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Orange Bearded Dragon: Facts, Care, Diet & Health (with Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

orange bearded dragon

Orange bearded dragons are fascinating creatures that are known for their stunning appearance and unique characteristics. The orange bearded dragon is a beautiful lizard that belongs to the Pogona genus. These reptiles get their name from the beard-like flap of skin under their chin that they puff out when they feel threatened or want to show dominance. One of the most striking features of orange bearded dragons is their vibrant orange color, which sets them apart from other bearded dragon varieties.

If you’re curious about these beautiful reptiles, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of orange bearded dragons. From their size and habitat to their care tips and pictures, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these captivating creatures.

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Quick Facts about Orange Bearded Dragon

Species Name: Pogona vitticeps
Common Name: Orange Bearded Dragon
Care Level: Medium
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Adult Size: 1 ½ to 2 feet long
Diet: Insects, vegetables, fruit
Minimum Tank Size: 20 to 50 gallons
Temperature & Humidity 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, 30–40% humidity

Do Orange Bearded Dragons Make Good Pets?

Yes, absolutely. Bearded dragons are popular pets for many reasons. They’re docile, easy to care for, and have a unique personality. Among the various types of bearded dragons, orange bearded dragons are a popular choice for many pet owners. Orange bearded dragons are known for their vibrant coloration and stunning appearance. They make great pets for beginners as they are easy to handle and don’t really require much upkeep.

These little dragons are generally healthy and can live up to 15 years with proper care. They’re omnivores and can consume an easy to manage, balanced diet of insects, vegetables, and fruits. They also need a comfortable and spacious enclosure with proper lighting and temperature control.

One of the advantages of owning an orange bearded dragon is that they’re surprisingly social animals and actually enjoy interacting with their owners. They’re also known for their docile nature and rarely display aggressive or territorial behavior. But unlike dogs or cats, they’re relatively quiet and do not make much noise.

However, before getting an orange bearded dragon, it’s essential to consider the time, effort, and financial commitment required to care for them properly.


Orange bearded dragon in the sand
Image Credit: Jumpstory

These lizards can grow up to 18–24 inches in length, with males being slightly larger than females. They have a robust build, with a broad head and a powerful jaw that allows them to chew and crush their food. Their skin is covered in small, pointed scales that give them a rough texture, and they have sharp claws that help them climb and grip onto surfaces.

In addition to their orange color, orange bearded dragons have black stripes on their legs and tail, which add to their unique appearance. They also have a row of spines that run down their back, which they can raise when they feel threatened or want to intimidate other animals.

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How to Take Care of Orange Bearded Dragon

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

Orange bearded dragons are native to the arid and semi-arid regions of central Australia. They’re found in rocky, desert habitats, where they can bask in the sun to regulate their body temperature.  In the wild, orange bearded dragons are solitary creatures and spend most of their time basking, foraging for food, and defending their territory. They’re active during the day and retreat to burrows or crevices in rocks at night to avoid predators. These lizards are well adapted to their environment and can survive in temperatures ranging from 75–100 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Tank

Orange bearded dragons require a spacious and secure habitat that allows them to move around and climb. A 40-gallon tank is the minimum size required for an adult orange bearded dragon, but larger tanks are recommended.

It’s important to provide your bearded dragon with a variety of hiding spots, such as rocks, logs, and caves, as well as a basking spot that reaches a temperature of 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also provide a cooler area of the tank that stays around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Lighting

Orange bearded dragons require UVB lighting to help them process calcium and maintain healthy bones. You should provide a UVB light that covers at least 2/3 of the tank and replace it every 6–12 months to ensure it remains effective.

  • Heating (Temperature & Humidity)

These small dragons are cold-blooded animals and require a basking spot that reaches a temperature of 100–110 degrees Fahrenheit to regulate their body temperature. You should also provide a cooler area of the tank that stays around 80 degrees Fahrenheit with about 30–40% humidity.

Male bearded dragon standing on a roc
Image Credit: Kurit afshen, Shutterstock
  • Substrate

These dragons need a substrate that is both absorbent and easy to clean. One of the most popular types of substrate for orange bearded dragons is reptile carpet. This type of substrate is pretty easy to clean and can be reused, making it a cost-effective option for pet owners. Another excellent option is paper towel substrate, which is also easy to clean and can be changed out frequently. Finally, organic substrates such as coconut fiber or cypress mulch can be used, but they require more maintenance and should be replaced regularly to prevent bacterial growth.

Tank Recommendations

Tank Type 40-gallon vivarium
Lighting UV & Infrared
Heating Electric/auto
Best Substrate Bark, mulch, newspaper

Feeding Your Orange Bearded Dragon

Orange bearded dragons are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods in the wild. Their diet consists of insects, such as crickets and mealworms, as well as fruits and vegetables, including kale, collard greens, and strawberries.

When feeding your orange bearded dragon in captivity, always provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. You can also supplement their diet with calcium and vitamin D3 to ensure they maintain healthy bones and strong muscles.

It’s important to note that orange bearded dragons have a high metabolism and should be fed daily when they are young and growing. As they mature, you can reduce their feedings to every other day or a few times a week.

Diet Summary

Plants 80% of diet
Insects 20% of diet
Supplements Required Calcium, Beta-keratin

Keeping Your Orange Bearded Dragon Healthy

Image Credit: Vadim Zakharishchev, Shutterstock

Keeping your orange bearded dragon healthy is essential to ensure that it lives a long and happy life. One of the most important things you can do is to provide it with a proper diet. Another critical element is ensuring that your bearded dragon has access to a clean and spacious enclosure. Bearded dragons are active creatures and need ample space to move around and bask in the sun. Regular cleaning of the enclosure is also crucial to prevent bacterial or fungal infections.

Common Health Issues

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease is a common health issue in bearded dragons that occurs when they don’t get enough calcium or vitamin D3. Signs include lethargy, weakened bones, and seizures. Treatment involves providing a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement and making changes to their diet and lighting.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are another common health issue in bearded dragons that can be caused by poor husbandry, stress, or a weakened immune system. Signs include lethargy, difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite. Treatment involves antibiotics and improving their living conditions.

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These creatures have a relatively long lifespan, with an average lifespan of 8–15 years. However, with proper care and attention, orange bearded dragons can live well beyond this range. One of the keys to ensuring a long lifespan for your orange bearded dragon is to provide a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. This can include feeding your dragon a variety of insects and vegetables, as well as providing ample space for them to climb, roam, and bask in the sun. Regular vet check-ups and proper habitat maintenance are also important for ensuring your bearded dragon’s long-term health and wellbeing. Overall, by taking the time to provide quality care and attention, you can help your orange bearded dragon live a long and healthy life.

a bearded dragon sleeping under a log
Image Credit: Dudley Simpson, Shutterstock


These dragons are known for their vibrant orange coloration, which is achieved through selective breeding. It’s important to note that breeding bearded dragons requires a significant amount of time, effort, and resources. Before embarking on this endeavor, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the breeding process, as well as the necessary equipment and supplies. Additionally, it’s essential to research the genetics of the bearded dragons, as well as any potential health issues that may arise during the breeding process.

The first step is to ensure that you have a healthy breeding pair of orange bearded dragons, with both male and female being in good health and of breeding age. Once you have a suitable pair, it’s important to provide them with a proper diet and habitat that mimics their natural environment. This includes providing ample space, proper lighting, and temperature control. When the female lays her eggs, it’s important to carefully monitor and incubate them until they hatch.

Bearded dragon eggs should be incubated in a separate container with a suitable substrate and temperature. The eggs will hatch after 60–90 days, and the baby bearded dragons should be kept in a separate tank with appropriate lighting and heating.

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Are Orange Bearded Dragons Friendly? Our Handling Advice

These dragons are known for their docile nature and easy care requirements. However, it is important to understand that each dragon has its unique personality, and not all of them may be friendly – and they can be moody too. So, if you have an orange bearded dragon that seems shy or aggressive, it’s essential to handle it with care. The key to building trust with your pet is to approach it calmly and consistently. Start by offering food from your hand, and gradually work your way to picking it up. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could scare your dragon.

It is also important to create a comfortable habitat for your pet. Bearded dragons require warm and spacious enclosures where they can bask, hide, and explore. By providing a stress-free environment, your orange bearded dragon is more likely to feel calm and open to interaction.

Shedding & Brumation: What to Expect

As with all reptiles, shedding and brumation are natural processes that occur throughout their lives. During this time, their skin may appear dull and opaque, and they may have a decreased appetite. So, ensure that they have proper hydration during this time to prevent any complications.

Brumation, on the other hand, is a state of dormancy similar to hibernation in mammals. Brumation occurs during the winter months when temperatures drop, and the bearded dragon’s metabolic rate slows down. During this time, they may become less active and eat less frequently. It’s important to monitor their behavior during both shedding and brumation and make any necessary adjustments to their environment and diet to ensure their health and well-being.

bearded dragon shedding
Image Credit: Vadim Zakharishchev, Shutterstock

How Much Do Orange Bearded Dragons Cost?

The cost of these dragons can vary depending on a number of factors, including age, size, and breeding. But on average, a baby orange bearded dragon can cost anywhere from $50 to $150, while an adult can cost upwards of $500. But note that the cost of an orange bearded dragon is not just limited to the initial purchase price. There are also ongoing costs associated with caring for these animals, such as food, substrate, housing, and vet checkups.

Care Guide Summary

  • Docile and quiet disposition
  • Easy to feed a wide range of foods
  • Minimal physical maintenance
  • Can transmit salmonella bacteria in their feces
  • Larger food pieces should be chopped up
  • Not vocal like other pets

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To wrap things up, orange bearded dragons are fascinating and captivating creatures that make great pets for reptile enthusiasts of all levels. These animals don’t require much to keep them healthy and happy, so if you want a pet that’s easy to care for, look no further. And with their stunning appearance, friendly demeanor, and unique characteristics, they’re sure to capture your heart and provide hours of entertainment. Just remember to provide them with a suitable habitat, balanced diet, and proper care to ensure they thrive and live a long, healthy life.

Featured Image Credit: Rangga A Firmansyah, Shutterstock

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