Do lizards fascinate you? Or you are an ardent reptile lover who keeps lizards as pets? If yes, then this article is for you. Here we’ll discuss common reptilian pet viz. Bearded Dragon and African fat-tailed gecko.

It is quite easy to differentiate these two species as they have distinct physical characteristics. But does the question ever crossed your mind that who would win if a face-off happens between them? To determine the winner of the face-off we need to look into much detail; let’s know about them.

How bearded dragon does look?

Bearded dragon got its name due to the presence of beard like spikey scales on its neck; both male and female have beards. An adult bearded dragon is about 16-24 inches long and can weigh around 380-510 grams. Bearded dragon has a broad-triangular shaped head, round bodies, short legs, and muscular tail. The Colour of bearded dragons vary from dull brown to tan having red or golden lines; however, their colour varies as per the soil of the region.

What are some physical characteristics of the African Fat-tail gecko?

African Fat-tail Geckos are different from other gecko species; unlike other gecko species, they have eyelids and don’t have toe pads. They belong to the “Eublepharis” genus of geckos which means fully functional eyelids.

As the name “Fat-tailed” suggests, these geckos have a wide and thick tail with vertical segments running to their entire length. The distinctive tail is for fat reserve which is used as an important energy reserve during the scarcity of food. The tail of a healthy gecko can be 1.25 inches thick.

The body length of an adult Fat-tailed gecko is about 8 inches; they have stocky bodies and weigh around 75 gm. Another distinctive feature of Fat-tailed Geckoes is the shape of their mouth which makes them appear to be smiling.

The colouration of these geckos is tannish or brown having light or dark blotches or broad bands across both ends of the tail.

What behaviour bearded dragon have? Are they aggressive?

Bearded dragons are solitary; males have their territory often called turf. Both male and female use their beards to show aggression; their beard inflates and becomes jet-black in colour to intimidate their rival.

Bearded dragons also wave their limbs to show submission; they stand on their 3 limbs and waves the fourth one. They also move their head quickly up and down with dark beards to show dominance over other males and to attract females. 

How Fat-tailed geckos behave? Are they social?

Fait-tailed Geckos are also solitary reptile; they prefer to live alone. Also, they are very territorial; small fights between males also happen to get territory having more availability of food. Fat-tailed Geckos are nocturnal and usually hunts at night.

To settle disputes males emit squeaking or clicking sound; they also used sound to warn male or attract females. When any threat befalls on gecko they autotomize its tail and lose it to attract the attention of prey towards its wiggling tail; this provides them time to escape and protect themselves.

However, the tail loss could prove to be a great loss for fat-tailed geckos because they use their tail to store energy which is used during scarcity of food.

What are the diet constituents of the bearded dragon?

Bearded Dragons are omnivores; they eat leaves, fruits, insects, other small lizards etc.

What fat-tailed geckos can eat?

Fat-Tailed Geckos are strictly insectivores; they eat insects, cricket, worms, beetles etc. They also consume their shredded skin.

Where bearded dragons are found?

Bearded Dragons are native to the Australian Continent.

Where fat-tailed geckos are found?

While the Fat-tailed Geckos are indigenous to western Africa; mainly found in African region from Senegal to Northern Cameroon. 

What kind of habitat is preferred by bearded dragons?

Bearded Dragons live in a variety of habitats which includes scrublands, dry forests, desert etc. They are semi-arboreal and can be found basking on tree branches.

In what habitat fat-tailed geckos are found?

Fat-tailed geckos prefer to live in dry, hot and tropical climate.

Amazing Facts:

  • African Fat-tailed are found all across the world due to their captive breeding.
  • Bearded dragons can run at a speed of 9 metres per hour.
  • However, bearded dragons live in arid or desert regions they are good swimmers.
  • Bearded dragons can sleep while standing on their hind legs.

Face-off: Bearded Dragon vs African Fat-tailed Gecko: Who would win?

From the above information, we got to know that despite the ferocious look of bearded dragons they are quite decent and docile; they are tameable and wonderful pets. Whereas, the fat-tailed gecko which is named after its distinctively fat tail has a very prominent role to keep the gecko alive during the hard times when food is scarce.

But when it comes to the face-off between bearded dragon and African fat-tailed gecko, we predict bearded dragon as the winner. The bearded dragon is larger and heavier than their rivals and has clawed feet. They can afflict severe wounds on fat-tailed geckos whereas on the other side geckos don’t have any weapon to attack the dragon. Hence, bearded rise victoriously in this face-off. 

Comparison Table: Bearded Dragon vs African Fat-Tailed Gecko

Comparison HeadsBearded DragonsAfrican Fat-Tailed Gecko
KingdomAnimaliaAnimalia
PhylumChordataChordata
ClassReptiliaReptilia
OrderSquamataSquamata
FamilyAgamidaeEublepharidae
GenusPogonaHemitheconyx
Body Length16-24 inchesAbout 8 inches
Weight380-510 gm75 gm
HabitatScrublands, Dry forests, DesertDry, Hot and Tropical Climate
Lifespan5-8 years in wild; 10-15 years in captivity4-5 years in wild; 10-25 years in captivity

Also Read : bearded dragon vs african fat tail gecko

Bearded Dragon Species

There are 8 species of a bearded dragon, all are native to Australia.

Coastal or Eastern Bearded Dragon (Common Bearded Dragon)

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Barbuda
  • Geographic Distribution: Mostly found in Eastern Australia.
  • Habitat: They prefer to live in dry wooded areas.
  • Physical Characteristics: Eastern bearded dragons have grey to black colouration with a tinge on the upper side of the head. Male has an average size of about 24 inches whereas females are 20 inches long.
  • Behaviour: They are diurnal and semi-arboreal. They usually spend their time on trees or hide behind dense leaves. They are very territorial and less docile.

Rankins or Lawsons Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Henrylawsoni
  • Geographic Distribution: Mostly found in Central Australia and Queensland, Australia.
  • Habitat: They live in hot and dry rocky areas.
  • Physical Characteristics: Lawsons bearded dragon is beige in colour and has light stripes over the eyes. An adult Lawsons Bearded Dragon can have a body of length of about 12 inches (30cm).
  • Behaviour: They are semi-arboreal and diurnal; they are good pets and easy to tame.

Small Scaled or Drysdale River Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Microlepidota
  • Geographic Distribution: They are found in the coastal region around the Drysdale River in northwest Australia.
  • Habitat: They live in coastal areas, bushes and open woodland.
  • Physical Characteristics: They attain a body length of about 14 cm.
  • Behaviour: Not much information available.

Dwarf Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Minor Minor
  • Geographic Distribution: They are found in western and central Australia.
  • Habitat: They live in arid regions, scrubland and woodland.
  • Physical Characteristics: As the name suggests, these beards are small in comparison to other bearded dragons. They have short legs and tails, a small head and a slight beard.
  • Behaviour: Not much known.

Western Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Minor Minima
  • Geographic Distribution: As the name suggests, this species of a bearded dragon is native to Western Australia.
  • Habitat: They inhabit dry woody regions.
  • Physical Characteristics: They attain a body length of about 12 inches.
  • Behaviour: Not much known.

Mitchells Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Minor Mitchelli
  • Geographic Distribution: They are found in North-western Australia.
  • Habitat: They live in arid deserts and semi-tropical woodlands.
  • Physical Characteristics: They have distinctive conical spines on the head which is not present in other species. They have a body length of about 18 inches.
  • Behaviour: Not much known.

Nullarbor Bearded Dragon

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Nullarbor
  • Geographic Distribution: This species is found in the Nullarbor plains of South Australia.
  • Habitat: They prefer to live in sparse shrubland.
  • Physical Characteristics: They have white stripes on the back and have bands on the tail. They can grow up to 14 inches.
  • Behaviour: Not much known.

Inland or Central Bearded Dragon / Yellow-headed Bearded Dragons

  • Scientific Name: Pogona Vitticeps
  • Geographic Distribution: They are native to central Australia.
  • Habitat: They inhabit rocky deserts, shrubland and forests.
  • Physical Characteristics: Central Bearded Dragon’s colouration varies from brown, grey to red, white, orange, white, yellow colours. They have an average body length of about 24 inches.
  • Behaviour: They are diurnal and are active during the day.

Fat-Tailed Gecko Species

This gecko species do not have any subspecies. They are indigenous to African Continent.