A Dragon of a Different Color
Baby Bearded Dragon Types: Colors
While it would not be accurate to say that baby bearded dragons come in all colors of the rainbow, their hues do cover a wide stripe of the color spectrum. That’s true both when they’re roaming out in the wild, footloose and fancy free, and when they are bred to be the cutest-of-cute domestic companions.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The most common skin tones in beardies are in the warm range of shades, from tannish mellow yellow to striking ruby red. Why that particular section of the color wheel, do you wonder? Well, it’s all about environment. That, and natural adaptation.
Beardies are native to the deserts and barren woodlands of Australia, which are painted from a warm palette of tones. That stunning landscape of red sands and yellow brush is the native homeland of bearded dragons. And like many creatures on this planet, they evolved to blend into the environment to hide from the keen eye of hungry predators.
To us, their colors are beautiful; to them, their skins keep them safe.
Isn’t that cool? Even more cool- that adaptation in the tone of their complexions is only part of their natural mechanism of self-protection. They also have the ability to change color. Like chameleons, their cousins in the Agamidae reptile family, they can adopt different hues, depending upon environmental factors, like temperature, UV light, and even stress.
Our beardie beauties share that with their chameleon cousins, but the resemblance stops there. Chameleons are not as easy to care for, and they are not known for being friendly. And let’s face it, they are not as adorable as beardies. No offense, cammies- that’s just the way it is.
But back to our beardie babies and their cool- or I should say warm- colors. Their natural range of skin tones creates the foundation for a delightful variety of shades in selective breeding.
Baby beardie breeders (say THAT three times fast!) play matchmaker for two dragons, lighting candles and playing mood music to encourage them to produce offspring with certain characteristics. Okay, I’m not sure about the candles thing. Or the music thing. I do know that science plays a critical role in dragon mating, however. A knowledge of biology is required to produce a glorious selection of baby bearded dragons.
Unless you’re a breeder or a biology geek, you are probably not particularly interested in the science-y nuts-and-bolts of breeding. Yet if you aim to adopt a beardie, it could be helpful to understand the terms used by breeders and sellers. Check out this “Hypo and Het and Trans, Oh My!” post for everything you need to know about genetics in selective breeding of dragons.
If you’re like me, however, the genetic manipulations involved in breeding mean a lot less than the final features of the dragon. I respect the effort that goes into it, but to me, the proof is always in the pudding. And the pudding, in this case, is the gorgeous array of skin tones that serve to define baby bearded dragon types.
There are a variety of yellow dragon types. These sunny babies run from the subdued tannish-gold of beach sand to the lemony pop of MLP’s demure Fluttershy.
The names of these beardie types can be just as much fun as the colors themselves. Along with generic Yellow or Citrus bearded dragons, selectively bred beardies can also have type names like:
• Lemon Fire Bearded Dragon
• Lemon Drop Bearded Dragon
• Sand Fire Bearded Dragon
Dragons with reddish tones are prized by many beardie lovers. No wonder- they can be stunning to behold, ranging from a delicate peachy pink to the bold shade of a cooked lobster.
While usually referred to as simply Red (or Crimson), breeders sometimes use more vividly descriptive names when defining dragon types, such as:
• Ruby Red Bearded Dragon
• Volcano Flame Bearded Dragon
• Blood Red Bearded Dragon
In selective breeding, when beardies of the same color are mated, the offspring have an emphasized expression of that hue. Two red dragons make an even-redder baby, two yellows produce a brighter shade.
When dragons with different skin tones are mated, their babies display a merging of their colors. Just as we learned in kindergarten that combining our red and yellow finger paints would give us orange, so does the mating of red and yellow beardies.
Most commonly described as straight-up Orange, or sometimes Salmon or Coral, baby beardie types in this range can also be given names with more pizzazz, like:
• Tangerine Bearded Dragon
• Sunburst Bearded Dragon
White, Blue, Purple
Selective breeding can produce beardies that fall outside of their natural palette of colors. They can be extremely pale, from Albinos to Snowy or Icy White, sometimes with a blue or purple tint. Certain breeding strategies can also produce beardies with marking in those shades, such as stripes or defined areas of color.
If you have a very precise idea of how you’d like your beardie to look, you’ll have to find your baby through a selective breeder. Dragons who are bred without a specific strategy are as lovely as their planned counterparts, however. They incorporate a combination of warm earth tones, even sometimes showing hints of rare green.
Letting nature call the shots can produce truly fascinating colors and patterns, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on an au naturel beardie. Your baby is going to be adorable, friendly, and lovable, no matter what he or she looks like. See how my love affair with Baby Beardies started by reading Baby Bearded Dragon | Geocaching Adventure Hunts New Treasure.