Everything You Need to Know About Fancy Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles that make excellent pets. While wild-type bearded dragons are commonly found in pet stores and online, another category stands out from the rest – the fancy bearded dragons. Fancy bearded dragons are selectively bred for their unique traits, such as vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and even larger sizes. This thorough manual delves into the realm of fancy bearded dragons, exploring what makes them unique, how to identify them, and what care they require. 

What Makes a Fancy Bearded Dragon?

Fancy bearded dragons are a diverse category encompassing various morphs and species with rare or unique features. Unlike the regular wild-type bearded dragons, fancy dragons exhibit colors, patterns, or scales that fall outside the normal range.  Fancy bearded dragons display many captivating characteristics, from vivid reds and oranges to striking zigzag patterns and fewer spikes. However, it’s important to note that “fancy bearded dragon” lacks a formal meaning. Every dragon, individually with a rare color, pattern, or size, can be labeled as fancy.

The Origins of Fancy-Bearded Dragons

Fancy bearded dragons are not found in the wild; they result from selective breeding in captivity. Breeding bearded dragons is a relatively straightforward process, allowing breeders to pair individuals with desired traits to create offspring with the same characteristics. 

Over time, these traits are intensified by breeding the offspring with others with the same features. Many fancy qualities initially start as natural mutations in normal bearded dragons, giving them a slightly different appearance. 

However, these traits often do not survive in the wild due to predators or health issues. For example, a scaleless fancy bearded dragon with a reduced number of scales would face difficulties in the wild, making it a rarity exclusively found in captivity.

  •  These unique traits make fancy bearded dragons stand out from the rest and make them highly sought after by reptile enthusiasts.
  • Some fancy bearded dragons may also have unique markings or patterns on their scales, adding to their overall beauty and appeal.
  •  In addition to their unique appearance, fancy bearded dragons can also grow to be larger compared to wild-type bearded dragons.
  • This larger size can make them even more impressive and captivating to observe.
  •  Identifying a fancy bearded dragon can be quite easy, as their distinct colors, patterns, and larger size make them stand out from other bearded dragon varieties.
  •  Proper care and husbandry are essential for keeping a fancy bearded dragon healthy and happy.
  •  Fancy bearded dragons require a suitable enclosure with proper heating and lighting to mimic their natural habitat.
  •  They also need a balanced diet consisting of insects, vegetables, and occasional fruits to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
  •  Regular veterinary check-ups are important to monitor the health of a fancy bearded dragon and address any potential issues early on.
  •  It is crucial to handle fancy bearded dragons with care and avoid excessive stress, as they can be more delicate than wild-type bearded dragons.
  •  Providing a stimulating and enriching environment for a fancy bearded dragon is essential for their overall well-being.
  •  This can include providing hiding spots, climbing branches, and even creating a naturalistic setup in their enclosure.
  •  Fancy bearded dragons can live for several years if provided with proper care and a suitable environment.

Different Types of Fancy-Bearded Dragons

Fancy bearded dragons come in various colors, patterns, and morphs. Let’s explore some of the most popular types of fancy bearded dragons:

Fancy Bearded Dragons
Fancy Bearded Dragons

Leatherback and Silkback Morphs

Two of the most famous fancy bearded dragon morphs are the leatherback and silkback. These morphs have distinct physical characteristics that set them apart from regular bearded dragons. Leatherback dragons have fewer spines on their beards, sides, and backs, with more minor scales and a smoother texture. On the other hand, silkback dragons lack spines and scales, resulting in a soft, wrinkly appearance. 

Colorful Varieties

Fancy bearded dragons are renowned for their vibrant and eye-catching colors. While regular bearded dragons tend to have tan, beige, or light brown hues, fancy dragons boast a range of vivid colors, such as bright reds, oranges, yellows, and even purples. Some rare morphs, including albino and melanistic varieties, contribute to the diverse palette of fancy bearded dragons. These captivating colors make them a standout addition to any reptile collection.

Intricate Patterns

In addition to their striking colors, fancy bearded dragons often exhibit intricate patterns that add to their visual appeal. While wild-type dragons typically have a light stripe along their spine with darker, irregular blotches on either side, fancy dragons can display patterns resembling tiger stripes, zigzags, or camouflage prints. The vibrant colors and intricate designs make each fancy bearded dragon a unique and captivating creature.

How to Identify a Fancy-Bearded Dragon

When looking to purchase a fancy bearded dragon, it’s essential to be able to identify them accurately. While some pet shops may label regular bearded dragons as fancy to increase their appeal, others may mistakenly label fancy dragons as common. To determine whether a bearded dragon is fancy, there are a few key characteristics to look out for.

Color and Pattern

The easiest way to spot a fancy bearded dragon is by examining its color and pattern. Fancy dragons typically have bright red, orange, and yellow stripes running down their backs, accompanied by black, brown, and white markings. Depending on the dragon’s morph and genetic background, these colors can appear in various patterns, such as stripes, spots, zigzags, or even figure-eight shapes. In contrast, wild-type bearded dragons usually have more natural, sandy hues with less vivid patterns and colors.

Physical Traits

Some fancy bearded dragons have unique physical traits, distinguishing them from regular dragons. For example, leatherback dragons have fewer spines and more minor scales, resulting in a smoother texture. Silkback dragons, on the other hand, lack both spines and scales, giving them a wrinkly appearance. These physical characteristics make these morphs easily recognizable as fancy dragons.

Unusual Size

While most fancy bearded dragons are similar in size to regular dragons, there are exceptions. The German Giant morph, for instance, can grow up to 30 inches long, which is significantly larger than the average size of 15 to 20 inches for wild-type bearded dragons. If you come across a vast bearded dragon, it may indicate that it belongs to the fancy category.

Fancy Bearded Dragons
Fancy Bearded Dragons

Fancy Bearded Dragons vs. Regular Bearded Dragons

Fancy and regular bearded dragons belong to the same species, Pogona vitticeps, but their colors, markings, and sizes differ. While normal bearded dragons are known for their tan, 

brown, and white coloration with sandy undertones, fancy dragons boast diverse bright and vivid colors, including yellow, black, orange, red, and purple. 

The patterns found on fancy dragons are also more intricate and eye-catching than regular dragons’ simple stripe and blotch patterns. Most fancy dragons are similar in size to normal dragons, but there are exceptions, such as the German Giant morph, which can grow much more significant.

You May Also Read: Red Bearded Dragons: Care Characteristics, and Fun Facts

Care and Maintenance of Fancy-Bearded Dragons

Despite their unique appearance, fancy bearded dragons require similar care and maintenance as regular bearded dragons. They have the exact dietary needs, being omnivores that consume a mix of fruits, vegetables, and insects. As they grow, their diet shifts from predominantly insect-based to mostly vegetable-based. 

The temperature, humidity, and lighting requirements for fancy dragons are the same as for regular dragons. However, it’s important to note that silkback and leatherback morphs may require extra care due to their sensitivity to light and potential vulnerability to sharp objects.


Fancy bearded dragons are a captivating category of reptiles that offer a unique and visually stunning addition to any reptile collection. While their appearance may be extraordinary, their care requirements are similar to those of normal bearded dragons. So, if you’re ready to own and care for a fancy bearded dragon, be prepared to be amazed by its beauty and charm.


What are Fancy Bearded Dragons?

Fancy Bearded Dragons, often referred to as “fancy beardies,” are a selectively bred variant of the popular pet reptile, the Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). They are characterized by unique and vibrant color patterns, often featuring bold and striking colors, making them highly sought after by reptile enthusiasts.

How do Fancy Bearded Dragons differ from regular Bearded Dragons?

Fancy Bearded Dragons differ from regular Bearded Dragons primarily in their appearance. They exhibit a wide range of color variations and patterns that are not typically found in wild-type Bearded Dragons. Fancy beardies are the result of specific breeding efforts to enhance and develop these striking colorations, making them more visually appealing to reptile keepers.

What are the care requirements for Fancy Bearded Dragons?

The care requirements for Fancy Bearded Dragons are similar to those of regular Bearded Dragons. They need a spacious enclosure with proper lighting, heating, and a UVB source. Their diet consists of insects, leafy greens, and vegetables. Maintaining the right humidity levels and providing a basking spot is crucial. Regular vet check-ups and clean living conditions are also essential for their well-being.

Can Fancy Bearded Dragons be kept together with other reptiles?

It’s generally not recommended to house Fancy Bearded Dragons with other reptiles, especially other Bearded Dragons. They can be territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior, leading to fights and stress. If you want to keep multiple Fancy Bearded Dragons together, make sure to provide ample space, and hiding spots, and monitor their interactions closely.

Are Fancy Bearded Dragons suitable for beginners?

Fancy Bearded Dragons can be suitable for beginners, but it’s essential to research their care thoroughly before acquiring one. While their appearance is stunning, they have the same basic care requirements as regular Bearded Dragons. As long as you’re prepared to provide the necessary care, including proper enclosure setup, feeding, and healthcare, a Fancy Bearded Dragon can be a rewarding pet for reptile enthusiasts of all experience levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button