Genetics


At Cliffhanger Reptiles, we strive to have the highest quality genetics (and from our research on our beardies, we do). In doing so, we produce all mutations of bearded dragons. Mutations or morphs are genetic adaptations to the animal and are generally a single affected trait. As breeders, these are our way of describing what the animal looks like, and what it is capable of producing. The color of a bearded dragon is not related to its morph, and bearded dragons can have multiple morphs. If a bearded dragon is "Het" for a morph, this means that they carry the gene for the trait, but they do not visibly display it. 

Hypomelanistic

Melanin is the dark pigmentation in an animal's skin. Hypomelanistic, or hypo, is the lack of dark pigmentation, which results in a brighter-colored animal. These dragons will also have clear nails. Typically, dragons that are bright yellow will display this gene as it removes all dark coloration that would turn a yellow into a brown or orange.

Translucent

A popular morph among bearded dragons is translucent (or trans). Translucent bearded dragons have solid black eyes. This morph modifies the opacity of the animal's scales. In addition to having dark eyes, translucent babies also have a semi-clear underside that will, at times, appear blue. 

Leatherback

One of the most common morphs that a bearded dragon will display is the leatherback morph, which reduces the animal's scales. Leatherback bearded dragons appear smoother and are less spikey. Leatherbacks are a common choice in the industry. With an even further reduced scalation, there are microscale and silkback bearded dragons. However, Cliffhanger Reptiles does not produce these due to genetic instability. 

Dunner

Dunner bearded dragons have a slightly different scale pattern and foot shape. Rather than scales aiming from head to toe, Dunner scales are spiraled. Furthermore, the scales on a Dunner beardie face out instead of in. Dunner bearded dragons commonly have a distinct color pattern, which is one reason they have grown in popularity. 

Genetic Stripe

Genetic stripe bearded dragons (pictured left) have a stripe in their scales going from the top of their head to the base of their tail. While color-striped bearded dragons have a stripe in color, genetic stripes (or g-stripes) have variations in their scales that create a stripe. 

Zero

Bearded dragons that exhibit the zero morph are often white. The zero morph removes all pigmentation from the scales. This means that these dragons are always colorless. They range from shades of white to dark grey. These dragons can also have a light pattern, but all shades will be colorless. Zero bearded dragons are like a black and white photo!

Witblits

Witblits (or Wits) bearded dragons are commonly mistaken for zero bearded dragons, and vice versa. Many breeders produce white wits dragons. However, unlike zero bearded dragons, wits are capable of holding color in their scales. On the other hand, wits show no pattern. They are fully patternless. They also show no visible shoulder pads.


A cross between a Zero and a Witblits bearded dragon is a called a Wero. 

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