The Yellow/Citrus Bearded Dragon: Facts, Care, and More

A look at one of the most beautiful members of the bearded dragon family.
Yellow-Bearded Dragons

If you’re a fan of reptiles, you’ve probably heard of the stunning yellow-bearded dragon, also known as the citrus bearded dragon. These eye-catching lizards are not only beautiful but also make wonderful pets. In this post, we’ll explore their characteristics, care requirements, and some interesting facts.

What Are Yellow Bearded Dragons?

Yellow bearded dragons, scientifically known as Pogona, are one of the most popular lizard species among reptile hobbyists worldwide. These friendly and interactive creatures are well-suited for beginners and experienced reptile owners alike.

They are known for their stunning yellow coloration, although some individuals may display neutral tones. Let’s explore some quick facts about these marvelous creatures:

Bearded Dragon Species Species Profile

Scientific Name: Pogona
Common Name(s): Yellow Bearded Dragon
Care Level: Beginner
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Adult Size: 16-24 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 40 gallons
Temperature: 75-100 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity: 20%-40%

Yellow bearded dragons are native to grasslands and savannahs in Australia. They have gained popularity as pets due to their friendly nature and relatively easy care requirements. These lizards are known for their docile temperament, making them perfect companions for reptile enthusiasts of all ages.

Characteristics of Yellow-Bearded Dragons

Characteristics of Yellow Bearded Dragons

These dragons have a unique identifying set of features. Let us check them out:

Appearance

Yellow bearded dragons exhibit a range of bright yellow to light tan coloration. They possess flat bodies adorned with nodules and spikes along their sides, neck, and legs. Male bearded dragons typically grow larger than females and have more pronounced heads. Adult males can reach lengths of up to 24 inches, while females generally reach sizes of 16 to 19 inches.

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Habitat and Tank Setup

Providing the ideal habitat for your yellow bearded dragon is crucial to ensure their well-being. These reptiles require specific living conditions to thrive. Let’s explore the key elements of their habitat and tank setup:

Tank Size: Adult bearded dragons need a minimum tank size of 40 gallons. It’s essential to provide enough space for them to roam and explore their environment comfortably.

Enclosure Decor: Bearded dragons enjoy basking in the sun, so it’s important to create a suitable space for them to soak up the rays. Providing a basking spot with a flat surface and a temperature between 88 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit is essential. Additionally, adding hiding spots such as hollow logs or hides allows them to retreat and feel secure.

Lighting: Bearded dragons require UVB light for calcium absorption and vitamin D synthesis. It’s crucial to provide them with proper UVB lighting for at least 12 hours a day. Nighttime lighting is not necessary, but ensure the temperature in their enclosure remains above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperature and Humidity: Bearded dragons are ectothermic, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. It’s important to maintain a basking spot temperature between 88 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and a cooler side temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels should be kept between 20% to 40%, as excessive humidity can lead to respiratory issues.

Substrate: Selecting an appropriate substrate is crucial for your bearded dragon’s health. It’s recommended to avoid loose substrates like sand, as they can be ingested and cause intestinal blockages. Try exploring safer options like a reptile carpet, newspaper, or a bare-bottom enclosure.

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The Nutritional Needs of Yellow-Bearded Dragons

As omnivores, yellow-bearded dragons require a balanced diet consisting of both plant and animal matter. Their diet should primarily consist of gut-filled insects during their juvenile stage, gradually transitioning to include more plant matter as they mature. Here’s an overview of their dietary requirements:

Insects: Juvenile bearded dragons should consume a diet primarily composed of insects. Suitable insect options include crickets, dubia roaches, superworms, and silkworms. It’s important to gut-load these insects with nutritious greens before feeding them to your dragon.

Vegetables: As bearded dragons mature, their diet should incorporate a variety of vegetables. Leafy greens such as collard greens, kale, and dandelion greens should make up a significant portion of their vegetable intake. Other suitable vegetables include squash, bell peppers, and carrots.

Fruits: While fruits should be offered in smaller quantities, they can be a nutritious treat for your bearded dragon. Apples, strawberries, and blueberries are among the fruits that can be included in their diet.

It’s important to dust their food with calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.

Health and Common Issues

Keeping your yellow bearded dragon healthy requires regular care and attention. While these reptiles are generally hardy, certain health issues may arise. Here are some common health problems to watch out for:

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): MBD is a condition caused by calcium and vitamin D deficiencies, leading to weakened bones and deformities. Proper calcium supplementation and exposure to UVB lighting are crucial for preventing this condition.

Mouth Rot: Mouth rot, or infectious stomatitis, is a bacterial infection that affects the mouth and gums of bearded dragons. It can cause swelling, discharge, and difficulty eating. Regular dental care and hygiene practices can help prevent this condition.

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Parasites: Bearded dragons can be susceptible to parasites such as mites and intestinal worms. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper hygiene practices can help prevent and treat these infestations.

Respiratory Illnesses: Respiratory infections can occur in bearded dragons, especially if their habitat is too humid or they are exposed to cold temperatures. Maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels is crucial for preventing respiratory illnesses.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring your yellow bearded dragon’s health and addressing any issues promptly. By providing a suitable environment, a balanced diet, and regular care, you can ensure the well-being and longevity of your reptilian companion.

Lifespan and Breeding

Yellow bearded dragons have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years when provided with proper care. However, their lifespan can vary depending on genetic factors, diet, and overall health.

Breeding bearded dragons requires specific conditions and expertise. Female bearded dragons should be at least 18 months old before considering them as breeding candidates. After laying their clutch, babies typically hatch within 55 to 75 days. Breeding bearded dragons requires careful planning and consideration, so thorough research is essential before attempting to breed these reptiles.

Finding and Caring for Your Yellow-Bearded Dragon

When looking to add a yellow bearded dragon to your family, there are several options available. Reputable breeders offer a wide variety of yellow bearded dragons, with prices ranging from $150 to $1,000 depending on factors such as age, coloration, and quality.

Another option is adopting a bearded dragon from a shelter or rescue organization. Adoption fees typically range from $40 to $100. Occasionally, you may come across individuals looking to rehome their bearded dragons, offering them for free or at a minimal cost.

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Once you bring your yellow bearded dragon home, providing proper care is essential for their well-being. Regular handling, a balanced diet, and a suitable habitat will ensure that your reptilian friend thrives and becomes a beloved member of your family.

Conclusion

Yellow bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that captivate reptile enthusiasts with their stunning appearance and friendly demeanor. By understanding their unique characteristics, care requirements, and health considerations, you can provide a nurturing environment for these captivating reptiles.

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