One of the most noticeable features of a full grown leatherback bearded dragon is its scales. Unlike the traditional bearded dragon, the leatherback morph has reduced scalation, giving it a smooth and almost leather-like appearance. This unique texture sets it apart from other bearded dragon morphs and adds to its overall charm.
In addition to its distinctive scales, a full grown leatherback bearded dragon is also known for its impressive size. These dragons can reach lengths of up to 24 inches, making them one of the larger bearded dragon morphs. Their size, combined with their unique appearance, makes them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts.
What is a full grown leatherback bearded dragon?
A full grown leatherback bearded dragon refers to a bearded dragon that has reached its maximum size and maturity. The term “leatherback” describes the texture of its scales, which are smooth and lack the spikes typically found on other bearded dragons. This unique characteristic sets the leatherback bearded dragon apart from other species and makes it a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts.
When a bearded dragon is fully grown, it typically measures between 18 to 24 inches in length, making it one of the largest species of bearded dragons. The leatherback trait is inherited through a genetic mutation that affects the development of its scales. This mutation results in a softer and smoother appearance, resembling the texture of leather.
In terms of temperament, full grown leatherback bearded dragons are generally docile and friendly. They make great reptile pets and are relatively low-maintenance compared to other reptile species. They require a properly heated and lit enclosure, a balanced diet consisting of live insects, vegetables, and fruits, and regular veterinary check-ups to ensure their overall health and well-being.
Appearance of a full grown leatherback bearded dragon
The scales on a full grown leatherback bearded dragon are reduced and relatively flat, giving them a smooth and almost velvety texture. This makes them quite different from the typical rough and spiky scales found on other bearded dragon varieties. The reduction of scales also makes them more prone to injuries, so extra caution must be taken when handling these dragons.
In terms of coloration, full grown leatherback bearded dragons come in a wide range of shades and patterns. They can have vibrant colors such as orange, yellow, red, and even combinations of these colors. The patterns found on their scales can be quite intricate and unique, making each dragon individual and easily distinguishable.
Another distinctive feature of a full grown leatherback bearded dragon is its size. They can reach lengths of 18 to 24 inches, with males usually being larger than females. These dragons have a robust and muscular body, with strong limbs that enable them to move swiftly and climb trees or rocks with ease.
The head of a full grown leatherback bearded dragon is triangular in shape, with a short snout and a row of small spikes along the sides. Their eyes are large and expressive, providing them with excellent vision to spot prey or potential threats. Additionally, they have a “beard” of spiky scales under their chin, which they can puff out to display dominance or as a defensive mechanism when feeling threatened.
Behavior and Habitat of a Full Grown Leatherback Bearded Dragon
It’s essential to provide a variety of hiding spots and climbing structures, such as rocks, branches, and logs, to mimic their natural surroundings. This will allow them to exhibit their natural behaviors, such as climbing and exploring their environment. A substrate, such as reptile carpet or ceramic tile, should be used to line the bottom of the enclosure for easy cleaning and to prevent impaction from loose substrates.
Leatherback bearded dragons are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. They require a consistent light cycle of 10-12 hours of light and 10-12 hours of darkness to simulate natural day and night patterns. UVB lighting is also essential for their overall health and well-being. UVB rays help them metabolize calcium, preventing metabolic bone disease.
Providing a proper diet is also crucial for a full grown leatherback bearded dragon. Their diet should consist of a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as leafy greens and vegetables. Calcium and vitamin supplements can be dusted on their food to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients.
Feeding and Care of a Full Grown Leatherback Bearded Dragon
In addition to insects, a variety of vegetables and fruits should be included in their diet. Leafy greens such as collard greens, kale, and mustard greens are excellent choices. Other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and squash can also be offered. Fruits like berries, apples, and melons can be given as occasional treats.
Proper care of a full grown leatherback bearded dragon is crucial for its overall health. Here are some important care tips:
1. Housing: The dragon should be provided with a spacious enclosure that allows for adequate movement. A terrarium with suitable substrate, hiding spots, and basking areas should be provided. The temperature and humidity levels should be maintained within the recommended range.
2. Lighting and Heating: Full spectrum UVB lighting is essential for the dragon’s calcium metabolism and overall health. A basking spot with a temperature of around 95-100°F should be provided for proper digestion and thermoregulation.
3. Hydration: A shallow dish of fresh water should be provided at all times. The dragon may not drink water directly, but it will help maintain the humidity levels in the enclosure.
5. Veterinary Care: Regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian are important to ensure the overall health of the dragon. They can provide advice on diet, habitat, and identify any potential health issues.
By following these feeding and care guidelines, you can ensure that your full grown leatherback bearded dragon remains healthy and happy.
I’m Lena Adams—a product of an unconventional upbringing in the African wilderness. My father, a daring explorer of African wildlife, sparked my fascination with reptiles, a passion that intertwined with the tragic loss of my mother during an expedition, leaving an indelible mark on my life. Driven to understand the creatures that captivated my parents, I embarked on my journey, sharing insights about reptiles, frogs, and lizards on my website. Through my explorations and conservation efforts, I honour my family’s legacy while seeking connections—to the creatures, nature, and the mother whose presence I yearn to understand.