E of two Bearded Dragons side-by-side, one with a patterned head crest and a colored banded tail, the other plain-looking

Bearded Dragon Vs Fancy Bearded Dragon: What’s The Difference

Bearded dragons are a popular reptile choice among pet owners. While there are several species of bearded dragon, two of the most common varieties are the standard bearded dragon and the fancy bearded dragon.

This article will discuss the differences between these two types, including their physical characteristics, dietary needs, cage requirements, temperament and behavior, and cost comparison.

Key Takeaways

  • Bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons have different coloration, with fancy ones having more vibrant shades.
  • Fancy bearded dragons are typically larger and may have longer spikes along their back and tail.
  • Both types require a properly balanced diet and access to natural food sources.
  • Fancy bearded dragons may require larger enclosures, higher temperatures, and have specific care requirements.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of a bearded dragon differ from those of a fancy bearded dragon. Coloration often varies, with the latter displaying more vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow. Fancy beardies are typically larger than their standard counterparts and may have longer spikes along their back and tail.

Shedding cycles for both types will vary depending on their age and environment but generally occur every 4-6 weeks.

Diet and Nutritional Needs

Nutritional requirements for these two types of reptiles can vary significantly.

Properly balanced diet
Enrichment activities in the habitat
Maintenance to ensure proper hydration and humidity levels
Vitamins and supplements to promote healthy growth and development
Access to natural sources of food when available.

Regular maintenance of their habitat, providing a nutritious diet, along with enrichment activities are key components for bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons alike.

Proper nutrition is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of both species which requires careful monitoring of their diet as well as their habitat.

Cage Requirements

Cage requirements for both species of reptiles should be carefully considered to ensure a healthy and safe environment.

Bearded dragons need ample space, with the recommended size being at least 20 gallons per lizard. They also require ultraviolet lighting and a temperature gradient from 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fancy bearded dragons have slightly different needs as they can handle higher temperatures and require larger enclosures, usually 40-50 gallons or more.

Handling tips include using slow movements when picking them up, providing support underneath their bodies, and never grabbing them by the tail.

With proper housing needs and handling techniques in place, owners can provide great care for these reptiles.

Temperament and Behavior

Reptiles of both species have distinct temperaments and behaviors that should be taken into consideration when providing proper care.

Bearded dragons are generally gentle, but can become aggressive if not handled correctly. Some important factors to consider for successful handling techniques include:

  • Socialization needs to be a priority. Developing relationships with people early on is essential for bearded dragons to feel comfortable and trust their handlers.
  • Providing the right amount of stimulation and space is key. Bearded dragons need a suitable environment that allows them to explore, climb, and bask in order to thrive.
  • Respecting their boundaries will encourage healthy interaction. It’s important to recognize when a bearded dragon is displaying signs of stress or discomfort and to give them space when needed.
  • Fancy bearded dragons may require even more attention for positive outcomes. Some fancy morphs of bearded dragons have specific care requirements that need to be met in order to maintain their health and well-being.

Understanding these creatures can help create an enjoyable experience for both owners and dragons alike.

Cost Comparison

Comparing the cost of a regular bearded dragon to that of a fancy bearded dragon can help inform potential owners of any financial differences between the two species. The initial cost for purchasing a regular bearded dragon may be lower than the price for a fancy one but breeding and health care costs should also be considered.

Fancy breeds may require more specialized medical attention which could add to the overall expense. Owners should research all aspects of each breed before making their choice, including any associated costs, in order to ensure they are selecting an animal that fits within their budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Bearded Dragons and Fancy Bearded Dragons Usually Live?

Bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons typically live for 8-12 years, depending on their diet requirements and the aging process. Good nutrition, a healthy environment, and proper care can help them reach their full potential lifespan.

What Is the Optimal Temperature Range for Bearded Dragons and Fancy Bearded Dragons?

Optimal temperatures for bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons range from 75 to 85 Fahrenheit with a basking spot of 95 to 110. Heating benefits include aiding digestion, metabolism, and activity level. Humidity levels should remain between 25-30% for both species.

Do Bearded Dragons and Fancy Bearded Dragons Require UVB Lighting?

UVB lighting is a key dietary requirement for both bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons, as it helps them properly synthesize calcium and vitamin D3. Additionally, UVB light can help regulate proper temperature in their enclosure, making it an important factor in overall health and wellbeing.

What Is the Average Size of an Adult Bearded Dragon and Fancy Bearded Dragon?

Adult bearded dragons typically measure 18-24 inches in length, while fancy bearded dragons measure 16-20 inches. Both species require similar feeding habits and habitat requirements to thrive.

Are Bearded Dragons and Fancy Bearded Dragons Compatible With Other Species?

When considering mixing species, cage size is an important factor to consider. In general, it is not recommended to house different species of reptiles together due to potential health risks and stress. However, some owners have successfully housed bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons together in larger enclosures with careful monitoring.


Bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons are both popular pet lizards that have many similarities. However, there are also a number of key differences in terms of their physical characteristics, diet and nutritional needs, cage requirements, temperament and behavior, as well as cost.

Both species require an experienced owner who is willing to provide them with the proper care they need to thrive.

In terms of physical characteristics, bearded dragons and fancy bearded dragons have similar body structures and sizes. They both have a stout body, triangular head, and a spiky beard. However, fancy bearded dragons are known for their unique and vibrant color patterns, while regular bearded dragons have more muted colors.

When it comes to diet and nutritional needs, both species are omnivorous and require a balanced diet of insects, vegetables, and fruits. However, fancy bearded dragons may have more specific dietary requirements due to their genetic traits. They may need certain supplements or specialized food to maintain their unique coloration.

In terms of cage requirements, both species need a spacious enclosure with proper heating and lighting. However, fancy bearded dragons may require more specific temperature and humidity levels to maintain their vibrant colors. Additionally, they may benefit from more elaborate cage decorations and hiding spots to showcase their unique appearance.

Temperament and behavior can also vary between the two species. While both are generally docile and can be easily handled, fancy bearded dragons may be more prone to stress due to their genetic traits. They may require a calmer environment and more careful handling.

Finally, cost can be a significant factor in deciding between a regular bearded dragon and a fancy bearded dragon. Fancy bearded dragons with unique coloration and patterns are often more expensive to purchase initially. Additionally, their specialized dietary and care needs may result in higher ongoing costs.

Ultimately, the decision on which type of bearded dragon is best suited for an individual will depend on their specific lifestyle and preferences. It is important to research and understand the requirements of each species before making a decision, as both types of bearded dragons require a commitment of time, effort, and resources to provide them with a happy and healthy life.

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