Reptiles/bearded dragon


QUESTION: When my bearded dragon very small about 2 or 3 inches she was bright yellow and as she gets older she is losing her yellow and she is not even a year old yet so will her color come back or is there anything I can do to get her color back thanks

ANSWER: Hi Brian,

Including high beta-carotene foods in her diet can help enhance colour. Naturally orange or dark green vegetables contain the most beta-carotene. Carrots ans squash are some of the best. Some keepers avoid carrots and other greens listed as having a high vitamin A content in the mistaken understanding that they can cause vitamin A toxicity. Plants do not contain the form of vitamin A that can be overdosed. They contain carotene which is the precursor to vitamin A and will be converted to the active form only as needed.

At least one popular dragon care site mistakenly warns about the high level of vitamin A in various greens.

This veterinary article discusses beta carotenes and reptiles.

Most dragons that are bred for colour show increased intensity as they mature. Temperature, stress and hormones can all temporarily affect their colour as well.

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QUESTION: Thank you responding but I have another problem my beardie will not let me hold her I can feed her with feeding tongs but when I do she bites the tongs so how can I keep her from biting the tongs and how do I win her trust so I can hold her and stop getting the defense gestures and she sometimes bites me thanks for your help

Hi Brian,

Beardeds are usually quite tolerant and easily grow accustomed to handling but there are always the occasional exceptions.

It sounds like your bearded is a little under a year old then? Maybe around 8 - 10 months or so? With luck she may just be going through something similar to puberty which can cause temporary aggression and / or fearful behaviour. I tend to hear about this problem more often with iguanas and water dragons but some beardeds may likely develop it as well. It begins as they near sexual maturity. My previously tame male iguana became terrified of me for several weeks when he hit 18 months of age. They usually mellow out as the hormonal fluctuations pass.

In the meanwhile, try to avoid approaching her with your hands (and the tongs) from above, as much as possible. Anything swooping in from above like that (like a predator would) can trigger a fear response. Move your hands toward her from ground level if you can. Try to keep your movements slow, steady and calm. I know that isn't always easy if you are expecting a bite but quick, jerky movements will only make her more defensive.  


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I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.


I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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