A true albino bearded dragon is a very uncommon sight. Albino reptiles produce no melanin, so they have no pigment. They will be entirely white with red or pink eyes. All types of bearded dragon need UVB light and heat lamps to stay healthy. But, since sunlight and intense heat are usually problematic, uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous for albino reptiles, a true albino bearded dragon would likely not live long.
This doesn’t mean you can’t find white bearded dragons. In fact, there are a number of different morphs available with pale patterns or coloring. They aren’t albino, but are still striking to look at, and can make a great pet in the right home.
Do Albino Bearded Dragons Exist?
When searching for a rare or unusual bearded dragon, you will likely come across some private breeders selling albino reptiles. But, you should be wary of these breeders, as they may be mis-selling other, more common morphs as albino. And, albino bearded dragons will likely face a number of health complications, as well as needing much more complex care than a regular beardie. Instead, if an all-white bearded dragon appeals to you, you should search for pale morphs. There are a number of varieties you can consider, so let’s take a closer look at some of the most common and popular ones out there.
Hypomelanistic Bearded Dragons
Hypomelanistic bearded dragons are also often called hypo bearded dragons. This title simply means they have reduced levels of pigment in their skin and nails. This morph will have pale, pastel skin, but won’t be entirely white like an albino would. Instead, they will have reduced levels of dark pigment. These are a popular and more common alternative to proper albino bearded dragons.
Despite having lower melanin levels, a hypo bearded dragon is not albino. They are still capable of producing pigment in small amounts. An albino, in contrast, would be unable to produce pigment at all.
Zero Bearded Dragons
If the idea of a completely white bearded dragon appeals to you, the zero morph might be your favorite. Zero bearded dragons do not have patterns like hypo morphs and morphs with more melanin. They may have some light patches of color, but generally they are a very pale, silvery-white color all over their bodies. Unlike albinos, they have dark eyes. The exact color of zero morphs can vary from an almost pure, off-white, to a dark silver or grey.
A zero bearded dragon is not albino, because they are still capable of producing pigment. The silvery tone to their scales and their dark eyes are proof of this. Although this morph is growing in popularity, it may still be quite hard to find one.
Witblits Bearded Dragons
The witblits bearded dragon is another pale morph, one that has only recently come about. Like the zero morph, a witblits will have no patterns. Their color will vary, but all varieties are muted, like the hypo morph. So, the witblits will be paler than a hypo bearded dragon, but not quite as white as a zero.
Like all other morphs we’ve looked at so far, the witblits is not classified as an albino bearded dragon, because it still produces pigment.
Wero Bearded Dragons
The final bearded dragon morph that you might be interested in if you’re seeking a white dragon is the wero. This is the result of crossing the witblits and zero morphs. Generally, it will look something like these two parents. It is often very pale in color, but may have some darker patches over its body or around the tail. Like the others, this morph is not albino.
Looking After a White Bearded Dragon
Fortunately, white bearded dragons have very similar care needs to any other morphs. But, these reptiles aren’t suitable for everyone. They are omnivores that need a varied and balanced diet consisting primarily of vegetables and insects. They need a secure, spacious enclosure. Many people choose glass tanks or aquariums. This should be lined with a safe and appropriate substrate, such as newspaper. And, you should provide furniture for climbing, hiding, and general enrichment.
Enclosures should be appropriately humid to assist with shedding. Ideally, your enclosure should have a temperature gradient, so your bearded dragon can move around based on the heat level it is seeking. Your dragon will also need access to natural sunlight, or ultraviolet UVB light from a lamp source.
It’s a good idea to find a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles if you’re bringing home a pale bearded dragon morph. This way, if you’re ever unsure about an element of their care, or notice signs of illness, you can take them in for a check up.
Finding an Albino Bearded Dragon for Sale
It’s unlikely that you will find a true albino bearded dragon for sale. Anyone who claims to be selling one will usually be selling a white morph, like the zero spoken about above. Or, they may not be honest with you about how healthy a true albino will be. Either way, it’s a better idea to choose one of the above morphs if your heart is set on a pale, unusual bearded dragon. And, you shouldn’t just choose it for its appearance. Make sure that this reptile is the right pet for you by learning all aspects of its care before committing.
The cost of hypo, zero, witblits, and wero morphs will vary. The more uncommon the morph, the higher the price in most cases. But, price will also vary depending on demand and the specific colors and patterns on the dragon being sold. Generally, you can expect to pay at least a few hundred dollars. And, on top of this initial cost, you will need to consider the cost of their enclosure, enclosure set up, diet and veterinary bills. These interesting reptiles can be just as expensive as larger pets.
Albino Bearded Dragon – A Summary
A true albino bearded dragon is very unlikely. But, you can find morphs that have a similar appearance, such as the zero or hypo. Do you have one of these interesting reptiles at home? Would you recommend them as a pet? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
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References and Resources
- Raiti, P. ‘Husbandry, Diseases, and Veterinary Care of the Bearded Dragon (Pogona Vitticeps)’, Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery (2012)
- Cannon, M. ‘Husbandry and Veterinary Aspects of the Bearded Dragon (Pogona Spp.) in Australia’, Seminars in Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine (2003)
- Schmidt-Ukaj, S. (et al), ‘A Survey of Diseases in Captive Bearded Dragons: A Retrospective Study of 529 Patients’, Veterinarni Medicina (2017)
- ‘Caring for Your Bearded Dragon’, Avonvale Veterinary Centres