Why Is My Bearded Dragon Turning Black? (The 4 Most Common Reasons)

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As a Beardie proprietor, it may be fairly troubling to see that your lizard has turned black.

Why may this be occurring? Is the Bearded Dragon sick?

Sit tight, and do not fret, as a result of we’ll get all of the solutions it’s good to diagnose why your Bearded Dragon has turned black.

The most typical motive bearded dragons flip black is they’re chilly and making an attempt to heat themselves up. They can even flip black if they’re burdened or offended, or typically if they’re sick. A bearded dragon can also turn into darkish if they’re about to shed.

Widespread Causes A Bearded Dragon Turns Black

When a Bearded Dragon turns black, there generally is a few totally different causes.

You must also observe the severity and velocity of the colour change.

Listed below are the 4 commonest explanation why a Beardie could flip black.

  1. Thermoregulation
  2. Stress
  3. Sickness
  4. Shedding

Let’s dive a bit of deeper into every of those widespread explanation why a Bearded Dragon could flip darkish coloration and even black.

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Picture Credit score: Jeremy Shantz


Thermoregulation is the mechanism the place a reptile seeks out a warmth supply, equivalent to daylight, to acquire warmth.

The animal could turn into darker to assist within the warmth alternate course of.

Setting a darker coloration permits the reptile to soak up extra wavelengths of sunshine and, subsequently, extra warmth.

A Bearded Dragon could change coloration when it’s chilly and requires additional heat to succeed in a snug temperature.

This often happens within the early morning after the reptile has woken up from its nighttime sleep.

Sometimes, the discoloration fades because the lizard warms up.


Everyone knows how a lot enjoyable stress is. I am positive we’ve got all felt like we had been turning black when upset or offended.

Effectively, Beardies aren’t any exception.

When sickness, concern, or anger causes a Bearded Dragon to emphasize, they might change their coloration to a darker coloration, and even black.

Male Bearded Dragons usually show a change in coloration on their ‘beard’.

When accompanied with head bobbing, this can be a warning signal that the reptile is offended or agitated. Nonetheless, you must be aware that these reptiles are comparatively docile.

This type of aggressive habits is often solely witnessed in males and sometimes happens when one other male is current.

This habits also can occur if the reptile can see it is personal reflection (considering there’s a competing male within the neighborhood).

If the coloration is just not accompanied by head bobbing, it could be a special type of stress, equivalent to that which happens alongside sickness.

How Can I Inform If My Bearded Dragon Is Burdened?

All of us love our pets, and house owners of reptiles aren’t any exception. Sustaining good well being is the aim, or ought to be, of any pet proprietor.

So, know the indicators that your lizard is burdened or sick is important. Listed below are just a few key signs to be careful for, so hold a watch out for the next.

  1. A scarcity of urge for food mixed with weight reduction is one thing to deal with. When mixed, these two signs spell hassle. To not be confused with the dearth of urge for food throughout brumation, when weight reduction additionally happens, it could be an indication of one thing else. And veterinary recommendation is strongly really useful.
  2. The Bearded Dragon has all of the sudden modified coloration to black. It’s typical for this to occur, particularly on the beard. Pay attention to any modifications that occurred to the atmosphere, meals supply, lighting, or temperature that has occurred not too long ago. Considered one of these is probably going the reason for the reptile’s stress.
  3. Your lizard is making an attempt to dig by means of the glass of the aquarium. It will probably occur if the enclosure is simply too small if the dragon is hungry or burdened. Though not often an indication of any type of well being difficulty, it’s good to notice so you possibly can attempt to appropriate what’s inflicting the reptile to need to escape their enclosure.


A Bearded Dragon could change darkish coloration if sick. One really useful approach to establish if a illness is a trigger is to present the reptile an examination.

Right here are some things to search for when doing all your inspection of the lizard.

  1. A discharge from the eyes, nostril, or rear finish is current. Any discharge current, from any bodily orifice (besides throughout the act of defecation), is probably going an indication of sickness.
  2. A blackened or darkish coloration on the stomach, particularly close to the cloaca (rear finish orifice) is current. A darkened or blackened underbelly is often an indication of impaction, or in may very well be a difficulty with a feminine who’s egg sure. Each of those are severe well being points which if not addressed, can result in demise.
  3. Lack of urge for food throughout the summer season months and hotter durations. As brumation usually solely happens within the colder winter months. Exhibiting indicators of a lack of urge for food when situations are optimum generally is a signal that your lizard is just not wholesome.

When you suspect your Bearded Dragon is sick, please seek the advice of with a veterinarian instantly.

If A Feminine Bearded Dragon Turns Black, Is It The Identical As When A Male Does?

Female and male dragons will each flip black if chilly, burdened, or sick.

The primary distinction between whether or not a male or feminine lizard is altering coloration is because of well being points associated to being pregnant.

An instance of this is able to be if a feminine is pregnant and egg sure.

When this happens, a feminine has eggs inside which will have fused collectively inflicting a blockage. The feminine might be unable to put her eggs.

When this occurs, medical consideration might be required, or it may finish in demise for the feminine.

In case you are involved about your lizard, please search veterinary help.


The final widespread motive a Beardie turns darker colours could also be attributable to an impending shed.

Typically, these reptiles could flip darker colours when a shed is imminent.

Search for a shiny look on the eyes or any beginning of shedding pores and skin on the physique.

If the situations are optimum and the lizard doesn’t begin shedding inside just a few days of a change in coloration, there could also be different points concerned. It’s best to search the recommendation of a certified veterinarian if that is so.

Often Requested Bearded Dragon Questions

At What Age Do Bearded Dragons Brumate?

Most often, the Pogona vitticeps won’t go right into a brumation state till not less than ten months of age. Brumation is just not one thing the reptile does every single day, and it’s tough to foretell when they may go into this inactive state.

Sometimes, when saved at optimum temperatures, a Bearded Dragon could not enter a visual brumate state, or their signs might be minor to non-existent.

Usually talking, brumation happens when the temperature drops, and the sunshine cycle talk about.

These environmental triggers inform the reptile that the winter months have arrived. It triggers the reptile’s physique to decelerate and preserve vitality.

Signs will embrace sluggishness, lack of urge for food and elevated sleep. Warming the lizard to the popular temperatures can usually finish the brumation cycle.

Can My Bearded Dragon Sleep With Me?

Though technically attainable, you shouldn’t think about falling asleep with a unfastened Beardie.

There are three important explanation why this isn’t a prudent choice. The primary motive is that you can roll over in your sleep and inadvertently crush your lizard.

Bearded Dragons could not get up to maneuver out of the way in which in time to avoid wasting themselves from a large human (large dimension in contrast with our small scaled buddies).

The second motive to not hold a Beardie out for the night time is that these lizards are usually not able to being housebroken.

If they should defecate, they may, and it will not matter to them if it is in your mattress or not. That will be a gross factor to get up to, do not you agree?

The final motive why you shouldn’t try sleeping along with your Bearded Dragon is that the lizard may resolve to go on an journey.

Sometimes, these lizards will sleep sufficient all through the night time, however they’re small to go lacking comparatively rapidly. In case you are asleep, how will your lizard has gone wandering off?

To sum up, it isn’t a clever observe to have a lizard of any sort out of their enclosure when not underneath (awake and acutely aware) supervision.

How Lengthy Does A Bearded Dragon Stay?

In line with Nationwide Geographic, Bearded Dragons can dwell between 4 and ten years. Nonetheless, 4 years is, maybe, the estimated life span minimal within the wild. In captivity, Bearded Dragons have lived between eight and fifteen years of age with correct care.


  1. Dr. H. Reichenbach-Klinke, Dr. E. Elkan. Principal Ailments of Decrease Vertebrates – Ailments of Reptiles. United States of America: TFH Publications, 1990.
  2. Bartlett, Patricia P., Bartlett, RD, Griswold, Billy, DVM Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates – An Identification and Care Information. New York: Barron’s Instructional Collection Inc., 2001.
  3. Schbacher, Susan. “Bearded Dragons.“Nationwide Geographic. Accessed April 7, 2020. topqa.information/animals/reptiles/group/bearded-dragon/
  4. Seebacher, F. Franklin CE. “Physiological mechanisms of thermoregulation in reptiles: a evaluate.” US Nationwide Library of Medication, Nationwide Institutes of Well being. Accessed April 7, 2020. topqa.information/pubmed/16047177

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