Bearded dragons are popular pet lizards native to Australia. They make good pets due to their generally calm personalities and ability to develop bonds with owners. One question that often arises with new bearded dragon owners regard exactly how large bearded dragons will become.
While factors like sex, environment, and genetics impact size, most bearded dragons reach between 16-24 inches in length from head to tail. Understanding growth phases and achieving optimal nutrition and husbandry can support your bearded dragon in reaching its maximum healthy potential.
Use this complete guide detailing exactly how big bearded dragons get to provide your companion with the best possible care.
How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get on Average?
On average, most healthy bearded dragons grow to between 16-24 inches long from head to tail. Their average weight ranges between 300 grams to around 600 grams when fully grown, depending on sex.
Males vs. Females: Female bearded dragons tend to be slightly smaller than males on average. A healthy adult female often reaches between 16-20 inches long and can weigh between 300 to 500+ grams depending on body frame size. Males often achieve lengths over 20 inches, sometimes maxing out around 24 inches long and weighing from 400 to 600+ grams.
Babies and Juveniles: Hatchling bearded dragons emerge from eggs just 3 to 4 inches long. Within the first year, they experience dramatic growth spurts, putting on substantial size rapidly. Most are full-grown adults by 12-18 months old. Refer to the complete growth chart by age section below for specifics.
Factors That Impact Bearded Dragon Adult Size
While age and sex account for much of the variation in bearded dragon size, several other intrinsic and environmental factors influence growth:
Like humans and other animals, genetics account for differences in bearded dragon frame size and length. Some bloodlines produce larger or smaller dragons on average.
Diet and Nutrition
A balanced, vegetable-focused gut-loaded insect diet supports ideal growth. Food quantity must also align to life-stage needs. Over and under-feeding are both risk issues.
Enclosures with ample floor space allow room for exercise and maximum size capabilities. Overcrowding risks stunted growth.
Health and Veterinary Care
Illness and issues like metabolic bone disease also negatively impact growth if not quickly treated. Wellness vet visits help monitor.
Complete Bearded Dragon Growth Charts
Use these bearded dragon growth charts as helpful references to track expected size by age and compare babies to adults:
Bearded Dragon Growth Rate Chart By Age
Age: Size Range:
Hatchling: 3 – 5 inches
2 months: 5 – 8 inches
4 months: 8 – 11 inches
6 months: 11 – 14 inches
8 months: 12 – 16 inches
12 months: 14 – 18 inches
18 months: 16 – 22 inches
Adult: 16 – 24 inches
Bearded Dragon Size Comparison Chart: Hatchling to Adult
Life Stage: Head to Tail Length:
Newly Hatched Bearded Dragon: 3 – 5 inches
Juvenile Bearded Dragon (6 months): 12 inches
Subadult Bearded Dragon (12 months): 15 inches
Adult Bearded Dragon: 18+ inches
What Impacts Bearded Dragon Growth?
A bearded dragon’s genetics provide the blueprint for potential size, but several husbandry factors help determine whether a dragon reaches its maximum length:
Lighting and Heating
Proper temperatures and UVA/UVB light support digestion and metabolism needed for growth. Most enclosures need a heat gradient between 80-115°F.
Too small of a tank risks stunted growth and other health issues. Adult bearded dragons require a minimum 75-gallon tank size.
Diet and Calories
A vegetable-based, gut-loaded insect diet provides balanced nutrition for energy and growth. Feed daily appropriate for age.
Regular activity levels prevent obesity and joint issues. Climbable decor and floor space encourage movement.
Is My Bearded Dragon a Healthy Size?
Use these indicators to assess if your bearded dragon is an appropriate weight and length:
Weigh regularly and chart. Unexpected gains or losses signal issues needing a vet visit.
Check for defined fat pads at the base of the tail and back of the head. Obesity risks bone issues.
Lethargy, weakness, and loss of appetite accompany size concerns needing attention.
Speak to an exotic vet if you have worries about size. Metabolic bone disease from poor nutrition shows via stunted growth along with limb deformities and bumpy jaws.
How long does it take a bearded dragon to reach full size?
Most bearded dragons reach their adult size between 12-18 months old. They experience huge growth spurts during the first year.
What is the biggest bearded dragon on record?
The longest confirmed bearded dragon was just over 28 inches long. Very few reach over 24 inches.
Do female or male bearded dragons get bigger?
Males typically grow slightly larger than females. Adult males average 20-24 inches, versus 16-20 inches for females.
How often do bearded dragons grow?
Bearded dragon growth rates are the fastest for babies, when they can grow several inches a month. Growth slows after one year but continues slightly into maturity.
Can tank size stunt a bearded dragon’s growth?
Yes. Overcrowded, small enclosures lead to unhealthy limited growth. Adults need a minimum 75-gallon tank.
How often should you weigh a growing bearded dragon?
Weigh juveniles weekly and adults biweekly. Keep a weight and size growth log. Unexplained losses or gains indicate issues.
What temperature helps baby bearded dragons grow fastest?
Proper heat gradients from 80-115°F, with a 100°F-110°F basking area spot, support maximum growth.
What causes metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?
Inadequate calcium and D3 intake leads to metabolic bone disease and stunted growth. Appropriate UVB lighting and supplementation prevent it.
Why did my bearded dragon stop growing?
Parasites, poor diet, overcrowding, low temperatures, and other issues can slow growth. Seek exotic vet advice if you notice stunted growth.
Do bigger bearded dragons live longer?
Size does not directly correlate to lifespan assuming proper husbandry. Most live 6-14 years. Larger size may equal better health, indirectly increasing longevity.
Conclusion and Summary
Most healthy domestic bearded dragons reach 16-24 inches in total length from head to tail once fully grown. Males trend larger while juveniles experience huge growth spurts during the first 12 months. Size depends somewhat on genetics but largely relates to diet, housing, temps, light, exercise space, and wellness care. Monitor your bearded dragon using the guides and growth charts provided to ensure proper husbandry and nutrition to support reaching maximum healthy potential. Reach out to a herp vet with any concerns over abnormal development.