Rankin's dragon, Pogona henrylawsonii
A great beginner option - the Rankin's dragon
- A slightly smaller beardie, Rankin's dragons are great for beginners
- Rewarding species that is easy to handle
- Smart dragons that you can have a lot of fun with
Do Rankin's dragons make good pets?
Rankin's dragons are very similar to Bearded dragons in both morphology and husbandry requirements, although they are a little smaller and many hobbyists believe them to be more sociable and suitable for cohabitation. However, at Swell Reptiles we recommend against cohabitation for this species, as competition is still likely to occur because most hobbyists cannot provide enough space to successfully keep more than one individual together.
In nature, Rankin's dragons inhabit the arid, rocky regions of Australia, so they require high temperatures, strong UVB and low humidity, which is quite easy to achieve in captivity with the correct equipment. Due to their striking similarities, our Bearded Dragon Starter Kits are all suitable for Rankins dragons too.
What enclosure does a Rankin's dragon need?
Although Rankin's dragons are smaller than Beardies, we still recommend an enclosure size of 4 x 2 x 2ft (120 x 60 x 60cm), although you can go a little shallower from front to back/top to bottom, for example, a wooden vivarium would be suitable for a Rankins dragon. Wooden vivariums such as this generally work the best due to their ability to retain heat, but glass or PVC enclosures can also be used.
What heating equipment do I need for my Rankin's dragon?
Based on their natural environment, Rankin's dragons are best kept with a basking spot temperature between 40-42°C (104-107°F) and a cool area somewhere around 25°C (77°F). This should be provided using overhead heating such as a heat bulbs and dimming thermostats, or a ceramic heat emitter and a pulse thermostat.
As the temperature naturally drops significantly overnight, Rankin's dragons do not require any heating during the night unless your home drops below around 15°C (59°F) which most do not. If you do fall into this bracket, you can provide some supplementary ambient heating in the form of a non-light emitting heat source such as a ceramic heater.
Which UV should I get for my Rankin's dragon?
Just like Beardies, Rankin's dragons are full sun baskers so require high levels of UVB to aid bone development and reduce the risk of related diseases such as metabolic bone disease. The percentage of UV required depends on the distance between your dragons highest basking point and the light fixture.
If this distance will be between 25-30cm (10-12”) then an Arcadia ProT5 Kit - 6% Forest is best, if the distance is between 30-45cm (12-18”), then the Arcadia ProT5 Kit - 12% Desert is required. If the distance between the highest basking point and light fixture will be greater than this (but no higher than 60cm or 24”) then the Arcadia ProT5 Kit - 14% Dragon is the best option.
Which substrate is best for Rankin's dragons?
Loose sand-based substrates generally work the best for Rankin's dragons, with a few good examples being ProRep Beardie Life or Arcadia EarthMix Arid. When providing a proper diet, the risk of impaction from such substrates is negligible, however, if this is a cause for concern for you, you can also use reptile mats for this species such as the Exo Terra Sand Mat.
How do I decorate a Rankin's dragon’s vivarium?
Wild Rankin's dragons can often be seen basking in low trees and shrubs, therefore many people consider them to be semi-arboreal. It is for this reason that your Rankin's dragon will appreciate it if you can provide them with a bit of height in their enclosure and some branches or vines and komodo basking platforms to bask upon. On top of this, you can decorate their enclosures with real or artificial plants to provide more cover and enrichment for your dragon.
What do Rankin's dragons eat?
Rankin's dragons are omnivorous, with the majority of their diet being made up of vegetation such as leafy greens, although they should also be offered livefood, with juveniles requiring protein-rich livefood more often than adults. To ensure they get all of the required nutrients from their diet, a good diet for a Rankin's dragon will involve a supplementation schedule, at Swell Reptiles we recommend using a calcium-rich multivitamin on every feed, such Arcadia EarthPro-A, a calcium plus magnesium supplement on every fourth feed, such as Arcadia CalciumPro Mg and finally, a vitamin D3 supplement on every eighth feed such as Arcadia EarthPro RevitaliseD3.
How do I buy a Rankin's dragon?
If you would like to purchase one of the UK captive bred Rankin's dragons for sale at Swell Reptiles, please keep in mind that these must be collected from our physical superstore and cannot be shipped. If you are able to make the trip to collect, please come in and see us.
When you come in, we will request to see some images of your set-up completely ready for the dragon to go into, with the correct temperatures and lighting already in situ. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.
For more detailed husbandry information, please see our dedicated Rankin's Dragon Care Sheet.
|Arid, rocky regions
|120 x 60 x 60cm (4 x 2 x 2ft)
|40-42°C (104-107°F) (warm end); 25°C (77°F) (cool end)
|Ease of handling
|Not recommended, but can be done in certain circumstances