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Bearded Agama: Friendly Lizard in the House

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In nature, bearded agamas are not social lizards. More precisely, they do not live specifically in pairs or families. Their social behavior is due to the fact that they can come together in large quantities for joint heating in the sun. And then all agamy gestures - swings and nods are used. It is in these ways that each agama shows his position in society. However, all this is not as banal as it seems.

Females, for example, choose males for a reason. Someone looks at the largest and brightest, and someone prefers smaller, but active. As a result, everyone is satisfied and no one is offended.

I have three full-fledged families, which I selected by trial and error.

Family number 1: The oldest male Pasha, a very large and calm female a year older than him - Katya and an active medium-sized female with a nasty character Ksyusha, which I took as a male. Pasha, as a seasoned male, builds Ksyusha very well, who loves to dominate other females. And Katya, with her calm character and huge size, is not a threat to Ksenia, but she does not allow her to dominate herself due to her large size. This family has been living with me for three years.

Family number 2: A male translucent Lucifer, small for his age, active, but very gentle to females, for mating, he does not even drag them by the scruff throughout the terrarium, such as Pasha. With him, two females of the weather are quite large - Dasha and Paprika, slightly nervous and active. Especially Dasha. Lucifer takes turns chasing them and is very very happy.

Family number 3: Male Silkback Yasha, very large with poor eyesight and a heroically calm character. Huge 6 year old female translucent - Dusya with a terrible character: if she is kept without a male, she dominates all the females, dragging them by the scruff of the terrarium. And the picturesque company is closed by a huge one-year-old female hypomelanist Charlotte with a very calm character.

Dusya did not get into this family right away. Apparently they used to live without a male, or with a small male, who was not authority for her, so the first thing for her was to grab someone by the neck and show who is in charge of this terrarium. I didn’t think for a very long time - I put her to Pasha's education. For two days, he showed her who really dominated, and she calmed down.

And only after that I settled Dusya with Charlotte and Yasha, creating another friendly family.

What conclusion can be drawn from this? What is guided in creating agamy families?

1. The size of agam is important.
Since very large individuals can eat smaller ones or dominate them, thereby making it difficult for some smaller members to live in a family.
2. The nature of agam.
If the agamas behave calmly, they can plant a smaller and not aggressive male. If the agamas are nervous and try to dominate each other, then they need a large, strong male.
3. The combination of size and character.
A calm large female can be planted with a smaller and more aggressive one. The latter will have no chance to annoy a large female, even if she has a calm character. And along with a serious male, in general everything will be wonderful.

We keep agam families against their will. And we must make sure that they are comfortable with each other. Therefore, you need to pay a lot of attention to their relationship, and not just health and nutrition. A well-chosen family of agamas: this is a minimum of risk, a minimum of stress, a minimum of injuries and a very, very interesting section of society for observation)))

History of the Bearded Agama

Bearded Agama - a reptile that came to us from Australia.

The lizard belongs to the agam family. It got its name because of a bag located in the neck, which swells when the animal is aggressive or trying to attract attention during mating season. The natural habitat of the reptile is the Australian continent. Agama inhabits regions such as New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland. These lizards live in desert rocky areas, sometimes climb trees.

The appearance of a lizard with a photo

The bearded agama has a unique appearance.

The bearded agama has an amazing appearance. The length of the body reaches 50-60 cm, with most of it falling on the tail. Lizards can weigh 300 grams or more. The head resembles a triangle. The lizard has a strong physique. The back, head and outer side of the limbs are covered with scales with sharp ends. On short and thick fingers are strong claws. When the agama inflates the throat, the scales rise, resulting in the formation of a formation similar to a beard.

The bearded agama does not have such a characteristic of other varieties of lizards as dropping the tail. For this reason, injured individuals are quite common. Agamas in childhood often bite off the ends of their tails to their relatives. Due to the limited ability to regenerate, new organ fragments do not form in these reptiles. But this does not affect the quality of their life.

The color of the agama can be beige-brown, gray-brown or gray. The body of the lizard is covered with bright spots and dark stripes. The jaw may be yellow or white. Young individuals have a brighter color. Agamas are able to change their color depending on the emotional state, as well as temperature. In hot weather, they brighten, and when cold, they become dark. Eye color varies from golden to dark brown.

Important! A unique feature of the agama is to change its color due to fright. In this state, the lizard turns pale, and the legs become bright orange or yellow.

It is possible to distinguish a male from a female by characteristic external features: males have a thicker base of the tail. The beard of males during the breeding season acquires a black or dark blue color, and in females it has a beige or orange color. Agamas live 7-10 years.

How to choose a Bearded Agama?

Lizard should be wary

To choose a healthy animal, you need to pay attention to the following signs:

  1. Examine the reptile and make sure it has no wounds and ulcerative formations. The presence of scars is also undesirable.
  2. Since the agama cannot restore lost parts of the body, do not get an animal that does not have a paw or tail. The lizard will remain so until the end of life, although sellers can convince you otherwise. But the absence of the tip of the tail or finger is perfectly acceptable.
  3. Inspect the area near the mouth. There should be no liquid or foam.
  4. A healthy lizard has clear eyes, and it also has wary behavior. In the natural environment, the agama preys on fast insects, which require attention and mobility.

We create the necessary conditions

Terrarium for agama must have heating, ventilation and decor

Terrarium is selected depending on the number of lizards. For one agama, you need a container with a size of at least 50 cm in width and 100 cm in length. Choose a horizontal terrarium with a wall height of 60 to 80 cm. The best option would be a terrarium with sliding glass on the side or front wall.

Important! For the agama, a container with a door at the top will not work. Under natural conditions, lizards are attacked by birds of prey, so the reptile will perceive all movements above its head as a potential threat, which will negatively affect its emotional state.

You should also take care of ventilation. At the bottom, top or side of the tank should be openings that can be closed with a metal mesh. Otherwise, the agama will have difficulty breathing. The lizard can be kept alone or in small groups. The best option is one male and 2-3 females.

Important! It is not recommended to choose a plexiglass terrarium, which the agama can easily scratch.

Artificial plants, driftwood, stones can be used as decor. NIt is not worth placing live vegetation in the terrarium, since the agama will quickly take it for food. In nature, lizards climb rocks and trees. So that the captive agama could fulfill this need, equip a special place for it. Apply a layer of PVA to the wall and fill the surface with fine pebbles or sand. This will not only provide the lizard with the opportunity to climb the terrarium, but will also become an original decor.

Spread a 15 cm thick litter on the bottom of the container. For this, cat litter, sand, pebbles, gravel, shavings, or shredded bark are suitable. In the natural environment, reptiles take refuge from danger, burrowing into the ground, leaving their heads on the surface. Also, the tank is equipped with shelters: houses made of stones, shelves. They must match the size of the reptile.

Take care of lighting and litter bedding

Agama needs bright lighting, and she must also receive ultraviolet light. For this, the terrarium is equipped with fluorescent lighting devices. Deficiency of ultraviolet radiation will lead to the development of rickets in animals. The duration of lighting should be 12 hours per day.

Terrarium is heated with incandescent lamps, infrared devices or thermal mats. The temperature in individual parts of the tank should be uneven:

  1. It is necessary to organize a cool corner with indicators of 23–25 ° С.
  2. You will also need a local heating area (40 ° C).
  3. The general temperature background is maintained within 27–30 ° С.

Humidity should correspond to 35–40%. At night, the indicators can be slightly increased. To do this, once a week, one hour before turning off the light, the tank is sprayed from the spray bottle with warm water. Lizard needs to ensure constant access to drink. For this purpose, a ceramic drinking bowl is installed in the terrarium. Do not use containers made of lightweight material. Agamas not only drink from a drinking bowl, but also bathe in it, so they will immediately turn over the light capacity.

Feeding rules

Agama nutrition depends on the age of the individual

Agamas are omnivorous, which greatly simplifies their feeding. The diet should consist of plant and animal food. In this case, the percentage of feed varies depending on the age of the animal. Young individuals up to 12 months old are given 80% of insects and 20% of plants. After a year, only 40% of animal food should be present in the diet of lizards. This is due to the fact that in adult animals the metabolic process slows down.

Agama is given:

  • cabbage leaves, tops and root crops of carrots, pumpkin, eggplant, squash, wheat leaves, bell pepper, peas, green beans,
  • parsley, spinach,
  • alfalfa, clover, dandelions, buttercups, crocuses, cyclamen, daffodil, euphorbia, mint,
  • peeled apples, grapes, bananas,
  • mushrooms
  • crickets
  • flour worms
  • cockroaches
  • snails.

Also, the lizard should consume vitamin supplements such as Reptilife. Young agama is fed daily. Adult lizard food is offered every other day. Feeding is carried out during daylight hours.

Important! For the agama, there is enough food that she consumes in 15 minutes, the remaining food must be removed to avoid overfeeding.

Other interesting facts

Agama loves water treatments

Agama often sheds. This process occurs in stages. First of all, the head sheds, then the trunk and tail. Once a week, reptiles are bathed in warm water at a temperature of 30–35 ° C. To do this, you need a deep basin. Keep an eye on the water level; it should be safe for the lizard. The duration of the procedure is 30 minutes. Then blot the animal with a paper towel and put it in the terrarium. After bathing the lizard, avoid drafts.

Video: Lizard Bathing Rules

Agama can be periodically released from the terrarium for walks around the apartment. But you must adhere to some rules. No other animals should be in the lizard room. In order for a pet to get used to communicating with the owner, it needs to be picked up once every 1-2 days. It is also advisable to release the lizard not on the floor, but on the surface of the sofa so that the animal does not catch a cold from a draft.

Important! The agama should not move on a too fleecy surface, if the pile is wound on the fingers of the animal, this will cause necrosis.

Breeding and breeding

Bearded Agamas mate in spring.

Agamas reach the reproductive age by two years. To stimulate mating, lizards are first placed in individual containers. They should be at rest. In the early days of December, agam are seated in separate terrariums. Lighting is reduced to 8 hours a day, the temperature level is reduced to 25 ° C during the day and 20 ° C at night. The rest period lasts 11-12 weeks. After that, the indicators return to their original level.

Then the male is placed in the terrarium, where the female is located. Mating takes place in March. Agama pregnancy lasts 30–45 days. Females lay eggs in burrows 40 cm deep. A layer of sand of appropriate thickness is poured into the terrarium for this purpose. The clutch contains from 8 to 25 eggs.

The incubation period lasts from 60 to 75 days at a temperature of 28-30 ° C. During the season, the female can postpone 2–4 clutches. Hatching babies begin to eat on 2-3 days of life. They are fed with cockroaches, small crickets, grated carrots, small pieces of fruit.

Diseases and treatments

  1. One of the common diseases is pneumonia. It develops due to the stay of the agama in a cool room with high humidity. You can recognize the ailment by a runny nose, because of which the animal breathes through its open mouth. Pneumonia is divided into 2 types. In the first form of the disease, reptiles have mucus in the mouth and wet whistles. Pneumonia of the second type is characterized by wheezing. In the first case, treatment is carried out with the antibiotic Ampicillin for 7 days. In the second type, this drug is administered from 9 to 15 days with an interval of 72 hours.
  2. Salmonellosis is an intestinal bacterial infection that can be fatal. It manifests itself in the form of refusal of food, diarrhea, regurgitation, weight loss. For the treatment of lizards, the antibiotic Chloramphenicol is used, which is introduced into the stomach through a probe. The procedure is performed 2-3 times. Also use the drug Bactrim. It is introduced into the body of a reptile in a similar way for 7 days.
  3. Cloacite is an inflammation of the cloaca. At the first stage of the disease, purulent discharge is observed during the bowel movement of the animal, at the second there is a violation of the defecation process. Treatment consists of introducing a catheter into the cloaca and supplying warm water with the Tetravil drug through it to the intestines. The volume of fluid depends on the weight of the lizard.
  4. Stomatitis is an inflammatory process of the oral mucosa. It arises as a result of a deficiency of vitamins A and C, as well as mechanical damage. The oral cavity becomes pale, acquires a bluish tint. Well visible vessels. The oral cavity of the lizard is treated with a 1% solution of Dioxidine, Iodinol or Etericide. Neosporin ointment or Polisporin ointment is also used, which 2 times a day for a week treat the affected areas. In addition, vitamin C is administered to the animal.
  5. Calcium deficiency in the body of a reptile provokes fractures, edema, rickets. As a therapy, the lizard is given a special complex: a mixture of vitamins D3, A and calcium. Complex reptiles give throughout the week. If the agama gets hurt, treat the damaged area with turpentine liniment or 10% potassium permanganate solution.
  6. Sometimes a lizard refuses food. The most likely reason for this is overfeeding. If she does not eat for two days, but drinks normal amounts of water, this is normal. Agama can arrange fasting days in this way. If she refuses to eat for more than three days, proceed with forced feeding. Also observe the animal for symptoms specific to an intestinal infection.

In order for the Bearded Agama to feel comfortable in captivity, it is necessary to adhere to some maintenance requirements. The reptile needs a certain temperature and light conditions. Throughout the year, she needs fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and live insects. A lack of vitamins, as well as non-observance of reptile care rules, can lead to the development of a number of diseases in the Bearded Agama.

The origin and natural habitat of the bearded agama

The bearded agama is a rather large lizard of the agam family. It is also classified as chordate, reptile and squamous.

In order to meet the original lizard in its native territory, you should go to distant Australia. It is there that this miracle of nature dwells; moreover, it gladly populates those locations that most of the representatives of the Australian fauna try to avoid. Agama feels very comfortable in those parts of the continent that do not have the slightest access to the sea coast. Desert and semi-desert biotopes, arid woodlands, shrubs and rocky semi-deserts are great for dragon life.

Features of lizard behavior in open nature

Активный период этого чешуйчатого припадает на дневное время, ночью «зверек» предпочитает отдыхать в своих домиках или укрытиях. As the latter, they use the area under piles of stones, crevices of trees and shrubs, as well as burrows of other animals. It also happens that the agama independently takes over the construction of the mink. Her lifestyle is mostly terrestrial, although it happens that during intense heat she climbs up trees in search of fresh cool air.

The bearded little dragon is very patriotic by nature, he spends his whole life on his territory, never moving away from his house for considerable distances. We can say that this mysterious creature leads mainly a predatory lifestyle. The basis of his diet is a variety of insects, small birds and rodents. Sometimes it can afford to feast on some delicacy of plant origin. For the reason that the agama populates areas that are remote from water sources, it receives the required amount of liquid from food. A big feast for the lizard is the rainy season, then it enjoys plenty of water, and it does it in a very peculiar way: by tilting its body forward so that water can flow down it and thus drinks a flowing liquid.

The continuation of the bearded agama

This pretty reptile is an oviparous species. These "little animals" reach puberty at about two years of age. When the female is ready for mating, she shows her consent to the dragon man in every possible way. And she does this with the help of various movements of the head and caudal process. If the male understood the hints of the female agama, he begins to pursue her when they catch up with them, hold them with his teeth, and even then the mating process begins.

After this, approximately 50–70 days later, the females lay their eggs. They are very prudent in their liking. Before arranging the clutch, the lizard pulls out a mink with a depth of at least 35–40 cm. After about two to three months, small dragons appear, from 10 to 20 individuals. During the year, the female produces offspring at least twice.

Features of the original appearance of a bearded agama

The bearded agama among its entire suborder is considered to be a fairly large lizard; the body length of an adult can reach approximately 60–70 cm, taking into account that the body and tail are almost equal to each other, and sometimes the tail is much longer than the body. In the projection of the throat and on the lateral sides of the head of the lizard, one can easily notice the presence of peculiar scaly thorns, which many call the dragon beard, in all likelihood from this the strange name of this representative of the great kingdom of reptiles came about. These flakes tend to swell during an impending danger or mating season.

The body of this lizard has a somewhat flattened ellipsoidal shape. The limbs in shape resemble a disc, are distinguished by special strength and muscularity, the fingers end with sharp claws. The original scales are also arranged in regular rows along the body of the agama, thanks to the thorns, the reptile visually increases in size and thereby gives itself a more original and at the same time fierce appearance.

As for the coloring of the dragon, the main gamut is represented by gray, yellowish or most often brown tones. But it happens that the color may slightly change, it depends on temperature conditions, well, the state of health and mood of the lizard. In young individuals, the main shade can be diluted with various stripes and spots, which in turn form a unique ornament. Older representatives do not have such decoration on the body.

Agama maintenance, care in the conditions of his terrarium

In order for your new Australian comrade to live and enjoy life in the conditions of your home, you need to create conditions for him similar to the climate of his native territories.

    The optimal size of the terrarium. Given that your scaly pet will constantly grow, it is best, and more economical, to purchase and construct a terrarium with the expectation of an adult agama, this should be a capacity of at least 200 liters and at the same time quite long. If you intend to start several representatives of the Agam family, then each of them requires a rather rather large living space. It must be remembered that it is not recommended to have two males, as they will be at war with each other, which may not end very well. The most optimal is considered to be living in one terrarium of one female and two males. There should be good ventilation in the terrarium, so it is best to use a grill as a cover, as glass, plastic or wood will create obstacles to fresh air.

Own sunshine. Due to the fact that the bearded dragon is a reptile, prefers to be active during the day, and in his homeland the day is long enough, you need to create the necessary conditions for your friend. If you think that you will mark the terrarium on a large window where the sun constantly falls and this will be enough for your pet - you are very mistaken. The thing is that with a lack of sunlight or artificial ultraviolet rays, the synthesis of a lizard causes inhibition of cholecalciferol synthesis, with a lack of which calcium absorption is significantly reduced, which is fraught with a serious deterioration in the health of your pet. In order to avoid such unpleasant situations, in most specialized stores, you can purchase the necessary ultraviolet lamps, which are designed specifically for reptiles. Such a light source should be installed right inside the terrarium, this will avoid the loss of such necessary rays.

Temperature condition for your scaly agama. The fact that your Australian pupil arrived at your home from the desert already speaks for itself that she needs a fairly high thermometer. The optimum temperature for the agama is considered to be at least 30 degrees Celsius, but also in no case exceeding 40–41 degrees. As a heating device, it is not recommended to use stones that are equipped with a heating device inside, because they very often cause severe burns to the delicate skin of reptiles. It is best to go to the same pet store and they will offer you specialized incandescent lamps or lamps designed to heat the terrarium. In the event that the total area of ​​your dragon’s personal home allows, it is advisable to conditionally divide it into two zones - cool and hot. This section will allow your scaly comrade to choose suitable conditions for himself, and he will be warmed up and cooled down as he needs it personally. It is also advisable to purchase the necessary devices that will allow you to constantly monitor the temperature and humidity coefficient of the air.

A sufficient amount of fluid. Your domestic dragon will not require you to constantly replenish the tank with water, but he still needs a certain amount of liquid. To do this, you can sprinkle the walls of the terrarium with water, and your "animal" will lick it from there. You can also install small drinking bowls that can be decorated with stones, then in this case you need to make sure that the water there is always clean. It is necessary to increase the spraying of the terrarium during the molting of its inhabitant, since the lower the humidity, the more problematic the molting process is.

Nooks and crannies. Like any living creature on the planet, your home reptile needs a place where he has the opportunity to relax and think about life alone, not in front of all the inhabitants of the apartment. You can make a shelter with your own hands or purchase it at a pet store - the choice is yours and your wallet. The main condition for proper shelter is its size, it must be large enough so that the lizard can comfortably accommodate there, and even turn around. There are times when your Australian agama will spend most of the daytime in her nook - do not worry, for her this is a completely normal occurrence.

Soil for a bearded dragon. It is best to use special substrate rugs as a flooring in a terrarium, in appearance they resemble grass - it is both beautiful and safe for an agama, as sand, gravel, sawdust or other small elements can be absorbed by your lizard, which will lead to serious problems with the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Decorate your friend’s house. As interior elements for the bearded agama terrarium, you can use a variety of snags and branches, the main thing is that there is no bark on them that the reptile can swallow and sharp ends that your pet may hurt. It is important to remember that this is a rather large reptile, so the branches need to be selected of sufficient thickness. On it, your lesser friend will climb, which will help him, maintain himself in the necessary physical form, and while away the time, waiting for his master from work.

  • You can also place some artificial platforms or flat stones directly under the heating lamps, the agama will climb there, and warm up its spectacular body.

    Australian Agama Diet

    In order for your comrade to be full of strength and energy and to please you with a beautiful bright color of his body, you need to provide him with a full and balanced diet. By its nature, an agama is not picky in food, you just need to learn one simple rule, which is that young individuals need to eat more nutritious food, as they grow and develop quite quickly. For this reason, the bulk of products for young agam should be represented by insects, and as an additional feed you can pamper them with vegetables and fruits.

    If we talk about adult lizards, then the situation is somewhat different. On the contrary, it is recommended to feed them mainly with fodder of plant origin, and various insects are already added to them.

      Live feed. Among insects, your home pupil will not go too far, he will like almost everything, the main thing is that this food is nutritious and inherently not poisonous. It is not recommended to catch insects in the garden or near your home, with this savings you can cause irreparable harm to your lesser friend. After all, perhaps these insects have already visited somewhere as intruders and can simply be poisoned by insecticides. Another caveat to be wary of is parasites that can live in these insects, because they will immediately get into the healthy body of your reptile. Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary difficulties, it is easier to buy food at a pet store or in the market - it is neither expensive nor completely safe. As food for a bearded dragon, marble cockroaches, flour worms, zofobas, earthworms, crawls and crickets are suitable.

  • Vegetables and fruits. The following foods are considered safe for this cute reptile: parsley, alfalfa, apples, cabbage, dandelions, strawberries, melon and carrot tops.

  • Features of the purchase and the price of a bearded agama

    Due to the great popularity of such original and extraordinary young animals as pets, it will not be difficult to find a bearded agama in large pet stores. If you, having arrived at the store, have already made your final choice, still do not rush to make such a purchase. First, make sure you get a healthy animal, because, firstly, this little dragon is not so cheap, and secondly, you want your new friend to live a long and happy life in your house. Inspecting the reptile before buying, you need to check for wounds and any other damage, both fresh and already healed. Even long-standing scars can seriously come in the near future with troubles with the health of your comrade.

    Also look carefully at whether all its parts of the body are intact and whether they are in place. Sellers can tell you anything to fulfill their sales plan, but remember: “A bearded agama does not have a tendency to recover lost body parts!” Therefore, buy, exclusively, that reptile, which has everything in its place. But the absence of a finger or tip of the caudal process is already a normal and familiar phenomenon, there are no guarantees that you will be able to find a dragon without any flaws.

    With such careful observation, you should also take into account the peculiarities of the behavior that you liked the specimen of fauna. In the wild, they tend to always be ready to attack their prey, so healthy reptiles are always active and keep their ears open. But, do not forget that this “predator” is not active around the clock; it can also relax.

    The average cost of one individual reptile with a beard is from 2,000 to 10,000 rubles.

    For more information about the bearded agama, see here:

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