The market for bearded dragons has become so popular that a large breeding community has developed, breeding dragons not only in various colors but also breeding them for stripe patterns and scale development.
The colors have formed into various groups, with pattern, stripe and accent color variations in each division. Even within each division, each dragon will have his own unique pattern, so no two are alike.
Bearded dragons that are one completely solid color are quite rare and quite expensive. This is because dragons are designed to have color patterns to provide camouflage in the wild, allowing them to blend in with their surroundings and protecting them from predators.
It’s really tough to circumvent this patterning tendency to breed a really solid colored reptile. Most are of the hypo melanistic type of morph, which means that they have less color or are below normal color. They look pastel in color and are unable to produce normal dark colors and patterns.
Besides the color variations, some are bred to produce specific color patterns. Of course, there are plenty of variations as far as individual dragons go in patterns as well as colors. Another type of specific breeding is geared toward scales and spikes. Some are bred to have smaller scales which allow the skin color to show through and produce smoother skin. Others are bred to have scales and spikes which are almost transparent.
What Colors are Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons come in shades of brown, tan and grey in the wild. They may sport areas of lighter colors, such as yellow or orange. The exotic colors and combinations that are available in the pet trade are due to selective breeding. The Central Bearded Dragon is by far the most commonly kept dragon and is also the one most used for selective breeding of morphs, which is what the different color, pattern and scaling breeds are called. Most dragons are named for a base color but have markings in a different color or shade.
Below is a list of the main colors along with variation names. Be aware that there are many variations besides these. Many colors involve other colors in stripes or bands.
Red – Red, blood, and ruby. The red is a rather bright red. The ruby red is a deep, dark red, almost maroon in some cases. The blood-red is just what you’d expect. There is also a variety called a sandfire red, which is red with yellow or orange highlights.
Orange – Sunburst, citrus, and tangerine. The sunburst is yellow with orange highlights. The citrus variety is yellow with darker orange-red stripes. The tangerine is a distinctive orange with a few yellow highlights.
Brown or Tan – Beige. Sandy-colored beardies are fairly common, and feature markings of brown or a light grey with perhaps some yellow or orange highlights.
Yellow – Sandfire, lemon fire, and gold. The sandfire is tan or red with various bands and stripes. The lemon fire is vivid yellow. The gold is a mellower, golden yellow.
White, grey or silver – Off White. Pure white dragons are rare and usually appear grey when they are cold. Some are known as zero morphs. There are newer morphs called witblits and wero, a zero bred with a witblits. All of these are rare and expensive.
Green – Olive. These are colored olive and green with yellow spots.
Besides the various colors and patterns, there are other varieties specially bred, also called morphs.
Leatherback – This type of dragon morph only has spikes on their heads and sides. Besides this, their scales are smaller than usual, allowing for a relatively smooth back and brighter colors. This morph is quite popular among both breeders and owners.
Translucent – This morph has both spikes and scales that are almost transparent, allowing for the skin colors to appear more intense. Many have eyes that are a solid dark color, which is another trait that makes them popular. Any dragon labeled as blue will probably be a translucent morph.
Silkback – This dragon has no spikes or scales, with completely smooth skin. They can look almost more like a gecko than a bearded dragon. Their colors are bright, of course. Unfortunately, they are more difficult to care for than other morphs and tend to have more health problems.
Dunner – This morph is named for a specific breeder, Kevin Dunn. They have a unique pattern usually running down their backs through their tails. Besides this, their scales don’t have the usual pattern or direction, growing in different directions in different areas of the body.
Hypomelanistic – These dragons are almost a pastel color and don’t have the distinct patterns of others. They are the most likely to produce solid or almost solid-colored dragons. They also have almost clear nails.
Paradox – These dragons are the culmination of some intensive breeding with several different morphs. They are usually light gray with odd splotches of color as if somebody had spilled paint on them.
German Giant – Bred for size rather than color or pattern, the German Giant is bred for size. They usually grow up to 25 inches in length, with some reaching 30 inches. These are hard to obtain, as the gene that produces them is recessive. You won’t find one at a pet store. Even a breeder can’t guarantee that a particular dragon will turn out to be a giant.
Some vets that specialize in exotic animals can do a blood test to tell you what morphs are present in your dragon, but this will cost a bit. Mostly, you’ll just have to wait and see how big your dragon grows. Check out my article Different Types of Bearded Dragons to see more types and colors.
What is the Rarest Bearded Dragon Color?
The rarest colors are blue, purple and black. These colors can occur on translucent beardies, which are bred to have almost transparent scales and stripes, allowing the skin color to show through. The babies will usually have clear blue bellies, although the color fades after a few months. Adults who retain these colors are very rare. Some dragons can appear to be black because of their environment or if they feel aggressive, but a completely black dragon is almost unheard of.
What is the Most Colorful Bearded Dragon?
Some of the orange and red types are the most striking bearded dragons. This probably accounts for the fact that beardies in the red group are the most popular color morphs. In the orange group, the citrus tiger can have some unusual patterns, having a yellowish base with stripes or bands of other colors such as red, green and tan. If your interested in all the colors check out my article How Many Bearded Dragon Colors Are There?
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Two Different Colors?
Bearded dragons usually have some sort of pattern in their coloration. This occurs naturally to aid in camouflaging the dragon from predators in the wild. Morph breeding takes advantage of these variations, producing dragons with a base color and stripes, bands or spots of another color. Some even have two or more accent colors. In the wild, many dragons are gray or tan with markings of brown or blackish brown. Actually, a dragon that is truly a solid color with no markings is rather rare and is obtained by breeding.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turning Grey?
Bearded dragons can change their color to a certain extent when needed. If your dragon is turning dark or grey, it usually means he’s cold and is darkening his color to heat himself up as he would if he were out in the wild and had sunlight available. As he warms, his color will return to normal gradually.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon White?
There are bearded dragons that are white, but this is rare. Depending on the light and temperature, the dragon may look gray. White dragons may have patches of color, while snow dragons are completely white with no markings. These dragons are not albino, however. Albino dragons are possible, but they rarely live longer than a few weeks.
Why Did My Bearded Dragon Turn Black?
As stated before, beardies often will turn dark or even black if they are cold. It’s an instinctual reaction to warm themselves. Some dragons will turn dark when preparing to start shedding their skin. They also may darken if they are upset or feel threatened. If your dragon also starts to bob his head, he may be anticipating a fight and is angry.
This exhibition usually only occurs when two males get together, however. Dragons may darken their beards and puff them out to appear a threat themselves. Many beardies will exhibit this behavior when going to their vet, especially if they aren’t used to traveling.
While a dragon turning dark or black isn’t an immediate cause for alarm, it should not be ignored, as it could be a sign of illness when other symptoms are present. You should examine your pet to make sure it’s just cold or stressed.
If your dragon has a discharge from the eyes, nose or cloaca, or rear orifice is present, it’s a sign he’s probably ill. Look especially for a dark color on the belly, especially near the cloaca. It’s typically a symptom of impaction, which means that something is stuck in his lower digestive tract.
If your beardie is a female, she may lay infertile eggs even without a mal around, and she may have eggs that are stuck together, causing a blockage. If you see any signs of illness, you should take your beardie to his vet. Impaction or egg blockages, especially, can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
The different colored bearded dragons available may be an eye-opener to you. If you’ve never kept a dragon or any reptile, it is probably best to stay away from the rarer and more exotic morphs because of the extra care some need. If you do opt for a color morph, be sure to get one from a reputable breeder who knows his stuff. Whatever kind you get, be sure you know how to care for him and he’ll be with you for a long time.