Rankins Dragon vs Bearded Dragon

Rankin’s Dragons are smaller, less common, but more sociable pet lizards than their Bearded Dragon counterparts. Whereas, Bearded Dragons are larger and easier to find but need individual housing due to their aggressive tendencies.

When it comes to choosing a pet dragon, there are two main contenders: the Rankins dragon and the bearded dragon. Both of these reptiles make great pets, but they each have their own unique set of characteristics.

So, which dragon is right for you? Read on to find out! In this blog post, we will compare and contrast the Rankins dragon and the bearded dragon so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

Rankin’s Dragon vs Bearded Dragon

When comparing Rankin’s Dragon to the Bearded Dragon, several remarkable distinctions come to light. The most noticeable disparity lies in their sizes. Bearded Dragons are much larger species, typically reaching between 16 to 24 inches in adulthood, while Rankin’s Dragons are much smaller, getting up to around 10 to 12 inches as grown-ups.

In terms of behavior, another stark difference arises. Rankin’s Dragons are known for their sociable nature, and unlike most reptiles, they seem to enjoy the company of peers. However, Bearded Dragons prefer solitude due to their territorial behavior.

The physical differences extend beyond their size too. Bearded Dragons are known for their distinctive ‘beards,’ which are expansions of skin under their chins that can puff up and darken when they feel threatened. In contrast, Rankin’s Dragons lack this feature, making their appearance less intimidating.

Finally, there’s a slight variation in the average lifespan of these lizards. A well-cared-for Bearded Dragon can live from 8 to 10 years, while Rankin’s Dragons have a slightly shorter life expectancy, usually around 6 to 8 years.

Can Bearded Dragons and Rankin’s Dragons Share the Same Enclosure?

Careful consideration must be given to the enclosure size and setup for both Bearded Dragons and Rankin’s Dragons. With Bearded Dragons being larger, they need ample space to roam and explore.

Generally, an adult Bearded Dragons should be housed in a tank that’s at least 120 gallons. On the other hand, due to their smaller size, a Rankin’s Dragon can comfortably live in a 40-gallon enclosure as an adult.

While the idea of keeping these dragons together in one enclosure might sound fascinating, it’s not always ideal. Bearded Dragons can be highly territorial and may not react kindly to another lizard in their space, even if it’s a smaller Rankin’s Dragon. Thus, to prevent potential conflicts and stress, it’s advised to house them separately.

As for the environment setup, both species thrive in similar conditions. However, since they originate from hot, dry areas, a basking spot that hits temperatures around 100°F (38°C) will keep them happy and healthy. It’s also important to maintain a night-time temperature of around 70°F (21°C).

Similarly, a UVB source, essential for their bone health, must be present in their enclosure. Humidity needs vary slightly, with Bearded Dragons preferring 35-40% humidity, while Rankin’s Dragons feel more comfortable in slightly higher humidity levels around 30-50%.

The key lies in understanding and catering to every creature’s unique needs to ensure their health and well-being.

The Care and Health of Bearded and Rankin Dragons

The proper care and maintenance of Bearded Dragons and Rankin’s Dragons can make a world of difference to their health and happiness. Both species have similar dietary needs, consisting of a balanced mix of vegetables, fruits, and insects.

Juveniles need a diet higher in protein, so insects should make up the bulk of their meals, while adults should eat more vegetables.

Water plays a crucial role in the care routine. These creatures don’t typically drink from a water dish – they get most of their water from food. You can bathe them once a week, which helps with hydration and keeps their skin healthy.

The temperament of both dragons is generally calm, and they can become quite friendly and sociable with their owners. However, Bearded Dragons can show bouts of territorial aggression, while Rankin’s Dragons generally tolerate each other and other captive species well.

Healthwise, Bearded Dragons tend to face problems like metabolic bone disease if their diet does not contain proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D. They can also suffer from impaction if their substrate is not suitable.

Rankin’s Dragons can experience respiratory infections, especially if their enclosure’s humidity levels are not adequately controlled. Regular health checks are essential for early detection and treatment of these conditions.

Providing them with consistent care, love, and a suitable environment can ensure a fulfilling and healthy life for these adorable reptiles.


Whether you opt for a Bearded Dragon or a Rankin’s Dragon, each has unique charm and peculiarities. The Bearded Dragon, with its dramatic display beard and larger size, can provide a hint of wild, desert allure to your home.

In contrast, Rankin’s Dragon, being smaller and sociable, can be an easier pet for beginners and offers the novelty of being less commonly found. Both require similar care in terms of diet and warmth, though Bearded Dragons require larger enclosures because of their size.

Be sure to take note that Bearded Dragons don’t play well with others, so if you’re planning to have more than one, you need separate enclosures. Rankin’s Dragons, friendly by nature, can be kept with peers, which can potentially spice up their interactions.

Given their distinct characteristics, choosing between a Bearded Dragon and Rankin’s Dragon depends on your lifestyle and preferences. For those seeking a larger pet with a distinctive look and solo temperament, the Bearded Dragon is a great choice.

However, for reptile enthusiasts interested in a friendly and smaller-sized lizard, the Rankin’s Dragon comes highly recommended. Ultimately, whichever dragon you decide on, they will surely bring you a unique pet ownership experience.