The issue of keeping bearded dragons together is commonly mentioned but highly debated on some forums. However, there is no set answer to this question. It can really work in some situations, but sometimes you need to keep them separately.
What can live with a bearded dragon? Normally, bearded dragons are solitary animals which you should not keep in the same habitat with other bearded dragons. Nevertheless, keeping them together with another species can sometimes work with a habitat that offers a lot of space. And also with a reptile species that have similar housing conditions as bearded dragons.
The following information will attempt to address the issues surrounding bearded dragons’ cohabitation:
- other bearded dragons
- different species from the same category
- nocturnal lizards
- can bearded dragons be living with leopard geckos
- bearded dragons living with frilled dragons
- can bearded dragons be living with uromastyx
- things to consider before keeping other reptiles in a bearded dragon’s habitat
- mix them together when they are young
- having a second tank
- creating a lot of hides
- providing the same housing conditions
- many basking spots
- gender making the difference
Other Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons spend majority of their time alone in the wild. That said, many keepers prefer to house bearded dragons in groups. Either for breeding purposes or particularly to raise groups of juveniles.
Also, it is important that the bearded dragons are all approximately the same size and are well fed. This is because sometimes animals may nip the digits and tail tips of smaller cage mates.
Though adult females usually tolerate each other, adult males will definitely fight. Thus, they ought not to be in the same cage. Also, cage hygiene is very important when bearded dragons are in the same habitat.
As parasites, particularly those with a direct life cycle such as hookworms, can easily build up. And lead to illness in dirty cages.
Other Species From the Same Niche
When attempting to maintain a mixed-species enclosure, it is vital that the inhabitants are from the same habitats. Bearded dragons come from the hot and dry interior deserts of Australia. Therefore, any potential cohabitants will need to originate in this type of habitat.
Animals put together will have to be similar in size so that neither preys on the other. Some zoos keep mixed species exhibits, mostly consisting of
- bearded dragons,
- shingleback lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), and
- blue tongue skinks (Tiliqua sp.), which all come from the Australian interior.
Tortoises are very interesting considerations for mixed species exhibits. Thus, as most are strict herbivores, tortoises won’t normally predate upon cage mates.
Since they are well protected, they don’t have to worry about other animals they are together with eating them up.
Therefore, in these instances, the caging needs to be large enough for the tortoises and bearded dragons to have enough space. Also, the habitat preferences of both species must match. Dry-climate species such as
- leopard tortoises and
- spurred tortoises are good choices.
The Lincoln Park Zoo keeps Russian tortoises with dragons. And they usually report good results from the arrangement.
One major strategy for keeping lizards with your pet bearded dragon is to include nocturnal lizards. Which will not be active at the same time as the diurnal bearded dragon will be.
Particularly, by spreading out the activity patterns of the cohabitants, interactions reduce. Which will lead to an increase in the success rate? The nocturnal lizards should be desert dwellers, and well suited to the same conditions that your bearded dragon requires.
Generally, there are a number of nocturnal geckos that share habitats with bearded dragons in the wild. Particularly, five different Diplodactylus species and smooth knob tailed geckos.
Can Bearded Dragons Live With Leopard Geckos?
In size, leopard Geckos are smaller than bearded dragons. Hence, the bearded dragon could attempt to eat the leopard gecko.
Thus, bearded dragons naturally carry coccidia. A parasite that is too normal in bearded dragons but very deadly for a leopard gecko. So it is not recommended whatsoever to put those two species together.
Can Bearded Dragons Live With Frilled Dragons?
While both bearded dragons and frilled dragons are lone animals. Still, housing those two species together might work provided the habitat is big enough. And both species have just about enough space to avoid each other.
Likewise, both species have almost the same housing requirements which make it easier to keep them together.
Can Bearded Dragons Live With Uromastyx?
Some people keep bearded dragons and uromastyx together and they achieve success. Although the housing conditions are slightly different and they need an entirely different diet. However, keeping these two species together can work if the habitat is really big.
Also, uromastyx and bearded dragons can get aggressive and both ought to have enough space to avoid each other.
It is however worthy of note that uromastyx has a very strong bite which could kill a bearded dragon easily. Which means, a bearded dragon would have no chance in a fight.
Things to Consider Before Keeping other Reptiles in a Bearded Dragon’s Habitat
Sometimes keeping bearded dragons together with one another or other reptile species can work. However, there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind before doing this.
Thus, before you really want to try that, you need to prepare properly. And you have to do a lot of research, or else, the animals could get seriously hurt or they might even die.
Put Them Together When They Are Young
Baby reptiles are the best option if you really want to put a bearded dragon and another reptile species together in one big habitat.
Further, both reptile species will have way more space in the habitat as they are still pretty small. And besides that, the risk of one reptile getting severely injured is much lower.
While adult reptiles may likely kill and eat each other, on the other hand, baby reptiles can´t really do any damage.
So to minimize the risk of injuries, try it with baby reptiles and not adult.
You Should Have a Second Tank
If your bearded dragon wants to brumate, but others reptile bothers it, your dragon won´t be able to fall asleep completely. And this can lead to very serious health problems.
Or, if your experiment doesn’t work out and both reptiles are very aggressive and attack each other, you have to separate them.
A Lot of Hides
Keeping both reptile species with only reptile carpet and a coconut half won´t work at all. Apparently, this never works no matter how many reptiles you have. You should often provide a very natural habitat with many hides for your reptiles.
Also, if you keep two different species you might even need more hides. Thus, having enough hides can make the difference between attacking and fleeing.
Let’s say your bearded dragon scares the other reptile and it wants to avoid your dragon, without a hide, it will have no other option than to attack.
The Same Housing Conditions
Note that your bearded dragon and the other reptile species should have the same housing conditions. It is best that you expose both species to the same temperatures and have the same UVB requirements.
It is totally okay if the other reptile needs a little bit lower temperatures than your bearded dragon. As you indeed have to provide different temperature zones anyways. This way the other reptile would remain more in the cooler zone.
However, your habitat must meet the housing requirements of both reptiles or else one of the reptiles will fall sick.
Multiple Basking Spots
There is no way that you heat such a huge habitat with only one basking spot. However, It is worthy of mention that you should have multiple basking spots. This makes it easier for both reptiles to avoid each other if need be.
Parasites can be so Deadly
We humans have a lot of parasites and reptiles have parasites too. Some parasites are absolutely okay and reptiles really need them in their system.
Unfortunately, it could be that a dragon naturally has other parasites than the species you want to add to the habitat.
The parasites that the bearded dragon has could be deadly to the other reptile species you want to add up.
Gender Can Make The Difference
Male bearded dragons are often very territorial. In the wild, they have very big territories and they defend them with everything they have. Thus, if puffing up, hissing and showing a black beard is not enough, a bearded dragon will attack until the intruder flees.
On the other hand, female bearded dragons are not territorial. In the wild, they are looking for partners and male bearded dragons do not attack a female bearded dragon in their territory.
Instead, they attempt to mate with the female. However, the female can choose to mate or not and it can leave without any attack.
Thus, as you see it makes more sense to attempt this with female bearded dragons.