There are eight types of bearded dragons in the wild. The species most widely kept as pets is the Pogona vitticeps.
These lizards are simple to care for, friendly and come in many beautiful shades of brown, tan and orange.
Bearded dragon morphs can range from fiery orange to pure white and everything in between. Selective breeding over many generations has resulted in over 15 different colors.
Are you interested in what morphs are and how to spot them? Continue reading for a complete ranking of the top 15 bearded dragon colors. We also cover the most common colors and how breeders create them…
What Are Bearded Dragon Morphs?
There are six species of bearded dragons found in the wild. All of these species are from Australia and can be found living in the dry, arid deserts and scrublands. The most widely recognized species is the Central (Pogona vitticeps), but there are also seven more:
- Central or Inland (Pogona vitticeps)
- Pygmy or Rankin’s
These species all vary slightly in their habitat, range, size, appearance and sometimes diet. Even individuals within the same species can have different colors and patterns. While there are six known species there are over 15 different morphs.
A morph is not the same as a bearded dragon species.
The term ‘morph’ refers to a dragon that has been selectively bred for a particular color or pattern. All bearded dragon morphs are bred from the central species (Pogona vitticeps).
Natural bearded dragon colors such as brown, tan and orange are considered to be the base morph. They are also known as the “wild type” by breeders. Wild type is the most common color and is often sold at larger pet stores.
Morphs are the result of genetic mutations that cause them to have unusual colors.
RELATED: Top 30 Leopard Gecko Morphs By Color
These rare individuals are then collected and selectively bred by herpetologists to strengthen the colors. This results in offspring with even brighter colors or stronger patterns.
With knowledge of a bearded dragon’s genetics, breeders can develop morphs that affect color, pattern, or scale types. Some morphs have even been bred to have fewer scales and spines. Others are bred for rare colors like white or red.
In the wild reptiles with these mutations rarely survive long because they stand out to predators. But as pets they can often live out their full lifespan.
Baby bearded dragons inherit a copy of two genes, one from each parent. These genes determine their traits such as color, size and pattern. Genes can interact in different ways causing unique morphs and colors to develop.
There are two terms used in the breeding hobby to describe genes, ‘homozygous’ and ‘heterozygous’:
- Homozygous means an individual has inherited two copies of the same gene.
- Heterozygous means an individual has two different copies of a gene.
Dominant traits only need one copy of a gene in order to appear. These traits will show up regardless. For example the leatherback morph is a dominant trait. This means that only one parent needs to be a leatherback to result in leatherback babies.
Recessive traits are the opposite of dominant. A recessive trait will appear in offspring only if it is homozygous. In other words for a baby to show a recessive trait both parents need to have that trait too.
Co-dominant genes are expressed equally. These genes can blend together to form a new color. These traits often show up as spots, stripes, or patterns. Co-dominant genes must be heterozygous for the co-dominance to appear, otherwise there is no “blending”.
Bearded Dragon Colors
|Albino||White with pink eyes||None||N/A||N/A|
|Black||Dark or gray, gray, or deep brown||Light gray stripes||Rare||$300|
|Blue||Light blueish gray or purple||Gray or brown stripes||Rare||$450|
|Citrus||Bright yellow and blue||None, or blue and orange stripes||Common||$100 to $250|
|Fancy||Exceptionally bright colors||High-contrast spots and stripes||Common||$125 to $350|
|Green||Olive||Mossy green or pale lime stripes||Very rare||$400|
|Orange||Orange, tan and yellow||Orange or brown stripes||Common||$50 to $200|
|Pink||Light reddish orange to peachy apricot color||Pale pink or white stripes||Rare||$100 to $500|
|Purple||Orange and lavender||Gray or light purple stripes||Rare||$500|
|Rainbow||Orange, yellow, and red||Assorted colors||Very rare||$700|
|Red||Orangey red to dark maroon||Dark red||Uncommon||$50 to $300|
|Super Red||Fiery dark, rusty brown||White stripes||Uncommon||$150 to $250|
|White||White, pale pink or hypomelanistic||Very pale stripes||Rare||$350|
|Yellow||Deep gold to pale lemon||Bright yellow or dusty stripes||Common||$50 to $300|
|Zero||Silver, pure white or muted muddy brown||None||Very rare||$400 to $800|
Red Bearded Dragon
Some “wild type” individuals can have hints of red scales, but these are not red morphs.
Red bearded dragons have bright red patterns. They range from orangey red to dark maroon. While it is more common to find red morphs with a brown base color and red patterns, there are a few highly sought-after that are nearly all red.
The three most common red beardies are:
- Blood red
- Ruby red
This morph was one of the earliest developed and was first bred in the 1990s. These lizards have unmistakable red stripes and a reddish overall color.
Breeders have used red individuals to selectively breed more bearded dragon colors like the sandfire or tangerine morphs. These morphs have unique patterns along with their red color.
Black Bearded Dragon
Black bearded dragons are normally a dusky gray or deep brown. They have an overall darker appearance than regular wild types.
Beardies that are darker than normal are often labeled black, even if they are not truly melanistic.
Breeders call black species “melanistic.” This means they have an unusually high level of melanin, a skin pigment that gives them a dark color. Melanism is relatively common in wild reptiles and is what gives the Mexican Black Kingsnake its color.
Melanistic bearded dragons are very rare and so true “black” individuals are one of the more expensive morphs. True melanistic species sell for $500 or more.
Beginners should know that melanism does not refer to the natural color-changing ability of beardies. All types of bearded dragons are able to turn dark when stressed or cold. Black varieties are dusky gray even when not stressed, thanks to their genes and skin pigmentation.
Blue Bearded Dragon
The blue morph is used to describe translucent bearded dragons.
Translucent individuals have pale, almost see-through scales giving them a slightly blue or purple tint. Their blue color is very easy to spot when they are hatchlings. Sadly this blue tint fades as they grow into adulthood and turns into a cream or pale tan.
There are no true blue bearded dragons because their color does not last a lifetime.
Some bearded dragon morphs can have blue-toned scales like the dunner or pastel. The difference between these species and translucent beardies is the eye color. Translucent individuals have very dark brown or black eyes, whereas other morphs typically have light amber or orange eyes.
Fancy is a blanket term used to describe any bearded dragon morph that is different from wild-type individuals.
“Wild type” is the most common bearded dragon color with muted shades of brown, tan and orange.
Fancy beardies will have an overall brighter and more vibrant color than regular wild types. The exact color hues and patterns will be different between individuals.
Reputable breeders are less likely to describe their lizards as fancy. Instead they will label them as the actual morph they are.
Many large pet stores advertise bright colors as “fancy”. These individuals are often some of the more common morphs like red, yellow or hypomelanistic. As a result they can range in price from $100 to $1,000.
White Bearded Dragon
‘Snow’ and ‘Blizzard’ morphs are two common white bearded dragons.
Snow beardies are a stunning shade of white, contrasted by jet black eyes. They also have gray markings along their back and sides which are normally more pronounced in hatchlings.
Blizzards look similar to Snow morphs except with a more complete white color. They are pure white with no trace of gray markings.
There are also two more types of bearded dragons that are associated with white beardies:
- Hypomelanistic varieties are wild types with very little melanin. This lack of melanin gives them a pale pink or yellow color and clear nails. This trait is the opposite of black bearded dragons and is due to a recessive gene, making them very rare and difficult to find in the hobby.
- The silverback is a highly unusual variety that was first bred in Japan. Silverback beardies gradually fade to a dusty cream color by the time they are three years old. There is no way to tell whether a hatchling is truly a silverback until it reaches adulthood, so buyers should use caution when buying this hatchling.
Zero Bearded Dragon
Zeros are beautiful bearded dragon morphs with no pattern and a pale silver color.
All zeros are recessive and have dark eyes. High-quality zeros from experienced breeders lean more towards pure white or pale silver. Lower-quality zeros can look like a muted muddy brown with large gray splotches.
If you are interested in buying a white or pale silver zero, be prepared to spend lots of money as they can sell for over $500.
Some zeros are crossed with leatherbacks to give them smaller scales and a smoother patternless appearance.
Others are crossed with a witblit to breed a new type of morph, the wero. Weros look just like zeros, except for dark patches of scales near their backs and tails. They have the same silvery white color with black eyes and gray splotches on their spines.
Albino Bearded Dragon
There are no true albino bearded dragons, contrary to what you might find advertised online. Some breeders claim to have bred albinos, but these claims should be taken with a high degree of skepticism.
Bearded dragons that are called ‘albino’ are more than likely another white morph like blizzard, snow, zero, or leucistic.
White varieties and other white morphs are the result of hypomelanistic traits, not albinism.
Hypomelanism only impacts skin pigment and color. Albinism affects both skin and eye color. Because of this true albinos have light pink or red eyes, along with white color and clear nails.
Any type of reptile with albinism is very sensitive to sunlight which can irritate their eyes and skin. Since all types of bearded dragons need exposure to UV rays to metabolize vitamin D, they usually die within a few days of hatching.
Citrus Bearded Dragon
The citrus morph is one of the most popular and recognizable bearded dragon colors.
Their bright color and affordable price tag makes them an extremely popular morph for first-time owners.
This type is set apart by its strong yellow colors and sandy pattern. Depending on the individual these dragons can be deep gold, pale lemon or almost highlighter yellow.
The Citrus was bred at a similar time to red bearded dragons and so was one of the earlier morphs. It was first developed by breeding two wild-type individuals together that had unusually bright yellow colors. Their offspring were then selectively bred to strengthen the yellow hue.
Citrus dragons can now be crossed with other morphs to create unique combinations. Citrus hybrids like citrus hypos or citrus translucents show some amazing colors and patterns such as bright yellow zigzags and double stripes.
Orange Bearded Dragon
Orange bearded dragons are similar to citrus morphs and they are popular, easy to find and cheap.
Most orange morphs look similar to a wild-type, but instead of muted tan and orange they have brighter and more intense orange markings.
These beautiful shades of tan and orange vary widely in hue and pattern complexity.
SIMILAR: Top 10 Types of Uromastyx Colors
Basic orange colors are a great start for someone interested in breeding bearded dragons. More expensive orange individuals are entirely orange, with yellow or red markings that add to their fire-like appearance. These reptiles are highly prized by breeders and can sell for over $300.
Popular types of orange varieties include:
- Tangerine: orange individuals with yellow accents.
- Sunburst: Yellow-orange individuals with orange and salmon markings along their tails and backs.
- Flame: Flames are sandy brown with alternating yellow, orange, and red stripes.
Green Bearded Dragon
There are no true green bearded dragon morphs, but every now and then breeders will hatch a baby with exceptionally green patterns by chance.
Green bearded dragons have hints of dark, mossy green or pale lime in their patterns. These mossy green or pale lime colors are easy to see along their sides and tails.
A green hatchling is quite rare so when they become available they are usually sold for a high price of $400. Morphs like hypomelanistic and translucent often have the highest chance of producing a green hatchling, but even then they are rare.
Green morphs can only be found from specialty breeders because of their rarity and the lucky happenstance required to produce one. If you are interested in finding a green dragon, reach out to known breeders to find out what they are currently developing.
Purple Bearded Dragon
Purple bearded dragons are not entirely purple. They have patches of lavender and light purplish gray scattered over their normal colors.
The purple color is usually bred by crossing a red morph with a hypomelanistic or translucent.
Sadly like the blue variety, purple beardies often grow out of their lavender colors as they age. Some individuals keep their purple into adulthood, but this is not common. The reason why some adults stay purple is still not known by breeders, but it is thought to be linked to bloodlines.
It is common for the purple to be bred with a leatherback to create a morph with less markings and fewer spines. These individuals will have a much softer look and feel.
Yellow Bearded Dragon
Yellow morphs are currently one of the most common bearded dragon colors.
There are several types of yellow bearded dragons which gives this morph a lot of flexibility in appearance, pattern, and hue:
- Standard yellows are yellowish tan, beige or light brown. This type of yellow can occur naturally in the wild as it is a variation of the wild-type.
- Hypomelanistic yellows are almost pastel yellow because of the reduced levels of melanin pigment in their skin.
- Sandfire gold is a fancy morph that has yellow along its back. This yellow fades into a dark golden orange on the side.
- Lemon fires are bright yellow with a pale underbelly, light tail, and dark eyes.
Super red bearded dragons have a brighter and more intense red than normal red beardies.
The super red was developed by selectively breeding beardies with high amounts of red until their offspring were almost entirely crimson. Super reds are typically dark, rusty brown with blood-red sides and tails.
Unlike most beardies with vibrant colors that fade or disappear with age (e.g. blue or purple) super reds gets more vibrant! Their crimson red hues tend to expand up their sides.
Many breeders will advertise their bearded dragons as super red, but there is no specific definition for the super red morph. Any individual with a strong red color can be categorized as a super red.
Pink bearded dragons are a lighter version of the red morph.
The exact origin of the pink morph is up for debate, but among reputable breeders there is an agreement that it has been bred multiple times independently.
Pink bearded dragons can only happen when a red is bred to a white morph (e.g. hypomelanistic, snow or zero). This gives them a peach to apricot color that is highly appealing to breeders and owners alike.
The patterns of pink morphs do vary quite a bit based on which white morph is used to breed them. Most have wild-type patterns that are slightly muted, but paradox, tiger stripe, and witblit patterns are also possible.
Rainbow Bearded Dragon
The rainbow morph is almost always found as a “rainbow tiger.” These bearded dragons are homozygous for a unique striping pattern of dark brown bands which gives them a tiger-like appearance.
Rainbow tigers are yellow, red, and orange with bands and spots of dark brown.
Between their dark brown bands they also have green, blue, and even pale lavender colors! They are truly walking rainbows.
RELATED: Top 15 Best Types Of Pet Chameleons
Baby rainbow hatchlings are quite plain and are an unremarkable charcoal color with black markings. This gray gets lighter and more colorful as they grow and shed. Their unusual color development makes it difficult for breeders to predict what their adult color will be.
There are six species of beardies in the wild and 15 bearded dragon morphs.
A morph is not the same as a species. Species vary slightly in their habitat, range, size and appearance. Morphs are selectively bred bearded dragon colors that are all the central subspecies.
Thanks to selective breeding and knowledge of genetics hobbyists have been able to develop dozens of colors. New morphs with fantastic colors and one-of-a-kind patterns are now available as pets.
Most bearded dragon morphs are variations of red, yellow, or orange.
Some more unusual “designer” morphs can be pure white, rainbow and tiger-striped.
What color on our list is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.