Bearded Dragon Morphs and Their Differences


Bearded dragon morphs are bearded dragons bred to produce unique species. Herpetologists have bred morphs of different colors, skin textures, and pigmentation patterns to satisfy your taste.

Herpetologists have crossbred different bearded dragons to produce unique kinds of morphs. You can find morphs of different colors, patterns, sizes, and appearances. Besides the appearances, the bred bearded morphs also exhibit unique behaviors.

When looking for an excellent bearded dragon morph pet, there is a need to know the detail of what a good pet has to offer. Here are the details of what you need to look out for when purchasing a bearded dragon pet.

Types of Bearded Dragon Morphs

Morphs are a category of bearded dragons that have been delicately bred to create unique species. Crossbreeding is a common practice used to upgrade all forms of animals. Herpetologists have used this scientific practice to produce unique morphs that appeal to the passions of bearded dragon pet lovers.

The differences in different dragon morphs are facilitated through the interaction of the genetic makeup of different species. They are produced through a delicate process of mutating the DNA instructions to create a unique morph reptile.

It is necessary to note that the process of breeding the bearded dragon morphs to produce the desired trait is not a one-time event. It is a process that takes breeding through successive generations due to the complex nature of genetic combinations. Some of the desired traits are difficult or impossible to achieve since they are recessive. Recessive trait means that the trait is weak and suppressed in expression.

The types of bearded dragon morphs are categorized as per their appearance. It means the color, pigmentation pattern, presence or absence of scales, and body size by appearance.

Variation of Colors in Bearded Dragon Morphs

The variation of colors is one of the most dominant traits the pet lovers consider, and it is also a trait that drives the pricing of the pets because most of the customers go for color. The critical determining characteristic is the intensity of the colors and patterns.

As a buyer, you have to know your color taste before ordering. The many color varieties of bearded dragons are intended to satisfy every buyer’s taste. Pets are meant for beauty, making color one of the most outstanding traits in choosing the bearded dragon.

There are different combinations of colors found in different varieties of bearded dragons, as enumerated below:

  • Yellow: Breeders sometimes refer to coloration as gold, citrus, or sand-fire as the yellow variations. So as a buyer, it is important to get acquainted with different color references used in the market.
  • Orange: The orange variations of the bearded dragon are referred to as tangerine or sunburst. Sunburst and tangerine are the most common morphs found with breeders and pet stores.
  • White and Silver: The white and silver category comes in gray, silver, or white shades. The buyer must know these varieties to source the exact pet they desire.
  • Red: The varieties of red are generally reddish as the color insinuates. They come in varieties of ruby red, red, and blood-red colors.
  • Brown and Tan:  Brown and tan are the most common color variations found in bearded dragon pet stores. Other color variations for this category are muted tans, beiges, and sandy browns.

Variations According To Scales and Spikes in Bearded Dragon Morphs

Different varieties of bearded dragon morphs come with different body textures. Some have smooth skins, while others have rough skins. The body’s scales and spikes determine the skin’s texture.

As a buyer, you want a bearded dragon that is easy to handle. Rough scaled varieties have spikes that may hurt if carelessly handled. However, your choice as a buyer is dependent on your passion.

Following are different combinations of scales and spikes on the bearded dragon skin:

  •  Classic or standard: The classic and standard variety has scales and spikes aligned in one direction on the back. The spikes normally appear sharp, although it is a camouflage to keep predators away. The spikes are not necessarily hard to hurt if carefully handled.
  •  Leatherback morph: The leatherback Morph has scales all over the skin. The scales have a one-direction pattern and have a smooth texture.
  • Dunner Type: The dunner type variety has spikes and the outer silhouette and is covered by scales. However, the scales do not have a pattern like those found in leatherback morph.
  • Silk-back morph: The silk-back morph is smooth and has no spikes or scales.

Variations According to Patterns and Pigments

Different bearded dragons have varying markings or color pigmentations on their skin. Apart from their general skin color, some bearded dragons have clear patterns that add to their beauty.

Some bearded dragon pet owners want beauty, and the pattern comes as a catchy trait. You want a pet that does not just have the color you want but also has elegance. The skin color patterns give the bearded dragon the touch of beauty that you desire.

When it comes to patterns and pigmentation of the skin, the following are different varieties:

  • Hypomelanistic: Hypomelanistic bearded dragons have a light pigmentation due to less melanin on their skin.
  • Zero Morph: Zero morph varieties have no pattern or color on their skin. They are white with no markings.
  • Witblits: Witblits have no color patters at all on their skin. They have one unbroken color all over the skin.

Variations According To Sizes

The size of the bearded dragon morph is a characteristic that every buyer would consider as not all varieties are kept as pets. 

Since the pet is under your care as the buyer, you want a beardie that will fit within your space. Bearded dragons are not giant reptiles that would occupy an ample space. However, as a pet lover, you want a dragon size to satisfy your taste.

Deciding on the size is influenced by different factors of consideration. It would be helpful if you considered factors such as:

  • Gender: Female bearded dragons grow to between 16 and 19 inches in length. They are smaller compared to males though the difference is not big.
  • Diet: Dragon bearded morphs have different feeding habits. The feeding criteria affect their size to some extent. For example, juveniles should be fed with more proteins than adults to maintain their size.
  • Housing: As a bearded dragon owner, you need to make sure they have enough space in their enclosure. A small-sized enclosure can lead to stunted growth of the pet. For example, adult bearded dragons require a space size of 120-gallon space.
  • Husbandry:  Poor health of the bearded dragon will lead to stunted growth. To maintain their normal body weight and size, you should ensure they are well protected from diseases and parasites.

A six-month-old juvenile bearded dragon will measure around 15 inches and 22 inches as an adult. However, not all bearded dragon morphs measure this size. Some varieties will measure 11 inches at six months and between 16 to 18 inches when adult. 

Under normal circumstances, bearded dragons stop growing after they have reached their sexual maturity between 8-18 months of age.

Differences Between Different Types of Bearded Dragon Morphs

As noted, dragon morph varieties are attained by crossbreeding the bearded dragons over long periods. Therefore, the morphs have several differences and can only be summarized by looking at traits of specific varieties.

By understanding the unique characteristics of the different morphs, you can differentiate between the many varieties in pet stores. 

Following are different bearded dragon morphs and their unique characteristic:

1.      Red bearded dragon morphs

The red-bearded dragon morphs are entirely red. However, although they have no specks, they have varieties of different shades of red, such as vivid red, deep red, and ruby red. The red and ruby red morphs are the most expensive and highly demanded.

2.      Translucent Bearded dragon

The translucent bearded dragon has transparent spikes and scales, a characteristic that gives it its name. It also has a lighter coloration as compared to other varieties. This bearded dragon has unique dark black eyes. More notably, their eyes transform between yellow and solid black at various stages of their lives.

3.      White-bearded dragon

Also called the Snow-bearded dragons, their color varies with background temperature. They are a rare morph, and their color changes to gray in cool climates and white in hot climates.

4.      Black bearded dragon morphs

Although they are referred to as black, none of their variety is entirely black. The black reference is only due to the darker pigmentation on the skin. The name is also gotten from a characteristic that makes them appear black when rattled or due to cold temperatures.

5.      Albino bearded dragon

The albino bearded dragon morph has red eyes and does not produce melanin. This morph is a pure breed since it’s impossible to produce naturally. The disadvantage with Albino bearded dragons is in their lifespan. 

They have a short lifespan since they can’t effectively absorb UVB rays nor absorb calcium.

6.      Yellow bearded dragon morphs

The yellow bearded dragon morph has five varieties according to their skin pigmentation. They come in standard yellow, citrus, lemon fire, and sand-fire gold colors. The most popular are the citrus species. They have orange-red stripes on the sides and back of their body and gray markings that run horizontally.

7.      Orange Bearded dragon

The orange bearded dragons are bred from red and yellow varieties. They come in four varieties: orange, tangerine, sunburst, and sand-fire. They are among the most striking and brightest morphs variety in the market.

8.      Leatherback bearded dragon

The bearded leatherback dragons get their name from the scales and spikes covering their skin. They come in various varieties, including leatherback, silkie, microscale, and dunner.

9.      Paradox bearded dragon

Paradox bearded dragon is a typical dragon pigmented with colorful bands along its back and tail. They are common and liked due to their unique and attractive color patterns. The paradox bearded dragons have witblits and tiger stripe varieties and are highly rated as unique due to their striking patterns.  

FAQ’s about Bearded Dragons

Conclusion

Not all bearded dragons are bred as pets, and the species commonly bred as pets is the Pogona family. The pogona vitticeps are most widely preferred for breeding pets due to their docile nature.

The bearded dragons have their origin in Australia; hence, their trait and behavior are more understood in that context. Their Australian habitat will help you understand and handle them better. Check out our other articles on bearded dragons if you enjoyed this read. 

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