Eastern Bearded Dragon

Eastern Bearded Dragon

Common bearded dragon, Bearded lizard, Jew lizard, Frilly lizard

Pogona barbata
Population size
Life Span
10-15 years
cm inch 

The Eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata ) is an agamid lizard found in wooded parts of Australia. It is one of a group of species known commonly as bearded dragons. Other common names for this species include Jew lizard and frilly lizard, the latter being a confusion between this and another dragon, the frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii ). This species was originally described in 1829 by Georges Cuvier, who named it Amphibolurus barbatus.


Eastern bearded dragons are usually grey-black or red in skin color and are sometimes reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, or dark brown. Juveniles are paler in color than adults and have patterns that fade as they mature. As the animal matures, it develops a subtle pale yellow, blue, or green tinge on the forepart of its head. If excited and at higher temperatures head, flanks and legs become yellowish to orange in color. Usually, however, they are rather dark, from yellowish to grey and black. The inside of the mouth is generally a bright yellow color.

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Adult males of this species can grow to about 60 cm (24 in) from the snout to the tip of the tail, while females may reach 50 cm (20 in) in overall length.

The head is large and triangular in shape. The throat is covered with spiny, dark grey scales which can be raised to form an impressive "beard". Several groups of even longer spiny scales are located at the back of the head, the corners of the mouth, and the external ear openings, and run posteriorly along both sides of the abdomen. The thorax and abdomen are relatively slender and flattened dorsoventrally.

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Eastern bearded dragons are found in eastern Australia south of Cape York Peninsula; however, specimens have been collected from Cape York, through central Australia, and even from the west coast of Australia. These lizards live in dry woodlands and dry sclerophyll forests and frequently visit agricultural and urban areas.

Eastern Bearded Dragon habitat map

Climate zones

Eastern Bearded Dragon habitat map

Habits and Lifestyle

Eastern bearded dragons are solitary diurnal creatures. They are arboreal and perch on exposed places such as tree branches or logs, retreating to lower and cooler places when too hot. They are quite aggressive; the males are territorial and permit only females and juveniles in their territory. Dominant males are usually the biggest dragons and get the highest perches. When threatened, Eastern bearded dragons inflate their throats and display their beards. If further provoked, they open their mouths to display the bright yellow color of the lining of their mouths. Bearded dragons go through a type of hibernation called brumation. Brumation is like hibernation where reptiles go months without eating but they sporadically drink water. Bearded dragons go through brumation when the temperature goes below 15.5-21 °C (60-70 °F) during the night and 24-26.5 °C (75-80 °F) during the day for eight to ten hours. When the climate is too hot they will often burrow underground. They will also form more permanent burrows or covered hiding places to use as protection from climate changes at night and predation.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Eastern bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles. They feed on a variety of small animals, including mice, smaller reptiles, insects, leaves, fruits, and berries.

Mating Habits

10-26 eggs

Eastern bearded dragons start to breed in spring. Females tunnel into dry earth to lay a clutch that usually consists of 10-26 eggs. They can lay three clutches during the breeding season.


Population threats

Eastern bearded dragons are not threatened at present but they are affected by the loss and degradation of their native habitat.

Population number

According to IUCN Red List, the Eastern bearded dragon is locally common throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today remain stable.


1. Eastern bearded dragon Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_bearded_dragon
2. Eastern bearded dragon on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/170419/83493237

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