Bearded agama reaches 50-60cm in length, it is light brown or brown. It has outgrowths with the appearance of spines, which form a beard under the head. Her body is flattened horizontally and covered with soft spines.
Bearded agamas naturally inhabit semi-deserts and dry, open wooded areas in Australia. They live on the ground, however, they climb very well. Agamas are diurnal lizards. Even juveniles communicate by rocking (lifting) the front legs. Adult females present this behavior to males. Agamas in a defensive position position position themselves in front of the enemy, flatten the body and trim the beard, which takes on a pitchy black color. Sometimes they also open the muzzle, which at the same time is used to cool the body. They live on the ground, however, they climb very well.
Agamas need a large, dry terrarium measuring at least 150 x 50 x 50 cm for a pair or male and two females, and for a single individual 100 x 40 x 40 cm is enough. The temperature in the terrarium should be 30°C, and under heat sources 45° C - 50° C.
Most often, for agama, a terrarium is built from furniture board, OSB or MDF. Less often, glass terrariums are used due to their large size. Side walls can be lined with cork. or a spectacular structural wall. In the terrarium should be shelves and caves that increase the living space of the reptile. For adult individuals, we can use coconut cubes, beech cubes, ground bark from deciduous trees, sand, clay or recently the recently popular corn substrate to line the bottom of the terrarium.
Due to the biotope in which bearded agamas live, stones, rocks and a wide range of wooden materials can be used for decoration. All elements in the terrarium should be stable. You will also need bowls for food and water.
LIGHTING IN THE TERRARIUM
Terrarium with agamas should be strongly lit. UVA/UVB lighting and heating lighting should be provided. Several solutions are available.
T5 or T8 fluorescent lamps can be used to provide UVA/UVB rays. Fluorescent lamp should be along the entire length of the terrarium. For example, if the terrarium has a size of 100cm, we should install a fluorescent lamp with a length of 80-90cm. ARCADIA fluorescent lamps are most often recommended by breeders due to the high quality of light and a long UV life of 12mc. Compact fluorescent lamps for standard e27 thread are also used. In the case of this lighting, remember to replace the bulb after 6mc. When buying lighting, it should be borne in mind that it must be intended for desert reptiles. Lighting for desert reptiles depending on the manufacturer has designations 10.0, 15.0, UVB150, UVB200, 10%, 12%, 14%. When it comes to T5i T8 tubular fluorescent lamps, their power depends on the length so the selection is not a problem. In the case of compact fluorescent lamps, manufacturers usually provide two versions of 13W and 26W power. The power of 13W is used for small and low terrariums. In target terrariums, only 26W should be used. An important issue is the horizontal installation of the bulb. The bulb emits UVB rays to the sides, so it should be mounted horizontally in the terrarium using a reflector that can increase UV emissions by up to 100%. The effectiveness of compact fluorescent lamps has in the range of 10-30cm. In the case of tubular fluorescent lamps, up to 50-60cm. For tubular fluorescent lamps, the reflector also increases the UVB value by 100%.
A heating bulb with a power of 50-100W, depending on the height of the terrarium, should be placed in this way to create a place for basking, thus creating the so-called heat island. A more economical solution is a ceramic radiator, it is a little more expensive than a light bulb but it has a much higher thermal efficiency so it must be of lower power than an analogous bulb. After that, it is more resistant to moisture and switching on and off.
Another solution is self-ballasted bulbs, these are 3 in 1 bulbs. UVB, UVA and heating lighting. All in one bubble. Convenient and simple solution. It does not require any additional equipment. Versions from 80W to 160W are available. It all depends on the height of the terrarium. In the case of these bulbs, there is no division into desert or tropical. The amount of UVB is adjusted by placing the bulb at the right height. Usually, the manufacturer provides a special graphic from which you can read the amount of UVB at any distance. These bulbs emit more UVB than the first solution, so the minimum distance of the bulb from the animal is about 30cm.
The highest quality light is provided by metahalogens. It is also 3 in 1. UVB, UVA and heating bulbs. They come in lower powers from 35W to 150W. The most commonly used are 35W, 50W or 70W. As you can easily guess, they are more economical than self-ballasted bulbs, with lower power consumption they provide even more UVB, better quality UVA visible light and sufficient heating power. They have a high color reproduction coefficient. Metahalogen bulbs, like tubular fluorescent lamps, need a ballast for operation. Ballast because that's how it is most often called, it must be matched with power to the bulb and be carefully connected to the entire installation because during the start of the bulb in the circuit generates a voltage of up to 5000V. The simplest and safest solution is to buy a ready-made lamp with built-in ballast, then we do not have to worry about the correct connection.
It is worth remembering that all light sources must be out of reach of animals. In addition, sources of UV radiation can not be separated from the inhabitants of the terrarium by glass, since it does not penetrate through them. An important element is to arrange them in such a way that warmer and cooler zones are created inside the terrarium. UV lighting should be on for 12 hours. If the temperature is too low at night, use a night light bulb or the aforementioned ceramic radiator.
The whole is best connected to the thermostat controlling the operation of all lighting and heating. It is worth installing a thermometer and hygrometer in the terrarium, which measure temperature and humidity.
Agamas eat all kinds of insects, small rodents or ready-made dry food.
They also eat plants such as basil, three-tuple, carrots.
Protein in food should contain 75% of the diet. An adult Agama eats a lot, at least 25 crickets a week plus, for example, occasionally mouse newborns. These reptiles digest food very quickly and excrete large amounts of feces, therefore it should be regularly removed by sifting through the sand. Lizards drink water from a dish, however, they also like to lick the drops, so it is worth spraying them twice a week with water.
MATING AND REPRODUCTION
Preparation for reproduction is the wintering of lizards for 8 weeks at a temperature of 20 -25 ° C during the day and 15 -20 ° C at night. Copulation is sometimes preceded by nodding and biting. When the female is fertilized, the bothersome male should be removed to another terrarium. In a fertilized female, the dimensions of the abdomen increase after a few weeks, and on her underside the outlines of eggs will be visible. At such a moment, it is necessary to prepare a deep, moist, sandy substrate. The female lays from 10 to 30 eggs in a hole, which she digs herself, and then buries and mashes her tracks, leveling the sand with the bottom of the head. Eggs should be transferred to an incubator with vermiculite. The offspring hatches after 55 days at 32 ° C or after 75 days at 28 ° C. A lower incubation temperature causes that most females are in the litter, higher gives more males. In a terrarium of 100 x 50 x 50, no more than ten cubs should be kept. The young should be observed, as they may bite off their tails and fingers. It would be best to raise the young separately. Bearded agamas early begin to eat plant food. An important element is to spray the vegetation with water, since the young need a lot of water. Water and feed should be enriched with mineral additives and vitamins. Young agamas should also be irradiated with UV rays.
Agama Bearded is a very popular lizard, which is easy to breed, breed and tame. It is an ideal species for keeping in a terrarium in a situation where we can not afford lizards the size of an iguana, it is a unique reptile that will make every day interesting and unforgettable.