Most Popular Bearded Dragon Morphs

Bearded dragons are extremely popular pet lizards. Not only are they well behaved, moderately-sized, trainable, interactive pet lizards, they’re also available in a multitude of morphs. We aim to list the most popular Bearded dragon morphs in the world for you.

Many morphs means you can essentially “customize” your bearded dragon to suit your personal aesthetics. With careful, selective breeding, bearded dragons have essentially become designer lizards.

Some people might feel overwhelmed by the vast number of bearded dragon morphs available on the market today. What do all the descriptive terms mean and how do you choose which lizard you want?

In this article, we’ll lay out the most popular morphs and describe them in detail. Keep in mind that because these are all the same lizard, temperament, personality, and care requirements are all the same. These animals are only different in physical appearance.

Normal Bearded Dragon

Normal or standard Beardies are not necessarily one specific color. They can be a mixture of yellow, brown, red, orange, and tan.

Genetically, they are the result of a breeding between two dragons with different traits. In other words, they come from breeding a “normal” with a “pastel” or a “red” with a “normal.”

normal bearded dragon
This normal hatchling is a bit on the yellow and red side. As it grows and matures, it could become more tan or brown.

As far as price point goes, these are the most inexpensive beardies since no special genetic pairings are required to produce a normal.

And don’t let the name “normal” fool you. They can be quite stunning in coloration and markings just like any of the other morphs.

Pastel Bearded Dragon

A pastel Beardie is lighter in color. They are bred to have reduced pigmentation in their scales with fainter patterns and high lights. Often times, this morph’s nails are translucent too.

pastel bearded dragon hatchling
This is a yellow pastel hatchling. Notice how its colors are muted.

This means that a pastel red bearded dragon will express muted red tones in its scales. Similarly, a pastel yellow Beardie will be much less of a vibrant yellow.

This morph is also known as “hypo” which refers to the lack of pigmentation present in the lizard’s skin.

Leatherback Bearded Dragon

Leatherbacks are interesting because in addition to being very vibrant in coloration, they actually have a different texture than a normal bearded dragon.

The name “leatherback” actually comes from this Beardie’s smooth back. It has no spikes on its back like a normal dragon, although it does have a fringe of spikes along its sides and on its head.

leatherback bearded dragon
Leatherbacks have smooth backs, but are not as scale-less as the silky back morph.

The scientific reason leatherbacks have smooth backs is because they actually have smaller scales on their backs which makes them feel smoother. Because the scales are smaller, they also seemingly pack more pigment in, thus making the Beardie appear more vibrant.

Silky Bearded Dragon

Out of all the bearded dragon morphs, silkies or silkbacks are the most unique in physical appearance and the easiest to distinguish at a single glance.

silky bearded dragon
As you can see, silkies have very smooth bodies with no ridges, bumps, or scales to be seen.

Silkies are essentially smooth, hence their morph name. They almost feel and look like they have proper skin instead of scales, although this is not the case. In reality, silkies are the result of a cross between two leatherbacks with the end result being a lizard that is doubly smooth because its scales are doubly small.

Although silkies can be bred to be a variety of different colors, they will almost always be more bold and vibrant than most other morphs.

Red Bearded Dragon

A red bearded dragon is exactly what it sounds like – a red lizard. The red color can be bright like a tomato or duller like a brick. Just keep in mind that the more outrageous the red color of the Beardie, the more costly it will generally be.

red bearded dragon
As this photo shows, red morphs Beardies are simply red in color.

It should also be noted that the red morph term can be combined with other morph traits. For example, you can have a Beardie that is a “red leatherback” or a “red silky” or even a “red translucent.” The red name is mostly a modifier, although it can also be the main descriptive element in the type of Beardie.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what color or morph your bearded dragon is. All beardies are great pet lizards that enjoy interacting with people. Which morph you end up choosing will be largely based on your personal preference and budget.

Made a decision which morph you want? Or are you ready to check out more morphs than the ones listed in this article? Head to the Backwater Reptiles website and check out all the bearded dragon morphs we sell!

Lizards for Kids

Lizards can make very rewarding pets for children, even though they might not be what most parents would consider a “traditional” pet. They actually require far less maintenance than a cat or dog and most can be trained to be extremely social and friendly.

So, if you’re considering purchasing a pet lizard for your child or even as a classroom pet, check out our list below to see our top four lizards for kids.

The best lizards for children

1. Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

Bearded dragons top our list of the best pet lizards for kids because they’re very gentle, docile, and extremely easy to care for in captivity. They enjoy being out of their enclosure and receiving attention from their owners and are probably one of the more interactive lizard species that we have ever kept.

Beardies, as they are more commonly known, begin life fairly small. If you purchase a hatchling, your little lizard should be around four or five inches in length. Beardies are piggy lizards and will pretty much never refuse food, so be prepared for your beardie to grow…and grow fast!

Even though you can keep a hatchling comfortably in a ten gallon tank for a few months, it will quickly grow into needing an enclosure that is at least 75 gallons as a full-grown bearded dragon can be about two feet in length.

 

lizards for kids
This beardie is what we call “normal” in the reptile world. This just means that it has not been bred to be any special color or have any unique markings. They make wonderful pet lizards for kids of all ages.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, but hatchlings will be more inclined to eat insects over vegetable matter. Their favorite tends to be crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. We recommend placing fresh greens such as mustard greens and collards in their enclosure daily and feeding invertebrates daily as well.

If you’re interested in a healthy, amusing pet bearded dragon, Backwater Reptiles has many different morphs to choose from, and they’re all captive bred and thriving.

2. Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

If you’re in the market for a cute lizard with extraordinarily simple care requirements, then a leopard gecko just might be a good choice for your child.

Leopard geckos stay relatively small. A full-grown, large leopard gecko will reach ten inches long, but most will average around eight inches in length. They are available in many interesting color morphs and patterns, so this makes them very attractive to many hobbyists.

pet super snow leopard gecko
This leopard gecko morph is called a Super Snow. They’re black and white and do very well in captivity.

You’ll be hard-pressed to make a leopard gecko bite. They’re extremely good-natured little lizards. In fact, we love recommending them to children or first-time lizard owners because they always appear to be smiling.

Your leopard gecko will eat insects such as crickets, mealworms, and reptiworms. We like to give ours wax worms as treats, but only occasionally.

Check out our extensive selection of leopard geckos for sale ranging from hatchlings to mature adults. They’re perhaps the most popular pet lizard in the world.

3. Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua sp.)

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend a blue tongue skink for a young child such as a toddler, but a blue tongue would be a perfect pet lizard for a teenager or even pre-teen.

Blue tongues require a slightly more varied diet and a small percentage of specimens can be nippy if they’re not properly trained, so we think that unless you’re willing to invest the time to train and feed the lizard yourself, you may want to steer clear of choosing a blue tongue for your very young child. We’ve never had one attempt to bite us–ever–but if it did happen it’d be a little more painful than a bite from a small lizard.

Due to their giant blue-colored tongues, blue tongue skinks are commonly referred to as “Blueys” amongst reptile enthusiasts. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch glimpses of your bluey’s tongue when it eats veggies like kale, spinach, and collards combined with proteins such as mealworms, canned meat, or boiled chicken.

We know we already mentioned it, but blue tongues do have more complex dietary requirements than the other lizards on our list. Feeding them is not as simple as dropping a few insects in their cage or placing “skink pellets” into a dish.

blue tongue skink hatchling
This is a hatchling bluey. Many lizard lovers like blueys because of their short legs and big heads.

Blueys will not need a lot of accessories in their enclosure. They have short, stubby, little legs, which means they’re not climbers. All they really need is a water dish, clean substrate that allows for burrowing, and some hiding places.

If you’re ready to take on a pet blue tongue skink, we have healthy babies and adults available. They’re one of the world’s most popular lizards.

4. Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) or Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei)

Anoles have always been great starter lizards for kids. In fact, many of us experienced herp hobbyists started out keeping pet anoles when we were a child, so we recommend them from first-hand experience.

 

Green anole
Green anoles are compact little lizards that are very inexpensive pets for kids.

Both green and brown anoles have very similar care requirements and eat the same types of food. In fact, in the wild, they share habitat and compete for space and food. We’d recommend either color – we say let your kid(s) pick which species they want.

Anoles are very small pet lizards which means that the space they require for a habitat is smaller than any of the other pet lizards on our list. However, anoles are prone to flightiness and don’t really enjoy being handled. So, if your child wants a lizard that they can hold and pet, we recommend going with a hardier lizard from this list.

brown anole
Brown anoles have essentially the same care requirements as green anoles.

Green and brown anoles are both extremely affordable pet lizards, so if you’re on a budget, an anole just might be the best bet for you and your family.

Backwater Reptiles sells both species of anole, plus a few other species too!

Lizards for Kids – Conclusion

There are tons of great lizards available in pet stores and from breeders that make excellent pets. However, we highly recommend any of the four lizards listed above if you are specifically in the market for your child’s first pet lizard.

Backwater Reptiles Q&A Session

We recently gave our customers and fans the opportunity to ask us anything about reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates via our Facebook page. The results are in and now we are answering the top two questions.

reptile faq

Question One from R. Lorenz

“About what age do bearded dragons reach sexual maturity? I have two, a four year old male and a 6 month old – who up until last week was by all external signs a female. Very submissive, waving and bobbing and baring the throat, then all of a sudden it started displaying a black beard and the glands on its pelvis are just now starting to show (barely pin points that weren’t there before). The only time any aggression is shown to the adult beardie (who is not aggressive towards the baby at all other than defending himself) is in their mutual basking spot. Anywhere else in the house and the baby is still submissive. They have been together outside the cage (under supervision) and sleeping together since the baby was about 3 months. This just took us by surprise. I have heard of them morphing from one sex to the other, can that really happen?”

Question One Answer

In all of our combined experience at Backwater Reptiles, not a one of us has ever witnessed a Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) swapping gender. However, just because we haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

In fact, studies like this one discussed in National Geographic show that gender of Beardies can be swapped based upon temperature…however, this phenomenon only occurred while the lizards were still in their eggs.

Bearded dragons generally reach sexual maturity by eight to twelve months of age. This is the point at which their genders can truly be distinguished. Breeders can use certain tricks to help distinguish between the sexes prior to the sexual maturity mark, but it is not always a guarantee that you will end up with the gender you had in mind if you purchase a lizard prior to the sexual maturity mark.

If the aggression between your male Beardies continues to worsen, sadly, you will have to separate them. You can always try offering a larger enclosure for the two lizards with two separate basking areas first though if you still want to try to keep them housed together.

Question two from M. Zimmerman

“Don’t get me wrong, my Columbian Rainbow Boa, Ssssasha is a very healthy snake. But would it harm my snake if I was to feed it thawed mice with a sprinkle of vitamin/calcium powder? Also would that make her grow quicker and better? Or is it best to just feed her regular thawed mice?”

Question Two Answer

Professional snake breeders and most hobbyists don’t consider it necessary to dust their feeders, whether the snake is eating mice, rats, or even larger mammals like rabbits.

It’s not likely going to harm Ssssasha if you feed her dusted mice, however it’s also unlikely that she will grow any faster.

reptile frequently asked questions
Columbian rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria)

Snakes get all the nutrition they need from the critters they eat and if you are feeding your Rainbow boa rodents, she should be getting all the proper vitamins and minerals she needs naturally.

Probably more important to Sssssasha’s growth rate and overall health is the amount that she is eating and the frequency that she is offered mice. Most snakes will eat twice a week when they are juveniles and as they mature, they can be fed once per week or even every other week depending on the species. The bottom line is that the more you feed your snake (and this is true of any species not just Columbian rainbow boas), the quicker it will grow.

green anaconda eating
One of our juvenile Green Anacondas (Eunectes murinus) eating a fuzzy.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a question to be answered. We’ll post another question and answer session in the future.

What to Feed Your Bearded Dragon

What should you feed your pet Beardie? Bearded Dragons (AKA “Beardies”) are extremely popular pet lizards for several reasons. They are extremely hardy making them easy to care for, healthy lizards. They are also medium-sized animals which means that they don’t require a very large enclosure to keep them happy. They come in a variety of attractive color morphs, are very docile, tame creatures, and they also enjoy being handled and develop individual personalities.

feeding bearded dragons

So now on to the million dollar question – what do these guys eat?

Bearded dragons are omnivorous opportunists and eat both veggies and meat. They have very large appetites and will often eat when they are not hungry, just like some people, so make sure you are aware of what your Beardie eats on a daily basis so that he/she doesn’t get fat.

Here are some basic rules to follow when feeding your bearded dragon.

1) Because baby Beardies are growing, they will need to consume more food in general than an adult would. They will need to eat protein (i.e. insects) three times per day, whereas adults will eat once per day. An insect is of an appropriate size for your dragon if it is not longer than the space between the dragon’s eyes.

bearded dragons diet

2) Each insect feeding session should last about fifteen minutes. Dust your gut-loaded insects appropriately with vitamin supplements and allow the Beardie to consume as many as possible within that fifteen minute time frame. After feeding is finished, remove leftover insects from the enclosure.

3) It’s always a good idea to have fresh vegetable and/or fruit matter available to your Beardie. Cut the veggies or fruits into small, manageable pieces and make sure to replace daily as you don’t want your Beardie to eat wilted, rotted, or otherwise harmful food.

bearded dragon food

4) Some plants, fruits, and veggies are not safe for Beardies to eat, while others are just plain not nutritious. Don’t feed your Beardie avocados as they are toxic to their systems. Avoid lettuce because its mostly water (particularly iceberg lettuce). Also don’t use wild-caught insects as food because they can carry parasites or diseases that could harm your lizard.

bearded dragons eating

5) Variety is important. Make sure your dragon is getting a varied and balanced diet of both protein and vegetative matter. They will develop favorite foods, but like a human being, they need to eat different things on a regular basis to keep them healthy. In other words, switch up the type of protein and veggies weekly.

pogona vitticeps

Backwater Reptiles offers multiple ages and color morphs of bearded dragons for sale as well as lots of types of feeder insects.