Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are two of the most popular pet lizards. They both have their own unique features and benefits, but which one is the right pet for you? In this guide, we will compare these two lizards in detail to help you make the best decision for your needs.
What is a bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons are among the most popular exotic pets here in the US and they originated from Australia. In the wilderness, these small reptiles are mostly found in semi-arid regions with high temperatures. Their lifespan is estimated to be up to 15 years.
The scientific name of beathe rded dragon is Pogona vitticeps. The name bearded dragon comes from the spiny, “beard” area around their throat which is used to puff out when they are threatened or stressed. Male dragons tend to have darker beards than females. They can also change color depending on their mood and temperature.
Bearded dragons grow up to 24 inches long and they come in many different color morphs. The three most common species of bearded dragons are Inland, Central, and Coastal.
What is a leopard gecko?
Leopard geckos are also popular pet lizards that are native to parts of Asia and Pakistan. In the wild, they live in dry, arid habitats with rocky areas for shelter. Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals and they spend most of the day hiding in their burrows.
The scientific name for leopard gecko is Eublepharis macularius. Leopard geckos get their name from their spotted, leopard-like appearance. They are one of the most popular pet lizards due to their docile nature and easy care requirements.
Leopard geckos grow to be about 8-10 inches long and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. The most common color morphs are albino, tiger, and morphs.
Size – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
One of the biggest differences between these two lizards is their size. Bearded dragons can grow up to 24 inches long, while leopard geckos only grow to be about 8-10 inches long.
On average, an adult bearded dragon reaches 17-24 inches (43-61cm) long. A baby bearded dragon 3.5-4 inches (9-10cm) long at birth and will stop growing between 1 to 2 years old upon reaching maturity.
In contrast, dwarf bearded dragons only grow to be 10-14 inches (25-35.6cm) long. On the other hand, German giant bearded dragons can get much larger – 22-24 inches (56-61cm) long.
Leopard geckos are considerably smaller than bearded dragons. A newborn leopard gecko will be 3-3.5 inches (7.6-9cm) long, while an adult leopard gecko can grow up to 7-10 inches (17.8-25.4cm).
If you are looking for a smaller pet lizard, then the leopard gecko would be the better option. Female beardies can grow to be slightly smaller than males, but both sexes can get quite large.
Most ideal for apartment living – Leopard gecko vs beardies:
If you live in an apartment or have limited space for a pet, then the leopard gecko would also be a better option since they don’t require as much space as a bearded dragon. Bearded dragons need a minimum tank size of 40 gallons, while leopard geckos can get by in a 10-20 gallon tank.
Lifespan – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
Another big difference between these two lizards is their lifespan. Bearded dragons have an estimated lifespan of 15 years, while leopard geckos can live up to 20 years.
On average, a bearded dragon that is taken care of well can live anywhere between 7 to 12 years. However, with the best possible care, they have been known to live for up to 15 years.
Depending on the level of care they receive, leopard geckos can live anywhere from 7 to 20 years. Those that are not well cared for will likely only live around 10 years, while those that receive good care can expect to live up to 15 or 20 years.
If you are looking for a pet that will be around for many years, then the beardie would be the better option.
Temperament – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
Bearded dragons are generally docile animals, but they can get aggressive if they feel threatened. They are also known to be quite curious and may try to bite if they are not handled properly. Leopard geckos are also docile animals, but they are not as curious as beardies and are less likely to bite.
If you are allergic to reptile bites, go for the leopard gecko.
Ease of care – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
Bearded dragons are not difficult to care for, but they do require more care than leopard geckos. They need a larger tank, more frequent meals, and higher humidity levels. Leopard geckos are very easy to care for and they can be a good pet for first-time reptile owners.
Leopard geckos don’t require as much attention as bearded dragons, such as special light or increased feedings. They also are smaller in size, meaning they won’t take up as much space.
Diet – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they eat both plants and animals. In the wild, their diet consists of insects, small mammals, and greens. In captivity, bearded dragons should
Bearded dragons typically weigh 2-3 grams at hatching. An adult bearded dragon must weigh a minimum of 250 grams but can reach up to 750 grams. Some big bearded dragons may even reach 850 grams, though anything above that is considered obesity.
Adult leopard geckos usually weigh 45-65 grams but could potentially reach 100g (males are often heavier than females.
An adult bearded dragon can be heavier than a leopard gecko by up to 7 times and is much longer too.
Habitat – Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko:
Bearded dragons come from arid, desert regions of Australia while leopard geckos come from the warm, dry regions of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.
As such, bearded dragons require a drier habitat with lower humidity levels than leopard geckos. Bearded dragons also need a basking spot that is around 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit while leopard geckos only need a basking spot of 88-92 degrees Fahrenheit.
Appearance: beardies vs Leopard geckos:
Bearded dragons are tiny dragon-like reptiles with a bearded that they can puff up when in danger. They have little spikes on their body, but they aren’t sharp. There are many distinct morphs to choose from, including white, gold, red, yellow, striped and more.
Leopard geckos are stunning creatures. They have spots on their body, a big tail, and gorgeous eyes to complement it. There are several leopard gecko form variations available, each with its own unique hue of eyes.
If you’re looking for a pet that is low maintenance and easy to care for, then the leopard gecko is the better option. If you don’t mind putting in a little extra effort to care for your pet and want a reptile that will be around for many years, then go with the bearded dragon.
Leopard geckos are cleaner as they choose one spot to poop. They will also lick their eyes to clean them. Bearded dragons are not as clean, as they will poop anywhere and don’t often clean their eyes.
Bearded dragons generally begin the process of brumation after they reach 12-18 months old. This typically occurs during winter, when temperatures dip and days grow shorter. The process of brumation can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.
Leopard geckos generally don’t brumate if the temperatures and lighting remain consistent. Though some leopard geckos will enter brumation regardless of their habitat, most become slower, eat less often, and sleep more during winter.
Brumation is more common in bearded dragons than leopard geckos. To help pet lizards breed after the winter season, induce brumation. Leopard geckos and bearded dragons can survive for up to a few months without losing much if any weight at all.
Key Similarities between Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos:
They are territorial, don’t like sharing space:
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are both territorial animals. They don’t like to share their space with other lizards and can become aggressive if they feel threatened.
Both reptiles have a third eye:
Each species of lizard has a third, “parietal” eye on the top of their head. This eye is used to sense changes in light, helping the lizard know when it is day or night.
Breeding and egg-laying:
It is not difficult to produce bearded dragons or leopard geckos. Both species can lay infertile eggs. They may begin breeding at about the same age. From around month 8 to month 12, beardies and leopard geckos begin laying eggs.
Females can lay eggs without a male present, but the eggs will not be fertile. If you want to breed your lizards, you’ll need to purchase a male and female of the same species.
Both lizards like to hide:
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos both like to hide. Hiding helps them feel safe and secure. It also helps regulate their body temperature.
They are both lizards:
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are both lizards. Lizards are a type of reptile that also includes snakes, turtles, and alligators. Reptiles are ectothermic, meaning they rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature.
Bearded dragon vs Leopard gecko vs crested gecko:
Crested geckos are a type of gecko that does not have the ability to sticky toes. This means they cannot climb as well as other geckos. They also have a row of spines down their back. Crested geckos come in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes.
Bearded dragons are a type of lizard that is native to Australia. They are usually brown or tan in color with spikes down their back. Bearded dragons can grow to be 2 feet long.
Leopard geckos are a type of gecko that is native to parts of Asia and Africa. They are usually yellow or white with black spots. Leopard geckos can grow to be 8-10 inches long.
Key differences between the three species:
- Beardies are the largest, crested geckos can’t climb as well, and leopard geckos are the only ones with spots.
- Crested Gecko: Can’t climb, has spines down its back, comes in a variety of colors
- Bearded Dragon: Can climb, has spikes down its back, usually brown or tan
- Leopard Gecko: Can climb, has spots, usually yellow or white
As you can see, there are a few key differences between bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and crested geckos. Bearded dragons are the largest of the three, leopard geckos have spots, and crested geckos can’t climb as well. When choosing a pet lizard, it is important to do your research to find the right one for you.
Bearded dragons vs Leopard geckos Fight:
Bearded dragons and leopard geckos are both territorial animals. They don’t like to share their space with other lizards and can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If a bearded dragon and a leopard gecko meet, there is a good chance they will fight. Bearded dragons are larger than leopard geckos, so they may have the advantage in a fight. However, leopard geckos are quick and agile, so they may be able to avoid a fight altogether.
If a bearded dragon and a leopard gecko are brought close together, it is important to closely monitor them. If a fight does break out, it is important to separate the animals immediately. Bearded dragons and leopard geckos can both be aggressive, so a fight could result in serious injury or even death.
It is not recommended to house bearded dragons and leopard geckos together. They are both territorial animals and are likely to fight if they are in close quarters. If you must house them together, it is important to closely monitor them and be prepared to separate them if a fight breaks out.
Crested gecko vs Bearded dragon:
Crested geckos are smaller than bearded dragons and don’t have the ability to climb as well. This means they are not as good at avoiding a fight. Crested geckos also have a row of spines down their back, which can be used as a weapon in a fight.
Bearded dragons are larger than crested geckos and have spikes down their back. They are also better climbers, which gives them an advantage in a fight. Bearded dragons also have a beard, which they can use to intimidate their opponent.
What is the difference between bearded dragon and leopard gecko?
The main difference between bearded dragons and leopard geckos is their appearance. Bearded dragons are small dragon-like reptiles with a beard, while leopard geckos are stunning creatures with spots on their body and a big tail. Another difference between the two is that leopard geckos are cleaner than bearded dragons, as they choose one spot to poop and will also lick their eyes to clean them. Finally, bearded dragons typically begin the process of brumation after they reach 12-18 months old, while leopard geckos generally don’t brumate if the temperatures and lighting remain consistent.
When to choose a bearded dragon over a leopard gecko:
- If you can afford up to 30% more cost of adopting a beardie over a leopard gecko
- If you are willing to give your time for a little more care
- If you have slightly more space
- If you don’t mind a little less cleanliness
When to choose a leopard gecko over a bearded dragon:
- If you want a reptile that will be around for many years
- If you are looking for a cleaner reptile
- If you want a reptile that is slightly less active
- If you have less space
- If you mind having a lizard that might brumateIf cost is a factor and leopard geckos are up to 30% cheaper.
Q: What’s the main difference between a leopard gecko and a bearded dragon?
A: The main difference between a leopard gecko and a bearded dragon is that a leopard gecko is low maintenance and easy to care for, while a bearded dragon needs a little extra care and attention.
Q: Which lizard is more expensive?
A: Bearded dragons are generally more expensive than leopard geckos. Because leopard geckos don’t need UVB lighting, their electricity expenses may be reduced by a few dollars. They will, however, require a heat source such as an under-tank heater or cable to survive. However, both beardies and leopard geckos require bugs which can cost $5 to $30 per week depending on age.