Amphibolurus barbatus syn. Pogona barbata

Bearded dragon

Also known as:

Coastal bearded dragon, eastern bearded dragon

Family: Agamidae

Origin: Australia

Bearded dragon perched on a rock sunning itself.
Their name comes from their “beard” of scales around the neck. They can grow to be 55-58 cm long.

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Aotea — Exclusion
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Grey-brown reptile 55-58 cm long, with throat covered with distinct spiny scales which can be raised to form a black 'beard'.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not release any coastal/eastern bearded dragon from containment within the Auckland region.
  • You must not move any coastal/eastern bearded dragon to Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not breed, distribute or release any coastal/eastern bearded dragon on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • From 1 September 2022, you will not be allowed to breed, distribute or sell any coastal/eastern bearded dragon within the Auckland region.
  • You are however still allowed to retain any existing individuals you already own. You can also take these animals to the vet, they can move with you if you move house, and you can take them to stay with someone else while you’re on holiday. You just need to keep them securely contained so they can’t escape into the wild.
  • If you pet-sit / provide temporary accommodation for other people’s animals, you’re also covered for receiving them, as long as you keep them securely contained while they are staying with you. However, if you receive animals on a more permanent basis, such as rescue centres, where ownership is changing hands, then you need to apply for an exemption for this activity. You can apply for free using this application form.


Scrub, open forest, disturbed habitats.

Impact on environment

Likely to prey on native invertebrates, competes with native lizards and birds. May spread disease to native reptiles. May bite people.



If you have pet bearded dragons, make sure they’re securely contained to avoid accidental escapes. If you are no longer able to look after your pet bearded dragon, find someone who is prepared to give it a lifetime home, or contact a relevant pet shop or animal rescue organisation to get it rehomed. Never release a bearded dragon into the wild – your pet may be unable to find the food and shelter it needs, and it also puts our native species at risk.

If you see a bearded dragon in the wild, please report it to Auckland Council at

Bearded dragon glaring at the camera.
Spiny scales under their throat can be raised to form a black 'beard'.
Bearded dragon from above with yellow scales at the front that transition to blue at its tail.
The bearded dragon’s tail is almost as long as its body.
A pair of bearded dragons on a branch.
They have a wedge-shaped head, which appears larger than the rest of their body.