The size of a bearded dragon depends on a few things; the species, the environment, and their diet and health. They grow very quickly during the first year of their lives.
Healthy babies grow at a rate of 1 to 3″ per month that’s almost 1.5 cm a week!. They can also gain 10 grams in weight each week.
Because bearded dragons grow so quickly, people who have never owned one before often ask, “How big do bearded dragons get?” They want to make sure their pet lizard is growing the right way and guess how big it will be when it’s fully grown.
In this article, we will be discussing how big these reptiles actually get and we will also be sharing a growth chart so could compare your beardie’s size, health, and development.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons get?
An adult bearded dragon that is 12 months of age measure anywhere from 16 to 24 inches in length and weigh 380 to 510 grams. Most of their size comes from their tail. Typically, their tail is at least the same length as their body – if not longer.
Bearded dragons have three different growth stages: baby, juvenile, and adult.
Their growth rate changes depending on what stage they are in.
Their care and diet will slightly vary in each stage of their lives. For example, a baby beardie eats more insects and fewer veggies but adults will eat more veggies and fewer insects.
Baby Bearded Dragon Size
Baby bearded dragons also known as hatchlings are only 4 grams (0.15 oz) and 3 inches (7.6 cm) long when they are born.
Baby bearded dragons can reach up to 9-11 inches in length after 2 months of birth. As mentioned earlier, at this stage they grow very quickly. They usually grow 1 – 1.5 inches every week. They also gain around 0.011-0.077 pounds every month for the first two months.
To ensure that babies are growing at a normal rate, you should weigh them every week.
If you are worried that your hatchling is not growing quickly enough, observe its diet and check its lighting and heating. They may not be eating enough food due to competition with other hatchlings or due to some diseases such as MBD.
During their first year, proper lighting, diet, and bedding are crucial:
- A high-protein diet is necessary for young bearded dragons. More insects should be fed to them than salads.
- They should also have a T5 UVB tube light and a basking bulb on the outside of the mesh of the lid, at least six inches from the highest basking point.
Their surroundings are crucial to their development and survival.
Juvenile Bearded Dragon Size
A bearded dragon is considered a juvenile at 2-7 months old. During this stage, their growth rate slows down significantly compared to the first two months.
During these five months, they typically grow 1 – 3 inches” per month. They may gain somewhere between 8 grams ( 0.017637 pounds) to 280 (0.617294 pounds) in weight.
At the juvenile stage, you need to make sure your pet is getting the right food and given enough space ideally a 30-gallon separate tank. Because at this stage they begin to get territorial. Larger dragons may dominate the food bowl and good basking spots leaving the weaker ones without enough nutrition or adequate lighting.
Adult Bearded Dragons Size
Adult bearded dragons are typically around 16-24 inches long, with a weight that ranges from 10-18 ounces.
Bearded dragons reach their full size after reaching sexual maturity. While the exact age at which lizards reach sexual maturity can vary, it is generally between 8 and 18 months for most beardies.
Your Beardie’s growth will dramatically slow down after a year. A healthy adult at this age will have a filled-out belly and a thick tail base.
Most bearded dragons will grow to a maximum length of 24 inches. If it grows larger than this then it’s most likely a german giant morph. German giants can grow up to 32 inches long and 1killogram.
Pro Tip: Typically, a bearded dragon will reach its full size and will be considered full-grown at 11 to 12 months of age. However, some are not considered an adult until up to 18 months.
A bearded dragon is considered unhealthy if it is under 16 inches in length or weighs less than 300 grams (10 oz) after a year.
If your pet is more than 12 months old and still hasn’t grown to the minimum size mentioned above, it’s possible that they are suffering from stunted growth. There are a number of reasons that can lead to stunted growth, which can have an impact on a beardie’s physical or cognitive growth.
Factors That Influence A Bearded Dragon’s Size
Below are the factors that influence a bearded dragon’s size.
Genetics plays a vital role in the maximum size of a bearded dragon. These characteristics are inherited from the size of their parents.
Their size is also influenced by gender. Although more subtly than most pet lizards, bearded dragons exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males and female bearded dragons can be distinguished by their femoral pores, lumps on the ventral portion of their tails, and physical size.
Male bearded dragons are typically longer, they are on the higher end of the spectrum and you can expect them to grow to 21 to 24 inches.
Female bearded dragons typically grow 16 to 19 inches long.
Although a male bearded dragon’s body is typically longer, a female’s is a little bit wider. Additionally, the tail of female is a little bit thinner. The head of a male beardie is also typically larger as well.
Diet also influences the size of a bearded dragon. If your beardie is not getting a balanced diet it will not grow to its expected weight and length.
Low-nutrient food, such as iceberg lettuce, should be avoided since it can hinder their growth. Additionally, avoid providing insects heavy in fat with an unbalanced diet of nutrients (e.g. grubs).
Last but not least, their nutrition should adjust to their age:
- Adults need less protein than babies do. Their diet should consist of 75 percent insects and 25 percent plant matter (e.g. greens, vegetables, and fruits).
- Greens, vegetables, and fruits should make up 75% of an adult’s diet, whereas insects should make up 25%.
The environment can have an impact on a bearded dragon’s size, especially its enclosure.
You must guarantee that their enclosure has ample space. As your dragon won’t have enough room to grow or exercise, an inadequate tank size can result in stunted growth.
Adult bearded dragons require a 120 gallon tank, although young bearded dragons can live in a 40-gallon tank.
Additionally, make sure their tank has proper lighting. A bearded dragon needs the right quantity and intensity of UVA and UVB lighting to stay healthy.
Lack of UVB light can potentially cause major health problems, such as brittle or weak bones. This is due to the bearded dragon’s inability to properly absorb the calcium in their diets when exposed to insufficient UVB radiation.
They can lose their appetite and get lethargic for no apparent cause, further restricting their expected size and growth.
Pro Tip: UVB bulbs stop producing enough radiation after some time generally 6 months. To be on the safe side make sure to change the bulb every 6 months.
You must also give your beardie calcium supplement containing vitamin D in addition to the UVB light.
Growth can be hampered or stunted by poor or inappropriate lighting. Your lizard won’t be able to synthesize vitamin D or absorb nutrients effectively if it doesn’t receive enough heat or UVA/UVB light. Their metabolic process will be hampered, which may result in metabolic bone disease.
The size and weight of your pet will decrease due to poor health care or a general lack of husbandry.
They won’t be able to obtain adequate nourishment if they have illnesses such as impaction or parasites. Your dragon’s physiological function will suffer as a result of these health problems, which will also slow down its growth.
Speak with your vet if you notice any symptoms of weight loss, bloating, sluggish behavior, or substantial appetite changes.
Bearded Dragon Sizes by Breed
There are nine subspecies of Bearded Dragon. Each subspecies are naturally found in different regions of Australia.
All lengths are measured from tip to tip and ranked in size descending order for a full-grown Bearded Dragon:
|Bearded Dragon Subspecies||Size (inches)||Weight (Oz)|
|Pogona vitticeps||16 – 24||13.40 – 17.98|
|Pogona microlepidota||4 – 6||0.21 – 1.41|
|Pogona henrylawsoni||9 – 12||1.76 – 7.05|
|Pogona minor mina||10 – 12||3.52 – 7.05|
|Pogona Nullarbor||12 – 14||7.05 – 8.81|
|Pogona minor||14 – 18||8.81 – 15.87|
|Pogona minor mitchelli||16 – 18||13.40 – 15.87|
|Pogona barbata||20 – 24||14.10 – 17.98|
|Pogona Vittikins||10 – 12||1.76 – 7.05|
Pogona vitticeps/ Central Bearded Dragon is the most commonly bred and outside of their natural habitat in Australia this will be the most common pet dragon available, exporting any of these dragons from the wild is illegal.
There are very few programs outside of Australia that breed anything but Vitticeps or Lawsons/Rankins dragons along with their associated cross, Vittikins.
So when most people are talking about the biggest bearded dragon in the world, likely to be a German Giant cross (a big bearded dragon), it’ll most likely be descended from Pogona Vitticeps.
Since most will have been bred captively from whatever stock was exported (probably illegally!) from Australia, it’s probably a safe bet that in the wild there will be rare cases where they have grown bigger in wild because of the size of the fully-grown dragon will depend on the genetics of its parents. And the captive genetic pool will be limited (outside Australia) to produce huge genetic variations.
If you don’t know the parent’s sizes/ lengths then you’ll be less sure of what to expect and unless you know the breeder and they know the exact lineage you won’t be able to estimate.
But to be honest this isn’t that important as you shouldn’t really care about how big the beardie will get other than to size up their enclosure if you’re a new owner, which is why I list the maximum sizes.
In case you’re a new Bearded Dragon owner and wondering how big an enclosure you need, just remember the bigger the better. The very minimum should be a floor area that is at least 4 times the maximum length of the bearded dragon size.
For example, if Pogona Vitticeps is 2 ft in length then the area of the vivarium will be 8 square feet, typically 4 long by 2 ft deep. A 1 ft dragon needs a minimum of 2 x 2 x 4 feet.
Bearded Dragon Growth Chart
|Age (months)||Size (inches)||Weight (Oz)|
|1||3 – 4||0.14 – 0.21|
|2||5 – 9||0.28 – 1.41|
|3||8 – 11||0.77 – 3.88|
|4||9 – 12||1.44 – 4.05|
|5||11 – 16||3.59 – 4.05|
|6||11 – 18||6.45 – 6.63|
|7||13 – 18||8.11 – 9.87|
|8||14 – 20||8.88 – 11.53|
|9 – 10||16 – 22||9.87 – 12.69|
|11 – 12||16 – 24||12.34 – 16.40|
|12+||16 – 24||13.40 – 17.98|
How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is Overweight
When standing, fat species will have a bulged belly that reaches past their sides. They will also have a large chest area and very thick legs.
If your beardie is female and only the belly is enlarged, she may have egg retention and need surgery.
If your bearded dragon is overweight, the first thing you should do is check its tank temperature. They might be more hungry than they should be if the basking spot is significantly warmer than 95 to 100°F.
Many adults get obese as a result of an overly affectionate owner who overfeeds them.
By altering their food, you can assist your beardie in losing weight:
- Increase the proportion of greens to insects, adults require insects just three times each week.
- Avoid superworms and choose hornworms instead; they are less fatty and higher in protein.
- Last but not least, you can improve their enrichment and exercise:
Put insects far away when feeding to encourage them to move around for their food.
How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is Underweight
A skinny or underweight Beardie will have a flat physique with saggy, wrinkled skin. They will also lose their typical “fat pads” on the backs of their legs and on top of their heads.
Their spine and ribs will be visible to you.
You should compare the weight rise of young bearded dragons to a growth chart.
Take the following actions if they are underweight:
- Observe their appetite. Get a fecal examination if they are eager to eat since they can have parasites.
- If they are not eating well, there may be a problem with the environment (such as being too chilly) or you may have unintentionally caused brumation. When there is not enough food or sunlight, bearded dragons enter brumation.
- If they completely stop eating, they can be suffering from impaction. With the wrong substrate blocking their digestive tract, this is a regular problem for pet lizards.
If you have ruled out health and husbandry issues then you have a picky eater.
You may need to switch up the vegetables and insects in their diet. Typically, underweight dragons are juveniles who have not reached their development spurt or adults with anorexia.
How big is a 1-year-old bearded dragon?
Pogona vitticeps the most common specie of bearded dragons grows to about 16 to 24 inches long in 1 year. They grow very quickly in their first 1-2 months.
What’s the biggest a bearded dragon can get?
The size of a bearded dragon depends on many things such as their specie, gender, diet, etc. The largest specie is a german giant that can reach lengths of up to 30 inches.
Do bearded dragons grow to the size of their tank?
Bearded dragons kept in smaller enclosures can restrict their growth. They will reach their maximum size if provided with the right care, food, and large enough enclosure.
Now you know how big do bearded dragons get. A healthy and well-fed adult bearded dragon will be 16 to 24 inches long and weigh 380 to 510 grams.
Hatchlings are three inches long when they are born. During the first three months, they will grow two inches per month.
As your lizard grows, be sure to refer to the growth chart on this page. If you see any sizes that are not within the normal ranges, you should immediately check their lighting, nutrition, and tank size. You can tell if a reptile is healthy if it falls within the specified size range.
A balanced diet, proper environment, and consistent care can help your dragon grow to its full size.
Let us know how much your dragon weighs in the comment section below.