Have you thought about having a lizard? Today we are going to tell you everything you need to know about the ** care of the bearded dragon ** (or pogona vitticeps).
Lizards comprise more than four thousand different species and the pogonas are included within the family of the agamids. The term pogona has its origin from the Greek pogon, which means beard, hence they are also known as bearded dragons.
its maintenance and care is relatively simpleThat is why it is a very common choice for beginners in the world of reptiles.
How should a bearded dragon's terrarium be?
We will need a horizontal terrarium the bigger the better, and always respecting a minimum space per animal if we want to have more than one specimen. They are animals that adults can measure up to 30 cm and weigh about 450 grams.
Minimum size of a terrarium for bearded dragon:
- Young animals: 80 x 60 x 50 cm
- Adult animals: 100 x 60 x 50 cm
- Group of 2-3 animals: 150 x 60 x 50 cm
In the case of having more than one bearded dragon, the animal compatibility. You can get to have groups of females or a male with two females. ** Avoid introducing two males in groups of females to avoid confrontation **. Individuals babies (0-3 months) can be had in groups of 4-5 animals to control especially that they are not damaged between them.
1. Temperature and heat sources
They need a cold zone at 20-25 ºC and another hot zone at 35-40 ºC. At night the temperature should not fall below 18-20 ºC. To achieve this temperature we can choose:
- infrared light
- ceramic lamp
- mercury vapor lamp (this emits grape light a and b)
How heat sources support You can opt for thermal blankets / cables or thermal stones with care that the animal does not burn on contact.
It is a very important point in captive maintenance. Pogonas need ultraviolet radiation a and b (10.0 light sources). The lamp can be left with a rhythm of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
The life of these lamps must be taken into account and it is necessary renew them every 6-8 months and at least once a year.
4. Humidity and water source
It is necessary a relative humidity of 30-40% and the provision of drinking water in suitable containers.
Beware of babies animals that live together because stacking can cause drowning of an animal. It is also possible in these cases to spray the terrarium with water several times a day.
5. Environmental enrichment
It is important that animals are as comfortable as possible in their new home. That is why we must offer different options to achieve this:
- Shelters so they can hide (caves, cabins, etc.)
- Trunks so they can climb, not too tall
- Plants (we will choose those that are not toxic if ingested)
It is very important ** to get a thermometer and a hygrometer to control the temperature and humidity ** respectively. This will ensure that the conditions of the terrarium are adequate.
Feeding the pogonas or bearded dragons
The pogonas are very voracious reptiles. Of course, according to the time of your life, your needs change:
- Babies: 100% live food (live prey)
- Juveniles (from 6 months a year and a half): 60% live food and 40% vegetable
- Adults: 50% live food and 50% vegetables
- Pogonas mayor (more than 5 years): 25% live food and 75% vegetable
- Pregnant females: 75% live food and 25% vegetables
- Green alfalfa
- Mustard leaf
- Turnip Leaf
- Apple without skin, strawberry, tangerine
- Cabbage leaf
- Peeled Cucumber
- Ants / Termites
- Honey worm
To this we should add vitamin and mineral supplementation. Its administration depends on the age of the animal, and it will be the exotic veterinarian who indicates when they are necessary and in what quantity.
Patricia Lorenzo García, licensed in Veterinary by the UCM and specialist in Exotic Animals. Founder of the Exotic Facebook group in Bilbao. He currently works in the Campo Volantín Veterinary Clinic team in Bilbao.