A rare pet choice for many is the bearded dragon with a triangular head, long tails, spikes, and scales know its body. But not all these reptiles are similar. They aren’t all bright and shiny with smooth skin or a colorful pattern on their back.
Some resemble a typical lizard, others are sandy colored, others are leopard geckos. But all in all, the morph or species in them is what determines the type of bearded dragon they are. Below is a detailed guide to know the various types of them there are. Some would say they are eight in total, down seven, other more – but with the rate of cross-breeding and inter mating, more types emerging.
Types of Bearded Dragons
Before we begin with the classification, let’s first understand three things;
Types are a group of dragons with similar characteristics and features. Morphs are a unique element from the dragon erupting from the species that then aids with classification into a type of dragon. Lastly, species are the unique genes the reptile carries that dates back to its originality.
The type, in this case, doesn’t speak about the origin of the dragon which is why there shall be no speak of whether it’s a coastal, eastern, or western dragon. Now let’s get right into the main agenda.
1. Classic Bearded Dragon
The first type is the standard, basic, or classic dragon. Very common with a beard and a triangular-shaped head. They aren’t morphed like other types, hence come with spikes on their back, as well as their backs. Their prevalent color is brown or tan, but it can come with other astounding color varieties like red, black, yellow, or orange.
Since it’s the most basic kind of bearded dragon out there, it’s equally cheaper to purchase and maintain as a pet. It’s also very straightforward when it comes to identification because it resembles its wild counterpart – the lizard.
2. German Giant Bearded Dragon
Next up is the German giant. Earned its name from its shape and size – it measures about 30 inches in length and about twice as heavy as a regular bearded dragon. Giant right!
This specific species has been in existence for so long with such a unique morph, but over the last years, many have claimed that it doesn’t exist in its pure breed anymore – but rather as a diluted gene with a different bloodline. Even so, they remain to be the largest breed yet with special breeders such as the rainbow bearded dragons and A1 reptiles.
In terms of its identification, it’s not easy to tell it’s kind until they fully mature into an adult. This is also because of the interbreeding nature, where they mate with larger dragons hence giving birth to equally larger species. Color-wise, they also have a variety of shades available which you can choose at the time of purchase.
3. Hypo Bearded Dragons
The hypo bearded dragons are a unique breed that comes together as a result of two hypomelanistic traits mating. They are slightly different from regular lizards, firstly because of their hyperpigmentation- the color of their skin is lighter than the other bearded dragons.
What’s more, the pigmentation doesn’t only appear on their skin – it’s also present in their eyes and nails. This makes their gene factor a market marker as there’s only one of it’s kind. This the of bearded dragons also have other subtypes which are differentiated by additional features.
- Yellow hypo dragons
- English Belgium hypo
- Blood hypo
- Het translucent
- Red Crawley hypo
- Red hypomelanistic
As you can see from the listing, the main shades are red, yellow, and translucent. Hypomelanistic in this context simply means, pastel in coloration or under the normal color parameters – like a faded element. What’s equal across all these subtypes, however, is the inability to produce deep or darkened hues.
Their patterns as well are faded. Their nails appear clearer and better than the other bearded dragon types. Their general appearance is much closer to the basic bearded dragon because of its unmorphed appearance of spikes on its body.
4. Leatherback Bearded Dragons
You can already guess from the name that these bearded dragons have a shiny, smooth, leatherback with no spikes. But that’s not to say they’re completely smooth and spike free all over, they have spikes on their heads and sides.
Their species allow for their pop in color because with a smooth and shiny back, what’s left is a clear view of the patterns and color combinations the breed has. They’re a common dragon, especially when you consider which of them is often purchased.
In terms of similarity, they almost look similar to the silkback bearded dragon, which we shall look at in the preceding sections. The leatherback bearded dragon is a rare gene compared to the standard one, however, there are subtypes that keep their breed alive.
These subtypes include;
- Het hypomelanistic
- Italian leatherback
- Hypo leatherback
- Red Italian leatherback
- Purple paradox leatherback
- Translucent dinner
Thanks to the unique leatherback breeders, they have a mutated gene that doesn’t allow its scales to grow full term. This means they the scales always look fresh, hence, a smoother appearance with smaller scales. Other breeders such as the gemstone Dragons and the rainbow bearded dragons aid the coloring on the scales to pop more.
This, however, doesn’t mean the dragon morphs, Delta dragons, Carolina classic, and Dachiu bearded Dragons don’t add a subtle taste in color to their backs.
5. Paradox Bearded Dragons
With the paradox bearded dragons, they own a set of unique patterns for every one of them – just like a fingerprint. The colored blotches appearing on their bodies is not just for their identification, but also uniqueness.
For all the paradox bearded dragons out there, you will see a different pattern created from crossbreeding of the morphs. This, therefore, allows them to absorb different hues on their skin like a blotched skin filled with splattered paint.
6. Silkback Bearded Dragons
The silk back bearded dragon also has a smooth and shiny back, just like the leatherback dragon. But the differentiating factor comes in where the silk back doesn’t have scales. With the absence of scales, the dragon then becomes a delicate species as it requires keen care to ensure it’s protected from skin conditions.
What’s more, when it arrives at its shedding phase, this specific dragon has it more intensely making a serious concern. The silk back bearded dragon also has to be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays that can create a huge problem in the reptile.
This specific breed originates from a mating between two leatherback dragons. This results in a smoother back, more varieties of hues for the dragon, tinier scales. This type of breeding more often than not is artificially bred to unique breeds with unique colors. Finally, the silkies also don’t have spikes unlike the other species of these reptiles.
7. Translucent Bearded Dragons
Another type of bearded dragon is translucent. You have read about the translucent species on the other morphs above, but this is a type on its own. These dragons are not het – to mean it’s carrying a gene. Instead, it’s a complete breed of dragons with spikes and scales that seem transparent to the naked eye.
They can be from other species from the coastal, eastern, western meaning they can be hypomelanistic and translucent at the same time. But what’s more intriguing, is that their eyes are completely different from either type. The adult lizard doesn’t have a visible iris.
Yes, they’re colorful and yes they almost seem transparent but their unique features make them a very popular choice amongst others. Here are the different subtypes of the translucent bearded dragons;
- Belgium translucent
- Hypo translucent
- Leatherback genetic stripe
- Polar translucent
- Dark translucent
- Red and orange hypo
- Het translucent
- Rally red translucent
- Citrus tiger hypo translucent
These types of reptiles have a similar appearance to the leopard gecko – especially for the babies who have a transparent, blue belly. The adults also resemble the geckos with blue eyelids and dark solid eyes.
8. Zero(Albino/White) Bearded Dragon
The zero bearded dragon is considered the albino of all species. They have no distinct colors, patterns, or hue combinations. They are extremely rare with a pale white coating all over its body – a characteristic that sets them apart from the other morphs.
Because of its indigenous nature, the price of one of these dragons is extremely hefty – almost twice the amount for a classic. Its appearance has a similarity to other morphs such as the witblits. But it’s only because if the lack of color distinctions.
9. Unclassified Bearded Dragons
The final piece of bearded dragons are unclassified. These are those morphs that have different characteristics that can’t be classified into one type. For example, the witblits – no color patterns like the zero bearded, but they aren’t white with a translucent appearance. This is because they can come in different solids hues like yellow, red, or purple.
Another example is the wero morph – a crossbreed between the witblits and a zero bearded dragon. They don’t have great color combinations on their skin, but they have splotches of darker hues on its tail.
Lastly, the dunner – they also don’t have patterns on their scales, but they look very similar to the standard bearded dragons. Their markings on the skin have no apparent directions like the symmetrical stripes on other reptiles. More so, they have disorganized spots and more scales than any other types of bearded dragons.
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