How do bearded dragons mate?
It’s actually a little like humans when you think about it.
Male dragons spend ages going crazy building up to it and it’s over within a few seconds.
How Do Bearded Dragons Mate?
Male bearded dragons mate by mounting the female bearded dragon and trying to hold her in position while they copulate. During the breeding process the male dragon will bite the female dragon around her body, which can lead to the skin being torn in some instances.
We’ve touched on the specifics about how it’s done which I’m sure you already knew, but bearded dragon mating is actually a lot more interesting. If you plan on becoming a bearded dragon breeder we’ll look at some things you’ll want to know about.
Male Bearded Dragon Mating Behavior
One of the best things about keeping bearded dragons as pets is the fact they are calm and docile. Once mating season begins it’s the exact opposite and they turn into possessed creatures. Here are the two main things you’ll notice when your bearded dragon is ready to mate:
- Beard will begin to get darker
- Head bobbing becomes violent
Beard will begin to get darker – A blackened beard is a possible sign your male bearded dragon is ready to mate provided they’re at least 6 months old. A black beard is also used by the male dragon to show its authority over any other bearded dragons in his territory.
Head bobbing becomes violent – A male dragon starts to become more anxious and his head will start bobbing up and down, but it’s a lot more violent than usual. If the female bearded dragon is close by, the male dragon can start stomping his feet and chasing her around the vivarium.
Male dragons can become more violent towards their keeper too, so don’t be worried if he starts acting extra aggressive towards you. We’ve already touched on the fact male dragons will bite a female dragon during mating, but you’ll find bite marks in these areas:
- Dorsal head
- Front legs
Female dragons can get bashed up a lot during bearded dragon mating season, so you’ll need to know how to look after her afterwards along with caring for the eggs. In some cases, your dragon could refuse to eat any food and they’ll end up losing lots of weight.
Female Bearded Dragon Mating Behavior
Males aren’t the only ones who get excited when they are horny. Female bearded dragons are excited by the prospect of getting pregnant too. Although not as aggressive as their male counterparts, you’ll notice female dragons begin to do a couple of things before mating:
- Bobbing her head up and down
- Waving her arms around
Bobbing her head up and down – When a female bearded dragon is in close proximity to a male dragon she’ll begin to reciprocate the head bobbing movement. Except when the female does it she doesn’t move her head so fast it’s likely to come flying off.
Waving her arms around – The biggest indicator a female dragon is ready to mate is when she begins to wave her arms at the male dragon. Arm waving is actually a submissive move among dragons so the female is basically telling the male she is ready to copulate.
Female bearded dragons can also display mating behavior which shows they don’t want to have baby dragons. She will try to run away and claw at the enclosure in a desperate attempt to escape. It’s not exactly a pleasant experience for the female whether they copulate or not.
When bearded dragons mate in the wild it’s easy for the female to get away, but in a vivarium there is no way to escape. So don’t keep the male and female bearded dragons together until you’re ready to breed them because it can end a lot worse than you might think.
Can A Male And Female Bearded Dragon Live Together?
Male and female bearded dragons can live together, but I’d strongly suggest you keep them in separate vivariums. It’s not good for the female dragon and it’s going to end in disaster. Here are a few of the main things you’ll need to watch out for when they’re living together:
- Natural instinct to breed
- Unnecessary stress
- Territorial disputes
Natural instinct to breed – A male dragon will give in to nature so they’ll want to mate all the time. Not only is it tough on your female dragon, but think about the extra work you’ll need to do when she gets pregnant. Most people won’t have the free time it requires.
It’s also going to cause you a huge amount of money until you sell the babies. Breeding baby bearded dragons is expensive.
Unnecessary stress – When a female bearded dragon is trapped in a vivarium with a male dragon it’s going to create a huge amount of stress. You’re essentially torturing her by keeping them together. I’m sure you don’t want to own a female dragon who hates her life.
Territorial disputes – A territorial dispute can happen even when your dragons aren’t mating. The dragons will fight on a regular basis, which will result in bad injuries and death. The smaller bearded dragon will usually die and it’s always sad when you lose one of your pets.
Separate your dragons and wait until they’re ready to breed before you put them together. It’s better for everyone involved.
How Old Do Bearded Dragons Have To Be To Mate?
If you keep male and female bearded dragons together they’ll begin to mate whenever they want, which is usually around 8 months old. But your bearded dragons aren’t even considered sexually mature until they’re at least 18 months old, which would make them an entire year older.
You should let your dragons grow up to be strong and healthy before you start to think about breeding them. Give them 2 years before allowing them to mate and you’ll have a much easier time. Make sure you feed them properly because size plays an important part in mating too.
How Do Bearded Dragons Mate?
When it comes to bearded dragons mating is more complicated than with other pets. Make sure you keep your dragons apart unless you’re looking to breed because accidental mating can take a few seconds. And it sometimes doesn’t work out too well for the female.