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11 Types Of Bearded Dragon Morphs

By admin Dec12,2023

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I’m very much a dog person and have owned one my whole life, but I’m also a staunch reptile lover, which seems to shock many people. But when you take a look at these gorgeous creatures, it’s really hard not to be drawn to them. 

The bearded dragon is one of my favorite types of reptiles, and they vary so differently from each other; they truly have unique personalities that they put on display for everyone to see. If you’ve never experienced this for yourself, I would advise you to run, not walk, to the nearest breeder and enter the world of legal exotic pets.  

These exotic creatures have had a home in the US since the 1990s, and there are several different types of morphs, a word to categorize the reptile’s physical characteristics. They’re pretty long, growing up to two feet long, though some, like the German giant, exceed that by a few inches. 

If you’ve considered adopting one of these most popular pets, it’s important to understand the differences and what categorizes them as one morph over another. 

Types of Bearded Dragon Morphs

There are 11 different types of bearded dragon morphs. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them and what they entail. 

1. Classic or Standard Morph

The classic morph, or standard morph, both terms for the same bearded dragon, is the most common of the genus. They are classified by the small spikes on their backs and large triangular heads that have — you guessed it, a beard! This bearded dragon morph is actually closest in appearance to those you find in the Australian wild. 

The standard or classic morph comes in several different colors, including tan, brownish, or yellow with black nails. The rigid scales run across the dragon’s back in a horizontal pattern.  

When it comes to cost, the classic or standard morph is usually the least expensive of the options. 

2. Translucent Morph

morph bearded dragon

Translucent morphs, or trans morphs, as you might have already guessed, get their name from the fact that their scales and spikes are see-through. In fact, translucent morphs are actually lighter colored than other morphs in general. 

If you want to see something really cool, try to get a good look at a baby bearded dragon’s almost clear belly because it’s nearly clear. The Translucent morph also typically has blue eyelids and solid black eyes. 

3. Leatherback Morph

different types of bearded dragons

Many people love the leatherback bearded dragon, which tends to be a popular option because it has a smooth back thanks to the absence of spikes. That doesn’t mean the leatherback morph doesn’t have any spikes; most do, they just tend to be shorter. These spikes are located on their heads and their sides. 

One of the draws of leatherbacks is that they appear more vibrant in color than others because the spikes aren’t muting their colors or patterns. 

4. Hypomelanistic Morph

types of bearded dragons

The hypomelanistic morph is one that displays a lack of pigment. It’s not a total loss of pigment because they do still have some color, but they are pale in appearance. You’ll also notice that any patterns they might have appear faded, and their nails aren’t black like most morphs — they’re clear. 

You can also find hypo zeros and hypo trans morphs. Hypo zeros tend to exhibit a white that resembles paper, while the non-hypo zeros are gray and silver. 

5. German Giant Morph

rarest bearded dragon

The German Giant morph isn’t very common, but its name gives away its size — in the world of this exotic pet, it’s a giant. Where many other morphs stop around 16 to 24 inches, this not-so-little guy can grow up to 30 inches long. 

One thing you should know about the German giant is that breeders often breed them as a request, so when it comes to colors, they could be any color, really.  The German Giant is also harder to find and will require a much larger enclosure to keep them happy and healthy.

6. Silkback Morph

fancy bearded dragon

Silkback bearded dragons, or silkies as they are affectionately called, are dragons that have no scales. In fact, there’s a lot of controversy surrounding these creatures when compared to other morphs because they require so much more special care.

That said, if you do have the know-how to take care of one, silkies are definitely some of the most beautiful of the morphs that you’ll find. Their colors are vibrant and cohesive, without scales or spikes to interrupt patterns. 

7. Dunner Morph

dunner bearded dragon

If you’ve never seen a Dunner morph, I’d encourage you to head to YouTube right away. These beauties, bred by Kevin Dunn, have a distinctive look thanks to the bearded dragon’s scales. Where other morphs have a specific scale pattern, Dunner dragons do not. The Dunner morph also has a color palette that looks like the standard morph.  

The Dunner morph typically has spots all over, but even if they didn’t, they would still be recognizable by the way their scales grow — without any type of organization. 

8. Witblits Morph

bearded dragon different types

If you’re looking for a pale bearded dragon, the Witblits morph is your guy. This one is easily recognized by its lack of vibrancy and pattern. Instead, the Witblits morph falls between a zero and a hypomelanistic morph with a washed-out color. 

9. Paradox Morph

paradox morph bearded dragon

If you’re looking for a truly unique (and rare!) bearded dragon, you’ll find it in the Paradox morph. This gorgeous creature has a color pattern like no other that looks like splattered paint. There’s no rhyme or reason to the color pattern of a Paradox morph, either.

This rare morph can be symmetrical or not. The paradox pattern could be in blotches or speckles, dull or bright colors. It’s truly up in the air. 

10. Zero Morph

zero bearded dragon

The zero morph is self-explanatory for the most part. It has zero color and zero patterns. In fact, they are a solid white color, not to be confused with albino. They have become a distinctive favorite in the bearded dragon community. 

11. Wero Morph

gray bearded dragon

Someone, somewhere, decided to breed the Witblits bearded dragon morph with a zero, and as a result, we got the wero. Are you still with us? This morph, like the zero, is free of any pattern or color other than white. Though, it might have splotches of color near its tail. 

What is ‘Het’ in Bearded Dragon Morphs? 

If you’ve been around the bearded dragon breeding community for a while, you probably already know what “Het” means. But if this is your first time hearing the term… we’ve got you covered. 

In breeding, the “Het” simply refers to the dragon’s genetic possibilities. For example, if you see the name Classic Het followed by another morph name, say Hypo, it means that the dragon carries the trait but does not display it. Even so, because it carries the trait, it could very well produce a hypo offspring. 

If the name indicates Double Het, it simply means that a specific dragon carries the two identifying traits yet doesn’t display them.

Is Breeding Silkie Bearded Dragons Unethical?

This has been a controversial issue for years. But, in short, I believe it is unethical, because Silkie Bearded Dragons are missing scales, which protect them from serious injury. Many people agree with this sentiment, and in some circles, they’re even considered “special needs” reptiles because of their skin issues. 

Many breeders will not entertain the idea of breeding them, but some still do, because there’s a market for them, unethical or not. 

Different Colors of Bearded Dragons 

coolest bearded dragon morphs

One of the amazing things about these gorgeous creatures is that they often come in many different colors. Some of the bearded dragon colors are very common, and you’ll find them everywhere.

Other bearded dragon colors are rarer, and you might spend a bit of time finding a breeder who offers those specific colors. No matter which you choose, though, you’re likely to end up with a beautiful bearded dragon. 

Common Colors

The most common colors of a bearded dragon morph are the ones that you’ll typically find in the wild. They blend in very well with their surroundings so as to stay safe from predators. These colors are yellow, red, orange, and brown & gray. In the wild, there are the eastern bearded dragon and the central bearded dragon, which are different colors.

Where the brown & gray-bearded dragon closely resembles its wild counterpart, the other three bearded dragon colors mostly come from breeding, especially those with brighter hues like the yellow bearded dragon that looks like a ray of sunshine. Similarly, the red-bearded dragons range in color from pale to vibrant.

Rare Colors 

The rarer colors of the bearded dragons tend to be blue, purple, and silver. Breeding translucent bearded dragons will often result in the purple and blue varieties. Sadly, as they grow up, they tend to lose this coloring, so don’t be surprised if the color of your bearded dragon fades as it ages. 

Albino and Leucism Dragons 

Some people often confuse these terms, and it’s more common than you think! If you’re one of those, rest assured you’re in good company. 

Albino bearded dragons don’t thrive. The word albino means that it produces no melanin at all. However, there are some born with this condition, but they do not live to adulthood. It can be confusing, especially since most people think of albinos as white, and there are white-bearded dragons. 

Leucism means producing a reduced amount of melanin, which results in some color but not a lot. There are thriving morphs with Leucism. The zero and hypo are two such bearded dragon morphs.

Various Patterns of Bearded Dragons 

In addition to coming in various morphs and colors, did you know that the patterns of a bearded dragon morph can vary, too? It’s true! 

The most common pattern you’re likely to see in a bearded dragon is the tiger stripes pattern. It looks exactly like it sounds, as though it has dark stripes across its back, much like the wild cat. 

Other than tiger, there are a few patterns you’ll find, but other than the Dunner morph, which has haphazard scales that grow in multiple directions, they don’t have designated names. Sometimes, however, you’ll find that bearded dragon breeders make up their own.

Can the Colors, Morphs, and Patterns of Bearded Dragons Evolve Over Time?

When it comes to a bearded dragon morph, you might be surprised to learn (I certainly was!) that their colors can change over time. So can their patterns. These changes typically happen as your dragon grows and sometimes, they can take you by complete surprise! 

Sometimes, pale colors and patterns grow more vibrant, or sometimes, a patterned dragon will become a solid color. It’s a guessing game about what your reptile will look like, which is why it’s very important to shop in terms of health and personality first. 

One thing that won’t change, however, is the bearded dragon morphs. Once a classic, always a classic. Same for all the others. 

Tips for Buying a Bearded Dragon

When it comes to buying a bearded dragon, it’s truly a buyer-beware situation, as it is with all animals. First, you want to make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who knows the species inside out. Ask questions — lots of them. If they can’t answer in specifics, chances are they aren’t well-versed and are just trying to make money.

Look at the dragons in person, if you can. Check out their activity levels. Are they hunting? Or are they lounging around listless? The former is a good indicator of a bearded dragon’s health. Then, you’ll want to engage with it to see what kind of personality they have — and trust me when I say they do have the most charming personalities.

However, some breeders can also be very deceptive in their listings. There are two things to be on the lookout for. First, light can change everything. Think about when you wear a certain color shirt and how it appears in soft lighting as opposed to vibrant lighting. The same can be said for a bearded dragon morph. Some breeders will use a brighter light to make the lizard appear brighter to draw in buyers. 

Then, you’ll want to beware of any listing that refers to a fancy bearded dragon. There’s no such thing. There are specific morphs and fancy is used to not only bring buyers in but also to fleece them out of more money by implying the dragon is more special than others.

FAQs

What Type of Bearded Dragon Is the Best Pet?

This is a subjective question that actually has different answers depending on your experience with handling them. The best-bearded dragon morphs you can adopt are the ones that get good markings in health and personality. 

What Is the Rarest Color of Bearded Dragons?

The rarest color is the Zero morph, which completely lacks any color and pattern. They’re basically white dragons and are growing in terms of popularity.  

What Is a Standard Morph Bearded Dragon?

A standard bearded dragon, also known as the classic morph, is the most common of all types and the one that looks most like its wild Australian counterpart.

Final Thoughts

I highly recommend that if you’re going to take a foray into the world of reptiles, you seriously consider one of these types of bearded dragons. They are truly gentle, inquisitive creatures that will likely make you laugh often. They also live quite a long time, 10 to 15 years on average, as long as they’re kept healthy and in solid living conditions.

Fun fact: The bearded dragon is one of the exotic pets legal in California and they’re also one of the most popular pets in the UK. 

By admin

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