Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

Archie his first day with me

I thought a good first post would be to give a little information on Bearded Dragons (Pogona vitticeps) in general and my beardie, Archipelago.

Archie is about 8 inches long right now, which, based on some of the things I’ve read would put him around 2 or 3 months old. He can grow to be about 24″ long and, with good care, can live upwards of 10 years. To go about sexing a dragon, there are bumps (one for female or two for male) underneath the tail above the vent. The younger they are, the harder they are to sex which could very well mean that in a year I could look again and have to find a female equivalent of “Archipelago” as a name.

(ADW: P. vitticeps) The taxonomic breakdown of Pogona vitticeps is as follows:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Iguania
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Genus: Pogona
  • Species: Pogona vitticeps

Bearded dragons are named for their spikey throat pouch referred to as the beard, which can be used in both mating and aggression displays. They also have a broad, triangular head, a round body, stout legs and other common features. They reach sexual maturity around 1 or 2 years of age and mate during the Australian spring and summer months (Sept-Mar) unless captive bred where they mate year round. An interesting behavior, that I hope Archie learns, is arm waving. It may be used for species recognition and/or submission. Beardies are opportunistic omnivores with large stomachs. You can see Archie displaying his appetite here. They’re a generally docile reptile and tend to be inquisitive. Archie is in a stage where he has bursts of energy and will just leap into the air from my arm or shoulder and try to run off somewhere.

For more information on beardies, check in to ADW and if you have any questions about Archipelago or anything else, don’t hesitate to comment!

::Plan for the next post – extra digits on animals::