Rankin's Dragon

Rankin's (Lawson's) Dragon, Black Earth Bearded Dragon

Pogona henrilawsoni

rankins dragon 1 

rankins dragon mapGeneral Information

Family:  Agamidae

Locale:  Australia, Central and northwestern Queensland

Habitat:  Transition zone to semi-desert

Average Size:  SVL 13 cm, TL: 30 cm

Average Life Span:  10-15 years

Activity:  Diurnal

Care Summary

Captive care:  ≥ 20 gal aquarium, substrate: sand (with undertank heat pad), or sand/soil/sphagnum moss mix, or paper towel; driftwood, shelter, basking light, screen cover (can be loose), shallow water dish (like to soak).  Can be housed in groups with more than one male (will establish dominance hierarchy).  Some breeders prefer a bare bottom tank, especially for hatchlings.

Temperature:   80-85˚F (26-29˚C) with basking 90˚F (32˚C); 70˚F at night

Lighting:  Full spectrum light; incandescent for heat

Diet:  Crickets (calcium/vitamin dusted), dubia roaches, mealworms, super worms (Zoophoba); finely chopped greens/mixed veggies.  Cricket length should be about the distance between the lizard’s eyes.

Age specific care:

Hatchlings/juveniles: Appropriately sized crickets and mealworms, chopped greens (dusted daily), feed all will eat in 15 minute period.  Do not leave uneaten crickets in cage.

Adult:  Feed every 1-2 days; crickets (dust 2 feedings/week), meal worms, dubia roaches, super worms, dark leafy greens daily.  Some prefer mealworms over crickets.

Breeding:  Two month brumation at room temperature with lights off.  Clutches of 5-18 eggs (2-3 weeks after breeding), up to 5 clutches per season (incubate at 28˚C)

Temperament: Docile enough to hold.

Notes:  Smallest of the eight bearded dragon (Pogona) species.


de Vosjoli, P., Mailloux, R. (1993).  General Care &  Maintenance of Bearded Dragons.  Advanced Vivarium Systems, Inc.  Lakeside, CA 92040.

Hauschild, A., Bosch, H. (2000). Bearded Dragons and Frilled Lizards.  Matthias Schmidt Publications, Munster, Germany.  95pp.

Summerhayes, B. (2004).  Black Earth Works:  the lesser known Rankin's dragons.  Reptile Care (July/August, 2004) 6: 51-53.

Swan, G.  (1995).  A Photographic Guide to Snakes & Other Reptiles of Australia.  Ralf Curtis Books, Sanibel Island, FL.

Range Map: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/taxa/Pogona_henrylawsoni

Compiled by Eileen Underwood, 10/2004.  Updated 8/2016.

The Herpetarium is a facility in the Department of Biological Sciences.

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Updated: 04/13/2021 12:17PM