Have you been researching bearded dragons and come across the term “fancy bearded dragon?”
Are you an experienced bearded dragon owner looking into getting a fancy beardy for your next reptile pet?
It’s important to know what to expect when looking into fancy bearded dragons as pets.
But, what is a fancy bearded dragon?
A fancy bearded dragon has been specially bred to have specific color and scale types. These reptiles are more rare and expensive, but they’re cared for in the same way you would care for a “normal” bearded dragon.
Read on for more facts on fancy bearded dragons and the types you will find.
Table of Contents
Similarities Between Bearded Dragons And Fancy Bearded Dragons
In the most important ways, especially those involving care, health, and behavior, a regular bearded dragon and a fancy bearded dragon are the same.
Lifespan – Both types of this lizard species have a life expectancy of 12-14 years unless other health problems occur (most often due to the impoverished environment).
Diet – Both types are omnivores and live on a diet of greens and protein (such as crickets and mealworms ).
Habitat – Both types need a dry, hot environment, such as in Australia, where they are from.
Behavior – Both types have typical behaviors such as inflating beards, waving arms, gaping mouth, and raising the tail.
Difference Between Bearded Dragons And Fancy Bearded Dragons
The main difference between ordinary and fancy bearded dragons comes down to their visible characteristics.
Look at this table to learn the major differences between fancy and regular beardies.
|Regular Bearded Dragons
|Fancy Bearded Dragons
|Rough, scaly skin
|Line stripe running along the back with irregular spots
|Unique patterns, including spots, stripes, and zigzags with unusual markings
|Ranging between tan and yellow
|Vivid colors like red
|Males grow up to 24 inches
Females grow up to 19 inches
|Males grow up to 18 inches
Females grow up to 16 inches
Scale Type – A normal bearded dragon has many scales that are rough to feel, but the fancy bearded dragon may have smoother scales and texture.
Pattern – Regular bearded dragons boast a line stripe that runs to the spine. They have irregular dark blotches on each side of their body.
Fancy bearded dragons sport unique patterns like zigzags, spots, and stripes. Some even have tiger stripes and camouflage prints.
Color – Standard bearded dragons are on the tan to the yellow side of the color spectrum.
Fancy bearded dragons are outside of this color range and lean more towards the red side.
Size – Regular beardies are bigger as compared to their fancy counterparts. Males can reach up to 2 feet in length, whereas females average at 19 inches.
Fancy male bearded dragons get as big as 18 inches. Females, on the other hand, max at 16 inches.
Price – Normal bearded dragons are at a much lower cost than some fancy bearded dragons.
Fancies are rare, and breeders go through a lot of effort to make them (which we briefly discuss in the next section).
Regular bearded dragons get sold for $30 to $50. Fancy beardies have an appeal to them, and so they are available for $150 to $300. Some extremely rare ones are priced at $900.
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How Fancy Bearded Dragons Are Made
This is all done through a process called selective breeding.
In this process, breeders have the goal of a specific look or type of bearded dragon they want (see types of fancy bearded dragons below).
Then, the breeders take two bearded dragons with those qualities and breed them to create a bearded dragon morph.
They repeat this process until they get what they’re looking for.
For example, a breeder may go with a ruby red bearded dragon.
They would look for two normal bearded dragons with a bit of red.
After breeding these two dragons, they look at the two bearded dragons of this generation that have more red and breed them.
This process is continued with other red-bearded dragons until the specific color appears.
It’s this complicated process that makes a bearded dragon morph so rare and causes them to be so expensive compared to a normal inland bearded dragon.
Things such as stage of life, a baby bearded dragon or adult bearded dragon, or male bearded dragon or female bearded dragon do not affect morph.
All morphs are created similarly, including:
- Dunner Bearded Dragon (see our post on the Dunner Morph)
- Citrus Bearded Dragon
- Hypo Bearded Dragon
- Translucent Bearded Dragon (Translucent Morph)
- Leatherback Bearded Dragon
- Hypomelanistic Morph
- Paradox Morph
- and more
Types Of Fancy Bearded Dragons
There are a lot of different types of fancy bearded dragons.
The most significant differences are around color and scale type.
This section briefly goes over the different kinds of fancy bearded dragons and describes how they look.
Use this section as a springboard to look into which kind of fancy beardie you’re interested in.
Hypo – Hypomelanistic bearded dragons have lighter colors in the scales, nails, and eyes.
Trans – Translucent bearded dragons have skin and scales which are slightly see-through.
Often their eyes are solid black.
Hypo Trans – As the name may suggest, this type of bearded dragon has both a lighter coloration of the scales, nails, and eyes as well as translucent qualities to their skin.
This combination often creates a unique bearded dragon.
Het Hypo – This type of bearded dragon is primarily a quality just for breeders to be interested in.
In this kind of beardy, the hypo qualities are in the DNA of the reptile but not present visually.
Het Trans – As with the last type, the trans qualities are present in the genetics of the bearded dragon, but you won’t see them visually.
Double Het – As with the last two types, trans and hypo qualities are present in the breeding but not visually.
Trans Het Hypo – In this bearded dragon, translucent qualities are visual, but the hypo qualities are hidden although present in DNA.
Hypo Het Trans – This is the opposite of the previous type.
Hypo qualities are visible, but trans attributes are hidden in the genes.
The colors of the bearded dragons depend on what the breeders combine with each generation.
The three primary color types for fancy bearded dragons are red, yellow, and white.
Specific red fancies include:
- Red bearded dragon
- Bloody-red bearded dragon
- Ruby red bearded dragon
- Sandfire red bearded dragon
- Orange bearded dragon
- Citrus tiger bearded dragon
- Sunburst bearded dragon
- Tangerine bearded dragon
Specific yellow fancies include:
- Gold bearded dragon
- Lemon fire bearded dragon
- Citrus bearded dragon
- Sandfire gold bearded dragon
- Yellow bearded dragon
Specific white fancies include:
- Albino bearded dragon
- Snow bearded dragon
There are three unique types of bearded dragons which don’t fit into the above categories.
German Giant Bearded Dragons – By selectively breeding more massive bearded dragons, breeders can create beardies up to 50% larger than the standard bearded dragon.
These are often combined with exciting colors (from above).
We have a post on the German giant bearded dragon if you want to learn more about them.
Leatherback Bearded Dragons – Some bearded dragons have a mutated gene that prevents their scales from growing fully.
This gives them smoother skin and a unique look.
Silkback Bearded Dragon – By breeding two leatherback bearded dragons, a silk back dragon may be produced.
This type has little to no scales and utterly smooth skin.
Knowing what a fancy bearded dragon is can help you decide if you want to pursue buying one.
They act the same and are cared for the same, but they have a difference in looks and pricing.
However, if you’re looking for a specific coloration or type, a fancy bearded dragon may be the perfect pet for you.