Rankin's dragon

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Rankin's dragon
Pogona henrylawsoni.jpg
Specimen at Diergaarde Blijdorp
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Family: Agamidae
Genus: Pogona
P. henrylawsoni
Binomial name
Pogona henrylawsoni

Rankin's dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni ) is a species of Australian agamid lizard.


It is native to Queensland in Australia, but can be found in captivity across the world.


P. henrylawsoni is similar to the larger central bearded dragon (P. vitticeps), but is usually less than 30 cm (12 in) in total length (including tail), with a shorter and more blunt snout.

Common names[edit]

P. henrylawsoni is also commonly called Lawson's dragon, dumpy dragon, pygmy dragon, dwarf bearded dragon, or black soil bearded dragon.[2]


A formal description was not published for this dragon until 1985, despite being known to herpetologists. The scientific name for this species was disputed, along with the other taxonomic treatments of Wells and Wellington,[3] but was published again by Harold Cogger (2000) and others as a valid name.[4]

The name is noted as invalid in some sources, and given as a synonym for Pogona brevis.[5]

In captivity[edit]

P. henrylawsoni has a life span of six to eight years, and its natural environment is hot, dry and rocky, which must be mimicked in captivity. It is a social species and with supervision can be handled by children, but the dragon does not like to be turned upside down and will struggle when it is. Most specimens outside of Australia in captivity are descendants of dragons illegally exported in the 1980s.


The specific epithet, henrylawsoni, is in honor of the Australian author, poet, and philosopher Henry Lawson.[1]


  1. ^ a b Wells RW, Wellington CR. 1985. "A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia". Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 1-61. (Pogona henrylawsoni, new species, p. 19)
  2. ^ Pogona henrylawsoni at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database
  3. ^ Hoser R (June 1997). "Pogona - From an Australian Perspective". Author's website. paper from REPTILIAN MAGAZINE (United Kingdom) 5 (2): 27-41. (Online version).
  4. ^ Cogger HG. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, Sixth Edition. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Publishing. cite
  5. ^ Witten GJ. 1994. Taxonomy of Pogona (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Agamidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 37 (1): 329-343.

External links[edit]