Black vs Red Bearded Dragon

Black Bearded Dragon vs Red-Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are a popular choice of pet for reptile enthusiasts around the world. These lizards come in two different colors: black and red. While both colors are visually stunning, there are some distinct differences between the two. In this article, we explore the differences between black and red-bearded dragons.

Black bearded dragons, also known as Pogona Vitticeps, are the most common type of bearded dragon. They are native to Australia and have a dark black or grayish-black color. They are often more docile and easy-going than their red counterparts, making them an ideal choice for a first-time reptile owner.

Red bearded dragons, also known as Pogona Barbata, are more vibrant colors and often have a mix of red, orange, and yellow hues.

These lizards are native to the deserts of central Australia and tend to be more active than their black counterparts. They are more inquisitive and may require more attention and stimulation than the black-bearded dragon.

Overview of Red-Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Danielle & Ryan McCrory

Red Bearded Dragons are interesting reptiles to learn about. Regarding their diet, they are omnivorous; they eat a variety of insects, fruits, and vegetables. For their habitat, they live in arid areas, such as deserts and scrublands. Finally, their lifespan in captivity is about 8-10 years, while in the wild, it is about 5-7 years.


The gentle giants of the reptile world, Red Bearded Dragons, have an intriguing diet that is essential to their health and longevity. They are omnivorous, which means they eat both plant and animal-based foods. A healthy diet should consist of quality proteins, fruits, and vegetables to provide a balanced nutritional profile.

A staple of the Red Bearded Dragon diet should be protein-rich insects like crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and cockroaches. These insects should be offered a few times a week, and they should be dusted with calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition.

Fruits and vegetables should also be offered, such as collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, bell peppers, apples, and other brightly colored fruits. These should be provided daily, in small amounts, as part of their overall diet.

By providing a balanced diet, owners can ensure their Red Bearded Dragons stay healthy and live a long life.


Building upon the physical features and appearance of red-bearded dragons, their habitat is also essential to understand. Bearded dragons are native to the arid, rocky, and semi-desert regions of Australia.

These lizards prefer to live in areas with direct sunlight, which is why they are often found on rocks and logs in the open. They are also adept climbers and can often be found near the top of rocks, branches, or logs.

Additionally, these dragons often inhabit areas with sparse vegetation. Their natural habitats also consist of crevices, burrows, and cracks in rocks, which they use to hide from predators or to rest during the day.


Having discussed the diet and habitat of Red Bearded Dragons, it is now time to delve into the topic of their lifespan. As an animal that is native to Australia, Red Bearded Dragons are capable of living quite long lives in captivity. In the wild, their lifespan is much shorter, due to a variety of environmental factors.

On average, a Red Bearded Dragon in captivity can live anywhere from 8-10 years, depending on the care and attention they receive. In contrast, wild Red Bearded Dragons typically only live for around 4-5 years, due to their vulnerability to predation and lack of access to adequate nutrition, shelter, and healthcare.

This discrepancy in lifespan highlights the need for proper care when taking on one of these creatures as a pet. With the right attention and resources, they can live long and healthy lives.

Overview of Black-Bearded Dragons

Australian Eastern Bearded Dragon
Credit: Fiona Rebel’s Photography

Switching from the vibrant reds of the Red Bearded Dragon to the darker hues of the Black Bearded Dragon, one can find an animal with just as much personality as its red-colored cousin. The Black Bearded Dragon, Pogona vitticeps, is a species of agamid lizard that is native to dry, rocky, and semi-arid regions of Australia.

These lizards, which are covered with rows of spines, can reach up to 24 inches in length. They are usually black, gray, or olive in color. The underside is usually a lighter shade than the rest of the body.

They have a pointed snout and two short horns on the back of their heads. The scales on the throat of a Black Bearded Dragon will often turn a vibrant orange or yellow when they feel threatened.

Black Bearded Dragons are omnivores. They feed on a variety of insects, such as crickets, cockroaches, and grasshoppers, as well as fruits and vegetables. However, their diet should be supplemented with a variety of calcium and vitamin D3 supplements.

It is also important for the enclosure to be kept between 85°-90°F and to have access to a full spectrum light. With proper care, a Black Bearded Dragon can live up to 10 years in captivity.

Differences Between Black and Red-Bearded Dragons

Regarding size, black-bearded dragons tend to be larger than red-bearded dragons. Additionally, black and red-bearded dragons have different colors, with black being darker and red having more vibrant colors.

Furthermore, black-bearded dragons tend to have a more docile temperament compared to red-bearded dragons, which are more active and energetic.


Following the overview of Black Bearded Dragons, the differences between them and Red Bearded Dragons can be seen in a few key features, such as size, color, and temperament. Specifically focusing on size, there are notable distinctions between the two types of dragons that can be seen in a few different ways.

When comparing the size of Black Bearded Dragons and Red Bearded Dragons, the most obvious difference is in their length. While Red Bearded Dragons tend to be larger in length, typically ranging from 18-24 inches long, Black Bearded Dragons usually remain between 14-20 inches long.

Additionally, the size disparity between the two types of dragons is further seen in their weight. Red Bearded Dragons usually tip the scales at around 300-500 grams, while Black Bearded Dragons keep their weight closer to the 200-300 gram range. This can be seen in the following table:

CharacteristicBlack Bearded DragonsRed Bearded Dragons
Length14-20 inches18-24 inches
Weight200-300 grams300-500 grams

In addition to the physical size differences between the two types of Bearded Dragons, it is also important to note the differences in their housing requirements. Black Bearded Dragons are more comfortable in smaller tanks, typically around 20-30 gallons, while Red Bearded Dragons may need tanks that are much larger, 40-50 gallons or more.

As a result, it is important to consider the size of the dragon when choosing a tank so that they can have the space they need to feel comfortable.

Overall, the size difference between Black and Red Bearded Dragons can be seen in several different ways, from their physical length and weight to the size of the tank they need. It is important to consider these distinctions when making a decision about which type of Bearded Dragon is the best option for you.


Now let us focus on the differences between black and red-bearded dragons in terms of color. Contrary to their name, red-bearded dragons actually come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, and red. On the other hand, black-bearded dragons are exclusively black.

Bearded Dragon ColorExplanation
BlackThe dragon is exclusively black in color.
RedThe dragon can be various shades of yellow, orange, and red.

Black dragons can have various shades of black, such as steel, charcoal, and jet black. Additionally, they may have some hints of gray, silver, green, and blue on their scales.

On the other hand, red dragons have various shades of red, yellow, and orange, as well as patterns such as stripes and blotches. The intensity of the colors can also differ between the two species:

  • Black Bearded Dragons
    • The black color is usually more intense.
    • The colors of the scales blend together well.
  • Red Bearded Dragons
    • The colors are usually more muted.
    • The colors of the scales may appear more distinct.

In conclusion, the color of black-bearded dragons is exclusively black in color, while the color of red-bearded dragons can vary from shades of yellow, orange, and red. In terms of intensity, black-bearded dragons usually have more intense colors, while red-bearded dragons tend to have more muted colors.


Building on the Overview of Black Bearded Dragons, let’s now explore the differences in temperament between black and red-bearded dragons.

Due to their darker color, black-bearded dragons are often seen as more intimidating and aggressive than their red counterparts. However, they are actually quite gentle and easy to handle, making them great pets for young children, as long as they are supervised.

TemperamentBlack Bearded DragonRed Bearded Dragon
FriendlinessGentle and Easy to HandleMore Timid and Skittish
Activity LevelLow Activity LevelHigh Activity Level

Red-bearded dragons are known to be more timid and skittish than black-bearded dragons, but they also tend to have a higher activity level. They will be curious and energetic, often running around and exploring new environments.

They will need more activity and stimulation than black-bearded dragons, who typically have a lower activity level.

Black bearded dragons are generally quite easy to take care of, as they have a low-maintenance temperament. They are often content to stay in one place for an extended period of time, and they don’t need as much attention or activity as red-bearded dragons.

Similarities Between Black and Red Bearded Dragons

Moving on to Appearance, both Black and Red Bearded Dragons share the same body shape and size. They also have the same number of claws and toes. Additionally, their diets are similar, consisting primarily of insects and some fruits and vegetables. Finally, they both inhabit arid regions of Australia, where temperatures can reach extreme levels.


Despite their striking differences in color, black and red-bearded dragons have more similarities than one would think. When it comes to their appearance, both species have a flat triangular head, two rows of spikes on their back, and a long tail with spikes.

The table below outlines the common features between black and red-bearded dragons:

Black Bearded DragonsRed Bearded Dragons
Triangular HeadTriangular Head
Two Rows of SpikesTwo Rows of Spikes
Long Tail with SpikesLong Tail with Spikes
Horny Ridges on ShouldersHorny Ridges on Shoulders

Both species also have horny ridges on their shoulders, which are used to help grip their prey. Furthermore, both species have strong jaws and a wide mouths to help crunch up their food. Italicized and bolded text can also be used to help emphasize certain points.


Despite their different colors, black and red-bearded dragons have many similarities in terms of their diet. They both have omnivorous diets, where they consume both plants and animals. Here is a breakdown of their diets:

Food TypeBlack Bearded DragonRed Bearded Dragon
PlantsLettuce, spinach, carrots, squashLettuce, spinach, carrots, squash
AnimalsCrickets, mealworms, waxwormsCrickets, mealworms, waxworms
OtherFruits and vegetablesFruits and vegetables

In addition to the above foods, black and red-bearded dragons should also be fed calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Overall, both types of bearded dragons have an omnivorous diet that consists of:

  • Plants:
    • Lettuce
    • Spinach
    • Carrots
    • Squash
  • Animals:
    • Crickets
    • Mealworms
    • Waxworms
  • Other:
    • Fruits and vegetables

Both black and red-bearded dragons should also be fed calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients needed for a healthy life.


Despite their vastly different appearances, black and red-bearded dragons share many of the same habitats. They both thrive in a desert-like environment, basking in the sun during the day and retreating into burrows at night. Let’s take a closer look at the specific habitat requirements of these two species.

HabitatBlack Bearded DragonRed Bearded Dragon
LightUVB 5.0-10.0UVB 8.0-12.0

Although the black and red-bearded dragons prefer similar temperatures, their lighting requirements differ. In particular, black-bearded dragons need a much lower strength of UVB lighting than their red counterparts. To ensure they stay healthy, both species should be provided with a temperature gradient so they can regulate their body heat.

When it comes to humidity, both species prefer a moderate level of 30-50%. To maintain ideal humidity levels, misting and/or using a humidity hide are recommended. In addition, it’s important to provide plenty of hiding spots and places to climb so your bearded dragon feels safe and secure.

Which One Should You Get

When considering which one to get, it is important to assess the size, temperament, and health of each pet. Size can vary greatly from breed to breed and is a key factor in determining which pet is best for you. Once the size is determined, it is important to consider the temperament of the pet.

Different breeds have different temperaments and it is important to get a pet that matches your lifestyle. Lastly, you should look at the health of the pet, as some breeds may be more prone to certain health issues than others.


When deciding between a black or a red bearded dragon, size is an important factor to consider. Black bearded dragons tend to be larger than red-bearded dragons and can grow up to 24 inches long.

On the other hand, red-bearded dragons usually max out at around 18 inches long. This means that black-bearded dragons require more space, making them less ideal for people who don’t have a lot of room for a pet. Additionally, because of their size, they require larger habitats and more food.

If the size is a major concern, a red-bearded dragon will be the better choice. While they are still relatively large reptiles, they are more manageable and require less food and space. But it’s important to note that while they might be easier to take care of, red-bearded dragons are also more skittish and can be more difficult to handle.


In terms of temperament, both black and red-bearded dragons have similar personalities. They are generally docile and calm animals who can become tame with proper handling and care.

Red bearded dragons are typically more active and outgoing than their black counterparts. They tend to be more curious and inquisitive, making them a great pet for those looking for an interactive reptile. Although they can be somewhat skittish, they can be taught to be very friendly and receptive to their owners.

Black bearded dragons, on the other hand, are usually more shy and reserved. They tend to take more time to warm up to their owners and will often take longer to learn tricks. However, they are still quite docile and make great pets for those looking for a more low-key reptile.


Taking into consideration the health of a bearded dragon, it is important to make sure you do your research before purchasing either a black or a red bearded dragon. Both bearded dragons are relatively easy to care for, but there are some differences between the two that could be beneficial to consider.

When it comes to the health of black and red-bearded dragons, there are a few factors to consider. Red bearded dragons tend to be more prone to metabolic bone disease than black-bearded dragons, so they require more calcium supplementation and may require a higher quality UVB bulb in order to prevent this disease.

Additionally, red-bearded dragons tend to have more sensitive skin than black-bearded dragons due to their bright colors, so they may require more frequent baths and more gentle handling. On the other hand, black-bearded dragons may have more difficulty forming strong, healthy bones due to their darker colors.

Overall, both black and red-bearded dragons can make wonderful and rewarding pets. Be sure to consider the differences between the two in order to make the best decision for you and your pet.


Bearded dragons come in a variety of colors, such as black and red. While these two colors may look different, they have many similarities. When deciding on the best dragon for you, consider factors such as temperament, health, and environment.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and which type of dragon best suits your lifestyle and budget.No matter which type of dragon you choose, they will both be amazing companions. With proper care and attention, both black and red-bearded dragons can provide years of joy.