top of page
Bearded Dragons

Morphs, Colours, Patterns & Breeding Guide

While not comprehensive, the following is intended as a guide for those keeping bearded dragons inside Australia in a way that is hopefully easy to understand.

What Is Meant By Morph?

There are set discovered morphs for bearded dragons and none of them are named for color. The known dragon morphs are Normal, Leatherback, Translucent(trans), Hypomelanistic(hypo), Dunner, German Giant, Silkback, Witblits, Zero, Wero and Paradox. The dragon's morph can affect their color, but Morph mainly has to do with their body types and in some cases pattern. Some examples like Leatherbacks have less spikes than a Classic, and Silkbacks have none, Hypo has a pastel pigmentation to their skin with more clear nails, and a Translucent can look almost opaque at times especially in their first year, they also tend to have incredibly dark brown eyes that make them look solid black. Each morph has its own unique characteristics that can be on a dragon of any color.

Even though morph can determine the appearance and, in some cases, has an effect on the color, people confuse morph and color. Morphs are not determined by the color of the dragon, for example, "sandfire red" or "citrus" are simply color schemes that have been given names and are not referring to the morph of the dragon. Since colors are subjective, these names can change, they are also sometimes applied by sellers of bearded dragons in an attempt to promote the sales of their dragons.

What Is Meant By HET(Heterozygous)?

Heterozygous(het) morphs occur when two genes should have produced a specific visual characteristic, but because they do not entirely match, they have not produced the physical characteristics that they should have. The dragon still possesses the morph, but it does not visually show it. The only way to know if a dragon  is a "het to a morph" is by having knowledge and definitive proof of the dragon's lineage. You can not visually determine a "het"

What Types or Morphs Of Bearded Dragons Are There?

NORMALS - Not a morph, the most common type of bearded dragon is usually known as "normal" or sometimes "wild" because it is the most common dragon and is the closest visually when compared to those traditionally found in the wild. They can range in color but are generally perceived as a sort of dull gray, ranging into yellow and brown, feel rough to the touch, and have large spikes compared to the other morphs.

B & K Bearded Dragons

LEATHERBACK - The leatherback appears to be a favorite among breeders and owners, it has a smooth back with no spikes except the sides and head, with no spikes on their back their colors also appear more vivid.

B & K Bearded Dragons

HYPOMELANISTIC(Hypo) - The hypomelanistic morph is a simple recessive trait that will either reduce or eliminate the dark pigmentation on a dragon, typically giving it brighter and lighter colors. One of the standard visual characteristics of this morph is the clear nails because of the lack of any pigmentation. Selective breeding with specific colors has produced some visually striking dragons, with very vibrant colors due to the lack of the darker pigments.

B & K Bearded Dragons

TRANSLUCENT(trans) - The translucent morph is also a simple recessive gene that creates dragons with black eyes and also with scales that lack reflective qualities and white pigmentation. This gives their skin a somewhat "translucent" look, hence the name. These dragons tend to have a softer, colorful appearance, and as babies, their bellies will seem to be purple, but this fades as they age that disappear as they get older. Breeders will often pair this morph with a hypo to produce some visually stunning dragons.

B & K Bearded Dragons
B & K Bearded Dragons

ZERO - The zero morph is another recessive trait that produces a patternless dragon, and they will be patternless from birth. The difference being in color, zero dragons are usually silver but can range from white to grey to a mousey brown. When combined with the hypomelanistic morph, this can create the strikingly white individuals that are typically associated with these morphs.

B & K Bearded Dragons
B & K Bearded Dragons
B & K Bearded Dragons

WITBLITS - Witblits dragons are a newer morph in the community. These pattern-less dragons throw a variety muted colors and have no markings. Although they may seem similar to the Zero, Witblits are distinguishable by their lack of dark colouring on the front shoulder pads.

B & K Bearded Dragons

DUNNER - Dunner dragons have a rough, rugged look because their scales point in different directions rather than being ordered and all pointing one way. Regular scales are more of a teardrop shape, while in dunner dragons, they are conical. The stress marks on a dunner dragon are also perfectly circular rather than the oval shapes of a typical dragon. Dunner dragons also typically have larger feet and longer toes in relation to their size than other dragons.

PARADOX - The paradox morph is still a bit of a mystery as it has no associated gene. It appears in certain lines and seems to be associated when crossing the hypomelanistic and translucent morphs. Usually, a paradox dragon is born looking quite normal but over time develops dark purple bars and/or white patches that appear alongside their normal colors.

SILKBACKS - Silkback morph dragons, also known as silkie or scaleless is a variation of the leatherback. This gene occurs when two leatherbacks have been bred together. This results in a beardie with no scales at all but skin, no spikes of any kind, and a unique look compared to any of the other types of dragon. Scales are usually used to protect the dragon, so being a silkback that has no scales makes this morph more sensitive to heat and ultraviolet light, as well as their skin being more delicate and susceptible to cuts, bites, and scrapes. Silkbacks also seems to always be in a constant state of shed and can have quite serious problems when it comes to having stuck shed issues. Due to these issues, general care needs to be taken when looking after a silkback, and they need less intense forms of light and heat, they also need to have specific skin maintenance using a moisturizing agent of some kind to help with their shedding. It is not recommended to breed silkbacks; for one due to their fragile nature, the act alone can result in serious injury to the dragon, but also the gene can produce some serious ongoing health issues related to their genetics. Silkbacks tend to present with very vibrant, unique colors. Despite their unusual appearance and bright colors, the practice of breeding for silkbacks is highly frowned upon, as these dragons often present with serious genetic defects and general health issues, so it is considered to be unfair to attempt to produce silkbacks.

Bearded Dragon Breeding Background Info

As mentioned above, bearded dragons come in a range of sizes and colors. This is done by carefully breading two or more bearded dragons together with specific traits to produce bearded dragon offspring with desired characteristics. Oftentimes bearded dragon breeders will use certain words to describe the beardies they are selling that many people may not understand. This section will go over everything you need to know about these bearded dragons.

Normal - Bearded dragon offspring from breeding two bearded dragons with different traits.

Hypo - Bearded dragon offspring from breeding two bearded dragons with hypomelanism traits. Generally the offspring are lighter in color and have a sigificant reduction of dark colors in the skin, eyes, and nails.

Trans - Bearded dragon offspring from breeding two bearded dragons with translucent traits which makes their skin appear to be slightly translucent/see-through. Generally trans bearded dragons have solid black eyes.

Hypo Trans - Bearded dragons that lack dark colors and have slightly transparent/translucent skin.

Het Hypo - Bearded dragons that carry the hypomelanism trait, yet do not display it visually. If a het hypo produces offspring, some of the offspring may show the hypomelanism trait while others don't (this is largely dependant on the traits of bearded dragon which it was bred with).

Het Trans - Bearded dragons that carry the translucent trait, yet do not display it visually. When they produce offspring, some of the offspring may show the translucent trait, while others may not (this depends on the traits of the other bearded dragon which was mated).

Double Het - Bearded dragons that carry both the hypomelanism and translucent traits, yet do not display them visually. Their offspring may or may not show these traits, depending on the traits carried by the other bearded dragon which was used to mate.

Hypo Het Trans - Bearded dragons that show the hypomelanism trait, yet carry (and don't display) the translucent traits.

Trans Het Hypo - Bearded dragons that show the translucent trait, yet carry (and don't display) the hypomelanism trait.


B & K Bearded Dragons
bottom of page