If you own a bearded dragon, it is natural to notice color changes in them. You may see your pet transform from brown to yellow or orange, which could be concerning at first. However, you need not worry as this is completely normal in bearded dragons.
There are several reasons why these lizards change their color, including temperature regulation, mood, communication, sexual display, health, and camouflage. Temperature regulation is one of the most common reasons. Since bearded dragons are ectothermic, they rely on external heat sources for body temperature regulation. Therefore, when they need to keep warm, they darken their color to absorb more light. When they need to cool down, they lighten their color.
Bearded lizards are also known to change their color based on their mood or the need to communicate. For example, when they feel threatened, they may darken their color to intimidate the threat. They may also change their color when they need to indicate calmness or submission. During the mating season, they display vivid and vibrant colors to attract female partners.
Bearded dragons can also change color to blend in with their environment. Bearded dragons in the wild can change their color to yellow, green, or jet-black, depending on their surroundings. By changing their skin color, they blend in with their environment, making it hard for predators to find or attack them.
In some cases, bearded dragons may only change color in certain body parts such as the tail or change color throughout their bodies. Researchers have found that these lizards can partition color changes to individual body parts. For example, color changes in the neck region are associated with social interactions, while color changes in the back are for temperature regulation.
When bearded dragons change their color to jet-black, there is usually no cause for concern as they will return to their original color soon afterward. However, there are instances where color changes could be a sign of serious health or stress conditions. For example, if a bearded dragon stays black throughout the day or multiple days, it is important to check if the temperature in their enclosure is suitable. If their color change is due to emotional distress, providing a stress-free environment can help. If they experience dominance issues, separating them from other lizards can reduce aggression. Additionally, color changes accompanied by weak appearance, sluggishness, and loss of appetite can be signs of illness, and veterinary care should be sought immediately.
To care for your bearded dragon correctly, it is important to provide an appropriate environment, including the right temperature, humidity, and lighting. You should also feed them a healthy and balanced diet, provide plenty of clean water, and keep their enclosure clean.
In conclusion, color changes in bearded dragons are normal and can occur for several reasons. Understanding why your pet is changing color can help you determine whether it is a normal or health-related behavior change. Ensuring that your bearded dragon is kept in the right environment and seeking veterinary care when necessary can help maintain their health and well-being.