Bearded Dragon with Black Beard – Is it normal?
What does it mean when a bearded dragon has a black beard? This can be a frightening development, especially for first-time bearded dragon pet parents. Is this something to be concerned about?
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common causes of a black beard in bearded dragons. Let’s get started!
1). Getting Used to a New Tank
Bearded dragons can easily become overwhelmed when their environment goes through a major change. Think of how it must feel to them! They’ve been in one place for a while, which may be a pet shop or a breeder’s home. Then they’re transported to a new location and new enclosure! What’s happened? Would you feel comfortable in that situation?
Bearded dragons need time to get used to their new surroundings. This means they need to become accustomed to your home and their new tank. There are many new things to see, hear, and more. Even the air may smell different in their new place.
So, when you bring a new bearded dragon home, you may notice their beard has turned black. This could be due to feeling a bit anxious or stressed by their whole experience in making big changes.
The black beard is a sign they’re not comfortable and may even be afraid. So, give them space. And don’t handle them until they give the sign they’re feeling better. That means when the dragon’s beard goes from black to its normal color.
A bearded dragon’s beard can also turn black because of fear. You may also notice your dragon “puffing up,” which is a way wild dragons try to deter threats. Even bearded dragons raised in captivity will still use this method when they perceive a threat. They may believe they’re in danger when that’s really not the case.
Bearded dragons may be afraid of being in a new place, seeing other pets, and more. For this reason, it’s best to keep your dragon’s tank in a quiet place, away from windows. And make sure to keep other pets away from them.
3). Your Dragon May Not Be Comfortable with You
It’s entirely possible your new dragon isn’t yet comfortable with you. If you’re new to the dragon, they don’t know if you’re going to hurt them or not. So, they may develop a black beard to show their unease.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid handling a new bearded dragon too much right away. It’s best to give them time to become used to their new tank, your home, etc.
When it’s time to handle them, do so gently and increase the amount of time as the dragon becomes used to you. Paying attention to your dragon’s beard and body language is part of being a good and responsible pet parent.
Another reason a dragon’s beard may turn black is because they’re angry. This is a huge indicator your beardie wants to be left alone. Keep in mind that it may not be you that’s the problem. It could even be something nearby their tank.
Beardies may become angry for many reasons. These can include loud noise in the room, people tapping on the sides of their tank, and more. It may take a little bit to figure out what’s making your dragon angry, but it’s well worth the effort.
You don’t want to have an angry dragon, do you?
5). Your Dragon Could be Ill
When you’re a first-time dragon pet parent, it’s hard to understand all the signs they give that something’s wrong. In this case, it’s possible your beardie could be sick if his beard turns black.
There are many reasons a bearded dragon may use this method to indicate they’re sick. One comes from their wild cousins. In the wild, it’s thought bearded dragons’ beards may turn black to make them look more intimidating. This may work to hide that they’re actually sick. It seems to work well for our beardies’ wild cousins.
Bearded dragons’ beards may also turn black when they’re uncomfortable, which can be a sign of illness. When you don’t feel well, you’re not very comfortable. It’s the same for your dragon. This could be a sign that something’s not right somehow.
However, if your beardie is otherwise acting normally and eating, then the black beard maybe for another reason. If you’re concerned, it’s best to call the vet for advice.
6). Your Beardie Could be Cold
When bearded dragons turn their beards black, it can be an indication they’re too cold. They do this to help warm themselves up. This is because black can absorb more heat than lighter colors.
So, if your bearded dragon’s beard is black, it could be that he’s cold. This is a great time to check the temperature in his tank. If the temperature’s too low, then you’ll need to increase the heat. This can be done with UVB bulbs or ceramic heaters.
7). Looking for a Mate
Another reason bearded dragons turn their beards black is that they’re seeking a mate! This is done by the males. Male beardies have darker beards than females, and so use this as a means to indicate how masculine they are. You may also notice your beardie bobbing or moving his head at the same time. This is another way to get more attention.
If you have only one beardie and no other, then you won’t notice this behavior.
Being territorial is another reason a beardie’s beard may turn black. But you may notice this only if you have more than one bearded dragon in a tank.
Males use this method to indicate their territory, so if you have two males in the same tank, it may be necessary to move one of them to a new enclosure.
Bearded dragons may also indicate they’re feeling lonely by turning their beards black. Many people don’t believe reptiles can feel, but they do.
These are some of the main reasons your bearded dragon may be turning his beard black. It’s important to try to work out the cause, if possible. And if you’re ever worried or believe your dragon is ill, then it’s time to call the vet. They’ll be able to offer advice and guidance on what to do next to help your beardie.