Beardie's neck has a large black spot? o___o - pictures now

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Pictures can come soon. (want them?)

I live in NJ and its quite cold now, so the temps been down to 60-65 lately. DDD: Something's also been spazzing out the lights so I'm not sure how cold/hot it gets daily. But I'm fairly certain it shouldn't be that low.

My beardie is pretty old, around seven to eight years old. And I'm used to him hibernating and not eating so much, but lately he hasn't eaten anything. He also doesn't climb up and bask, he just hides and doesn't move for long long periods of time. Also, his skin has been sagging and bunching up lately, which I don't recall happening before...

I'm very very worried, but my beardie was given to me by my aunt when she moved away and my mom isn't too keen on taking him to vet right now. ):

Thank you for any information!

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

Can you post a picture of that, it would greatly help us out, thank you. :D
If you could also provide your tank setup for us that would be helpful as well. Such as, your UVB lighting such as type & brand & if it is a flourescent tube bulb or a compact or coil light, your basking light, the temps & what you use to measure them, what you feed, supplementation, etc.



Original Poster
Okay, my mom has been feeding some kind of lettuce lately (not iceberg!). We bought crickets around a week ago, but he barely ate any and they were chirping around for a week. (I know you shouldn't leave them in there, but there's nowhere else to put them... any makeshift suggestions?)

Temps are from 60ish-75 degrees. (hopefully the higher side.) It's measured by a stick-on temp reader on the back of the tank. We also measure humidity with one of those. (It's usually around 50%.) We're using a combination of three lights with timers: All Living Things incandescent bulb, flourescent light, and NightGlo bulb. They are rotated according to time of day, but we've been leaving the incandescent bulb on longer lately since the room temperature has dropped so low.

...I feel like a bad beardie owner. DDD:


Juvie Member
Please try not to feel bad, I know it's difficult when something goes "wrong".
There are a lot of things that need to be addressed about husbandry, feeding, lighting, etc. But I won't overwhelm you with all of that. My main concern would be the picture. I have no idea if I am correct, so wait until Tracie looks at it or another more-knowledgeable person, but it really looks like he may have yellow fungus. Personally, I would remove the loose substrate first, you can just replace it with paper towels. Also, you can put the crickets in a tall, clear plastic tub while you are "caring" for them (somebody else will address this in more detail). The only other things I will say is that it looks like he maybe shedding, dehydrated, and please try to get the temps up (around 100-105F). However, the stick on thermometers aren't very accurate. You can get a good one that gives you the temp and humidity on both sides of the tank for around $13 at Walmart...Accurite is the brand. I don't know what you are using as a heat source, but a regular white household bulb will work just fine to get the temps up.
Again, I don't know that everything I said is correct...I just wanted to give you a few ideas while you are waiting for a better response. I didn't go in to as much detail as needed, as I don't know the entire situation/details/best thing to do in this case.
I hope you get everything figured out,


Original Poster
Is it okay to insulate the tank with blankets to keep the heat up? We usually just cover it with a towel so there's a little air circulation, but it doesn't get up to temp. I put an extra blanket on today and kept a flap open for ciculation...

And how many crickets should be fed during brumation? He devours dozens during the summer, but doesn't eat as much during winter.

Also, we fed him zucchini today and he looked like he was eating some (he moved from his spot!) and went to bask a bit. It makes me hopeful, though I'm still worried about him.

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

Is there any way you can get a full overall body shot too so I can see his total condition?
How long has the black area been there? It could be yellow fungus possibly. Is there a black spot on the other side in the same area?
Sometimes, right behind their jowls kind of like on the nape of their neck turns black with stress. I need a good overall picture if possible so I can assess the situation better.
At the description of your setup it appears that you do not have a UVB source. That is very important. How long has he not had a UVB source? The best flourescent tube bulb you can get is the Reptisun 10 & you can get that from for much cheaper than the petstore.
The incadescent lightbulb, is it a bright white light or a colored light?
During heavy brumation times, they usually do not eat much of anything. It is not recommended that they are fed high amounts of protein during this time due to the fact protein is harder to break down & it takes longer to digest. If he is out for several days in a row, then you can try to feed him but make sure that he goes to the bathroom before you let him go back down into full brumation.
Also during brumation they don't need to be quite as warm so it is acceptable to allow their temps into the 50-60's for a nice brumation for them. So yes you can cover the tank to keep it a little warmer though if that helps keep cold drafts out, that is no problem.
The stick on thermometers are not very accurate so try to get a digital probe or a temp gun to doublecheck the temps.
Have you gotten a fecal done on him? That might be a good idea because that can cause lethargic behavior & they can take over their system if they are too high in levels when they brumate.
As suggested, do not leave any crickets at all in the tank with him, they can & will bite him as well as stress him out. Get a plastic storage bin to keep them in as well as some dry gutload food for them & some apples or potatoes for the moisture. Crickets are highly cannibalistic so if food is not provided for them all of the time, they will eat each other.
Please try to get an entire body shot of him I would appreciate it. I need to see his head, & spine. Thanks.



Original Poster
I'm not sure when it first appeared... He's been acting sluggish for a couple weeks now, but I assumed that was just the brumation. I noticed the spot yesterday. Yes, there is another black spot on the other side. ):

A flourescent tube is a UVB light, correct? If so, I do have one. I mentioned it. If not, he has never had a UVB light. (I am not certain at what age my aunt got him, though.)

Okay, now it's about 75-80F with the lights on and insulation. It's good to know it's alright if the temperature falls to 50-60 though. ^ ^

My family is not convinced that the stick-on thermometers aren't accurate. Around how far off has it been recorded to be? (They are too trustful of the pet stores... we're not very pet savvy.) Also, I don't have a Walmart extremely closeby, do any other retailers carry those temperature probes? (Target, Costco...)

fullbody shot: (The cactus is blocking him a little, sorry.)
closeup of other spot:

edit: No, I have not had a fecal done. My parents have never taken Elric (my beardie) to a vet before, and we have no idea where we would go to if we needed to. As I mentioned earlier as well, my parents aren't too keen on the vet trip... ):

and gah, my digital camera is horrendous!


Gray-bearded Member
Is this what you are talking about?

If so I mean my bearded dragon has that as well, I don't see any reason for concern unless I'm wrong ?


Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

Ok, no worries. Those black spots are pigmentation. No yellow fungus there. He is remaining cooler due to inactivity & or brumation so his body will be darker right now.
Can you please check the flourescent UVB tube bulb, to see if you can find a brand name on it, & the number? Example, Reptisun 10, or Reptiglo 8, etc. Also, do you know how old that particular bulb is? If it is older than 6 or so months then it needs to be replaced.
The stick on thermometers have a mechanism in them that are not designed to measure basking temps. They only measure ambient air temps or the glass temperature that it is sticking on. Most people on here have experience with them & will say that they are inaccurate. They have been known to be off by as much as 20 degrees.
If you can order anything online, you can order a digital probe from: or

You can get a temp gun from here:

Well, assuming he is not having any major health problems, you can take a fecal sample to any vet & they should be able to analyze it for you just as they would a cat or a dog, for worms or parasites. It is not very expensive. Keep in mind, sometimes, reptiles do need vet care just as cats & dogs do so if he is exhibiting illness you should seriously think about finding a vet. Is his beard darkened at all?
Just looking at him, his fatpads on top of his head do not seem to be sunken in. I would try to get him more hydrated though to make sure he is not having any problems after getting too cold. It almost looks like the area right above his eyes might be going to shed perhaps?
Also, do you use calcium supplementation?
We need to figure out the type of UVB that you do have so I can direct you to get another one if needed. The UVB tube needs to be placed directly beside the basking light for a created basking spot that will provide heat & UVB in one spot.



Original Poster
Oh, thank goodness. ^ ^

It's Reptiglo 8, but it's far older than 6 months old... o__o;; oops. They should be replaced before they burnout?

Ohhh, that makes sense. Okay, I'll look into the temp probes.

No, his beard isn't dark at all. But I will also look for a vet. Is there anything particular I should look for in the job title? (Like 'exotic pet specialist'...or something?)

We've set water out for him before but I don't think he was ever accustomed to drinking from the shallow bowl. I'll go get one tomorrow then.

Calcium supplements as in pellets? (are there calcium pellets?) I have a supplement dusted onto the crickets we feed him, I am pretty sure it is calcium.

Oh! That's no problem. We have a tri-lamp thing above the tank, so the UVB, Nightglo, and incandescent lights are all in the same place.


Juvie Member
Beardies absorb water to stay hydrated through their vent. (where the poo comes out). You need you soak him for 20 minutes in baby warm water up to his shoulders with the vent area under water. Hold you hands under him so he won't be scared. Do not leave him alone in the water. (just like a baby!) Have you been soaking? Mine gets her swim twice a week or more.


Sub-Adult Member
The UVB bulbs need replaced long before they give out. They stop giving off acceptable ranges of UVB at 4-6 months. You should replace it with the ReptiSUN 10.0, as Tracie suggested, because the GLO is not a very good bulb.

You can find herp vets on this site- Check and make sure they have actual experience with dragons before taking him in though, and if they want to give him any meds you should probably check back here first to make sure it's actually ok and they're not just wildly stabbing in the dark by what's good for other critters.

As said above, baths are better ways of hydrating than in-tank dishes, most dragons won't drink out of standing water because in the wild that would be stagnant and possibly poisonous.

Could you check the label on the dust you put on the crickets and let us know what it says? They need seperate calcium and multi-vitamins, but the dust is the suppliment's we're refering to. If you're having it done at the pet store, you should probably stop letting them do it because you don't know the levels of what you're getting.


Original Poster
Ohhh, yeah, I was never sure how and when to give him a bath. But I will try today.

Okay, I'll get one as soon as I can.

Okay, so I have Sandfire Super Foods Dragon Dust. (bought from a pet store...uh.)
On the label it says: Crude protein, min: 25%
Crude fat min: 1.5%
Crude fiber, max: 3%
Moisture, max: 8%
Ask, max: 8%
Calcium (Ca) min: 14%
Calcium (Ca) max 16%
Vitamin A Acetate: 20,000 IU/Kilo
Vitamin D-3, min: 4000 IU/Kilo

It's also refrigerated, if that makes a difference. o:

Drache613 Sicko
Staff member

Good you will get a new UVB as soon as possible.
The pellets are ok, but, they should not be used as the sole supplemental calcium for him. It has vitamin A & vitamin D in them & to give enough of that just to get enough calcium in him would be too much on the vitamins.
So, I recommend getting Repcal calcium with D3, & give that 3 times per week. Or, you can get Jurassical plain calcium which is a decent supplement, also.
Ok, so all of your lighting is in one end of the tank then? Good, that will work. Definitely replace that Reptiglo 8. The UVB tends to decline after around 5 months, though, the bulb could work for MUCH longer than what the UVB emissions will be putting out.
A good site to buy the Reptisun 10 flourescent tube bulb is:



Original Poster
Well, that's dusted onto crickets, which we feed every/every other week... Where can I find the calcium pellets?

Oh, thanks for the site! My dad and I just visited the petstore and it was there, but it was $50. o____o;;;

I also gave him a bath today and he seemed quite alert and eagerly ate all the crickets today. :)
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