A Complete Guide to Fancy Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are basically from the Hot lands of Australia; this cold-blooded reptile is one of the most famous reptile pets in the world. The regular bearded dragons that come from Australia are very plain in colors, as the color of their bodies is similar to the soil’s color of the place where they reside.

However, some bearded dragons have exotic colors and patterns on their bodies. These bearded dragons are not available in nature and are specifically bred by the breeders. A huge variety of fancy bearded dragons is available at breeders. So, if you plan to buy a fancy bearded dragon, you must have enough knowledge about them.

Now, some specific points can help you spot a healthy, fancy bearded dragon of your choice. This article will discuss every detail about the fancy bearded dragons.

What is a fancy bearded dragon?

A fancy bearded dragon is different from a regular bearded dragon by the color and patterns of the body. As mentioned already, the typical bearded dragon has the color of the Australian desert’s sand. They usually have yellow markings on their grey, tan, or muddy-colored bodies, whereas fancy bearded dragons have bright-colored bodies with exotic scales on them.

The fancy dragons are pretty easy to find out because of their unique colors and patterns. Furthermore, they’re more easily detectable by the predator because of the striking colors that can catch the attention of any predator passing by.

So, we can simply define a fancy bearded dragon as one that the breeders have explicitly bred to have bright colors and exotic scales. The health of fancy bearded dragons is quite well, as the breeders take special care of their health and well-being, making these bearded dragons quite expensive.

Breeding

The fancy bearded dragons are not available in the wild. In captivity, the breeders select two different species, where they mate to produce a bearded dragon of desired color and patterns.

This is possible in captivity only, and as a result, fancy bearded dragons are produced, which have exotic patterns and colors. In some rare cases, if a fancy bearded dragon is created as a result of mutations, there are fewer chances of their survival because of the predators and the health problems.

As mentioned already, these bearded dragons can be seen from a distance and hence hunted by predators. Furthermore, these mutations may change their body scales’ shapes and reduce them in number, making the bearded dragons more prone to injuries, hence shortening their lifespan or causing immediate deaths.

An example could be the scaleless fancy beardie, an offspring of scale-gene mutation; this mutation results in decreased scales on the bearded dragon’s body. This makes them vulnerable to injuries and more easily attacked by predators. This change in their body makes it almost impossible to survive in the wild.

Similarly, some fancy bearded dragons may have health complications and a shorter lifespan. So, it’s important to know the reputation and health factors of the species you’re planning to buy.

Price

The attractive colors and patterns of the fancy bearded dragons make them more desirable, which means you’ll have to pay a handsome amount of money for getting one. The fancy bearded dragon’s prices may range from 150$ to 300$, which is way more than the typical bearded dragon. However, the color range and exotic patterns that each fancy bearded dragon comes with are worth the price.

How are fancy bearded dragons made?

The process of making a fancy bearded dragon is called selective breeding. The breeders take two species of bearded dragons for mating, creating offspring of unique traits from both parents. This offspring, on maturity, is mated with another bearded dragon created by the same process, resulting in a completely different species from their parent beardies; these are called the morphs.

An example can be if the breeder is looking to create a ruby red bearded dragon, they will choose bearded dragons with slightly red tones for mating to produce an offspring of prominent red. This offspring is mated with another beardie of the same type; the process goes on until the desired results are achieved.

This long and detailed process makes the fancy bearded dragons more unique and expensive. The age of the bearded dragon has no impact on the morphs. Every fancy bearded dragon is created similarly. A list of some bearded dragon morph is mentioned below.

Citrus bearded dragonHypomelanistic bearded dragonDunner bearded dragonParadox morph
Hypo bearded dragonLeatherback bearded dragonTranslucent bearded dragonGerman Giant bearded dragon
Silkback bearded dragonWitblitsZeroWero

Types of fancy bearded dragons

Fancy bearded dragons are divided into different categories based on their colors and patterns. Different types of fancy bearded dragons categorized on their colors, scales, and patterns are explained below in detail.

Scale type

Hypo

These bearded dragons are called Hypomelanistic bearded dragons and usually have light scales, colors, nails, and eyes.

Trans

These bearded dragons are called translucent, as evident from the name, their skin is slightly transparent, and you can see through it. 

Hypo trans

This type of hybrid dragons have the same colors as Hypomelanistic bearded dragons, and their skin is see-through like translucent beardies.

Het Hypo

It’s just a quality to grab breeders’ attention, where the hypomelanistic attributes are not visible in the reptile, but they are present in the DNA.

Het Trans

Het trans beardies are similar to the het hypos, they have translucent properties in their genes, but these properties are not visible physically.

Double Het

These bearded dragons have both trans and hypo traits in their genes, but these are not physically visible.

Trans Het Hypo

These bearded dragons have both translucent and Hypomelanistic attributes, but only the translucent attributes are visible, whereas the hypo qualities are hidden.

Hypo Het trans

It’s the opposite of Trans Het Hypo, which means the hypo qualities are visible physically, whereas the trans traits are in the genes but not visible.

Color

The color of bearded dragons changes according to the combination of different species as chosen by the breeder. The three primary colors of the fancy bearded dragons are red, yellow, and white, where each color has different sets of bearded dragons. Following is a list of fancy red-bearded dragons.

Sandfire red-bearded dragonCitrus tiger bearded dragonRuby red bearded dragon
Red bearded dragonTangerine bearded dragonBloody-red bearded dragon
Orange bearded dragonSunburst bearded dragon 

Some yellow fancy bearded dragons are listed below.

Sandfire gold bearded dragonGold bearded dragonYellow bearded dragon
Lemon fire bearded dragonCitrus bearded dragon 

The list of fancy bearded dragons is below.

Snow bearded dragonAlbino bearded dragon

Specialty types

Some fancy bearded dragons are unique and different from each of the aforementioned fancy beardie. These particular types are mentioned below.

German Giant bearded dragon

As evident from the name, these bearded dragons are created by mating bigger bearded dragons to create giant beardies, which are greater than the typical bearded dragons. Furthermore, these bearded dragons are mated with exotic colored beardies for getting bright-colored giant offspring.

Leatherback bearded dragon

These bearded dragons have smooth skin instead of scales because of the genetic mutations that they go through. This mutation results in a smooth and unique look.

Silkback bearded dragon

This type of bearded dragon is created by mating two leatherback beardies, producing offspring with entirely smooth skin and zero scales.

Similarities between regular and fancy bearded dragons

The fancy bearded dragons are similar to regular bearded dragons, including necessities, such as health care requirements, husbandry practices, etc.

Some similarities between fancy and regular bearded dragons are mentioned below.

Lifespan

Being the same reptile, the lifespan of the fancy and regular bearded dragon is almost the same. Their lifespan, on average, is 12-14 years for both fancy and average bearded dragons. However, in case of a disease or sickness, the lifespan may get shorter.

Diet

The fancy and regular bearded dragons have the exact diet requirements, i.e., they are omnivorous and eat both greens and proteins.

Habitat

Both of these bearded dragons need a hot environment as their origin is from the hot lands of Australia. They require the same temperature in captivity, which is from 95F to 115F.

Behavior

Fancy and regular bearded dragons have the same behaviors, including raising the tail, hissing when intimidated, waving arms, etc.

Differences between bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons

The difference between these two is based on the colors, patterns, and the number of scales.

Color

According to the area’s soil, they have come from, normal bearded dragons have muddy, yellow, or tan colors. In contrast, the fancy bearded dragons have exotic colors and patterns, which seems more fascinating.

Scale Type

The scales’ patterns, texture, and number may change from normal to fancy bearded dragons. The typical bearded dragons have many scales on their bodies, whereas the fancy beardies tend to have a smoother and less scaly appearance.

Price

The price of a typical bearded dragon is way too low as compared to the fancy beardies. The fancy bearded dragons are created after a lot of effort, so their prices are set accordingly.

Fancy bearded dragon vs Regular bearded dragon

Out of eight species of bearded dragons, four are kept as pets, among which the central bearded dragon is most common. The fancy bearded dragons are from Pogona vitticeps species explicitly bred to have unique colors and patterns. The whole difference between the two can be summed up as below.

 Fancy bearded dragonsRegular bearded dragons
AppearanceFewer scales, some species even have no scales at all Exotic patterns such as zigzags, stripes, dotsA lot of scales, rough bodies, a slightly visible stripe down the spine. There are irregular splotches on the side of the stripe
ColorRed, striking red, bright orange, yellow, purpleMuddy, tan, brown-beige, and white markings

How to identify a Fancy bearded dragon

The easiest way of identifying a fancy bearded dragon is to look for the color and the patterns on their bodies. Fancy bearded dragons have striking and bright colors in the shades of yellow, red, orange, and purple. There are also white, brown, and black fancy bearded dragons, which can have patterns such as dots, zigzag, and others that depend on the genetic background.

The bearded dragons that are found in the wild have quite simple patterns and colors. The fancy bearded dragons are pretty easy to identify, especially the silkback and Leatherback bearded dragons are most easy to identify because of their smooth skin and no texture.

Common bearded dragon

Do you have a bearded dragon with bright colors and textures? Then there are quite a few chances that your bearded dragon is a fancy one. You can distinguish a regular beardie from a fancy bearded dragon by checking against the following.

Color

Regular bearded dragons camouflage the color of their habitats, so they have brown, muddy, or the color of the soil that the beardie has come from. Some of them have stripes from their eyes to the ears.

Body

Bearded dragons have flat body shapes. A single row of soft spines in the typical bearded dragons emphasizes their flat shape while basking.

Head

Regular beardies have flat bodies and large triangular heads, which are supported by two rows of spines. 

Beard

The bearded dragons have spikes on their throat, which turn blackish purple when they are trying to show dominance. This looks like a beard which gives the unique name to this reptile.

Final thoughts

Fancy bearded dragons are exotic and brightly colored hybrids created by mating specific species of regular bearded dragons by the breeders. The process involves mating two beardies to get a particular offspring; this offspring is then mated with another offspring obtained through a similar process to create morphs.

The fancy bearded dragons have brightly colored bodies with fewer to no scales on their bodies. They are divided into different categories based on their physical appearance. If you’re seeking a fancy bearded dragon, you can identify it by checking the color, scales, and patterns.

Finally, these fancy bearded dragons are no alien creatures and require the same food and husbandry practices as the typical bearded dragon.

About Tariq Aziz

I am working as Chief editor at MY BEARDIES. I have been working in the publishing business for over a decade now. I love reptiles and I love talking about them. I have years of experience in herpetoculture. I have cared for many reptiles including bearded dragons, geckos, and skinks since childhood.

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