Bearded dragon is among the most well-known reptiles that are kept in captivity. It has its origins in Australia but also lives in various regions of Africa and the United States of America. In this post, we discuss everything about bearded dragons in Florida including where to buy them, legality, price and so on.
Are there bearded dragons in Florida?
Yes, bearded dragons have been found in Florida. They are one of the seven invasive reptiles in Florida. They have been here since 1976. Bearded dragons are a type of lizard that is native to Australia. They were introduced into the United States as pets, but they’re not native to the United States and they’re not protected by any laws.
They can live throughout the state, but have mostly been found in the central, southern and southwest regions of Florida.
Are bearded dragons legal in Florida?
Yes. They are legal to own in the state of Florida, but there are laws that regulate the sale and ownership of all reptiles.
In Florida, if you wish to sell reptiles as pets, you must get a reptile-of-concern permit from the FWC. This permit allows you to possess and sell your bearded dragons in Florida. Some states also require a special business tax receipt from the county tax collector, so check with your local government office to see if that applies in your area.
Also note that it is illegal to release pet reptiles into the wild.
Can bearded dragons survive in Florida?
A bearded dragon can survive in Florida if you provide it with the right environment. These lizards need a cage large enough for them to move around and climb, with a temperature between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, during the day and between 70 and 75 degrees at night. Your pet will need a heat lamp that is turned on during the day and off at night.
However, bearded dragons cannot survive if they go outside of their controlled environment in Florida. As I discussed earlier, the temperature range of bearded dragons is 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Bearded dragons need basking spots that are between 88-100 degrees Fahrenheit. You may provide this range indoors, but it would be difficult to maintain outside during the daytime temperatures of Florida in the summer months.
How much does a bearded dragon cost in Florida?
Most bearded dragons sold as pets are captive bred and raised by breeders, but some can be caught in the wild and shipped to the United States. Bearded dragons are most commonly available in orange, red or yellow colorations, with solid-colored or striped patterns across their body. Their popularity has led to many morphs being developed with bright green and blue colors.
Pricing for bearded dragons depends on species, age, location and breeding lineage. They range from about $40 for a standard bearded dragon up to $900 for popular morphs like zero bearded dragons or hypo melanistic bearded dragons.
Where can you get a bearded dragon in Florida?
If you are a bearded dragon owner, or if you want to be one, you may wonder where to get a bearded dragon in Florida. This is a very popular question and there are many places that offer bearded dragons for sale.
Local reptile rescue center
The best place to get a bearded dragon is going to be through a local reptile rescue center. These places take in unwanted or abandoned reptiles and often rehome them. You may also find one in your local newspaper, but this way can be a little more expensive than the shelter.
Here are some reputed bearded dragon rescue centers in Florida:
- Central Florida Reptile Rescue
- South Florida Reptile Rescue
- Florida Reptile/Amphibians Rescue
- South Florida Herp Society Rescue & Adoption
The second best source of captive bred healthy bearded dragons is a local breeder. Breeders are usually very knowledgeable about their animals and can give you advice on how to care for your new pet. Breeders also have a variety of different morphs available which can not always be found in pet stores.
Here are some reputed bearded dragon breeders in Florida:
Local reptile shows
The other option for finding a bearded dragon for sale is by visiting local reptile shows. They often hold the reptile shows at various locations throughout the country each year and they give people the chance to see many types of reptiles up close and personal before purchasing them. If you go to enough reptile shows, then you can find one for sale.
Specialized pet store
Of course, you can look into a specialized pet store. However, make sure that the store is reputable and that the staff is knowledgeable about caring for bearded dragons. Also, make sure that the store does not carry any reptiles that are wild caught. Wild caught reptiles often carry many diseases and parasites and should be avoided at all costs.
Many of the most popular pet shops will sell all kinds of pets including bearded dragons. However, not all pet shops offer bearded dragons for sale. There are a few pet shops that specialize in selling only bearded dragons and these will be your best bet if you have questions about where to get a bearded dragon in Florida.
There are also many online pet stores that sell reptiles such as bearded dragons. These online stores usually carry a wide range of reptiles and other exotic animals. Many times they will also have live lizards available as well. These online stores are great because they will ship the reptile directly to your door, usually overnight so that you don’t have to worry about driving anywhere to pick it up.
Things to consider before buying a bearded dragon in Florida
Before you decide to buy a bearded dragon, here are some things you need to know.
How long do they live?
Bearded dragons have an average lifespan of 8-12 years. They can live up to 20 years if they are well cared for and provided with the proper attention and diet.
Are they good with kids?
While bearded dragons are not as fragile as other reptiles such as turtles or snakes, they are still susceptible to getting hurt by rough handling. If you have small children at home, it’s best that you supervise them when playing with the bearded dragon. You should also teach your kids how to properly handle the reptile so that no one gets hurt.
How big will it get?
Bearded dragons can reach lengths of up to 24 inches and weigh up to 510 grams. They are not usually aggressive towards people or other animals, though some males may try to fight each other if kept in too small of an enclosure. If you plan on having over one, then it’s best to keep them all separated from each other when they aren’t being handled.
Are bearded dragons easy to care for?
Bearded dragons are relatively simple to care for; however, the maintenance required should not be taken lightly. They require a large enclosure (40+ gallons), a basking light, a UVB fluorescent bulb, two hides (one humid hide and one dry hide), water dish, food dish/bowls, proper substrate as well as weekly food items.
How much space will I need for my bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons need enough room to roam around in their cage or terrarium so one should be able to accommodate its size. An adult bearded dragon needs at least a 55-gallon tank but bigger is better especially if you don’t plan on transferring it between cages later on. Bigger tanks can hold more accessories and decorations which make it fun to decorate according to your taste. Another advantage of having a bigger tank is that it will be easier for you to maintain.
What do they eat?
Bearded dragons eat bugs such as crickets and mealworms, as well as fruits/veggies like broccoli florets or chopped carrots (no citrus). They also enjoy some types of meat like chicken breast or turkey breast that has been cooked without seasoning (no salt). The amount needed will vary depending on how old your dragon is – young ones need more food while older ones need less food because they use their energy differently than younger ones do (they don’t grow as fast anymore).
Purchasing a bearded dragon as a pet is an exciting event. However, there are many things that you should know before running out and making a purchase. Consider consulting your local veterinarian or contacting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission for more information on owning one of these creatures. Bearded dragons can make good pets if handled correctly and cared for properly, so get to know about this interesting creature before you bring him home.