11 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Turn Their Beards Black

Reasons for Bearded Dragons’ Black Beards

To understand why your bearded dragon’s beard has turned black, you need to explore the reasons behind it. The section “Reasons for Bearded Dragons’ Black Beards” with sub-sections on Stress, Aggression, Dominance, Mating, Temperature, Diet, Shedding, Illness, Injury, Environmental Changes, and Attention-Seeking will help you discover the underlying causes of this behavior in your pet.


Bearded dragons may have a black beard due to anxiety. It’s a sign of stress, to ward off predators or other threats. Stress can also come from living with other animals, not having enough space or food, or being exposed to bad lighting, high humidity, or unclean enclosures.

Owners can also notice a lack of appetite, weight loss, and even heart or kidney problems. Historically, there could be a connection between darker beards and robust genetics, but this is yet to be scientifically confirmed.

Bearded dragons with black beards are grumpy old men! They look tough but really just need a nap and a snack.


Bearded dragons may display a black beard when feeling threatened or during mating season. This is caused by the expansion of skin pores under the scales and may be accompanied by head bobbing and tail twitching.

Owners should take care not to trigger any aggressive behavior in their bearded dragons. Sudden movements or handling can make them feel threatened and cause them to display their black beard. They should also provide enough space and a hiding spot.

Excessive stress can lead to health problems such as appetite loss or weakened immune systems. To prevent this, owners should give their pet attention and monitor their behavior regularly.

If multiple bearded dragons are kept in the same enclosure, territorial disputes may arise, leading to violence. Each dragon should have its own area inside the enclosure with food dishes, water sources, basking spots and hides, so they have their own personal space.

If aggressive behavior continues to occur beyond mating season or perceived threats, get help from a reptile specialist. Close monitoring is crucial to ensure your pet remains healthy and happy.


To get to the bottom of why bearded dragons have black beards, understanding their territorial behavior is key.

To enlighten one’s knowledge, here are a few behaviors associated with dominance and their explanations:

  1. Head Bobbing – a male’s display of dominance and intimidation towards other males or females.
  2. Arm Waving – done by both male and female bearded dragons to showcase their territory and ward off threats.
  3. Flared Beard – a defense mechanism to appear bigger and scarier.

Although a darkened beard may signify dominance, other causes such as stress, respiratory infections, or mouth rot can also induce color changes.

Also Read:  Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas? The Full Guide

To ensure your pet’s well-being, it is recommended to provide multiple hideouts per dragon and keep them separated during meals. This can help reduce aggression and maintain harmony among bearded dragons.

Don’t be ashamed of that black beard; instead, own it as a sign of power!


Bearded Dragons have special mating rituals. These can include head bobbing, arm waving, and tail curling. This can lead to the males having black beards. It is a sign of strength and dominance.

Historically, black beards have been seen as a sign of power. Ancient Greeks wore masks with black hair or beards during performances to show characters as strong. This is similar to what Bearded Dragons do today.


Bearded dragons have a special kind of muscle which allows them to darken their skin. This helps regulate their temperature and protect them from predators. Plus, a black beard can indicate aggression, stress, or dominance.

When the reptiles are too hot, they release hormones, triggering the black beard. Heat lamps or cool weather can be the cause. Overheating can lead to dehydration and overheating that causes them to darken.

In Australia, these native reptiles are found in the arid western regions, known as ‘bush country’. After World War I, they were exported as exotic pets and have since become popular household pets worldwide.

To ensure your pet thrives, provide warmth during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Create an adequate space for your pet so that they get proper body heat regulation and sunlight intake.

So, if your bearded dragon has a black beard, it could be due to dark magic – or spicy crickets.


Bearded Dragon’s Nutritional Intake

Bearded dragons need varied food to stay in good health and avoid getting a black beard. A nutritious diet is a must for these pets.

  • Protein: Crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches are good sources of protein for bearded dragons.
  • Fruits and Veggies: Apples, strawberries, blueberries, kale, carrots, squash, and broccoli give them vitamins and fiber.
  • Supplements: Calcium supplements are important for healthy bone growth.
  • Water: Fresh water must be accessible all the time. Replace it daily.
  • Avoid high-oxalic acid foods such as spinach or rhubarb. These bind calcium and can cause metabolic bone disease.

Always monitor what your pet eats. Major changes can be bad for their health.

Pro Tip: Ask your vet about dietary needs and if extra supplements or special diets are needed based on lifestyle and environment.

Also Read:  Bearded Dragon Habitat: 7 Tips To Setup The Best Environment

Oh, and why do bearded dragons shed their skin? Exfoliation, of course!


Bearded dragons grow by shedding their skin. This causes their colour to become darker or they may even get a black beard. This is normal.

To help them shed their skin properly, make sure the enclosure is clean and provide a nutritious diet with plenty of water. Also, create a dedicated area with moist bedding for them to shed in.

Forcing them to shed can be very harmful, so just let them do it on their own.


Bearded Dragons’ black beards may suggest underlying health issues. This could point to various conditions, such as respiratory infections, tail rot, parasites and stress. It’s best to visit a vet to diagnose the reason behind the discolored beard.

Other signs to watch out for are lethargy, loss in appetite and differences in stool consistency or color. If left untreated, illnesses can worsen and even become fatal for your dragon.

It’s worth noting that not all cases of black beards relate to illness. Bearded Dragons may also darken their beards during times of heightened aggression or excitement. Reptile Magazine mentions that sometimes changes in temperature or lighting can trigger this behavior. However, it’s best to keep an eye on any changes in your pet’s appearance or behavior, and seek professional help if needed.

True Fact: According to Veterinary Practice News, Bearded Dragons are among the most popular reptilian pets in the US.


Bearded dragons have black beards that can indicate injury. Look for swelling in the area. The beard may be sensitive to touch or stay puffed. This might be from fights with other reptiles or rough handling.

To treat the injury, isolate the dragon and give it a place to rest. A vet may suggest medicine to ease pain and reduce inflammation. Make sure the enclosure is safe and free of anything that could harm the dragon. Give them enough space and keep the enclosure clean to avoid infections.

Look for any visible damage and treat it quickly. Bearded dragons are like mood rings; their beards show emotions and environment changes.

Environmental Changes

Bearded dragons can have black beards due to various changes in their environment. Changes in temperature, lighting, moisture, diet and more can lead to stress which darkens the beard. High-ranking males may use this to show dominance. Illnesses or injuries can also cause this. Rarely, it can signal a medical issue that needs vet attention.

Pro Tip: Keep your bearded dragon’s environment steady and consistent to avoid stress and health issues.

I may not have a black beard, but I can still demand attention like a bearded dragon!


Bearded Dragons may show a black beard for various reasons. One of them could be ‘Attention-Grabbing‘. It’s their way of communicating a message to their owners, and humans can be affected by this behavior.

Also Read:  Bearded Dragon Impaction: All Signs & Treatment

Moreover, when they feel threatened or stressed, they display a black beard to show distress. It’s important to recognize the difference between the two reasons and know how to respond correctly.

In addition, inadequate lighting or not regulating the temperature in their habitat can also cause stress. Thus, it’s important to monitor these factors to keep your pet healthy and decrease behavioral issues.

Research from the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science suggests that understanding and meeting the needs of Bearded Dragons contributes to better mental health and overall well-being for both pets and owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do bearded dragons turn their beards black?

A: Bearded dragons turn their beards black for a variety of reasons, including stress, aggression, territorial displays, and temperature regulation.

Q: How do I know if my bearded dragon is stressed?

A: Signs of stress in bearded dragons can include darkening or blackening of the beard, hiding, lethargy, loss of appetite, and in extreme cases, shedding.

Q: What can I do to reduce stress in my bearded dragon?

A: To reduce stress, make sure your bearded dragon is housed in an appropriate environment with proper lighting, heating, and substrate. Handle your bearded dragon gently and avoid loud noises or sudden movements. Provide plenty of hiding places and a calm, quiet environment.

Q: Can bearded dragons turn their beards black when shedding?

A: Yes, it is common for bearded dragons to turn their beards black during shedding. This is because shedding can be a stressful time for them, and the blackened beard can indicate discomfort.

Q: Is it normal for bearded dragons to turn their beards black during mating?

A: Yes, male bearded dragons often turn their beards black during mating as a territorial display and to attract females.

Q: Should I be concerned if my bearded dragon’s beard stays black for a long time?

A: If your bearded dragon’s beard stays black for an extended period, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. It is best to consult with a reptile veterinarian to ensure your bearded dragon’s health and well-being.