Bearded Dragon

Pogona vitticeps

Bearded dragons get their name thanks to a "beard" of spikes found under their chin that can puff up, indicating several "moods". ZooMontana is currently home to the Central Bearded Dragon, one of eight different species. All eight species stick to the warm, arid areas of Australia, depending on the heat for survival. Beardies, as they are sometimes called, are semi-arboreal, meaning you can often see them off the ground on fence posts and low tree branches. When they are not basking in the sun, they can be found eating just about anything, ranging from leaves to flowers, to insects and other lizards. They have strong jaws, allowing them to crunch through the exoskeletons of a variety of insects.  The beard of these dragons is found on both sexes, and is used for communication. It can even change color depending on their mood. Bearded dragons also communicate through gestures and motions. They will stand on three feet and move the fourth foot in a slow, circular pattern. It looks as if they are waving hello, and it's their way of telling other bearded dragons "I'm one of you!"

Click HERE for a Bearded Dragon Activity Sheet!

Our Current Resident

Moana, Female - Born 2016-18 (estimated)

Moana was donated to ZooMontana in May, 2020 by a volunteer. She likes to "ride" staff and volunteers while being handled by hanging onto the chest of their shirts with her claws. Moana is also an ambassador, meaning she takes part in education programs.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Genus: Pogona
  • Species: Vitticeps

Animal Facts

  • Omnivore: eats plants, insects, and occasionally small rodents or lizards
  • Population: stable
  • Habitat: Deserts and Savannas 
  • Diurnal: active during the day

Our Animals