Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Toad – Facts And Differences

Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Toad

If you are a pet lover, you might be unable to ignore bearded dragon vs horned toad. Both of them are unique pets.

While they have many similarities, they are separate species with different features like habitats, diet, reproduction, and temperament.

In this article, we provide facts about those animals and the differences between them. Scroll down to know the details!


What Are The Differences Between Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Lizard

There are four main differences between B.D. and horn toads, including:

  • Where they live: In the wild, most dragons live in Australia, while horny guys are mainly North American.
  • Diet: Both animals are omnivores, but horned toads are more obsessed with ants than his friend.
  • Reproduction: The average amount of eggs toads lay seems not to be slightly more extensive than that dragons do.
  • Temperament: Dragons tend to be more gentle than lizards overall.

 Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Toad: General Information

1. About Bearded Dragon

As its name indicated, the type of pet is like a real dragon. It has the armor of spiny reptilian scales.

Based on its emotion, the spikes under its chin can puff up anytime.

Scientists have found eight species of B.Ds; all of them are called “beardies” as close friends.

Unlike dangerous dragons in the folk tales, those dragons are generally gentle, friendly, and active all day.

Besides, Pogona vitticeps are well-known for the most popular species to raise as pets.

Common name Bearded dragon
Scientific name Pogona
Type Reptiles
Diet Omnivore
Average Life Span From four to ten years
Size 18 to 22 inches
Weight 10 to 18 ounces


 2. Horny Toad

Many people asked are horned toads are related to bearded dragons when they look at their familiar appearance.

But they are entirely different species.

The lizard lives in the desert, so it features many large horns on the backside of its skull.

Its scientific name is genus Phrynosoma that means “toad-bodied,” referring to its superb short tails compared to others.

We have already found 22 species of the genus, mainly in Central and North America.

We can name the toad as a solitary animal since it spends most of its time walking and wandering around the desert to find insects, eating.

The favorite meal of the toad is ants, so anthills are their special place.

However, ants own quite a considerable number of indigestible fibers, so the predator must develop a significant belly to contain food fully.

Unlike Pogona, the Phrynosoma is not a popular pet cause not many people love raising ants for it to digest.

Common name Horned toad/ horned lizard
Scientific name Phrynosoma
Type Reptiles
Diet Omnivore
Average Life Span From five to eight years
Size Up to four inches
Weight Less than one ounces


Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Toad: 4 Different Features

1. Where They Live

One of the enormous differences humans can notice between horned toad vs bearded dragon is their habitat.

In the natural environment, most beardies live in Australia.

They like arid and warm places like savannas, deserts, scrublands, or subtropical woodlands.

From the 1960s, so many wild B.Ds are exported from Australia, forcing the authority to ban that kind of trade.

However, there are still many of them bred in some countries like the U.S. as pets.

Until now, you might be unable to realize some kinds of those wild dragons because their color has changed a lot after decades of being domesticated.

Moreover, the cold-blooded animal exceptionally depends on the outside heat to balance its body temperature. Therefore, a warm shelter is the dragon’s priority.

It can be like a lazy cat on a sunny day, using hours to bask and warm up. However, if either it becomes too hot or the dragon finds out any danger, it could dig a hole underground and escape all day long.

As a semi-arboreal pet, you can find the B.D. On tree branches or fence posts.

Concerning the toad, it lives in various places, especially in North American.

For instance, the flat-tailed kind of species lives in areas of fine sands.

Short-horned lizards, by contrast, prefer spruce-fir forest and short grass prairie.

Additionally, whatever species they are, most people say no when they are asked are mountain horned lizards good pets.

Moreover, in the Arizona Upland division, the regal horn lizard is considered the most common species.

It often visits some familiar places like gravelly or rocky habitats, arid and semiarid plains, low mountain slopes, and hills.

2. What They Eat

Like any popular pet, bearded dragons can eat many types of food.

Their diet ranges from animals ( beetles, rodents, and small lizards) to vegetables and fruit.

You might be surprised that its “green” meal can be like a real human being, like diced carrots, peas, chopped beans, kale, or iceberg lettuce.

That guy also likes leaves and flowers.

The toad also eats various stuff. But what it digests is relatively different.

As we just mentioned, the lizard deeply loves ants, so it is called “Myrmecophagy,” or “ant-eating.”

Every day, it can eat up to 100 ants, included both harvester ants and argentine ants.

So, I might say no if you ask are horned lizards good pets.

Moreover, we also notice that it can capture mealworms and super worms as well.

Unlike the dragons that use strong jaws to grab food, toads have stick tongues to do so.

Besides, they eat similar types of vegetables: lettuce, leaves, kale, and carrots.

3. Reproduction

The reproduction is another difference between mountain-horned lizard vs bearded dragon.

A B.D female tends to have a unique capacity to store sperm.

From one mating, it can lay two different clutches that include 11 to 30 eggs.

Besides relying on the incubation temperature, the B.D. embryos’ gender can be changed.

For instance, embryos with more male chromosomes might become female if the temperature is consistently high.

The sweltering weather might make the dragon child dumber as well.

That is to say, a slight change in the environment can make a huge difference in any creature’s life and feature.

A lizard female can lay an enormous average number of eggs than a dragon one, varying from three to 45 eggs.

However, they can only reproduce one clutch each time.

Besides, only a tiny amount of eggs can ultimately develop to the sexual maturity period around two to five ones.

Phrynosoma’s breeding time is from May to August.

Particularly, short-horned lizard mothers retail their eggs in their bodies until they are born.

Therefore, there is an argument that the type of horned toad gives birth instead of having eggs.

In reality, the lizard has to maintain their small children because of the harsh condition in high elevations.

The low temperature might be a considerable risk to the eggs and slower for them to develop.

4. Temperament

You can notice another big difference in the temperament of a bearded dragon vs horned toad.

To protect themselves, the toads squirt blood out of their eyes. Let’s take a look at this video to know more about their blood-shooting eyes:

Besides, it is not a big fan of being handled. When you hold it, the animal keeps quiet and stiff, showing its unhappiness.

It is just waiting to bolt back to safety anyway.


On the other hand, the dragon enjoys being handled. Many owners commented that their little beardies are even more docile and mellow than cats and dogs.

So they may be the answer to the question of the bearded dragon or horned lizard.

Furthermore, that guy has such an intense curiosity that he can discover anything in the surrounding.

As a result, a larger tank might be his preference.

If you want to hold that kind of animal, put your hand under its abdomen and slightly lift it.

When you sense it relax on your palm, curve your fingers around its waist.

Bearded Dragon Vs Horned Toad: People Also Ask

1. Can Horned Lizards Be Pets?

It is not an excellent idea to keep horny toads as pets because they have a special diet: ants.

If you like your house clean and stay away from such a kind of insect, raising a horny lizard is the wrong choice.

Besides, some of their species are on the verge of extinction.

So we should protect them in the wildlife instead of snatching them out of their typical houses.

2. Is It Agreed To Have A Horned Toad?

In many places, it is banned to keep a horny toad.

However, in some countries, you are allowed to pet one.

But it is essential to understand that the population of the animal has declined for decades.

You even can not see the Texas horned lizard in East and Central Texas anymore.

Besides, taking care of such species is complex and complicated as well.

3. Can A Bearded Dragon Kill You?

The answer is no. He is exceptionally safe with humans.

Although it might hide a venom to protect it from small prey animals, the tiny amount can not cause any severe pain.

4. What Do Bearded Dragons Hate?

They are recognized to hate other animals and pets like dogs, cats, and others.

When they see others wandering around, they often want to escape in the tank all day.

It is their instinct to be scared and threatened by those creatures.


In summary, above are some main pieces of information related to the bearded dragon vs horned toad.

While both are reptiles, they are mainly different in their diet, habitats, reproduction, and temperament.

We hope the article has helped you distinguish those animals in the best way.

Further Reading: 

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