Have you decided to adopt a Water Dragon? It is a very popular reptile that thrives particularly indoors. It is appreciated by enthusiasts in particular for its calm and playful character. Also called Chinese Water Dragon because of its habitat area, this reptile still requires a lot of attention and proper equipment.
The origins of the Chinese Water Dragon
The water dragon, or its full name Physignathus cocincinus is native to Southeast Asia. It can be found in the humid and hot forests of Cambodia, in the south of China, in Thailand or in Vietnam near water points. It is a diurnal lizard belonging to the family Agamidae. Some pet shops call it the Water Agamid, which is a mistake, because it is actually its neighbor from Australia.
The character of the Water Dragon
The Water Dragon is very popular for several reasons. First of all, it has a robust health. The Water Dragon is easy to care for. It can be sociable with other animals and is very playful with humans. However, its character is calm and affectionate. It is easy to domesticate it, because this saurian can be handled, but be careful not to stress it with too much contact! Indeed, the Water Dragon is easily impressed. It’s up to you to find a balance so that it is docile without being stressed. This way, visits to the vet will be much easier.
The life expectancy of this animal is approximately ten to twelve years. A water dragon living in ideal conditions can live up to fifteen years.
Two ailments often affect the Water Dragon, constipation and diarrhea. The reason for this is known: it ingests stones, bark from branches or sand. The dinosaur becomes apathetic and loses its appetite.
The physique of the Water Dragon
It has a green or even olive color. The youngest specimens have a brighter hue, as well as white stripes on the back which disappear in adulthood. Its throat is white. It has a crest starting at the nape of its neck and continuing all along its back. His head is large, his body is stocky and his tail is very long. In the male, the dorsal spines are more important. The female may not have any at all. It can be difficult to sex a Water Dragon before six months, up to a year. The reason for this is that if several specimens live together, sexual dimorphism can play a role in the confusion. For example, a dominant female will adopt the characteristics of the males, and vice versa.
Size and weight
It can measure up to one meter and more generally between 60 and 90 centimeters, two thirds of which are due to its tail, which is striped black and white. The female weighs between 650 and 750 grams. As for the male, he weighs up to one kilo on the scale because he is more massive.
The Water Dragon has the particularity to have orange eyes as well as a parietal eye, that is to say a photosensitive organ located on the top of the skull (a third eye). This specific eye acts as a thermal regulator.
The male water dragon starts with a pre-coupling parade. During this ritual, he nods his head and flattens his flanks in order to seduce the female. If this one succeeds, the two lizards chase each other until they mate. Concerning the laying, the female digs a nest. It is advisable to leave her several different laying areas. This is how a dozen, more generally ten eggs are laid. Then comes the time of incubation of the eggs, covering between 65 and 70 days. The temperature must be between 24°C and 32°C.
The Water Dragon in its terrarium
This lizard is an insectivore, so it consumes crickets, grasshoppers, locusts or mealworms, but also fish and small mice. A food powder rich in vitamins will also do him a lot of good, simply pour it on the insects of his menu. The terrarium of the Water Dragon should have a tree-like environment. It should have good soil, branches and some plants.
A terrarium with optimal conditions
Agamids, including the Water Dragon, are affected by Dysecdysis. It is responsible for a shedding disorder in them: the old skin has difficulties to fall off. This skin cannot be removed from the body of the water dragon and has a negative effect on its blood circulation, as it compresses the fingers and even the limbs of the lizard. This can happen if the terrarium is not at a sufficient temperature. A good warm bath will help it to get rid of its old skin.
An important hygiene
For his hygiene and comfort, make sure to provide him with a bathtub and to keep an eye on the heat of the lamps you will place for him. The temperature and hygrometry must be carefully monitored.
In short, it is a perfect tenant for your terrarium: playful but calm, easily manipulated, it seduces more and more pet owners.