Black Spots Bearded Dragon: Causes, Treatment, and Care Tips

Bearded dragons are popular reptile pets known for their unique appearance and docile nature. However, it can be concerning for owners when their bearded dragon develops black spots on its body. These black spots can be a sign of various underlying issues and should not be ignored.

Causes of Black Spots

There are several possible causes for black spots on a bearded dragon. One common cause is a skin infection, which can be triggered by poor hygiene or unsanitary living conditions. Another possible cause is a fungal or bacterial infection, which can lead to the development of black spots. Additionally, black spots can be a result of a vitamin deficiency or a sign of skin damage or injury.

Treatment and Care Tips

If the black spots persist or worsen, it is advisable to consult a reptile veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Causes of Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

Signs and Symptoms of Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

When black spots appear on the skin of a bearded dragon, it is essential to monitor them closely for any accompanying signs or symptoms. If the black spots are accompanied by other unusual symptoms such as lethargy, appetite loss, or changes in behavior, it may indicate an underlying health issue. In such cases, seeking veterinary care is highly recommended to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosing Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

Diagnosing the exact cause of black spots in bearded dragons can be challenging, as it requires a thorough examination by a qualified reptile veterinarian. The veterinarian will evaluate the overall health of the bearded dragon, conduct necessary tests, and review the environmental factors that could be contributing to the appearance of black spots. Based on these evaluations, the veterinarian can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Causes of Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

1. Stress

2. Health Issues

3. Shedding

4. Skin Pigmentation

Some bearded dragons naturally have darker pigmentation, which can result in the appearance of black spots on their skin. This is often seen in certain morphs or genetic variations of bearded dragons, and it is not a cause for concern. If your bearded dragon has always had black spots and is otherwise healthy, it is likely just a unique characteristic.

5. Environmental Factors

External factors such as temperature fluctuations, improper lighting, or poor habitat conditions can also lead to the development of black spots in bearded dragons. It is essential to provide your bearded dragon with a suitable habitat that includes the correct temperature gradient, UVB lighting, and a clean enclosure with appropriate substrate.

6. Hormonal Changes

Bearded dragons, especially females, can experience hormonal changes during breeding season, which can result in the development of black spots. This is a natural process and usually resolves once the breeding season is over. Providing proper care and monitoring your bearded dragon’s behavior during this time is important to ensure their well-being.

Signs and Symptoms of Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

One common sign of black spots in bearded dragons is a change in coloration. The spots may appear dark brown or black, and they can vary in size and shape. They may be scattered randomly across the dragon’s body or clustered in specific areas.

In some cases, black spots may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as changes in behavior or appetite. Bearded dragons with black spots may become less active, have decreased appetite, or display signs of discomfort or pain. They may also have difficulty shedding or show other signs of skin problems.

A veterinarian will be able to examine your bearded dragon and determine the cause of the black spots. They may perform a physical examination, take a skin scraping or biopsy, or order other diagnostic tests to rule out underlying health conditions.

Once a diagnosis is made, the veterinarian can recommend appropriate treatment options. This may involve medication or topical treatments to address any underlying infections or skin issues. In some cases, changes to the dragon’s diet or habitat may be necessary to promote healing and prevent further black spots.

Diagnosing Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

Observing the Appearance

Observing the Behavior

Along with observing the physical appearance, monitoring a bearded dragon’s behavior can be helpful in diagnosing the cause of black spots. Bearded dragons may exhibit certain signs of illness or discomfort, such as a loss of appetite, lethargy, or unusual aggression. These behavioral changes, combined with the presence of black spots, can provide valuable information to the veterinarian.

Consulting a Veterinarian

A veterinarian specializing in exotic pets, particularly reptiles, will be able to conduct a thorough examination and may perform additional tests if necessary. These tests can include blood work, skin scrapings, or radiographic imaging to gather more information about the black spots and any underlying health issues.

Based on the findings, the veterinarian will provide a diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment for the bearded dragon.


Overall, diagnosing black spots in bearded dragons requires careful observation of their physical appearance and behavior. Seeking professional veterinary assistance is crucial to accurately identify the cause and provide appropriate treatment. By working closely with a veterinarian, bearded dragon owners can ensure the health and well-being of their beloved reptile companions.

Treatment Options for Bearded Dragons with Black Spots

1. Quarantine and Isolation: If you notice black spots on your bearded dragon, it is essential to isolate them from other reptiles to prevent the potential spread of any infectious disease. Quarantine your dragon in a clean and separate enclosure until a proper diagnosis is made.

2. Proper Hygiene: Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial to prevent the development of infections in bearded dragons with black spots. Regularly clean their enclosure, including the substrate, water dish, and any decor or hiding spots. Be sure to use reptile-safe disinfectants and avoid harsh chemicals.

3. Medication: Depending on the underlying cause of the black spots, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to treat the condition. This could include topical treatments, antibiotics, antifungals, or other medications to address any infections or underlying health issues.

4. Improving Diet and Nutrition: A well-balanced and nutritious diet plays a significant role in a bearded dragon’s overall health and can aid in their recovery. Ensure that your dragon is receiving a diet rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Provide a variety of gut-loaded insects, leafy greens, and occasional fruits to meet their dietary needs.

5. Environmental Considerations: Creating an appropriate habitat for your bearded dragon is essential for their overall well-being. Ensure they have access to proper lighting, temperature gradients, and a humidity level suitable for their species. This will help support their immune system and reduce stress, promoting healing and recovery.

6. Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Bearded dragons with black spots should receive regular veterinary care to monitor their condition and ensure appropriate treatment. Regular check-ups can help catch any potential health issues early and allow for timely intervention.

7. Stress Reduction: Stress can compromise a bearded dragon’s immune system and delay their healing process. Provide a calm and comfortable environment, minimize handling unless necessary, and avoid sudden changes in their surroundings to reduce stress levels.

8. Follow Treatment Plan: It is crucial to follow your veterinarian’s recommended treatment plan for your bearded dragon. This may include administering medications, providing specialized care instructions, and scheduling follow-up appointments. Adherence to the treatment plan will optimize the chances of a successful recovery.

Remember, black spots on a bearded dragon can be indicative of various health issues, and it is essential to consult a reptile veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The treatment options discussed here are general guidelines, and individual cases may require specific treatments tailored to your dragon’s condition.

Preventing Black Spots in Bearded Dragons

Preventing black spots in bearded dragons is crucial for their overall health and well-being. While black spots can be a natural occurrence in some cases, they can also be a sign of underlying health issues. By taking certain preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of black spots and ensure a happy and healthy life for your bearded dragon.

1. Proper Diet and Nutrition: Providing a balanced and nutritional diet is essential in preventing black spots in bearded dragons. Ensure that their meals include a variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects, aiming to mimic their natural diet in the wild. Avoid feeding them excessive fatty foods or foods that are toxic to reptiles, such as avocado or onions.

2. Suitable Habitat: Creating a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon is crucial in keeping them stress-free and healthy. Maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity levels in their enclosure, as extreme fluctuations can lead to stress and health problems. Providing a UVB light source is also necessary for their overall well-being.

3. Regular Cleaning and Hygiene: Regularly clean and sanitize your bearded dragon’s enclosure to prevent the growth of bacteria and parasites that could potentially cause black spots. Remove any feces, uneaten food, and clean the water dish regularly. Also, ensure that their bedding is clean and free from mold or fungus.

4. Regular Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian to ensure that your bearded dragon is in good health. Routine examinations can help detect any potential health issues before they escalate and cause black spots or other symptoms. Your vet can also provide guidance on proper care and prevention techniques for your bearded dragon.

5. Handling and Socialization: Handle your bearded dragon with care and avoid unnecessary stress. Gentle handling and socialization can help prevent stress-related health issues, including black spots. Ensure that the environment is calm and quiet during handling sessions and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that could startle the dragon.

6. Observing and Monitoring: Regularly observe and monitor your bearded dragon for any changes in behavior, appetite, or physical appearance. Any sudden appearance of black spots should be investigated promptly to determine the cause and implement the necessary treatment.

7. Avoiding Overbreeding: Overbreeding can lead to genetic health issues in bearded dragons, including those that can cause black spots. If you plan to breed your bearded dragons, do thorough research and consult with experts to ensure you are breeding responsibly and promoting the health of the species.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of black spots in your bearded dragon and provide them with a happy and healthy life.

Diet and Nutrition for Bearded Dragons with Black Spots

Proper diet and nutrition play a crucial role in maintaining the health and well-being of bearded dragons, especially those with black spots. By providing them with a balanced diet, you can help prevent and treat the underlying causes of these spots.

1. Feed a Variety of Foods

Bearded dragons require a diverse range of foods to meet their nutritional needs. Offer them a combination of insects, such as crickets and mealworms, and vegetables and fruits. This ensures they receive a balanced intake of proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

2. Provide Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are essential for the proper growth and development of bearded dragons. Lack of these nutrients can lead to black spots and other health issues. Dust your dragon’s food with a calcium supplement and ensure they have access to natural sunlight or UVB lighting to promote vitamin D synthesis.

3. Offer Leafy Greens

Leafy greens, including kale, collard greens, and dandelion greens, should be a staple in your bearded dragon’s diet. These are rich in vitamins and minerals and help prevent the formation of black spots. However, be cautious with spinach, as it contains high levels of oxalates, which can inhibit calcium absorption.

4. Limit Fatty Foods

Fatty foods, such as mealworms and waxworms, should be given sparingly or avoided altogether. These foods have a high fat content and can lead to obesity and related health issues. Stick primarily to insects and vegetables to keep your bearded dragon’s diet healthy and balanced.

5. Hydrate Properly

Proper hydration is crucial for bearded dragons. Ensure they have access to fresh water at all times. Some dragons may prefer to drink water from a shallow dish, while others may drink droplets from vegetation. Additionally, you can mist your dragon with water to aid in hydration, especially during shedding periods.

6. Avoid Toxic Foods

Some foods are toxic to bearded dragons and should be avoided. These include avocados, rhubarb, and certain houseplants. Always research the safety of foods before offering them to your dragon to prevent any potential health issues.


A proper diet and nutrition plan is crucial for maintaining the health of bearded dragons, especially those with black spots. By providing a varied diet, rich in essential nutrients, you can help prevent and treat the underlying causes of these spots. Remember to consult with a reptile veterinarian for personalized advice and recommendations for your bearded dragon’s specific needs.

Providing a Suitable Habitat for Bearded Dragons

Creating a suitable habitat for your black bearded dragon is essential to ensure its overall health and wellbeing. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. Enclosure: Choose a spacious enclosure that allows your bearded dragon to move freely. The enclosure should have good ventilation and be escape-proof.
  2. Temperature: Maintain a temperature gradient in the enclosure, with a basking spot at around 95-105°F (35-40°C) and a cooler area at 75-85°F (24-29°C). Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
  3. Lighting: Provide a full spectrum UVB light for at least 10-12 hours a day to ensure proper calcium absorption and prevent metabolic bone disease.
  4. Substrate: Choose a suitable substrate that is easy to clean and doesn’t pose a risk of impaction. Options include reptile carpet, newspaper, or tiles.
  5. Hiding spots: Place various hiding spots and caves in the enclosure to allow your bearded dragon to retreat and feel secure.
  6. Basking spot: Create a basking spot using a heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter. The basking spot should have a branch or rock for your bearded dragon to climb on and absorb heat.
  7. Water and humidity: Provide a shallow dish of water for drinking and bathing. Maintain a humidity level of 30-40% using a hygrometer.
  8. Diet: Offer a balanced diet consisting of insects, dark leafy greens, and occasional fruits. Dust the insects with calcium and vitamin D3 powder before feeding.
  9. Cleaning: Clean the enclosure regularly to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. Remove any uneaten food and waste promptly.
  10. Enrichment: Provide your bearded dragon with toys, branches, and rocks to climb on. This will keep it mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.
  11. Handling: Handle your bearded dragon regularly to build trust and socialize it. Be gentle and avoid grasping the tail, as it can cause injury.
  12. Veterinary care: Schedule regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian to ensure your bearded dragon’s health and address any potential issues.

By creating a suitable habitat for your black bearded dragon, you can ensure that it leads a happy and healthy life. Remember to provide proper nutrition, temperature, lighting, and enrichment to meet its specific needs.

Regular Veterinary Care for Bearded Dragons

During regular check-ups, your veterinarian can also provide guidance on maintaining a healthy diet and habitat for your bearded dragon. They can recommend the appropriate food and supplements to ensure your dragon is getting the necessary nutrients. They can also advise on the optimal temperature, humidity, and lighting conditions to create a suitable environment for your pet.

In addition to treating black spots, regular veterinary care can help prevent potential health problems in bearded dragons. Regular check-ups allow the veterinarian to monitor your dragon’s overall health and detect any early signs of illness. This early detection can lead to timely intervention and better chances of successful treatment.

When choosing a reptile veterinarian, make sure to find one who has experience and knowledge specifically in treating bearded dragons. They should be familiar with the common health issues that can affect this species, including black spots, and have the necessary equipment and resources to provide appropriate care.


Regular veterinary care is vital for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon. A reptile veterinarian can help diagnose and treat black spots on your dragon, as well as provide guidance on proper diet, habitat, and overall care. By prioritizing regular veterinary check-ups, you can ensure the long-term health and happiness of your bearded dragon.

Handling and Socialization Tips for Bearded Dragons

Here are some tips for handling and socializing with your bearded dragon:

1. Start with a Gentle Approach

2. Practice Regular Handling

3. Be Mindful of Sensitive Areas

4. Provide Enrichment Opportunities

Handling Do’s Handling Don’ts
– Approach your dragon slowly and gently. – Never grab or squeeze your dragon.
– Support your dragon’s body with both hands. – Avoid touching sensitive areas like the tail or head.
– Start with short handling sessions and gradually increase the duration. – Don’t force your dragon to socialize if it seems stressed or uncomfortable.
– Watch for signs of stress or discomfort and respect your dragon’s boundaries. – Don’t allow children or inexperienced individuals to handle your dragon without supervision.

By following these handling and socialization tips, you can ensure a positive interaction with your bearded dragon while promoting their overall well-being.

1. Basking Behavior

Bearded dragons are ectothermic animals, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. One of their most common behaviors is basking under a heat lamp or in the sun. This behavior helps them raise their body temperature and aids in digestion.

2. Head Bobbing

Male bearded dragons often exhibit head bobbing behavior, especially during mating season or when establishing dominance. It is a way for them to communicate with other dragons or as a territorial display. However, if head bobbing is excessive or accompanied by other signs of aggression, it may indicate stress or discomfort.

3. Arm Waving

Arm waving is another intriguing behavior displayed by bearded dragons, especially when encountering a potential threat or during courtship. They may wave one or both of their front legs as a way to display submission, communicate, or establish dominance.

4. Puffing Up

5. Tail Twitching

Bearded dragons may twitch or wag their tail, especially when excited or agitated. This behavior is often seen during hunting or when they are trying to catch the attention of their owner or another dragon.

6. Glass Surfing

If a bearded dragon repeatedly runs along the glass walls of its enclosure, it is called “glass surfing.” This behavior is often a sign of stress, boredom, or a desire for exploration. Providing a larger enclosure and environmental enrichment can help reduce this behavior.

7. Brumation