for Your New Chinese Water Dragon
The inside scoop on Physignathus cocincinus
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Pet World Visit
Info from K.
Fortner, July 9, 2005
Water Dragons live in many areas of
Size: Adult water dragons attain three feet in length, but most of the specimens we’ve seen are under two feet. The sellable sizes are always the small ones because the big ones fight in confinement.
Foods: Our table above lists the more popular foods they like. Don’t give up on a particular food if they refuse it once or twice. Water Dragons will also eat birds and smaller lizards. We do not recommend mixing water dragons with most other lizards. They will rip the legs off same size lizards.
Supplements: Because their bones grow so much, Water dragons need calcium supplements on their insects. If you give them a pinkie (baby rodent) a week and feed guppies or goldfish often, you will probably meet their mineral and vitamin needs.
Lighting: Like most reptiles, water dragons need full-spectrum fluorescent lighting or daily sessions in real sunlight. The closer they can climb to your bulbs, the better your bulbs work.
Heat: An under-cage heater probably works best. Put it under their water bowl. Or put a submersible heater in their water bowl. Careful. Always unplug the water heater when changing their water or you will buy lots of new heaters. On second thought, just forget this thought. If you need more heat, add a good size light bulb or ceramic heater.
Water: Water dragons defecate in their water. Change it daily. You don’t want them drinking dirty water. All lizards have a limited understanding of basic sanitation.
Not Good Mixers: If you mix them with smaller lizards, they will eat them. If you mix them with same size lizards, they will eat off parts. If you mix them with slightly larger lizards, keep both well fed. Very few lizards (except the little ones) will mix well.
Tameable: Like all lizards, water dragons are wild animals. However, dragons soon come to realize that you don’t plan to eat them. They quickly figure out that you are their food source. They learn to sit calmly on your hand.
Intelligent: Water dragons score fairly low on the SAT. However they are among the smartest of all the lizards – way smarter than iguanas which they somewhat resemble when young. Unfortunately, being smarter than an iguana still ranks low on the smartometer.
Nose Scrapers: Teenage water dragons from the wild do not know that glass exists. They will sit/stand there and rub against it till they rub their noses raw. They still don’t believe anything stands between them and freedom. Put a bit of antibiotic ointment on the wound. Put some strips of masking tape across the areas where they constantly rub their noses. Unless they stop rubbing it, it will never heal. Open wounds make them susceptible to all sorts of invading organisms. Stop nose rubbing as soon as you see it. Younger water dragons do not rub their noses as much. But you can’t tell those teenagers anything.
In Summary: The Chinese water dragon makes a great pet lizard. We expect to see local breeding soon. But, as we look back, we have not seen local breeding yet. LA.
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