"Pet Bearded Dragon Care & Information (Pogona vitticeps)"


Bearded Dragon Biting Behavior


Bearded Dragon Biting Behavior

Bearded dragon biting can be the result of a few possible abnormalities:

  • First of all, and I think the most important of all is that Bearded dragon biting occurs amongst very hungry juveniles and adults.

  • Secondly, Bearded dragon bites can originate from wild, frightened or threatened individuals.

  • Thirdly, female dragons end up with male Bearded dragon bites during the vigorous process of mating.

Bearded Dragon Bites

Beardies rarely bite, but greedy hungry individuals will definitely show this behavior. Tail injuries and limb biting are common amongst juvenile Beardies from the age of about three weeks when insufficient food is supplied during this period. From this age feeding should be increased to at least two to three times a day and / or they should be separated, preferably each with their own vivarium. To prevent dominance from larger Bearded dragons, smaller groups of about the same sizes should be housed together.

Tail and limb biting are especially prominent in large batches (i.e. breeding facilities and import situations).

Adult Bearded Dragon Bites

Biting in underfed adults are also common, which can end up to a severe Bearded dragon bite to the handler. Luckily you will be warned. A hungry dragon will usually lunge at your hand or finger with its tongue out, implying that it confuses your hand with food. This is compared to the retrieving, threatening behavior of a scared dragon. The only thing to prevent this is by feeding adequate amounts of food or by feeding more bulky food.

Scared Bearded Dragon Bite

Bearded dragons might show aggressive behavior towards a perceived predator or generally when feeling threatened. Threatening behavior includes the fast form of  Bearded dragon waving behavior, open mouth behavior, making hissing sounds, dashing forward and by flattening of the body.

Although uncommon, aggressive individuals may appear from time to time in captivity. Bearded dragon handling on a regular basis might reduce this behavior.

Male Bearded Dragon Bites

During the breeding season females might end up with various male bearded dragon bite wounds on the lips, beard and upper neck area as result of aggressive male mating behavior. This is especially true towards the end of the Bearded dragon breeding season. This type of mating behavior is normal for all breeding dragons.

a Bearded dragon biting behavior b Bearded dragon head bobbing c normal Bearded dragon behavior d male Bearded dragon bites e Bearded dragon tail bite

 Figure 1  Bearded dragon biting behavior. a A Beardie showing threatening behavior after the introduction of a new cage mate. Although he was still a juvenile his beard still changed to a darker colour; b A male Beardie "bobbing" his head to look dominant & to impress his female; c Enlarged darkened beard of a young adult Bearded dragon; d Female Beardie with bite marks on her lips & beard because of aggressive mating behavior; e A case of slight tail biting in a baby dragon. Sometimes the tail can even be shorter or one or two limbs, or parts of it, might be lost. Tail biting is a common occurrence & is not always that serious.


Bearded Dragon Bit Me

The answer to, can a Bearded dragon hurt you? is definitely a YES. From experience I can tell you that a Bearded dragon bite hurts. Bearded dragons have extremely strong jaws which can crush hard insects. It can definitely draw blood from a human finger.

Bearded Dragon Bite Treatment

Immediate Bearded dragon bite treatment includes flushing the bleeding wound under clean running tap water for at least five minutes. Let the Bearded dragon bite mark bleed for that period. After that stop the bleeding by applying pressure, i.e. a temporary bandage or plaster and disinfect the area with a commercial skin disinfectant. Directly after that make sure to consult your general health practitioner / house doctor or nearest hospital for further assistance.

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