Lizard Genus: Pogona Most Common Pet: Pogona vitticeps (Central Bearded Dragon) Size: Grow up to 24 inches Weight: Up to 600g (depending on size)

The popularity of the bearded dragon has risen in recent years, with many people choosing them as an alternative pet to more regular options. While at first they may seem a peculiar choice, they do in fact make excellent pets. Friendly and calm, they are one of the most docile lizards and are good pets for children (although a word of caution should be applied here. Younger children should be supervised when handling them as the animal can be quite delicate).

While we often refer to them as one collective – bearded dragons – there are actually seven animals within the group known as Pogona. The most common species that is kept as a pet is the Pogona vitticeps or the Central Bearded Dragon. This particular strand comes from central Australia, where the conditions are hot, dry, arid, rocky and desert-like. Here they spend their time between the dry lands and semi-arid wooded areas, basking in the sun on rocks and branches during the day.

Another reason why bearded dragons are popular pets is because they are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. However, this doesn’t mean they are constantly on the move; for much of the time they may just sit still under their UV light. When fed live insects though, they can be seen to move around and ‘hunt’ their prey. These lizards are also OK with being handled if done calmly and gently from a young age; in fact many seem to enjoy the human contact.

Although gaining in popularity all the time, many people are still put off from owning bearded dragons purely because of their appearance. It is mainly the spiny-type scales around their head and throat that potential owners are unsure of, but these are not very sharp at all and are only used in the wild when they feel threatened and to scare off predators. Their claws are also something that put off many people but, while they are sharp, they do not aim to scratch you and if held properly they should not be an issue.

Stay tuned for more information on bearded dragons, coming soon.

If you’re looking for essential items for your bearded dragon, browse our reptile supplies shop.