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Reptiles/Suddenly Aggressive Dragon


QUESTION: Hello! I have a question regarding my pet beardie. My male bearded dragon, Charlie, is the sweetest lizard J have. He's very calm, he eats, he sleeps, all the stuff lizards do.

Last night I went ti take him.out to have him sleep on my pillow and I set him.on my bed, as I approached my light, I noticed he was acting very aggressive. He's never acted this way before. If I got close to him, he would flatten out and open his mouth even wider, his beard would turn pitch black. I'm not sure what's wrong with him!

18 months old
Uvb bulb
Ceramic best emittor (on 24-7)
20 gallon tank
Carpet substrate

I am not sure if someone took him out while I was at work and maybe did something to scare him. And I can't ask to.find out because they would deny it anyway. I just hope he isn't like this all the time.

ANSWER: Hello Colin,

Wow that sounds like he was scared of something.  Did you have any bright colors on, or some type of clothing that had perfume, etc on it that he may not have liked?
Which UVB light are you using, a fluorescent tube bulb or a compact/coil light?  Are you using a bright white light for his basking light?  
Do you know what the temperatures in the tank are, do you use a digital probe or temp gun to measure the temperatures?
I hate to hear that someone could have gotten him out when you were gone & spooked him, but it is highly possible.  Are there any kids in the household?

Let me know how he is doing.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There is only one person who could have taken him out, and she wasn't there last night. I must've spooked him because he was totally fine today. Maybe he got angry I woke him up. I dont know.

I use the coil bulb for my uvb.

Hello Colin,

Oh ok, did you possibly move towards him too quickly?  They can scare easily sometimes.  I am glad to hear that he is fine today!  Oh so you woke him up?
I recommend getting either the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12% instead of the coil light.  The UVB emissions are pretty low & not very good quality compared to the tube bulb.  

Let me know how he is doing.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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