Licking behaviour in Bearded dragons

Licking behaviour in Bearded dragons
Published by on
Credits: Image from

Licking behaviour is frequently seen in (pet) Bearded dragons when they are active. Unlike for example Chameleons, Bearded dragons do not have long, projectile tongues to catch prey from a long distance, but they do use them in similar ways.

Apart from using the tongue to catch prey, licking behaviour (or tasting behaviour) is actually an additional way for Leopard geckos to smell or test their environment. They also don’t lick things per se. Most other reptiles and many animals also has this ability.

After each lick, microscopic particles from the environment collects on the surface of the tongue. The tongue is then pushed into an opening inside the upper part of the mouth which connects it to a sensory part of the reptile brain. This area is also called the Jacobson’s organ or the vomeronasal organ. The vemeronasal organ has the ability to decipher these particles in order to make the reptile “understand” its environment a little better.

Jacobson's organ in a snake
Jacobson’s organ in a snake. Image from

It is currently believed that in many animals, the vemeronasal organ is responsible for detecting pheromones, aiding in reproduction and social behaviour.

More Bearded dragon behaviour posts

The advanced bearded dragon manual (ebook)
The advance bearded dragon manual ebook covers all the aspects needed to keep a healthy pet Bearded dragon and more.
14 May 2017 | 98 reader(s) found this helpful so far.
Bearded Dragon Biting Injuries
Bearded dragon bite injuries
Read more about bite injuries in #pet #BeardedDragons... #BeardedDragon
24 July 2015 | | 12 reader(s) found this helpful so far.
Bearded dragon mating behaviour
Bearded dragon mating behaviour
This is what #BeardedDragons do when they show mating behaviour... #BeardedDragon
6 April 2015 | | 2 reader(s) found this helpful so far.
Bearded Dragon Burrowing Behaviour
Bearded dragon burrowing behaviour
See why your #BeardedDragon might show burrowing behaviour... #BeardedDragon
22 March 2015 | | 5 reader(s) found this helpful so far.

Did you like this post?

1 Star (2 reader(s) found this helpful)
You have not rated this post yet. You can do so clicking on the thumbs up icon.

Please share, comment & Disqus

Please use the buttons on the left or the bottom of the screen to share this post.

Your comment is important to us, but please keep the comments on point, constructive and polite.

Comment via Facebook


About the author

Renier has a keen interest in the welfare of pet reptiles. He has been keeping and treating Leopard geckos for many years and has written various forms of literature on them and other fascinating reptiles.

Renier Delport is also the author of The Advanced Bearded Dragon Manual and other Bearded dragon related eBooks.