Bearded dragons

why do bearded dragons turn black under their chin

Why Do Bearded Dragons Turn Black Under The Chin?

Bearded dragons are a popular pet choice due to their interactive and playful personalities. So When a pet owner notices that their beloved bearded dragon has developed a large dark patch under the chin, they understandably worry and wonder why.

Stress or Illness

One of the most common causes of a bearded dragon having black discoloration or even looking bruised or swollen underneath the chin is stress. In the wild, this discoloration can be seen as a muted color in their lower jaw and throat area. Stress can be caused by a variety of factors such as a sudden change in the environment in which the pet lives, a change in diet, or even simply being too hot or cold. It is also possible for a bearded dragon to be suffering from a more serious illness that manifests in the same way.

Background Color Change

For some bearded dragons, the discoloration underneath the chin is simply a change in its natural background color. This is especially common in young bearded dragons, who tend to experience more dramatic color changes than adults. In particular, the gray-brown or sometimes yellowish tones that some bearded dragons have on their throat and lower jaw can darken over time. This is a normal part of a bearded dragon’s life cycle and is nothing to worry about.

Diet and Shedding

Another relatively common cause of discoloration underneath the beard is shedding. As bearded dragons grow, they shed their old skin and in the process, can cause dark patches to appear on the skin. Shedding can be accelerated or provoked by making small changes to the dragon’s diet, such as adding more calcium-rich foods like dried shrimp, kale, or spinach.


In summary, if your bearded dragon has developed a dark patch underneath the chin, it is probably not anything to worry about. Often it is just a change in background color, shedding or a reaction to stress. But if the discoloration persists for more than a couple of days without improvement, it is advisable to consult a reptile vet as it could be a sign of a more serious underlying health issue.

Important Takeaways:

  • Stress or illness can cause discoloration underneath the chin.
  • Younger dragons can experience more dramatic color changes.
  • Diet and shedding can also be causes.
  • If the discoloration persists, contact a reptile vet.

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