The Rankin’s dragon is among our favourite pet reptile species. These creatures are cute, low-maintenance, and very personable!

If you’re searching for a lizard the will type a bond with you (and doesn’t mind being handled), this is absolutely a types to consider.

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But prior to you run out and buy one for you yourself it’s vital to have a solid understanding of their habitat and care requirements. While this reptiles room not difficult to keep, that your job as a future owner to be as prepared as possible.

This guide will teach you every little thing you should know around Rankin’s dragon care. Indigenous enclosure setup come diet, we’ve gained you covered!

Table of Contents

Species Summary

The Rankin’s dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) is a familiar-looking lizard that goes by many different names.

Depending on whereby you are in the world, you might see this reptiles being dubbed Lawson’s dragon, dumpy dragon, dwarf bearded dragon, or black soil mustache dragon.

These pets are indigenous to Queensland Australia. While it’s currently illegal to export the Rankin’s dragon, that hasn’t stopped the lizard from becoming a well-known pet in the worldwide reptile trade. They are bred by personal breeders and also can sometimes be discovered in pet stores.

They’re not as widespread as other lizard species. However, they have obtained a hopeful reputation amongst reptile enthusiasts. They’re considered to it is in a smaller, low-maintenance different to more popular species.

These well-known lizards are even known for your social nature, making castle a good option because that pet owners looking for a reptile the doesn’t mind being handled.

Difference between A Rankin’s Dragon and A moustache Dragon

Rankin’s dragon are typically misidentified as bearded dragons. At very first glance, it’s tough to phone call the difference. But, closer inspection reveals some major distinctions.

The best difference between these two types is size. Rankin’s dragons are several inches smaller sized than a mustache dragon. Thus, castle don’t require a vast enclosure favor their enlarge cousins do.

You’ll also notification that Rankin’s dragons have actually rounder top and much more variety in their color morphs. Both species have that greatly textured skin and iconic “beard.” However, it’s much an ext subdued through Rankin’s dragons.

There room some noticeable distinctions in actions as well. Rankin’s dragons space far more social and even-tempered than bearded dragons. They deserve to be retained in tiny colonies and usually don’t mind being handled.


The mean lifespan that a healthy and balanced Rankin’s dragon is in between six and ten years. part owners have actually reported these lizards living as much as 15 years. But, that’s fairly rare.

Like any type of other pet, there space no guarantees as soon as it concerns life expectancy. They will certainly respond poorly come substandard living conditions and also lackluster care. Not only that, yet they deserve to be prone to disease.

The ideal thing you have the right to do is carry out them through the ideal care possible. Staying on height of your diet and also husbandry demands will store them happy and healthy for years to come.


When it pertains to appearance, Rankin’s dragon have plenty of iconic characteristics. Their bodies are relatively slender and they have larger rounded heads.


To conserve time, choose one from our perform of the finest bearded dragon UVB lights. Make certain to change the pear every 6 months come avoid any type of potential health problems.


Moderate humidity is finest for Rankin’s dragons. They prefer humidity levels to be roughly 40 percent.

You can achieve this with an automatic misting device or by simply misting the tank manually every day.

It’s a an excellent idea come invest in a hygrometer to acquire things just right. Too lot humidity can lead to respiratory infections and premature shedding.


Rankin’s dragons remain hydrated in several various ways. They may lap increase water droplets top top plant leaves or usage humidity in the air to remain healthy.

That said, it’s still crucial to administer a dish of clean water. Not all lizards are going come drink indigenous this dish. However, lock will most likely soak in it.

Provide a large dish the your Rankin’s dragon can easily climb into. Make sure that it’s relatively shallow and tip-proof.

Expert Tip: It’s vital to remain on peak of the water top quality in this dish. Because of the high temperatures, mold and bacteria can collect quite quickly. Replace the water routinely to store your lizard safe.

Food & Diet

These reptiles are omnivores that prosper on insects and also vegetables. They will certainly accept countless different kinds of foods, for this reason it’s necessary to mix things up.

As a an excellent rule of thumb, about 60 percent of your diet need to consist of insects if the continuing to be 40 percent is vegetables.

Some an excellent insect staples include:

CricketsBlack solider paris larvaeSilkwormsMealwormsDubia roachesWaxworms (these have to be given as the sometimes treat, no regularly)

As for vegetables, girlfriend can shot the following foods:

Collard greensArugulaTurnip greensDandelion

Adult Rankin’s dragons must be fed daily. To avoid health issues, you deserve to dust food with calcium supplements a couple of times a week together well.

Possible wellness Issues

There space a grasp of illness that Rankin’s dragons room susceptible to. These issues can affect a wide variety of reptiles elevated in captivity, not just this species.

Some that the most usual issues room respiratory infections and also yellow fungus. respiratory tract infections are often caused through excess humidity in the air. It reasons tissue in the mouth and nostrils to come to be inflamed.

Yellow fungus is resulted in by unsanitary life conditions. It’s a contagious illness that causes patchy scale to form. Some lizards can additionally experience extreme shedding.

The best means to avoid yellow fungus is to store the enclosure clean. Carry out spot cleanings regularly and pick increase messes every week. Then, carry out deep sanitizations as soon as a month to save bacteria in ~ bay.

Behavior & Temperament

The succinct thing around Rankin’s dragon is the they do really well in tiny colonies that three. Every females deserve to be kept together there is no any significant issues.

However, that’s not the instance with males.

Multiple males kept in an enclosure could lead come fighting. This lizards have tendency to acquire territorial in the presence of one more male. So, if you plan on keeping much more than one Rankin’s dragons, keep two females and also a male together.

Expert Tip: Rankin’s dragons can be skittish and also shy once they are young. This lizards are known to hide out throughout the day.However, lock will acquire much much more comfortable when they gain older. Before you recognize it, you’ll discover your pet experimenting the enclosure and also basking in the light.

Handling Them

Rankin’s dragon tolerate handling an extremely well as adults. Countless owners will also let castle roam roughly outside that the enclosure!

If you plan on law this, just make sure that the room is safe and doesn’t have any hiding spaces your lizard deserve to run to.

You may an alert the lizard do the efforts to rise on the glass. This is frequently viewed as a kind of begging. If the room is safe and secure, take that possibility to handle the lizard.

Let the reptile climb onto her hand. Or, assistance the lower fifty percent of the body and also gently background up. In many cases, Rankin’s dragons will have actually no trouble going into your hand willingly!

Expert Tip: One necessary note about handling Rankin’s dragons: constantly wash your hands! transmittable diseases, such together the Yellow Fungus we went over earlier, easily spread. To protect against spreading the bacteria to other reptiles and also pets, wash your hands before and after taking care of your lizard.

What are You wait For?

Rankin’s dragon treatment is pretty lot as basic as the gets. These reptiles space low-maintenance, and also a ton of funny to own.

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We recommend these lizards to other herp-lovers all the time! In our opinion, there’s really no downside to owning one.

If you still have some questions about this species we’re an ext than happy to aid you out. Just reach out to us via our website and we’ll carry out our ideal to answer her question!