How Big Can a Bearded Dragon Get?

how big can a bearded dragon get

When you start getting a lizard as a pet, a number of questions will come and confuse you. And one of them is “how big can a bearded dragon get”.

 Knowing their potential size of your pet will give you an idea of how to raise your beardie properly, and what conditions you’ll have to provide as there are many factors such as gender, diet, quality of enclosures and so on that have a great influence on his size.

Therefore, it is completely important to fully understand the process of development of a lizard as well as other factors to provide better care.

In this article, we would like to give you a deeper understanding of the bearded dragon size. And first, let’s find out “how big can a bearded dragon get”.


Related:

How Big Does A Bearded Dragon Get When Fully Grown?

bearded dragon growth rate

So how big can a bearded dragon get?

Estimating the bearded dragon sizes when they are fully grown plays an important role in choosing the best bearded dragon terrarium size and determining a feeding plan, which allows you to properly care for your pet.

In specific, for the first 3 months of life, these reptiles grow quickly for the first 3 months of life, and they increase their sizes dramatically another 1 to 2 inches on a monthly basis for the rest of the year.

Afterward, an increase of 1 to 2 inches in their size may still be seen during the entire second year of life.

The age at which a beardie is considered fully grown is from 11 to 12months but some are only mature when they are 18 months.

Once they stop growing, their full size would be from 12 to 24 inches (this measurement includes the tail), which makes them so suitable no matter how big your home is.

However, a number of factors can have an influence on a dragon’s growth process, which can prevent you from predicting exactly how big your beardie can get.

For example, some will reach their maximum size early at 8 to 10 months while this only happens after their second year of life.

How Big Should They Be At Certain Ages?

how big does a bearded dragon get

Having a BD growth chart handy will be definitely useful as you can determine your pet size at a certain age, and you will have immediate steps to tackle problems relating to your pet growth in case.

The following chart shows the average bearded dragon growth rates during their first year of life.

LengthAge
3-4 Inches0-1 Months
5-9 Inches2 Months
8-11 Inches3 Months
9-12 Inches4 Months
11-16 Inches5 Months
11-18 Inches6 Months
13-20 Inches8 Months
16-24 Inches12 Months

The Max Size Of Each Common Species

“How big can a bearded dragon get”, this question depends on the specific breed of dragon you have.

Therefore, to accurately chart your lizard’s growth, you had better know which species you’ve acquired as there are several species of dragons, and each species has a different max size and growth rate.

Below we would like to give you a deeper understanding of the differences in size and growth of each of the common species. And, you can easily determine how big your lizard will get.

1. Pogona Vitticeps

Pogona Vitticeps

This kind of lizard is considered as the most common and loved by most pet owners.

These reptiles are indigenous to dry brush environments, forests, and deserts and well known for their gentle nature.

Also, they are always awake during the day and love climbing. When they are full-grown, they tend to get up to 24 inches long.

2. Pogona Barbata

Pogona Barbata

Pogona Barbata is one of the largest lizard species, and this type of lizard can grow up 24 inches long with typical features.

They are found in dry, wooded areas and well known for their aggression when others invade their territories.

You can also notice that these lizards are active during daylight hours and enjoys climbing and wandering around their environment.

3. Pogona Minor Mitchelli

Pogona Minor Mitchelli

Mitchelli Dragons that are found in desert regions and in semi-tropical wooded areas are relatively rare.

They can reach up to 18 inches long when fully grown.

4. Pogona Minor

Pogona Minor

This rare kind of reptile that prefers rocky areas and woodlands can grow up to 14 to 18 inches during their lifetime.

5. Pogona Nullarbor

Pogona Nullabor

The Nullabor has a preference for flat brush environments and grows up to 14 inches long when fully-grown.

6. Pogona Minor Minima

Pogona Minor Minima

Also called the Western Bearded Dragon, Pogona Minor Minima found in dry woodlands is very rare and only grows up to 12 inches.

7. Pogona Henrylasoni

Pogona Henrylasoni

Commonly called the Lawsons Dragon, these active dragons found in arid desert regions or drier rocky settings love climbing and are expected to reach 12 inches or less.

8. Pogona Microlepidota

Pogona Microlepidota

The Pogona Microlepidota dragon, also named Drysdale River Beardie is the smallest one with a length of 4 to 6 inches during their lifetime!

How Fast do Bearded Dragons Grow?

Naturally, many new pet owners will be curious about how long their pets will be growing.

In general, most beardies will grow dramatically within the first 6 months and their growth process may slow down around 11 to 12 months with an average length of 15 to 18 inches.

Besides, in the second year of age, you can expect your pet to continue to grow but a little.

In short, most beardies are expected to be 95% done growing by 12 months of age and 99-100% done by 18 months. However, in some cases, by 24 months of age, they can grow to be as long as 24, 25, or even 26 inches!

This Growth Chart below gives information about beardies at different age groups in terms of length through the first 18 months of their life.

bearded dragon growth chart

How Does Gender Influence Their Size?

Like most creatures, differences in size can be seen clearly when it comes to this kind of lizard gender. This may have an influence on “how big can a bearded dragon get”.

On the one hand, male dragons tend to be longer (from head to tail) than their female counterparts.

In specific, if you expect the length of males to be at 21 to 24 inches, females will be shorter, at 16 to 19 inches.

For example, the Pogona Vitticeps have a size range of 12 months of approximately 16-24 inches.

While the males can reach the upper limit of 24 inches, the females will be 16 inches.

On the other hand, although they are not as long as males, they actually have a broader body.

However, the female’s tails tend to be more slender than those of the males, and their heads are commonly smaller than males.

If you don’t know how to identify your beardie, we would like to give you some tips.

Maybe, it is commonly suggested to find out the sex of your pet based purely on its size or even certain behavioral traits. However, these methods are not really reliable methods in some cases.

An efficient way that can help you to know the gender of your pet is looking at his or her underside when your dragon is an adult (8-12 months old) as most young dragons will appear to be female until they reach sexual maturity.

In specific, while the male will have two bumps called hemipenile bulges above the vent/slit between his back legs, the female will have a single bump behind the vent/slit on her tail.

how big will a bearded dragon get

Possible Causes For Slow Growth

Besides age or gender, there are many other factors that have an influence on your bearded dragon growth rate, and some of them relating to the quality of care.

If your beardie is below average size and weight, there will be likely something wrong either with their diet, their habitat setting, or their brumation.

Therefore, to fully answer the question “how big can a bearded dragon get?”, we would like to give you some factors that can lead to a small and underdeveloped lizard!

But first, you should check the video below to know how to care for your beardie properly.

1. Not Proper UVB Lighting

To remain healthy, a beardie needs the proper amount and intensity of UVA and UVB lighting so, besides the light that replicates the sun throughout the entire tank, your pet also needs to have a “basking bulb” to provide the extra heat and a spot to soak up these critical UVB rays.

Otherwise, the lack of UVB light can lead to serious health issues.

In specific, a shortage of the right amount of UVB light can make the size of a dragon dramatically stunted or slowed down dramatically.

Also, the dragon can not properly absorb the calcium in the diets, which leads to weak or brittle bones without UVB rays.

Some seem to be lethargic for no apparent reason and may lose their appetite.

Therefore, a proper UVB bulb for your pet is of paramount importance.

We would like to introduce you a special UVB light bulb that is designed to be placed in your beardie’s tank.

UVB & UVA Lamp For Reptiles and Amphibian By TEKIZOO

  • Provides strong and consistent UVB and UVA for reptiles
  • Be compatible with a variety of enclosures
  • The compact size of 6.3 x 4.5 inches
  • Bulb undergoes strict testing before being packaged

Make sure that you replace UVB bulbs every 6 months as there is no clear sign of an underperforming bulb

2. An Insufficient Diet

bearded dragon size

To keep your dragon’s growth on track, you should understand their dietary needs, which allows your pet to get enough necessary nutrients for his growth.

It is really important for you to know that a baby’s diet is different from that of an adult.

  • Baby Bearded Dragon

It is true that it will not be easy for pet owners to raise a baby as it is more sensitive and susceptible to various illnesses and injuries, and if you get one, please follow these tips below for a better diet.

The first thing to remember is that your baby dragon will need a diet containing plenty of protein-rich insects during their first three months to assist his growth.

You can feed your pet between 20 and 60 crickets (or other insects) per day – depending on where it is in its growth cycle. And practice this three times per day from your reputable breeder or pet store – as many as it can eat within a 10-15 minute period.

Secondly, high-quality insects are really important so it is better for you not to feed your baby wild insects as they may carry parasites that can harm your reptile.

Also, any uneaten bugs should be removed after the 10-15-minute eating period.

Another problem you may face is that the insects are too big for your baby dragon to digest.

They should not be any larger than the space between the lizard’s eyes.

To give your baby dragon enough nutrients, one way you should try is dusting the insects with a reptile-specific calcium/vitamin D3 supplement once per day and with a multi-vitamin supplement like Herptivite twice per week

Last but not least, fresh or thawed frozen vegetables should be available in their dish, and you can spray them with water to keep the food fresher and your pet hydrated.

  • Adult Bearded Dragon

bearded dragon size by age

Unlike baby dragons, adult reptile only needs to eat insects once per day, and have more sprayed greens.

You can reduce the frequency of calcium dusting to three times per week and the vitamin/mineral supplement to once per week.

In general, leafy greens are the safest for your lizard to eat on a daily basis as they contain high levels of vitamin D3. This is crucial for your pet’s growth and overall wellbeing.

This is also because your dragons in captivity will often suffer from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), which causes their bones to become very brittle and week.

Therefore, it is so important for them to get enough in their diet.

The tables below will give you information about edible insects, safe as well as poisonous /unsafe plants, fruits, and vegetables for bearded dragons.

Edible insects for your dragon

Black Soldier-Fly LarvaeWaxworms (as special treats)
LocustsSilkworms
CockroachesButterworms (as special treats)
Zophobas

Safe plants, fruits, and vegetables for your dragon

BasilStrawberriesAcorn Squash
CarnationsWatermelonButternut Squash
CloverMelonCollard Greens
DayliliesBlackberriesEndive
ImpatiensCranberriesMustard Greens
Maple LeavesBlueberriesSpaghetti Squash
Mint LeavesPlumsTurnip Greens
OreganoGrapesYellow Squash
Rosemary (fresh)RaisinsCarrots
SagePrunesBok Choy
Thyme (fresh)ApplesCabbage (raw)
Dandelion GreensFigsCucumber (peeled)
ChivesPineappleBell Peppers (raw)
Rose PetalsCherriesCarrots

Poisonous/unsafe plants for dragons

AmaryllisPeriwinkleMarijuana
Angel’s TrumpetHyacinthOak
AzaleaDelphiniumPhilodendron
Bird of ParadiseElephant’s EarsPoppy
ButtercupLily-of-the-ValleyPoinsettia
ClematisWisteriaRhododendron
Wild DaffodilTulipShamrock Plant
TobaccoSweet Pea

3. Early Brumation

bearded dragon vivarium size

Brumation which is quite similar to hibernation is a naturally occurring cycle that a lot of beardies can go through to adapt to the changing of seasons.

Dragons may brumate at any time throughout the year, but they will mostly brumate during the winter or fall when they are unable to absorb enough warmth to properly digest their food as the sun grow weaker, daylight hours get shorter and the temperatures are colder.

During this period, his metabolism slows down significantly which leads to a highly reduced chance of energy and appetite.

Therefore, he may not eat, drink, defecate, or move for several weeks during this period, and spend time sleeping.

That is the reason why brumation can significantly stunt the growth of a younger dragon if he gets into it too early as these early years are crucial for your beardie to grow and reach his full size.

You can stop this by ensuring the temperatures in the dragon’s cage stay where they should be year-round (both during night and day) and by also making sure the lighting cycle is normal as well (10 – 12 hours of light a day, every day).

4. Disease

Another reason that can slow down your lizard’s development is that your pet may get sick or have health issues.

Consequently, a decreased appetite might lead to insufficient food consumption or a parasite could be stealing vital nutrients that your beardie needs to grow.

Therefore, it is very important to keep your beardie strong and healthy.

To be a good owner, you have to keep the enclosure clean, give your pet proper light, and maintain recommended humidity levels.

Especially, clean water and high-quality food.

If you give your dragon a favorable environment to live in, he will definitely grow to the bearded dragon max size.

Related: 

Commonly Asked Questions About How Big Can a Bearded Dragon Get

bearded dragon max size

1. How Long Do Bearded Dragons Live?

This kind of lizard can have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, or even longer, which depends on many factors.

2. How Do I Know If My Beardie Is Happy?

If a beardie is happy, he will show his happiness through behaviors having a sign of trust and comfort.

In specific, he can press against you, lick the surrounding air, come to you or lay flat when you’re near.

Basking more regularly is also an indication of happiness.

3. Can Bearded Dragons Change Gender?

The answer may surprise you a lot as their’ gender switch is pretty amazing and also incredibly unique.

They actually change genders when they are still in their eggs and don’t experience gender dysphoria.

4. Can You Put a Baby Bearded Dragon In a Big Tank?

It would be pointless giving your baby dragon a whole lot of room or a too large tank as it actually prevents him from catching the food efficiently.

A baby lizard under 10 inches can live happily in a 20-gallon tank

5. What Is The Best Bearded Dragon Vivarium Size?

The best vivarium for a beardie should be the one of 4ft x 2ft x 2ft. This allows you to easily set up the temperature gradient correctly which is key for your beardie.

This will help control his body temperature throughout the day when temperatures may vary greatly.

Conclusion

After having a look at this article, you may already have valuable knowledge relating to bearded dragon size beyond the question “how big can a bearded dragon get?” We hope that this article will not only help you answer exactly “how big can a bearded dragon get?” as well as know a number of factors that can influence their size but also learn how to provide them with great care.

Further Reading:

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