Fancy Bearded Dragons (The Ultimate Guide)

Bearded dragons come in many different types. The most common type is known as the wild type, and they are usually easy to find in pet stores and online.

The second major category is known as the fancy type, which includes morphs or species that look different from the standard wild-type. Fancy species are selectively bred for their brighter colors, unique scale patterns, or larger sizes.

If you are planning to buy a fancy bearded dragon, it might be a bit confusing because most of them look different from each other, and their prices vary widely. There are many colors, patterns, and sizes to choose from, making it challenging to pick the right one.

Before you buy a fancy bearded dragon, it’s essential to understand what makes them fancy, how to spot them, and the differences between them and the wild-type species. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the perfect pet for you.

In this post, we will explain the difference between regular and fancy bearded dragons and what makes them fancy.

What is a Fancy Bearded Dragon?

A bearded dragon is considered “fancy” if it has a unique color, pattern, or scale arrangement that differs from the standard wild-type species.

However, there isn’t a set definition for what constitutes a fancy bearded dragon. Any dragon that has an uncommon color, pattern, or size can fall into this category.

It’s worth noting that “fancy” isn’t a morph, but rather a label for any species or morph that’s rare or exceptional.

Regular bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) are typically beige, tan, or light brown, with yellowish markings. Their color and pattern are ideal for blending in with the Australian desert.

Fancy bearded dragons, on the other hand, are easily identifiable thanks to their vibrant orange and red hues, striking zigzag patterns, and fewer spikes.

While these features make them visually impressive, they also make them less likely to survive in the wild. Fancy beardies stick out like sore thumbs to predators. For instance, a high-red morph perched on a branch in Australia would be easily spotted by a hawk, whereas a wild-type bearded dragon would blend in with its surroundings.

Because of this, fancy bearded dragons are primarily kept as pets. But where do these fancy bearded dragons come from?

Where Do Fancy Bearded Dragons Come From?


Bearded dragons can be easily bred in captivity. Fancy bearded dragons are products of selective breeding.

Selective breeding is the process of mating two bearded dragons with the desired trait so that offspring will possess the same characteristics as their parents. In order to increase the intensity, the offspring are then bred with other offspring carrying the same trait.

Selective breeding is a great way to maintain and pass on unique characteristics in fancy dragons. Many of these traits begin as natural mutations in normal bearded dragons, such as brighter colors or fewer spikes, which give them a unique appearance.

However, in the wild, these traits often don’t survive due to predators and health issues. For instance, the scale-gene mutation that creates a scaleless fancy bearded dragon reduces the number of scales, making them more susceptible to injury, stuck shed, and predators. Therefore, scaleless fancies have never been found in the wild.

While breeding bearded dragons for their attractive traits may seem enticing, there are downsides to this practice. Certain species, such as the Silkback, are more prone to health issues and may have a shorter lifespan.

If you’re interested in purchasing a fancy bearded dragon, it’s essential to research the breeder’s reputation. You want to ensure that you’re investing in a healthy reptile.

Look for dragons that are bright and active, with alert eyes and sturdy legs. Make sure they don’t have any retained shed, as this can be a sign of poor health. By being diligent in your research, you can find a bearded dragon that is both beautiful and healthy.

How Much is a Fancy Bearded Dragon?

The attractive colors and patterns of the fancy bearded dragons make them more desirable, thus making them more expensive.

A fancy bearded dragons will cost $150 to $300 on average. Some species that are extremely rare such as the zero will cost around $900. Compared to wild-type bearded dragons that sell for $30 to $50, fancy dragons are much more expensive.

Difference Between Normal and Fancy Bearded Dragons

The difference between these two is based on the colors, patterns, and the number of scales.

Out of eight species of bearded dragons, four are kept as pets, among which the central bearded dragon is the most common. The fancy bearded dragons are from Pogona vitticeps species explicitly bred to have unique colors and patterns.

Despite sharing the same subspecies, fancy and common bearded dragons differ in their colors, markings, and sizes.

The difference between the two can be summed up as below.

 Fancy bearded dragonsRegular bearded dragons
AppearanceFewer scales, some species even have no scales at all Exotic patterns such as zigzags, stripes, dotsA lot of scales, rough bodies, a slightly visible stripe down the spine. There are irregular splotches on the side of the stripe
ColorRed, striking red, bright orange, yellow, purpleMuddy, tan, brown-beige, and white markings

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Size

Fancy bearded dragons are generally the same size as regular bearded dragons, with one notable exception. The regular bearded dragon reaches a length of 15 to 20 inches. The German giant morph (fancy dragon) can, however, reach 30 inches in length!

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Color

The normal bearded dragons have brown, tan, and gray colors. In contrast, the fancy bearded dragons have more vivid and exotic colors and patterns. There are usually bright red, orange, and yellow stripes down the back of a fancy bearded dragon. Fancy species also come in blacks, browns, and whites.

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Spikes

Several fancy bearded dragons differ greatly from normal dragons. The leatherback dragon, for instance, has a smooth texture and very few spines on its beard, sides, and back. The Silkback morph has no spines or scales and has a smooth, wrinkled appearance.

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Pattern

In addition to their coloration, fancy bearded dragons have different patterns than standard dragons. In wild-type/standard dragons, there is a light stripe along the spine accompanied by darker, irregular blotches. Tiger stripes, zigzags, and camouflage prints are among the most popular patterns.

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Scale Type

The scales’ patterns, texture, and number may change from normal to fancy bearded dragons. The typical bearded dragons have many scales on their bodies, whereas the fancy beardies tend to have a smoother and less scaly appearance.

Normal VS Fancy Bearded Dragon: Price

The price of a typical bearded dragon is way too low as compared to the fancy beardies. The fancy bearded dragons are created after a lot of effort, so their prices are set accordingly.

Similarities Between Normal and Fancy Bearded Dragons


The fancy bearded dragons are similar to regular bearded dragons, including necessities, such as health care requirements, husbandry practices, etc.

Some similarities between fancy and regular bearded dragons are mentioned below.


Being the same reptile, the lifespan of the fancy and regular bearded dragon is almost the same. Their lifespan, on average, is 12-14 years for both fancy and average bearded dragons. However, in case of a disease or sickness, the lifespan may get shorter.


Fancy bearded dragons and their wild counterparts have the same dietary requirements. They are omnivorous creatures who enjoy a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, and insects. As they mature, their eating habits shift from insect-heavy to more vegetable-focused meals.


Both of these bearded dragons need a hot environment as their origin is from the hot lands of Australia. They require the same temperature in captivity, which is from 95F to 115F.


Bearded dragons, whether fancy or common, have similar behavior. They are naturally amiable and can be easily trained. Both types are known to exhibit behavior like head bobbing, digging, gaping, waving, hissing, and stamping.


Fancy bearded dragons look different from regular bearded dragons but, they all require similar care in most cases. They usually have the same temperature, humidity, and lighting needs. However, if you own a silkback or leatherback morph, they may be more susceptible to injuries from sharp objects and require additional attention to lighting.

Types of Fancy Bearded Dragons


Fancy bearded dragons are divided into different categories based on their colors and patterns. Different types of fancy bearded dragons categorized on their colors, scales, and patterns are explained below in detail.

Scale type

1. Hypo

These bearded dragons are called Hypomelanistic bearded dragons and usually have light scales, colors, nails, and eyes.

2. Trans

These bearded dragons are called translucent, as evident from the name, their skin is slightly transparent, and you can see through it. 

3. Hypo trans

This type of hybrid dragons have the same colors as Hypomelanistic bearded dragons, and their skin is see-through like translucent beardies.

4. Het Hypo

It’s just a quality to grab breeders’ attention, where the hypomelanistic attributes are not visible in the reptile, but they are present in the DNA.

5. Het Trans

Het trans beardies are similar to the het hypos, they have translucent properties in their genes, but these properties are not visible physically.

6. Double Het

These bearded dragons have both trans and hypo traits in their genes, but these are not physically visible.

7. Trans Het Hypo

These bearded dragons have both translucent and Hypomelanistic attributes, but only the translucent attributes are visible, whereas the hypo qualities are hidden.

8. Hypo Het trans

It’s the opposite of Trans Het Hypo, which means the hypo qualities are visible physically, whereas the trans traits are in the genes but not visible.


The color of bearded dragons changes according to the combination of different species as chosen by the breeder. The three primary colors of the fancy bearded dragons are red, yellow, and white, where each color has different sets of bearded dragons. Following is a list of fancy red-bearded dragons.

Sandfire red-bearded dragonCitrus tiger bearded dragonRuby red bearded dragon
Red bearded dragonTangerine bearded dragonBloody-red bearded dragon
Orange bearded dragonSunburst bearded dragon 

Some yellow fancy bearded dragons are listed below.

Sandfire gold bearded dragonGold bearded dragonYellow bearded dragon
Lemon fire bearded dragonCitrus bearded dragon 

The list of fancy bearded dragons is below.

Snow bearded dragonAlbino bearded dragon

Specialty types

Some fancy bearded dragons are unique and different from each of the aforementioned fancy beardie. These particular types are mentioned below.

1. German Giant bearded dragon

As evident from the name, these bearded dragons are created by mating bigger bearded dragons to create giant beardies, which are greater than the typical bearded dragons. Furthermore, these bearded dragons are mated with exotic colored beardies for getting bright-colored giant offspring.

2. Leatherback bearded dragon

These bearded dragons have smooth skin instead of scales because of the genetic mutations that they go through. This mutation results in a smooth and unique look.

3. Silkback bearded dragon

This type of bearded dragon is created by mating two leatherback beardies, producing offspring with entirely smooth skin and zero scales.

How to Identify a Fancy Bearded Dragon


Pet shops often promote their rare and exotic pets as “fancy” in the hope of attracting buyers. However, it’s important to note that just because a bearded dragon is labeled as “fancy,” it doesn’t necessarily mean it is one.

On the other hand, a dragon that is actually fancy may mistakenly be labeled as common.

It’s worth mentioning that “fancy” is not an official description for bearded dragons. So, how can you determine whether a bearded dragon is common or fancy?

The simplest way to distinguish between the two is by looking at their color and pattern. These are the determining factors.

Generally, fancy bearded dragons have bright red, orange, and yellow stripes along their backs. Blacks, browns, and whites are also common in fancy species. These colors can be presented in stripes, spots, zigzags, and even figure-eight patterns. It all depends on the morph and the genetic background.

Wild bearded dragons are typically less colorful and patterned and have a more natural, sandy hue.

Silkback and leatherback dragons are the easiest fancy dragons to identify, as they have few to no scales and spines, giving them a wrinkled appearance and a silky skin texture.

Yellow, green, red, and ruby red bearded dragons are also easy to spot due to their bright colors. However, keep in mind that just because a dragon has one of these colors, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fancy.

It’s important to look at the entire pattern and coloration to make a proper distinction between a common and fancy bearded dragon.

Do you have a bearded dragon with bright colors and textures? Then there is a high chance that your bearded dragon is a fancy one. You can distinguish a regular beardie from a fancy bearded dragon by checking against the following.

Normal Bearded Dragon



Regular bearded dragons camouflage the color of their habitats, so they have brown, muddy, or the color of the soil that the beardie has come from. Some of them have stripes from their eyes to the ears.


A normal bearded dragon will have a single row of soft spines running down its sides. The largest spine is located near the front arms. Especially when they are basking, these spines emphasize their flat pancake-shaped bodies.


A wild type or normal beardie has a wide, triangular head surrounded by two rows of spines. They have very large heads compared to their bodies.


Normal bearded dragons have spikes on their throat, which turn blackish purple when they are trying to show dominance. This looks like a beard which gives the unique name to this reptile.

Final thoughts

Fancy bearded dragons are exotic and brightly colored hybrids created by mating specific species of regular bearded dragons by the breeders. The process involves mating two beardies to get a particular offspring; this offspring is then mated with another offspring obtained through a similar process to create morphs.

The fancy bearded dragons have brightly colored bodies with fewer to no scales on their bodies. They are divided into different categories based on their physical appearance. If you’re seeking a fancy bearded dragon, you can identify it by checking the color, scales, and patterns.

Finally, these fancy bearded dragons are no alien creatures and require the same food and husbandry practices as the typical bearded dragon.

Filled under: Lizards

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