Difference between a Male and a Female Bearded Dragon

By: | Updated: Nov-10, 2023
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A popular household pet that originated in Central Australia, a bearded dragon is a type of lizard that typically lives in desert lands, shrublands, and woodlands.

Bearded dragons make excellent pets. Each “dragon” has a unique, usually calm personality. The reptiles are also sturdy, and they love to be around humans. They usually adapt to their new home environment quickly and love climbing.

Another reason these reptiles are so popular is that they prefer to live alone. It’s not necessary to have more than one bearded dragon, as long as he gets plenty of attention.

All bearded dragons are born with prominent female characteristics, making it difficult to set a female and a male bearded dragon apart.

However, differences between the two genders become more distinct as the lizard fully matures. This article provides information on the differences between the two.

Summary Table

Male Bearded Dragon Female Bearded Dragon
Have two bumps on each side of the underside of its tail Has one bump on the center of the underside of its tail
Has a larger, wider head Has a smaller head
Has a thicker tail Has a smaller, slender tail
Shows beard (spikes) as a form of courtship Shows beard (spikes) as a form of self-defense
Territorial Not territorial
Digs holes for hibernation Digs holes to lay eggs

Descriptions

Male Bearded Dragon

A male bearded dragon possesses distinct traits and characteristics that only appear over time. Since newborn bearded dragons display prominent female features, a bearded dragon’s gender can only be determined once the lizard fully matures.

Physically, a male bearded dragon has a bigger and a wider tail, which has two notable bumps on each side. Males frequently reveal their beard for two main reasons: 1) as a form of courtship and 2) as a defense mechanism. Since male bearded dragons are territorial in nature, they bob their heads, puff their throats and display their beard to show superiority or aggression towards a perceived threat.

female bearded dragon
A male bearded dragon (left) vs a female bearded dragon (right)

A female bearded dragon, on the other hand, has a smaller and a slimmer tail which has a noticeable bump at the central portion. As the name implies, bearded dragons, including females, are distinct for their beard or spikes.

Female bearded dragons show off their beard when they are either mating or warding off potential predators. They are less aggressive than their male counterparts, and they typically wave their hands as a sign of submission once a superior female is within their vicinity.

Male Bearded Dragon vs Female Bearded Dragon

So what’s the difference between a male and a female bearded dragon?

Size

Male bearded dragons are longer and heavier than female bearded dragons. Males usually weigh slightly more than females. The males are generally about 24 inches long, while the females are about 19 inches long.

In addition, male bearded dragons have wider, larger heads than females. The males’ beards are also more pronounced and have bigger spiky bumps.

On the other hand, females have a thinner, smaller head than the males, along with a less pronounced beard. Another difference is the female bearded dragon can change the color of her beard from its normal color to dark black when they’re afraid, angry, or not feeling comfortable in their habitat.

There are distinct differences between a male and a female bearded dragon’s tail. The tail of male bearded dragons has two bumps on the underside, while a female bearded dragon’s tail only has one bump at the middle portion. A female’s tail is small and slender while a male’s tail is bigger and wider.

Male Bearded Dragons vs. Female Bearded Dragons Beard Use

Both sexes use their beards for either mating or displaying aggression. However, males frequently reveal their beard as a form of courtship, while females use their beard to ward off potential predators.

Behavorial Differences Between Male and Female Bearded Dragons

Also, male bearded dragons are territorial in nature. Once they are threatened by an invader, they puff their throats, bob their heads and open their mouths to appear more intimidating. Female bearded lizards, by contrast, are less aggressive. They frequently wave their arms as a sign of submission.

Male and female bearded dragons are skilled at digging holes, but they use these holes for different purposes. While male bearded dragons dig holes to hibernate, females mainly dig holes to lay their eggs.

Femoral Pores are Different in the Male Bearded Dragon vs. the Female Bearded Dragon

Femoral pores are found in many reptiles, including bearded dragons. The pores are part of the holocrine gland and are used for marking territory. Reptiles do this by rubbing their legs, leaving their pheromones on rocks, branches, and more. They do this to let other bearded dragons know that this territory belongs to another. and to stay out.

Both male and female bearded dragons have some called femoral pores. The pores can be found inside the reptiles’ hind legs and across their body, near the tail.

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