Eastern Bearded Dragon

(Pogona barbata)


Eastern Bearded Dragon IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

With a body length of 25 cm and a tail length of 30 cm P. barbata is the biggest of the 7 Agama species recognized today. The throat is covered with very distinct spiny scales which can be raised to form an impressive – black - beard. The head is large and relatively long and triangular in shape. At the back of the head, the corners of the mouth and the ear opening there are several groups of long spiny scales.

P. barbata is relatively slender and has a dorsoventrally flattened body. If excited and at higher temperatures head, flanks and legs have a yellowish to orange colour. Usually however they are rather dark, from yellowish to grey and black. The inside of the mouth is generally a bright yellow colour. When threatened it puffs up, raises its frill or "beard" and opens mouth showing the yellow mouth lining.

Pogona barbata is diurnal, terrestrial and semi-arboreal. Males will compete for mates and will use various forms of head bobbing and other movements to communicate. In the wild, breeding activity starts with the onset of warmer weather, which in most parts of its range commences in late August or at worst by the end of September. 'The female scoops a hole and buries herself in it to deposit her eggs; these may number eight to twenty-four. Having deposited the clutch, the lizard emerges from the hole and carefully covers it.

Did you know?
that in the wild state, these lizards adopt the behaviour of shuttling heliotherms? Their activity patterns are largely dictated by ambient temperatures and the lizards ability to operate at optimal temperatures within the environment. In cooler weather the lizards bask until optimal temperature is reached, before other activity is commenced. Basking is resumed when temperature falls below a certain level. At higher temperatures, the lizards avoid the heat of the day and alter activity periods accordingly. Therefore most active lizards are seen when temperatures fall within the preferred range, which often equates with spring and autumn. Today the species name is Pogona barbata, and the earlier denomination Amhibolurus barbatus is considered as a synonym.


Name (Scientific) Pogona barbata
Name (English) Eastern Bearded Dragon
Name (French) Dragon barbu de l'est, Pogona géant
Name (German) Östliche Bartagame
Name (Spanish) Dragón barbudo del Este
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
John O'Neill



Range Australia
Habitat In open woodlands of the coastal regions of eastern Australia
Wild population Unknown, reported to be common and stable (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 92 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Eastern Bearded Dragon


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 41 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Pogona barbata is not a threatened species. Zoos and aquariums keep them primarily for educational reasons as a typical representative of the Australian herpetofauna.