Eastern bearded dragon

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Eastern bearded dragon
The eastern bearded dragon, Pogona barbata
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Suborder:Lacertilia
Family:Agamidae
Genus:Pogona
Species:P. barbata
Binomial name
Pogona barbata
Cuvier, 1829
 
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Eastern bearded dragon
The eastern bearded dragon, Pogona barbata
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Suborder:Lacertilia
Family:Agamidae
Genus:Pogona
Species:P. barbata
Binomial name
Pogona barbata
Cuvier, 1829

The eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata) is an agamid lizard found in wooded parts of Australia.[1] It is one of a group of species known commonly as bearded dragons. Other common names for this species include Jew lizard and frilly lizard, the latter being a confusion between this and another dragon; the frill-necked lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii).

It is most common in eastern Australia south of Cape York Peninsula, but specimens have been collected from Cape York, through central Australia, and even from the west coast of Australia. It is a large species of grey-black colour distinguished from its relative, the central bearded dragon, Pogona vitticeps, by its less robust body and the row of spines along the lateral edge of the body, which continues over the forearm (Cogger, 1992). It tends to be more cryptic in its behaviour than the central bearded dragon, and performs its bearded display more often. It has an adult snout-tail length of about 24 inches (60 cm). When threatened, in addition to its beard display, it gapes to display the bright yellow colour of the inside of its mouth. It eats small lizards and snakes, flowers, insects, fruits, and berries.

This species was previously known as Amphibolurus barbatus.[2]

Contents

Physical description

The eastern bearded dragon resembles its close relative, the smaller central bearded dragon. It is usually grey-black in skin colour and is sometimes reddish-brown, yellowish-brown, or dark brown. Juveniles are paler in colour than the adults and have patterns that fade as they mature. As it matures, it develops a subtle pale yellow, blue, or green tinge on the forepart of its head. The adult males can grow up to about 24 inches (60 cm), and females up to 20 inches (50 cm). The adult males have a dark grey to black "beard".

P. barbata retains venom glands on both the upper and lower jaws. (Fry et al. 2006)

Behavior

Eastern bearded dragon showing a threatening defense display

Eastern bearded dragons are diurnal. They are semi-arboreal and perch on exposed places such as tree branches or logs, retreating to lower and cooler places when too hot. They are more aggressive than the central bearded dragon, demand more space and are less docile. The males are territorial and permit only females and juveniles in their territory. Dominant males are usually the biggest dragons and get the highest perches.

Diet

Juvenile eastern bearded dragon in the undergrowth of a blackberry bush - the dark spot at the tip of the nose is the shadow of the same bush.

The eastern bearded dragon feeds on a variety of small vertebrates and invertebrates, including crickets, small grasshoppers, worms, beetles, katydids, mice, and reptiles. In captivity, it also eats clover and dandelion flowers.

See also

Yearling P. barbata found in a suburban yard in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Footnotes

  1. ^ McAllister, pp. 281-284
  2. ^ Worrell, Eric (1963). Reptiles of Australia. Angus & Robertson Ltd. p. 66.

References

External links