blue bearded dragon is sick or injured. In that case, seeking veterinary care as soon as possible is essential. Delaying treatment can worsen the condition and make it harder to treat. Your veterinarian can provide a diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your blue bearded dragon’s specific needs.
Breeding can be a fascinating and rewarding experience. This section will explore the genetics behind these bearded dragons, mating recommendations, availability, cost, and caring for baby blue bearded dragons.
Blue bearded dragons result from a genetic mutation that affects melanin production in their skin. The mutation causes a lack of black pigment in the skin, resulting in a blue hue. The genetics behind this mutation can be complicated, with many factors influencing the coloration of the offspring.
Breeding of these dragons can be a complex process, and it’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the genetics behind the coloration. To breed bearded dragons, it’s recommended to pair a blue bearded dragon with a dragon that carries the recessive gene for the blue coloration. This can help to increase the chances of producing offspring with blue coloration.
Blue dragons are relatively rare compared to other bearded dragon morphs, and as such, they can be more expensive. The cost of a blue bearded dragon can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the coloration and genetics.
Caring for baby blue dragons is similar to caring for adult dragons. They require a well-maintained enclosure, a balanced diet, and proper temperature and lighting conditions. Providing adequate space and resources for the babies to grow and thrive is essential. It’s also recommended to have a veterinarian check on the babies to ensure they are healthy and developing correctly.
In conclusion, blue bearded dragons are fascinating and unique pets that require proper care, attention, and consideration. They are known for their striking blue coloration and playful and curious behavior. Still, providing them with appropriate farming, nutrition, and enrichment is essential to ensure their health and well-being. It’s also crucial to research and understands the legal and ethical implications of owning an exotic pet like a blue bearded dragon and seeks resources for responsible pet ownership and education. With proper care and attention, holding a blue bearded dragon can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for you and your pet.