Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

Baby Bearded Dragons!

I know it’s not field herping, but the babies started coming out of their eggs today and I had to take some pictures.

Here they are coming out and opening their eyes for the first time.

Bearded Dragons Hatching
Bearded Dragons Hatching

Here they are with my ipod shuffle for size comparizon.

Baby Bearded Dragons
Baby Bearded Dragons

Here’s one that’s about 20 minutes old on his dad’s head. He isn’t sure what to think of them, other than that they probably look delicious.

Tiny Bearded Dragon with His Dad
Tiny Bearded Dragon with His Dad

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88 Responses to “Baby Bearded Dragons!”

  1. Chase says:

    Hey these babies look so awesome, very beautiful… i was actually looking for a bearded dragon and surfing for all the info about them, what do u recommend for a starter like me, mind u that i pretty much don’t have any expierence with reptiles except for a garter snake which i had for about a year and a half

  2. Bryan says:

    If you’re going to get a bearded dragon, you need to really follow the rules and do your homework, or they can get sick and die pretty readily.

    For a baby, you need at least a 20 gallon tank with a heat lamp (not a hot rock!) that gives about 105 on the hot end and 75-80 on the cool end. They need need a hide on both ends, and something to bask on. You also need to get them a ReptiSun 10 (not reptiGLO!) bulb and reptical calcium (with no vitamins).

    Where do you live?

  3. Kendyl says:

    hi! omg thhe babies look so cute! i love the one with the 20 min old one on the head bff got one befor me 🙁 and i was planning it waaaay b4 her, i need to save up my money and her mom got it fofr her. i want one lots i have been reading and reading about them i know lots bout them. just not were to get em. any suggestions?

  4. Bryan says:

    Kendyl, you can try the classified section on

    They have lots of different types, directly from the breeders.

  5. Mill hoy says:

    There so cute . When jill jhhhhusjjhvcuyvueullahut7vggg.auuuuyv (LOL). OMG there so cute. LBD-LOVE BEARDED DRAGONS.So cute

  6. morgan says:

    i love bearded dragons. and those babies look soooo cute. i wish mine was that small

  7. jess says:

    hello bryan
    i have recently had my female dragon lay her eggs she had 20 and i cant wait till they hatch , but we didnt really plan on having the dragons at this time of year and when they were hatch my friend was watching to see if she was ok and i was on the computer doing my reserch . but lots of differnt websites say differnt things and im not very sure on some things like , a couple of the eggs are starting to sriffle up is this normal ? and some other questions

    from jess

  8. Bryan says:

    Hey Jess,

    When did she lay the eggs? Shriveling can be a sign of both good and bad things. Can you tell me how you’re taking care of them?

  9. sarah says:

    aw sooooooooooo cute i am asking for one for christmas but my parents are still deciding wether or not i can have one;)

  10. silly willy says:

    aw so cute
    🙂 im asking for one this christmas so hopefully i will get one
    let me know if you are ever thinking about selling the babies

  11. SHAUN says:


  12. jessica says:

    Im intrested… but where are you from?
    im from san antonio texas

  13. Rebeka says:

    to Shaun

    I have never had a bearded dragon before but i have studyed them very well, on the internet and i work at a zoo that has one. Are you going to sell them and if so how much?

  14. Riley says:

    awwwwwwwwww!! That is so adorable!
    i am think ing of getting a bearded dragon too,
    then the opposite sex and have them breed!!
    how cute are they!!

  15. Evan says:

    Hello everybody!

    I just ran across this website and noticed how well Bryan replied back to the different questions raised. I have a question myself:

    My wife does not like reptiles AT ALL but I have been researching bearded dragons and thought that because of their nature they would be a good and fairly easy pet to have. What are some positive aspects of having a bearded dragon that would help convince my wife that I could have one? I feel like a child but that’s what wives do I guess.

    We’ve gotten several pets before but they’ve been fish (which we still have) and a dog (which we had to give away because of a landlord issue). I’ve always been the primary caretaker of the pets and take very good care of them. She doesn’t have to do any work for the fish because I do it all. And even though I assured her that I would be taking care of the lizard myself and it would be in a room where she would never even have to see it, she still protests to the idea of having one.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  16. Bryan says:


    Glad you ran across the site. It’s still surprising to me that this post shows up where it does on google.

    Anyway, what is the particular problem that your wife has with lizards? Is it fear, or grossed out, or just doesn’t see the point in you spending money on one? Identifying that may help.

    One of the first things people almost always say when they are around my dragons for the first time is how surprised they are at a bearded dragon’s calm nature. The expectation is that they’ll be skittering around the house biting and peeing on anything around. A healthy adult dragon is like a good mix between a cat and a parrot. Most people do not realize the amount of individual personality they have, and how expressive/curious they are about their interaction with the world. I was even surprised, and I’ve worked with reptiles my entire life.

    – Bearded dragons don’t stink (if you keep the enclosure clean, obviously).

    – Unless they’re severely distressed or in great pain, they do not bite. They are very active, curious animals that interact readily with their owners. Every dragon I’ve ever owned likes being hand-fed.

    – They do not make any sound whatsoever.

    – They are calm … a fat happy lizard will sit on your shoulder all day if you want, or be happy laying against your chest while watching tv. When the sun goes down they will kind of snuggle into you and sleep right there. I think seeing this happen once would be all it would take for your wife to be completely open to the idea.

    – Their personalities are very endearing. They don’t just sit around unaware of the world. Ours (currently 5) all have unique personalities and react to everything differently … favorite foods, some love swimming and others hate it, one of ours loves to climb any stick she sees, etc. They aren’t the typical skittish lizard your wife is probably thinking of.

    – In a secure enclosure (recommend a vision 332 model), they can’t/won’t escape. Ours know their homes and will stay in there even with the doors wide open. If your wife just won’t come around, it would be pretty easy to keep one in a den or office and she’d never have to see it.

    – They eat bugs when young, but as an adult, they eat greens you’d find at any grocery store, with a few bugs mixed in. They can be purchased online or at any pet store.

    Anyway, if you have any specific questions, give me an email.

  17. Brenda says:

    Hey Bryan. I just got a baby beardie about 4 weeks ago. It’s pretty young. I’m trying to find out it’s age. And I’m still learning about it. The pet store where I got it told me wrong information about them, so I’m trying to get correct information. If you can help me out I would greatly appreciate it. =]

  18. Julie says:

    Bryan, we have two babies, one about 9 inches long (nose to tip of tail) and we are thinking girl, and a smaller one about 5 inches long that we believe to be a male from photos on websites. These are our first reptiles, but my husband is a biologist and has always been around animals, so we all (boys, 5 & 7) have a good comfort level as well as a healthy respect for creatures.

    We have each in a ten gallon aquarium because they were so small at Christmas; they are eating and growing like crazy. We have carpet on the bottom of the cage, water storage bottle with bowl at the bottom (they never seem to touch this), a heater under the tank and the lights you referred to above. We take them out every evening so they continue to enjoy being held, and every other day or so they get to soak in the bath.

    The carpet can be difficult to clean, and I worry about putting it back in the aquarium before it is totally dry. ?? How do you clean the carpet? Anything safe to use other than just water?

    They don’t drink out of the water bowls, but tend to wait for a bath. We’ve been spraying them a few times a day with water too. Anything we can do to help them figure this out?

    They are eating 4 doz crickets at a time and growing a lot. Not up for many veggies, some fruits. Are their cheaper options we can add in there?

    When should we try introducing them? Can they eventually be in the same cage? Should we just consider buying two large tanks?

    Thanks in advance,

  19. Bryan says:

    Hey Julie,

    What we use instead of carpet is non-adhesive shelf liner. You can get it for less than $5 a roll at Home Depot or any similar store, and works great. It’s really easy to spot-clean, and it’s so cheap that you can just throw it away each time. I’ve used carpet in the past and it worked very well, but I had problems getting it completely clean. Check out the non-adhesive liner stuff; it makes cleaning really easy/cheap. To spot clean, I use a product called Healthy Habitat that is safe for enclosures … though I wouldn’t recommend letting them lap it up if you can help it.

    For the water … don’t worry about it. They’re adapted to make due with what they have out in one of the driest areas of the world. They get most of the water they need from the plants they eat. If you want to mist, instead of misting the animals directly, try misting the food before they eat it rather than the lizards themselves. Some drink a lot, some don’t. If they’re getting a good drink when they’re in the bath once every few days to a week, then they’re getting all that they need. Just make sure to watch them … they’ll drink until they drown if you don’t watch them. Keeping bowls of water inside the cage isn’t necessary, so you might as well just take them out and have one less bit of maintenance.

    Lots of crickets is the way to go! You can make them cheaper by ordering them online (or some reptile stores can special order for you) 1000 of them at a time and keeping them for a longer period of time. Get another aquarium (youll want a lid) and some stuff called “cricket water” gel from any pet store. Silk worms are also really great at this age. I just had a discussion with a very experienced breeder the other day about how easy it is to hatch and raise your own silk worms as a relatively inexpensive way to feed young dragons. Here’s a link to lots of supplies and more info on that:

    For veggies, we get organic spring mix by the box in the grocery store. It’s actually cheaper than buying it loose (around $5 a box, which would last a long time for 2 babies). They’ll get into the veggies more as they get older, and will want less bugs. That’s normal, so as long as they’re eating something and have a good feeding response, they’ll guide the way.

    The topic of housing them together is somewhat controversial, but I would strongly suggest that it not happen. 2 females could possibly live together peacefully if also raised together, but NEVER house 2 males together or a male/female mix. If you have one of each, after about 9 months or so the male’s mating response will be very strong, and he will literally love her to death. You will hear of people mixing them with success and get a lot of “well I’ve done it and had no problems!”, but keep in mind that if you do something more for your own enjoyment than the animals’, it isn’t the best move. Pet stores do keep breeding adults in large enclosures with some success as well, but again … the BEST thing you can do for the dragons’ sake is to keep them separate. They are solitary animals in nature and do not require companionship to lead a long happy life. If proof is ever needed, just go browse for “nip” specials, where siblings have lost a toe, limb, or tail to over-anxious siblings.

    I would get 2 tanks, which can actually be done to look pretty nice and not be as much a pain as you might think. We use Vision 332 enclosures for our adults. They stack and have recessions for lighting and so forth. A little spendy, but they are great cages that are easy to keep clean and easy to keep up with multiple animals without having to sacrifice a lot of room.

    I hope it helps. Let me know if anything wasn’t clear. Do you have any pictures of them?

  20. jaco says:

    And of course you can always use vinegar (white vinegar) I use it to clean my carpets and it kills all bacteria.
    I have a 5 month and almost 3 month old and then I have a 3 week old. Strange enough they seem to get along great. I built a cage for them and they all enjoy it so much. The 3 week old never liked being touched or handled. Now, she loves me and my girlfriend so much and she got so much more character we couldn’t believe it. Anyhow. Keep in mind, I AM NOT SAYING THROUGH ALL OF YOUR BEARDIES TOGETHER. They have to get along, and it is safer and smarter to keep two adult males apart. You don’t want to keep then together. Eventually they will fight. And myself and lots of pet lovers especially the beardies and leopard gecko fans and owners will not like you at all. Look on you tube for instance. There you will find lots of beardies fighting and that is not nice. There were some photos I saw where males died because of fights to show dominance. Keep in mind that bearded dragons are very very very territorial. Therefore they will fight to the death for their females and area. Euhmmmm. Sounds like some people I think we all know.

  21. Julie says:

    Thank you Bryan for your advice; we will work on two seperate larger tanks.

    A few more questions if you are up for it: Are there any veggies or creatures we should avoid? The only two that people seem to have a concensus on are iceberg lettuce and fire flies. We have had a chemical free lawn for over five years, and were curious if we could use red worms from the yard. I have read in a few places that we need to avoid bait shops and other similar stores because of the pesticides and insecticides. (I also plan on starting a red worm compost this spring.)

    We have one tall 55 gallon tank that we stored 1000 crickets in from the January reptile show; it was still much cheaper to do it this way, but we lost a little over half of the crickets. We did feed them and give them the water pellets. Is it normal to lose so many?

    I really appreciate your fast response and all the good information. It has become confusing with all the contradictions.

    I was going to send pics, but I’m terrible with it, and I’ll work on it. I have to say that I was not excited to get bearded dragons, or any other lizard for that matter. I underestimated them; I keep wanting to say they are responsive and interactive, but that does not seem to do them any justice. Spike, the girl, is sweet and timid, but confident. She sits on my shoulder and watches the boys carefully. Dragon, our boy, has been nicknamed “Mini Michael Phelps” because he loves to swim so much. It takes a while for him to crawl up on our hand, but once he’s there, he is velcroed on. He’s more skiddish, but I’m sure that will improve with maturity and handling. They are wonderful pets.

  22. Bryan says:


    You are correct … food items that originate as bait are problems. Even if they aren’t poisonous, they probably aren’t as healthy or nutritious as feeder raised for the purpose. As for wild or otherwise non-purchased feeders … it’s not absolutely dangerous, but any step outside a completely controlled environment is definitely a gamble. Whereabouts in the country do you live?

    Young dragons may have impaction issues from the feeding of superworms, or other chitinous-shelled critters, and should be avoided until adulthood (and then they make a great staple food, easy to obtain and keep in large quantities). Also be careful when feeding high-fat foods such as butterworms or wax worms. They love them, and we have noticed that feeding too many treats leads to them ignoring their nutritious food and waiting for more wax worms.

    The only other commercially available feeder that should be absolutely avoided are wild-caught horn worms, or horn worms of questionable origin. The colonies of mullberry-loving goliath worms available online and in many reptile specialty shops are GREAT foods, but the nearly identical-looking tomato horn worms are full of cyanide, and will kill a dragon.

    The best feeding strategy we know of is to just choose a good staple food, and then use others for special causes or occasional treats. We use superworms as adults, crickets as babies and subadults, and then use waxworms, pinkie mice, butterworms as high-fat items after brumation, breeding, sickness, or egg laying.

    We noticed that a lot of crickets die if they are able to directly access the glass bottom of the cage. I’m not sure why … it seems to exhaust them. Just add a little sand or other safe particulate and they’ll have a little more traction. In my last round of babies, I ground up dog food and mixed it with d3-free calcium dust for a nutritious cricket substrate. We had a lot more success that way. We also use a feeder rock when feeding the crickets, which seems to greatly increase the amount of offered crickets that are actually eaten. It’s also fun to watch 🙂

    I’m still amazed at them myself. They’re certainly not what anyone expects when they hear we have a room full of big lizards. The males really seem to have a lot of personality and generally are a little more fun. It’s crazy how much their personalities vary between individuals. here are a bunch of pictures of ours:

  23. angel says:

    they r sooooooo cute i have a bearded dragon 2 his name is ziggy how can u tell if the r male or female ?? 🙂

  24. Bryan says:

    Hi Angel. Do you have any pictures of Ziggy? How old is it? On adults, you can tell by gently lifting the tail up to about a 45 degree angle from the body (make sure never to force it or apply too much pressure) and look at the area just behind the vent on the tail. If you see two bulges around an inch long, it’s a male. If you see no such bulges, but a rise just to the rear of the vent, it is most likely a female. If you can take a good picture of Ziggy, I can probably tell you.

  25. Mike says:

    Does the tomato horn worm manufacture it’s own poison, or is the danger pesticides used on the horn worm?

  26. Bryan says:


    The tomato horn worm builds up a chemical called glycoalkaloid in it’s body from eating the leaves of the tomato plant. This is toxic to your bearded dragons, and why it is very important to ONLY feed bugs that were bred specifically for the cause.

  27. Declan says:

    Hi there
    Thinking of getting a beardie myself but I don’t know much about the breeds/colourations. I like the reddish ones, do you know wht they are called (if they have a special name at all)?

    Any other tips for the first timer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  28. Bryan says:


    The “breeds” are just different lines of color produced by private breeders, who then tend to give them a name to act more like a product name. They’re all the same species of bearded dragon.

    The red ones you see are often labeled in pet stores as “sandfire” dragons, though that’s a name given to just one bloodline produced by one or a handful of breeders. There are also “blood” dragons that are a deeper red and have less of the orange coloration.

    A good place to check out to learn a lot about this confusing nomenclature and also find some good dragons at a reasonable cost would be

  29. Kairel says:

    My bearded dragon is a mean one he’s stuck up and hiper active.

  30. Kairel says:

    If you have a bearded dragon dont touch thier head’s if you do they will die,because that’s their sensor to see if the light is on or off.If the oil and dirt get’s in the sensor is clawged.

    The way you can tale if it’s male or female is because the girl’s,her eye’s will be pushed together a boy’s head’s eye’s are wide.I have a bearded dragon and he’s really nice and active.

  31. Bryan says:

    I’ve got one like that too … sounds like he’s healthy!

  32. Bryan says:

    I hate to say it, but that’s just not true. While they do have a light sensitive scale on the tops of their heads, getting it dirty will not kill them. In fact, this scale will be naturally cloudy from time to time as the bearded dragon sheds its skin, or does many of the activities it would do in it’s native habitat.

    Sexing bearded dragons in the way you’ve described is also not possible, as they are not dimorphic in the area you’ve mentioned. To have a bearded dragon sexed, you must look to the area just beyond the cloaca. On a male, you can see the bulges from hemipenes to either side if you gently lift the tail to 70 degrees or so (careful when doing this).

  33. Adele says:

    Hi Bryan,

    Just a quick question, on friday we had our first baby hatch, and now we have 3 in total, ive read that they should be eating by day 4, but we’re now on day 5 and none of them are eating more than a little bite of veg and none of them are interested in crickets, any advice as i am gettin a bit worried now!


  34. Bryan says:

    Hi Adele,

    I suspect something may be up with the enclosure. Can you describe what kind of setup you have them in?

    How big are the crickets?

    What kind and how may veggies are you offering? Are you chopping them up?

    Hopefully we can get it figured out.

  35. Ashley says:

    Hi bryan I really want to get a bearded dragon but all the equipment will cost too much is there a way were I don’t have to get the fancy equipment and find a cheaper way?

  36. Ashley says:

    Also what would be easier to take care of bearded dragon or the leopard gecko?

  37. Bryan says:

    Hi Ashley. There really isn’t any way to avoid getting the right lighting requirements and food for a bearded dragon. You can, however, sometimes find decent setups on craigslist, or maybe get ahold of your local reptile enthusiast club and see if someone could help you out.

    The only really expensive things you need is a new reptisun 8 or reptisun 10 bulb every 6 months or so. They cost about $22 if you get them online. Here’s a link:

    The other big thing is food. A baby bearded dragon eats a LOT of food; you’ll be at the pet store about every day. If you’re looking to reduce costs, try and adopt an adult dragon, who’s dietary requirements are much cheaper to maintain. Again, craigslist is your best bet.

  38. Bryan says:

    I’ve never kept a leopard gecko, but I would assume that they would be a bit easier, since they don’t have the same, expensive lighting requirements.

  39. Ashley says:

    Thanks alot Bryan!!!

  40. karine says:

    WOW these guys look awsome! do yo have any for sale??

  41. Bryan says:

    Thanks! None for sale at the moment, but we will be breeding red bearded dragons again. Where do you live?

  42. Aleshia says:

    can you tell what a baby bearded dragon sex is? i just got mine today, but i didn’t ask the guy at the petstore. & does the bearded dragon need another light besides the basking light?

    If he is small will larger crickets be a problem for him to eat?

  43. Bryan says:

    Hi Aleshia, can you tell me how big your dragon is, or show me some pictures? If they’re young, it can be impossible to tell until the bearded dragon is a little bit older.

    In addition to the basking light, you need to get a UVB bulb. They’re a bit expensive, but if you don’t use one, your bearded dragon will die. The best there is is the Reptisun 10.0 (not reptiGLO, that one will hurt your beardies eyes). You can get them online on this site I put together with bearded dragon supplies.

  44. Bryan says:

    Also, about the crickets, the rule of thumb is to not feed anything larger than the width between the eyes. When they’re older than a year old or so, you can relax this a bit and feed superworms. I hope this helps.

  45. Aleshia says:

    He’s 6inces,

  46. Aleshia says:

    See if this one works?

  47. Jenna says:

    Hi there Bryan,
    A nice little site you have going on here.
    I have been intrested in getting a bearded dragon since Dsecember last year, I’ve looked through the outstanding positives and the very few negitives in buying a bearded dragon, after many hours of extended research I have come to a conclusion that a bearded dragon is for me. But I was woundering as you have both male and female bearded dragons which do you prefer? as there is little imformation on the sexes.
    Hope you will be able to help me out

  48. Bryan says:

    Hey Aleshia, the photo didn’t work. I think you have to log out first.

  49. Bryan says:

    Thanks Jenna! I’m glad you did your homework on bearded dragons before deciding to pick one up. Many people don’t, and later find the costs or level of required attention too much, to the detriment of the animal.

    We have 2 males and 3 females. They are certainly different in my experience, but what you consider a benefit would be another person’s negative. The males tend to have more personality, be more active, and generally more “fun”. When our males are out, they’re always running around trying to intimidate things with head bobs, or finding high points to survey their domain. The females we have are more fat and lazy, and are a little less apt to run around.

    Unfortunately, you can’t really tell the sex of the bearded dragon until it’s half grown. My advice would be to skip local petstores, and look for a breeder online who could send you a subadult (like a teenager) of the sex you want. Where do you live?

  50. Jenna says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for that great imformation, had a look through all of your pictures they are AMAZING by the way!!!!

    I live in England near london, I considered looking for a local breader but im finding it really hard to find one, I will look into the subadult option sounds like a good one!

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