A leatherback bearded dragon is a kind or morph or mutation. They have smaller scales than common bearded dragons. Although they’ll nonetheless typically have spikes on their heads and sides, their backs might be utterly easy. This means their coloring can be extra intense than a daily bearded dragon.
Leatherback bearded dragons are a well-liked morph. But, these distinctive scales have some particular care wants. For occasion, leatherbacks are at greater threat of dehydration than common bearded dragons. So, let’s take a more in-depth take a look at what this morph is, and easy methods to look after one.
What is a Leatherback Bearded Dragon?
Like another reptiles, bearded dragons come in numerous ‘morphs’. These morphs are merely completely different mutations of the reptile. Morphs every have slight variations, resembling variations in measurement, shade, and even scale dispersal. So, a leatherback continues to be a bearded dragon, but it surely’s barely completely different to a normal or common bearded dragon.
The major distinction for this morph is in its scales. Leatherbacks get their names from their easy backs, in contrast to common bearded dragons who’ve spiked scales protecting their total backs. Leatherback bearded dragons nonetheless have scales (in contrast to the silkback morph), however the scales on their again are a lot smaller and smoother than a daily bearded dragon. They will nonetheless have the identical spiked scales on their heads and sides. Although the extent of this will differ from one particular person to the following.
How Big do Leatherback Bearded Dragons Get?
On common, leatherback bearded dragons have a tendency to achieve between 16 and 22 inches in size. However, some could fall barely exterior of this bracket, with some house owners reporting 25 inches in size when absolutely grown! This measurement contains the size of their tail. Although their scales are a lot smaller than a daily bearded dragon, their physique measurement tends to be very comparable.
What Colors do Leatherback Bearded Dragons Come In?
The leatherback morph is categorised by their scale measurement. However, since these scales are smoother and smaller than a daily bearded dragon, they’ll typically look extra pigmented. This is a large issue of their recognition. Leatherbacks are available all kinds of colours, together with:
- And extra
You might also have the ability to discover leatherbacks with sure patterns, just like the tiger leatherback bearded dragon, which has a sample of stripes down its again. Two of the most well-liked colours are the purple leatherback bearded dragon and the citrus leatherback bearded dragon. So, it could take you slightly longer to discover a good breeder with these colours accessible.
Are Leatherback Bearded Dragons Friendly?
Most house owners report that their leatherback dragons are pleasant, and could make nice first time pets. However, it’s essential to remember that, like all animals, every leatherback bearded dragon may have a person persona. Some could also be very social and eager to work together with you, whereas others could also be extra relaxed and aloof.
To encourage a pleasant and social persona, you must deal with your leatherback from a younger age. But, be sure to are at all times very mild, and by no means drive your little dragon to do something that makes them appear scared or uncomfortable. Associating dealing with with little treats will be an effective way to assist your leatherback take pleasure in being held. Just be certain to not overfeed them!
Leatherback vs Regular Bearded Dragon
We’ve already lined this briefly all through the information thus far, however what’s the main distinction between a leatherback and a daily bearded dragon? The major distinction lies of their scale measurement. Both may have scales, however the leatherbacks scales might be a lot smaller and smoother on their again. A daily bearded dragon, however, may have tough, spiked scales all down their again. Of course, people will range, however typically a leatherback will really feel and look a lot smoother.
Other than this, the 2 are very comparable. However, due to the size texture and measurement on a leatherback, their coloring could seem extra vivid. The leatherback scaling is brought on by sure gene mutations. So, they are often tougher to search out than a daily bearded dragon.
Leatherback Bearded Dragon Care
Leatherback bearded dragon care is similar to that of a daily bearded dragon. Glass tanks are a well-liked possibility, ideally giving your pet as a lot area as attainable. Include shelters inside on your leatherback to make use of, in addition to branches and rocks for climbing. All bearded dragons want ultraviolet B radiation and infrared warmth lamps that maintain the temperature between 95 and 105 levels Fahrenheit (35 to 41 levels Celsius). Ideally, your bearded dragon ought to get 12 hours of sunshine, and 12 dead nights. But, at its coolest, the temperature ought to attain a minimum of 80 levels Fahrenheit (27 levels Celsius).
Certain research have proven that bearded dragon diets are inclined to include primarily vegetable matter, with a small quantity of animal matter. Your leatherback bearded dragon will often take pleasure in consuming bugs like mealworms and crickets alongside quite a lot of leafy inexperienced greens. But, be sure to at all times verify if a brand new vegetable or insect is protected and non-toxic earlier than providing it. If you’re in any respect involved about your bearded dragon’s dietary stability, verify in along with your veterinarian! With the precise care, many bearded dragons can reside as much as 12 years outdated.
A fast level to notice in case you’re pondering of getting a leatherback bearded dragon is their water retention. Studies have proven that leatherbacks, like silkback bearded dragons, lose water sooner than common bearded dragons. This places them at a better threat of dehydration. So, it’s crucial that your leatherback at all times has entry to contemporary water. Don’t modify their enclosure to be cooler than the beneficial warmth to strive and assist them preserve water.
Generally, most bearded dragons don’t wish to drink from conventional pet water bowls. Instead, select a shallow water dish that they’ll simply drink from. Some husbandry manuals counsel spraying bearded dragons’ heads to encourage consuming, or to supply shallow, lukewarm water soaks a few occasions per week. It might also profit your leatherback to spray the perimeters of their enclosure with lukewarm water every day.
Signs of dehydration embody wrinkled pores and skin, decreased elasticity within the pores and skin, cheesy saliva and sunken eyes.
Where Can I Buy a Leatherback Bearded Dragon?
Since the leatherback morph is sort of standard, chances are you’ll discover that you’ve got signal as much as ready lists for one. Especially in case your coronary heart is ready on a specific shade or sample. It’s essential to decide on a good breeder when looking for a leatherback bearded dragon. Breeders who’re breeding for standard morphs to make a fast revenue could also be promoting unhealthy bearded dragons with hereditary well being points.
Generally, a leatherback will value someplace between $100 and $500. This value will range relying in your location, demand for leatherbacks, and even the colour of the leatherbacks being bought.
To make sure you’re selecting the perfect breeder attainable, ask loads of questions earlier than committing to your reptile. Many good breeders may have optimistic evaluations from earlier prospects. And, they received’t be reluctant to let you know about their breeding practices – particularly in terms of the well being and genetic variety of their reptiles. Generally, it’s a good suggestion to keep away from pet shops, who typically purchase in bulk from dangerous breeders that don’t prioritise well being and correct care.
Do You Have a Leatherback Bearded Dragon?
Do you have already got a leatherback bearded dragon at house, or are you planning to get one quickly? What made you fall in love with the distinctive leatherback morph? We would love to listen to about your experiences within the feedback beneath!
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References and Resources
- Sakich, N. & Tattersall, G. ‘Bearded Dragons (Pogona Vitticeps) with Reduced Scalation Lose Water Faster but Do Not Have Substantially Different Thermal Preferences’, Journal of Experimental Biology (2021)
- Knight, Ok. ‘Scales Save Bearded Dragons from Dehydration’, Journal of Experimental Biology (2021)
- Raiti, P. ‘Husbandry, Diseases, and Veterinary Care of the Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps)’, Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery (2012)
- Pellett, S. & Cope, I. ‘Visual Identification of Reptiles: Part 2 – Lizards’, Companion Animal (2014)