Lizard Love or Lizard Tussle? Are My Bearded Dragons Fighting or Mating?

No longer need to scratch your head in confusion, dear reader, as we’re here to spill the beans on this scaly conundrum.

There are several signs that a bearded dragon gives off when it is displaying aggression or merely mating.

You can tell that your beardie is showing dominance by observing certain signs, such as head bobbing, biting, and puffing his beard. Signs of mating, on the other hand, are arm waving, mounting, and nuzzling.

Let’s take a deep dive into the fascinating behaviors of your beloved beardies.

The Dance of Dominance: Signs of Bearded Dragon Conflict

Image Source: Adobe Stock

Head bobbing:
When your beardie nods its head up and down like it’s dancing to its favorite tune, it might be a sign of asserting dominance or territorial behavior. It’s not always a precursor to a fight, but keep an eye on your dragons.

Sometimes beardies can get a bit bitey with each other. If you see them locking jaws or biting each other’s tails or limbs, it’s a telltale sign they’re fighting.

Flaring of the beard:
A flared beard is a sign your bearded dragon is feeling threatened or trying to assert dominance. The darker the beard, the more agitated your beardie may be.

The Lizard Tango: Signs Your Bearded Dragons Are Mating

Arm waving:
When your bearded dragon raises one of its front legs and waves it in a circular motion, it’s usually a sign of submission, not aggression. It might indicate that your beardies are ready to tango.

If you spot one bearded dragon mounting another, it’s likely they’re attempting to mate. This behavior includes the male grasping the female’s back with his mouth.

Nuzzling is a common mating behavior. The male may nuzzle or lightly nibble the female’s neck or back during courtship.


Can bearded dragons mate and fight at the same time?

Yes, sometimes these behaviors can overlap. It’s important to closely observe your beardies and separate them if you think their interactions are becoming too aggressive.

How can I tell if my bearded dragons are stressed?

Signs of stress in bearded dragons include darkening of the beard, rapid breathing, glass surfing (scratching at the enclosure walls), and loss of appetite.

What should I do if my bearded dragons are fighting?

If you’re sure your beardies are fighting, it’s best to separate them immediately to prevent injury. It might also be a good idea to reassess their living conditions and ensure they have enough space and resources.