The Inland Bearded Dragon, also known as the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) has an expandable ‘rounded beard’ that include a row of spines across the throat, two rows of spines along the flanks and spines across the head. With a broad, shaped head, rounded body, stout legs and robust tail, the colour is variable and depend on the soil region that they live in. Colours can range from a dusty gold, dull brown to tan, sometimes with grey to red-orange or gold highlights.

Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps), Alice Springs Reptile Centre, NT

The adult bearded dragons are territorial, with aggressive and appeasement displays being part of their social interactions. Both male and female of the species have beards. The beard turns dark, becoming black as it expands, and often the mouth opens in a wide gape, to appear more intimidating.

The male bearded dragon also does an interesting ‘head bobbing’, where the head is moved up and down in quick succession, often used to indicate their interest in mating with a female.

As the common name indicates, the ‘Inland Bearded Dragon’ is found throughout the central inland areas of Australia, mainly the outback regions of the eastern states, through to the south-eastern parts of the Northern Territory and the eastern parts of South Australia.

The Central Bearded Dragon is found in the semi-arid, rocky desert and arid arid woodland regions. They can be seen perched on a tree limb, fencepost, or rock usually during the early morning and late afternoon, and like most desert wildlife they spend the hottest parts of the day hiding from the direct sunlight and heat.

More images on Inland and Central Bearded Dragon can be seen on our section about the Alice Springs Reptile Centre.

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Iguania
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Subfamily: Amphibolurinae
  • Genus: Pogona
  • Species: Pogona vitticeps
Inland Bearded Dragon / Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
Inland Bearded Dragon / Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)

The Genus Pogona has 8 species1:

  • Pogona barbata – Eastern bearded dragon
  • Pogona henrylawsoni – Rankin’s dragon, Lawson’s dragon, Black-soil bearded dragon, Dumpy dragon, Dwarf bearded dragon
  • Pogona microlepidota – Kimberley bearded dragon, Drysdale river bearded dragon
  • Pogona minima – Western bearded dragon
  • Pogona minor – Western bearded dragon, Dwarf bearded dragon
  • Pogona mitchelli – North-west bearded dragon, Mitchell’s bearded dragon
  • Pogona nullarbor – Nullarbor bearded dragon
  • Pogona vitticeps – Central bearded dragon or Inland bearded dragon

Footnote & References

  1. Pogona, (last visited Oct. 17, 2020).