Adoption of a bearded agama or shoulder straps: tips and tricks

The bearded dragon, better known in France as the Pogona, is a reptile very popular with beginner terrariophiles because it is easy to breed. This diurnal and essentially solitary animal does have simple needs and is very sociable with people. If you decide to take this squamate to make it your little companion, check out our tips for growing it properly in this file.

Bearded dragon: who is he?

The bearded dragon, also known as the PogonaChase vitticeps) is a reptile of the squamous order and the agama family, especially valued in France. Hailing from the Australian bush, outgoing, pleasant to talk to and easy to train, he is the perfect little companion for both beginner reptile breeders and the most experienced.

This small diurnal reptile has a very long tail, which is more than half its size. With a height of 40 to 60 cm and an average weight of 300 to 500 g, males are larger than females, life expectancy in the wild is 3 to 8 years, but can reach 6 to 10 years. when grown in captivity, subject to its needs.

The chase is recognizable by the multicolored scales that dot its throat and sides of its head. Deserving the name of the bearded dragon, this beautiful necklace has the property of forming a crown of thorns when the animal makes it swell, especially when it feels threatened or stressed. If these spines are multi-colored, the small reptile may also change their color so that they take on a black tint, especially during the breeding season.

In addition, its body is gray to brown in color with lighter spots. However, through experimentation and crossbreeding on farms, the color palette has expanded, and now shoulder straps can come in several colors, in particular yellow, ocher or orange. His belly is cream colored.

Popona, a lone reptile in the wild

In the wild, the bearded dragon lives in a desert region located in central Australia. Able to withstand very high temperatures, this reptile most often leads a solitary lifestyle, but often small groups of individuals form in areas where there is bright sun and a lot of food. However, within these groups, dominant males impose themselves and can claim priority over prey taken by the pack or over the best spots in the sun.

It feeds mainly on insects, arachnids and invertebrates, sometimes small lizards or rodents. In addition, he likes to eat fruits, flowers, or even green leaves. Plants become more and more common in his diet as he grows.

Bearded dragon, very nice pet

The chase adapts very well to life in captivity and to the presence of a person. If he is so valued by terrariophiles, it is in part due to the fact that he supports the conversion, hugs, caresses without fear, and is even very patient with small children, who sometimes make noise and make sudden movements. However, a small reptile may be frightened in front of dogs and cats, which it may mistake for predators. If it feels attacked or stressed, it spreads its scaly crown and opens its mouth. In this case, move the frightening cat or dog away to avoid panic.

The fact that he lives during the day is a real plus. Thus, it can be easily observed during the day and is calm at night. This climber with powerful claws loves to cling to branches and rest for hours on the ground or rocks.

Adoption of a bearded agama or shoulder straps: how to do it?

Adopting and raising a bearded dragon is relatively easy compared to other reptile species, which is why it is one of the recommended species for beginner terrarium enthusiasts. Here are our tips for caring for your little companion.

big terrarium

If the pogon likes a large terrarium, you can choose a smaller model if you are taking a juvenile. For a young bearded dragon, a length of 60 cm, a depth of 40 cm and a height of 30 cm are sufficient. On the other hand, if you are adopting an adult, it is better to immediately invest in a model that measures at least 90-120 cm in length, 30-70 cm in depth and 30-70 cm in height.

Of course, if you want to adopt multiple individuals, you will have to think even more broadly to allow them to feel comfortable in their environment. Also, be careful not to mix genders casually. Indeed, if two females of the same age and adoptees at the same time generally get along well, cohabitation of two males should be avoided, because conflicts will be repetitive and will certainly lead to the death of one of the individuals.

Breeding is a difficult period to manage and is not recommended for beginner terrariophiles. In addition, you should know that it is preferable to take not a couple, but rather one male for two or three females, otherwise this one will sexually exhaust his partner until he causes his death.

Suitable layout

The chase will not like an empty terrarium. It is important to equip it in such a way that it satisfies its needs. Lay the bedding from the terrarium insert on the bottom. On the other hand, avoid sand, which absorbs heat and causes intestinal obstruction if swallowed by an animal.

Have a stash of the right size so that your little companion can hide there whenever he feels the need. Install a branch under the hotspot of the terrarium because it will be nice for the animal to land there to bask.

Leave the cool side of the terrarium for the food bowl.

To meet this desert animal’s needs for warmth, UVA, and UV radiation, install an ultraviolet neon lamp in its terrarium, as this will help it better absorb calcium from its diet. A 40 watt spotlight placed on one side will identify a warm spot where the temperature fluctuates between 40°C and 45°C.

At night, be sure to turn off the spot and neon in order to observe the daily and night cycle of the animal. However, make sure that the temperature does not fall below 16°C at night. Install a heating mat to maintain the temperature between 16°C and 25°C.

Diet by age

The diet of shoulder straps varies depending on her age. Therefore, in order to cover his needs, you will have to closely monitor the diet he needs. It should be noted, however, that at any age it will be necessary to provide him with fresh, clean water and remember to renew it regularly throughout the day.

feeding a bearded agama or shoulder straps

  • Young growth of the chase (up to 25 cm or 1 year)

Until reaching an average of 25 cm, that is, about a year of life, the shoulder strap is considered juvenile. In this case, it is necessary to feed him crickets every other day. At first, five or eight are enough, then you can offer him a dozen, proportional to his size. Sprinkle them with calcium to promote healthy muscle and bone development in your bearded dragon. You will find everything you need in specialized reptile stores, on the Internet and in pet stores.

Finely chopped pieces of chicory, carrots or zucchini can be added to his diet.

Warm water baths (30°C to 32°C) once to three times a week are also recommended to improve digestion, hydrate dry skin, and ease shedding.

After one year of age, the shoulder strap is considered an adult. From now on, his diet should be predominantly vegetable. A few crickets, locusts, or cockroaches can be given twice a week, but the main meals should consist of vegetables sprinkled with calcium.

Baths can be further apart, at the rate of one per week.

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