or Lawson's Dragon
brevis or Pogona henrylawsoni
Smaller Alternative to a Bearded!
Rankin's Dragon or Pogona brevis, is a rising star amongst
herpetologists. It originates from central and western Queensland,
Australia. Dragons are usually docile, but some may require some
taming. Although they can be costly, beardeds are a wonderful choice
for everyone from beginners to long time collectors alike. They are
easy to maintain in captivity as long as their basic needs are met.
Rankin's Dragons are a medium sized lizard obtaining a length of
12" to 13".
and western Queensland, Australia.
docile. A few may require taming.
easy to breed and maintain in captivity as long as needs are
met. Beginners should purchase Rankin's 6weeks and older
because they may be a little easier to care for than new borns.
Span-Not sure, I
would guess much like beardeds being 5-8 years.
Rankin's dragons should be kept in smaller enclosures about the size
of a 10 gallon aquarium. Young Rankin's may nip each others
tail and limbs if enough food is not provided. A 20 or 30gal
long aquarium is adequate for 1 male and a couple lady friends. Substrate-Layers
of newspaper, sand, or a sand/soil mix can be used as substrate. We
prefer to use washed play sand. At night or when temperatures are a
little cooler the Rankin's will dig a bed in the corner of their
cage. Sand does look nice but baby Rankin's should always be
kept on newspaper to avoid sand impaction. Impaction is when
the lizard eats the substrate causing it to get lodged inside the
animals body. This can cause serious health problems. Decoration-Secure
branches should be added for the Rankin's to climb, preferably under
the basking light and within 12" of the UVA and UVB strip.
Finally add a few pieces of drift wood, cork bark, chollawood,
and well secured rocks to help keep them occupied. Many plastic and
fiber glass rocks and caves are available and are much easier to
clean and sterilize. The larger the enclosure, the more entertaining
your new pet will be. Who
In a Cage-Always
house lizards of equal size together. Smaller animals may not
compete as well for food and basking spots. Never house males
together because they will harm and possibly kill each other.
Housing one male and two females is a good combination.
enclosures may get a little messy. Papers should be changed as
often as possible, removing fecal matter daily. Sand substrates
can be changed once a month making sure to remove fecal (poop) matter
daily. Water should always be fresh. All cage items
should be thoroughly cleaned with a dilution of 1part bleach to
30parts water once a month making sure to thoroughly rinse.
Check all electrical devices as often as possible to help prevent
Dragons are diurnal, day lovers, that enjoy basking much of the day.
Lights should be left on 14hrs a day in the summer months and 10hrs a
day in the winter. A good basking light is essential to the health
and well being of this species. Keep in mind the lizard should never
be allowed to touch the bulb. This may cause severe burns and
possibly death. Many brands are available, research for yourself to
find out which one is best for you. Natural sunlight is best for
Rankin's, but outdoor enclosures are not practical in most parts of
the U.S. So Rankin's kept indoors should have full spectrum
lighting such as the ReptiSun5.0 or ESU7%. Both are thought to
offer the best levels of UVA and UVB trying to mimic natural
sunlight. UVB produces vitiman/D3 which is important in the
metabolizing of calcium and phosporous. It is also believed to help
reverse the effects of Metabolic Bone Disease, a condition in which
bones become weak and brittle making it difficult for the animal to
eat and perform normal functions. UVA helps Rankin's to act
natural as in eating habits and mating. The bulb should be within
12" of the basking spot for the lizard to get the full
effect. Remember glass filters out the beneficial beams of the
bulb. These bulbs loose effectiveness after about 6 months and should
be replaced. Light is still produced, but the beneficial rays are
reduced if not non-existant. All lights should be on a timer so
the Rankin's get the same day/night cycle every day.
basking temp should be 100-110F. Daytime temps should be about
90-95F and 75-80F on the opposite end of the enclosure.
Nighttime temps can drop to about 70F. Temps should be slightly
cooler in the wintertime. Rankin's can withstand an occasional drop
to the mid 60's. Some keepers use under tank heaters covering about
1/2 to 1/3 the length of the tank; others only use the over head
lighting. Do not use hot rocks. The lizards will lay on them for long
periods of time causing severe burns and even death.
Dragons are a species that prefer a semi-dry environment. Mist once
every other day to help facilitate with shedding. Babies should be
misted atleast once daily. A water dish should be offered at least
three times a week. Rankin's get most of there liquids from the
veggies they eat.
accept and require a wide range of food. Staple food items include,
insects, vegetables, and bearded pellets. Younger Rankin's
desire a lot more insects than veggies. With time they will prefer
mostly veggies and very few insects. We keep fresh vegetables,
pellets, and a small water dish in the enclosure as often as
possible, and offer insects according to individual appetites. Veggies-Many
veggies are suitable for Rankin's. Some of the best include
dandelions (probably the best), collard, mustard, and turnip greens,
kale, and other dark greens. Many different types of veggies
should be offered to help maintain a balanced diet. All
vegetables should be thoroughly washed. Bugs-As
a general rule, insects should be no larger than the width of the
head. Commonly used food items include crickets, meal worms, and wax
worms. Wild insects are readily accepted, (not fire flys)
but make sure they haven't come in contact with any pesticides. Gut
should be gut loaded (fed a rich and varied diet of greens, fruits,
potatoes, and commercially bought gut load products) for at least
24hrs prior to feeding. Supplements-Bugs should be supplemented or
lightly coated (the easiest way is in a plastic bag) with vitamins
and minerals. The proper use of supplements will lead to a
happier, healthier lizard, and will reduce the risk of metabolic bone
disease. I use Rep-cal Calcium/vitD3, Herptivite, and
Miner-All. All can be found at any pet store. Babies-should
be fed insects 2-3 times daily with greens and pellets available at
all times. This is the age to start introducing a variety of
new items as baby Rankin's are very curious. Baby
Rankin's should also be sprayed with water daily to assure against
dehydration. Baby Rankin's should be monitored at feeding time
to make sure everyone gets their fair share. Juveniles-should
be fed insects 1-2 times daily, with greens and pellets available at
all times. Adults-should
be fed insects daily or every other day, with greens and pellets
available at all times. Adults eat a lot fewer insects so more
veggies should be offered to accommodate the change in appetite.
Remove all free roaming food items if not eaten within
15-20min. Insects will foul water and stress the beardeds.
baby Rankin's is difficult if not impossible for the few
months. To sex look on the underside of the Rankin's. Males
have a V-shaped row of enlarged pre-anal pores (small holes) and
hemipenal bulges (little bumps) at the base of the tail. Females have
pre-anal pores that are less obvious and are lacking the hemipenal bulges.
often engage in head bobbing, trying to show dominance over other
beardeds and to get mating responses from females. Females, babies,
and sub-dominate males will often be seen engaging in arm waving.
Standing on three legs waving one of the fore arms in a circular
motion. It is believed to be an appeasement to the dominate
male. Dragons run around licking everything to get a good taste
of what's to eat in their surroundings.
best treatment is prevention but not even the best keepers can
protect against the occasional illness. Signs of illness
include long periods of inactivity, reduced or no feeding, diarrhea,
runny nose, etc. I will go much more into depth in the near future.
like a Bearded Dragon, but smaller. Babies are a blast to
watch at dinner time.
on this page is a matter of my personal opinion. This care
sheet is merely meant to help get you started. Always do lots
of other research and do what is in the best interest of you and your pet.
Bearded Dragon Manual
Vosjoli, Mailloux, Donoghue, Klingenberg, Cole
Advance Vivarium Systems
With a Reptile Pet -Bearded Dragon