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Rankin’s Dragon vs. Bearded Dragon: The Key Differences (With Pictures)

Melody Russell

By Melody Russell

Rankin's Dragon vs Bearded Dragon - Featured Image

Get ready for a reptilian face-off as we dive into the world of Rankin’s dragons and bearded dragons! Choosing the right pet reptile is an exciting adventure, and today, we’re here to help you explore the unique characteristics, care requirements, and personalities of these two captivating lizard breeds. Whether you’re a seasoned reptile enthusiast or a newcomer to the scaly world, this detailed comparison will steer you in the right direction to make an informed decision. So, let’s embark on this journey to discover which of these fantastic creatures is the perfect companion for you.

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Visual Differences

Rankin's Dragon vs Bearded Dragon - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – davemhuntphotography, Shutterstock | Right – Arledas, Pixabay

At a Glance

Rankin's Dragon
  • Average height (adult): 10–12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 60–100 grams
  • Lifespan: 8–12 years
  • Exercise: 30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Sometimes
  • Trainability: Low
Bearded Dragon
  • Average length (adult): 18–22 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 300–500 grams
  • Lifespan: 10–15 years
  • Exercise: 30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Low
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Low

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Rankin’s Dragon Overview

rankin's dragon on branch in terrarium
Image Credit: Josef_Svoboda, Shutterstock

Personality / Character:

Rankin’s dragons are known for their charming and curious nature. They may be smaller than bearded dragons, but what they lack in size, they make up for in personality. These lizards are generally docile and friendly, making them great companions for reptile enthusiasts of all experience levels.


Rankin’s dragons can be trained to some extent, especially when it comes to hand-feeding and basic interaction. While not as responsive as bearded dragons, they still form strong bonds with their owners through consistent handling and socialization.

Health & Care:

Proper habitat setup, including UVB lighting and controlled temperature and humidity, is crucial for Rankin’s dragons’ well-being. Their diet primarily consists of insects and leafy greens, with occasional supplementation. Regular vet check-ups are essential to monitor their health.

rankin's dragon on a branch surrounded by leaves]
Image Credit: Michaela Pilch, Shutterstock


Breeding Rankin’s dragons can be a rewarding experience for seasoned reptile keepers. However, it requires specific conditions and knowledge of their breeding behaviors. Breeding should be approached with caution and expertise.

Suitable For:

Rankin’s dragons are ideal for reptile enthusiasts who appreciate the combination of a smaller size and an inquisitive personality in their reptilian companions. With adults typically reaching lengths of 10–12 inches, they are well-suited for individuals or families with limited living space.

These lizards are not just small in size but also big in charm. Their curious and engaging personalities make them captivating to observe, whether they’re climbing on branches, basking under heat lamps, or exploring their habitat. Families, especially those with children, will find Rankin’s dragons to be friendly and approachable, making them an excellent choice for introducing young ones to the wonders of reptile care. Moreover, their relatively low grooming needs and suitability for beginners make them a practical and enjoyable addition to the world of reptile keeping.

  • Docile and friendly disposition
  • Smaller size, suitable for smaller living spaces
  • Great for beginners and families
  • Fascinating to observe due to their active nature
  • Require specific habitat conditions for health and well-being
  • Limited availability in the pet trade compared to bearded dragons

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Bearded Dragon Overview

a central bearded dragon on a branch
Image Credit: Filmbildfabrik, Shutterstock

Personality / Character:

Bearded dragons are renowned for their gentle and easygoing nature. They are often considered the “puppy dogs” of the reptile world. These lizards are highly sociable and form strong bonds with their owners, making them fantastic companions.


Bearded dragons are moderately active and benefit from daily exercise and exploration outside their enclosure. They are known to enjoy basking in the sun and exploring their surroundings.


Bearded dragons are intelligent and can be trained to some extent. They readily learn to recognize their owners and can be hand-fed, making them easy to handle and socialize.

Health & Care:

Maintaining the right habitat conditions, including proper lighting, temperature, and humidity, is crucial for bearded dragons’ health. Their omnivorous diet includes insects, leafy greens, and occasional fruits. Regular vet check-ups are essential to monitor their well-being.

child hand while feeding a bearded dragon (Bartagame) with garlic mustard
Image Credit: C.Nass, Shutterstock


Breeding bearded dragons is a common practice among reptile enthusiasts. They have well-documented breeding behaviors and can produce multiple clutches of eggs in a year. Breeding should be done with care and consideration for responsible breeding practices.

Suitable For:

Bearded dragons emerge as the quintessential choice for reptile enthusiasts in search of an engaging and interactive companion. Their tranquil disposition and remarkable trainability render them a prime selection, particularly for families and those new to reptile care.

These lizards effortlessly establish bonds with their caregivers, showcasing their sociable nature through gentle interactions and recognition of their owners. As ideal reptilian ambassadors, bearded dragons captivate the hearts of families, offering an enriching experience that bridges the gap between humans and the reptile kingdom. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the following considerations:

  • Gentle and sociable temperament
  • Highly trainable and responsive to handling
  • Suitable for families and reptile enthusiasts of all levels
  • Widely available in the pet trade
  • Require ample space due to their larger size
  • Need proper habitat setup and maintenance
  • Long lifespan commitment (up to 15 years or more)

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Comparison of Habitat and Enclosure Needs

Rankin’s dragons and bearded dragons have similar habitat requirements, including temperature, lighting, and humidity. However, bearded dragons may require larger enclosures due to their size. We’ll delve into the specifics of creating a comfortable and safe home for each species.

bearded dragon in terrarium
Image Credit: Stefanie66, Pixabay

Diet and Feeding Preferences

Both species have distinct dietary needs. Rankin’s dragons lean more towards insectivorous diets, while bearded dragons are omnivores. We’ll explore their nutritional requirements and how to provide a balanced diet for optimal health.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

When it comes to the intriguing debate of choosing between Rankin’s dragons and bearded dragons, the decision is deeply rooted in your individual preferences and lifestyle. It’s akin to selecting the perfect puzzle piece to complete your reptilian family portrait.

If you’re inclined towards a smaller, more inquisitive lizard with a friendly disposition, then Rankin’s dragons may seamlessly align with your vision of an ideal pet. These diminutive yet charismatic reptiles offer an intimate and enchanting connection with their owners, making them a wonderful choice for those seeking a more compact companion.

Conversely, if you find yourself drawn to the allure of a larger, sociable reptile that thrives on interaction and companionship, then bearded dragons could be your ultimate match. With their gentle demeanor and eagerness to engage, these charismatic lizards become more than just pets – they become treasured members of your family, sharing in your daily experiences and providing a sense of camaraderie that is truly extraordinary.

In closing, whether you opt for the charming Rankin’s dragons or the endearing bearded dragons, both species contribute their unique enchantment to the realm of reptile keeping. Whichever path you choose, it’s essential to remember that responsible care and unwavering dedication are the keys to unlocking a truly rewarding reptile ownership experience.

See also: 

Featured Image Credit: Left – T. Miettinen, Shutterstock | Right – Ery Azmeer, Shutterstock

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