We all know bearded dragons for their calm and gentle behavior. Interestingly, they are quite the opposite while mating. How do bearded dragons mate? Well, certainly not like common domestic pets. This article will tell you the entire process of mating in bearded dragons and answer all your queries regarding it.
Bearded dragons reproduce by laying eggs in clusters and so are called oviparous. The courtship between bearded dragons is aggressive and vigorous. The sexually active male dragon makes the first move and mounts the female dragon from above. He bites the female and holds on to her to insert his hemipenes in the female dragon to fertilize her eggs. The aggressive process of mating takes only 1-2 minutes on average. And then the female can be fertilized for laying 4-6 clutches of eggs, 4-6 weeks after mating.
When Is A Female Bearded Dragon Ready For Mating
When a female beardie grows to 8-18 months old, its body becomes sexually active. It starts to carry eggs inside and becomes fertile. Hence ready for mating. However, bearded dragons mate according to the time of the year, which means like many other animals in the kingdom Animalia, beardies also wait for the mating season to make a move. For beardies, it is usually spring and early summer. You will see the female beardie bobbing her head and waving to a male’s aggressive behavior, to agree to mate with him.
When Is A Male Bearded Dragon Ready For Mating
Male beardies become sexually active when they are 8-12 months old and their length should be 18 to 22 inches long. Interestingly, males are sexually active and fertile all year long, the only exception is a few late summer months.
How To Sex A Bearded Dragon Quickly
There are quite a few methods to know the gender of a sexually active bearded dragon. You can try them all, but if you want to have a quick check then you can look for the hemipenal bulges. The hemipenal bulges are the internal sex organs for bearded dragons and are found under the tail near the base. A male beardie will have two hemipenal bulges on either side of the tail and are very prominent. Whereas, the females have only one poorly defined bulge in the middle near the cloacal opening.
How Do I Know If They Are Mating
The process of mating is very obvious to the observers. You will see an obvious change in the behavior of your beardies, they will not be calm and gentle anymore. You will see them exhibiting an aggressive and moody attitude.
When the male dragon wants to mate, it will bob its head up and down furiously at the female and also turn its beard black. You will see the male then approaching the female and then dramatically encircling her to show his dominance. Once the female submits by waving her arm and bobbing her head slowly, the mating will start. The male beardie will then climb up the female beardie and bite her dorsal head, neck, or back of the shoulder to hold her down in a still position for 1-2 minutes.
When the cloacae of both the male and female will be in a close position, the male will insert his sex organs or hemipenes inside the female’s cloaca. The female keeps her head low during the mating, and when the male’s sperms enter the female to fertilize the eggs, she raises her head up to indicate the end of the mating. The female will then store the sperm and release several clutches of eggs during the breeding season.
When Do They Mate
The mating season or the breeding season for bearded dragons is between spring and early summer. This is usually the time when the dragons come out of brumation (their hibernation period) and then want to mate. Both male and female bearded dragons mature sexually at the age of 8 months old, however, it is not necessary that they will mate immediately. It is best if the male is fully mature that is at least 18 months old, and the female is fully mature too, which is near to 24 months old. However, females will not be able to actively mate once they have crossed 3 or 4 years of age.
How Often Do They Mate
Female beardies have the capacity to lay 4-6 clutches of eggs with only one mating. Therefore, bearded dragons will mate once a year if it is successful, if it is not, then they may mate multiple times until fertilization has taken place. The female can lay more clutches of eggs if she is given calcium supplements and is kept stress-free. Once the healthy female has become fertilized, she will store the sperm and then lay the clutch of eggs within 4-6 weeks after mating. And then she might store the sperms and lay more clutches of eggs later.
When Do The They Eggs Hatch
As mentioned earlier, beardies lay their eggs in clutches, 4-6 weeks after they have been fertilized. The eggs then hatch at least 50-100 days after they have been laid. They can even take longer depending on the health of the mother. A day or two before the eggs hatch, you might notice that the eggs are deflating. This is nothing to worry about and is normal to happen. Also, find out How Often Bearded Dragons Lay Eggs.
How To Know If The Mating Was Successful
The signs of successful mating in bearded dragons are not evident until you see the female bearded dragon pregnant. A pregnant or gravid beardie gains weight and starts to eat less as the eggs take up the space in her abdomen. She will become restless, and remain unsettled while she is carrying the eggs inside her body. If you observe closely, you will notice marble-like impressions on her stomach, those are the eggs. Finally, the female will start digging in the sand to lay the eggs.
In a nutshell, Bearded dragons mate when both of them are sexually active which is at least after 8 months of age. Ideally, the male beardie is fully sexually mature after 18 months, and the female after 24 months. Beardies mate in their mating season which starts in spring and ends in early summer. So how do bearded dragons mate? The male bobbed his head and encircles the female aggressively climbing on top of the female, biting her to stay still, and then slides his hemipenes inside the female’s cloaca. If the mating is successful, the female will lay eggs 4-6 weeks after fertilization.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to know if my bearded dragon wants to mate?
It will be obvious when your bearded dragon wants to mate if it has reached sexual maturity. It will be aggressive, possessive, and dominant if it’s a male. You will see the male stomping its feet to show dominance and also change its color to black. If it’s a female, it will wave her arm and bob her head slowly if she wants to mate too.
Can bearded dragons mate with other lizards?
No, beardies can not mate with other lizards. Their reproductive systems are specific for their species and so they have a unique genetic makeup. Beardies only mate with beardies.
Can bearded dragons mate with siblings?
Physically, it is possible for the beardies to mate with their opposite-sex siblings. However, it is not at all encouraged by vets, researchers, and caretakers, and inbreeding or mating with siblings results in severe genetic disorders in the offspring.
Do bearded dragons have multiple mates?
Yes, bearded dragons can have many mates during their life with different dragons. They do not mate for life. They mate only for the purpose of reproducing and bringing diversity to continue their lineage.
How long is a bearded dragon pregnant?
A female bearded dragon is pregnant or gravid for 4-6 weeks after fertilization. For a successful incubation, the pregnant, or gravid female dragon should be fed well, kept stress-free, and also kept in warm temperatures and light.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!