If you’ve ever owned a bearded dragon, then you’ve definitely seen their beard turn black! Today we’re going to talk about what causes bearded dragon black beard and what you should do when it happens.
1. Your Black Bearded Dragon is Angry
When snakes are angry, they hiss. When dogs are angry they growl. When my girlfriend is angry, she says she’s not!
Jokes aside, when your bearded dragon gets angry, they’ll turn their beard black.
It’s usually obvious what’s causing this anger. Maybe some kids are tapping on the enclosure or something in their habitat is causing your beardie stress.
As a good owner, you should stop whatever is causing your beardie to become angry. They are calm animals by nature, so if something is making them mad, it’s no joke!
2. They’re Unwell or Sick
Most animals, when they feel unwell or hurt, will try and make themselves look as intimidating as possible. This is a defence mechanism, ingrained in their DNA.
So if you’re bearded dragon is feeling a bit under the weather, they will likely turn their beard black!
Additionally, their illness may be causing them some discomfort, which of course will result in bearded dragon black beard!
New owners may think their beardie is sick when the beard turns black. This is often not the case. Before you take your bearded dragon to the vet, think “is there anything else which could be causing my bearded dragon’s beard to turn black?”
Also, look for symptoms of black bearded dragon illness. This post will help you determine whether your bearded dragon is sick.
3. Bearded Dragons turn their beard black when they’re looking for a mate
Bearded dragons will turn their beard black and bob their heads when they are trying to find a mate.
They do this to try and impress a female. Like guys who post photos of themselves in expensive cars.
It’s weird, but it’s how the world works!
Bearded dragon mating season is in spring. So, if you notice the occasional bearded dragon black beard and some head bobbing don’t worry, your beardie is just a little … frustrated!
If you’re interested in bearded dragon mating, why not have a look at Bearded Dragon Breeding – The Complete Guide and What You’ll Need.
4. They’re Frightened
This is the most common reason a bearded dragon turns its beard black. In the wild, this is a defence mechanism used to scare off predators.
As the owner, try to identify what is scaring your bearded dragon. It could be new people, other pets or just your ugly mug!
5. Your Beardie is Waking Up From Brumation
After brumation (hibernation for beardies) it takes a while for your bearded dragon to fully wake up. In this half-awake state bearded dragon black bearding is certainly a possibility.
Imagine you’ve just slept for a week, you’re going to be dazed and annoyed that you couldn’t have slept for another week! This is exactly what your beardie is thinking.
Give your bearded dragon some time to wake up, and the black beard will likely disappear!
6. They’re adjusting to a new environment/enclosure
When you move to a new house or apartment, it takes a while for it to start feeling like home. The same is true for bearded dragons that have been moved to a new enclosure.
They will feel anxious or frightened as they are in an unknown and new environment. This anxiety translates to a beardies beard turning black.
There isn’t a whole lot you can do except wait for them to recognise their new habitat as a safe place.
7. They trying to warm up
This is a cool example of evolution. When cold, a bearded dragon’s beard will turn black in an effort to warm up.
Black or dull objects absorb heat better and bearded dragon’s use this law of physics to their advantage! Who says science can’t be interesting?!
If your beardie goes black beard on you for a prolonged period of time, check the thermostat and appreciate the power of evolution!
9. They aren’t comfortable around you yet
You’re put into a weird environment, where the food is garbage, and every ten minutes some hairy giant is trying to grab you! The bit about food might not be true. Otherwise, that’s exactly what a bearded dragon might experience when you first get them.
You’ve just got a beardie and now its time to play with them! Right? Wrong! You need to give them time to adjust to their new home before you start taking them out their tank. If you don’t, you’re going to end up with a black-bearded beardie!
It’s recommended you leave them in their tank for at least a few days after you get your beardie, else you know what’s going to happen!
When you do start handling them, keep an eye on their behaviour to see if they want to be left alone or put back in their tank.
10. They Feel territorial
If you keep two beardies together, you’re going to see a lot of fighting and even more black beards!
Male Beardie + Male Beardie = Non-Stop Fighting
Male Beardie + Female Beardie = Fighting + Sexual Harrasment
Female Beardie + Female Beardie = Fighting
In case you’re still thinking of keeping two bearded dragons in the same enclosure, Don’t! Beardies enjoy their own company, so don’t cram them together.
11. They want attention
In the same way that a dog enjoys a walk, a bearded dragon enjoys time out their tank. Most owners are shocked to hear this, and it is quite surprising. Who would have thought DRAGONS could get lonely? Not me!
If your beardie is feeling a bit neglected, they’ll turn their beard black. It’s quite hard to pick up on this, but the most obvious sign is as follows. You recently played with your beardie, and they’ve gone full black beard since being put in their tank.
If your beardie has gone to the dark side, have a think about when you last took them out.
Beardies love to cuddle and play, so give the dragons what they want!
Bearded dragon black beard can cause owners to freak out! In reality, there’s no reason stress if you know what’s agitating your beardie and know what to do.
Next time your beardie is showing off his darker colors, you’re prepared and ready to help get them back to comfort!