Was it love at first sight?
Reptile fanatics have rated this iguana-like pet so high on the exotic scale that there is no way they will want to miss it.
Even though Chinese water dragons are small and quite a pet material, it is worthwhile to note that its care regimen is way too intensive.
If you or someone that you know is aiming to call this dragon their own, we insist that you do thorough research to see if you can match the commitments.
What does a Chinese water dragon look like
The reptile species is usually the shade between the darkest and a lighter, more fluorescent shade of green. Its body has vertical, slanted stripes in teal and turquoise color. Its belly is white, but it can also be a pale shade of yellow. The throat is colorful with a belt of different colors ranging from dark orange, yellow to light peach.
They have long tails that have bands in vivid shades of green and brown. So colorful, you say? Well, wait till you see it, and we can guarantee that you will not be able to take your eyes off it.
Size and average life expectancy
The adult male Chinese water dragon’s crest is much bigger than the female’s. The male in this species grows much larger than the female. The average male grows up to 3 feet in length, and the female one is 2 feet only. The most exciting part of their bodies is their tails. The Chinese water dragon’s tail is precisely half the size of its body!
The lizards live for an average lifetime of 10 to 15 years. Some of the well-bred hardier Chinese water lizards are believed to live till a ripe old age of 20 years.
The Chinese water dragon became famous as a pet only in and around the year 1995. Chinese dragons originate from Southeast Asian Mainland, Thailand, Southern China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. These lizards are still imported after being caught from these countries in the wild.
Today, there is a significant leap in the number of pet dealers and breeders who breed the species in the Americas and Europe. If we are asked to give an opinion, then it will be to ask you to go for the captive-bred lizards only. The reason is that when you buy a captive bred lizard, you are purchasing a healthier but less stressed pet, and that will translate into your pet staying with you for many more years.
Are Chinese water dragons territorial in nature?
Don’t go after their cutesy looks; these lizards are very territorial. Do not ever make the mistake of housing tow make Chinese water dragons together in the same enclosure. You will wake up to terrible injuries or a bloodbath.
Sex your lizards before you house them. Be careful when you are sexing them. You don’t want to injure them while trying to determine what gender it is. But sex them you must. They can have a very high superiority complex and can compete for superiority in the cage. You may leave them unsupervised, unattended when all together if you are in a mood for World War III!
With prudent care, Chinese water dragons can live to a maximum of 16 years.
Chinese water dragons are easy to handle once they get used to your touch. Never force the dragon to let you handle it. It makes them very vulnerable. Wait around till it gets used to having you around and only begin. They may fight amidst themselves, but they are never aggressive around human owners. If they are frightened, they will hide behind the foliage in their enclosure or hid inside their water dishes.
They are also believed to whip the tail end on the ground when someone is picking them up and open their mouth wide and gape.
Hatchlings are only about one to one and a half inches when they are born. They quickly grow to 5 or 7 inches during pre-adulthood. An adult dragon is approximately 10 inches. It sheds skin frequently, and after a few shedding, the upper body becomes green. The dragon is so attractive only because of the radiant green color that it is.
The tail is pointed in the end and helps the dragon in balancing itself on delicate branches. It also uses it to its advantage. It makes a whipping sound by lashing it on the ground when it is scared or threatened by predators.
Dragons eat an omnivorous diet
The dragon has small but very pointed teeth to tear at their penchant for a live feed. They can even bite the owners, and there can be some emergency rushing to the outpatient department. But thank god that these kinds of occasions keep only once and in between.
Dragons have specific needs. Since they are arboreal, their enclosures have to be high, long, and deep. They enjoy a humid environment, and so the humidity level should be closely monitored and maintained at 80%. The most preferred material for the enclosure is wood or glass.
The only downside of using glass for an enclosure is that they see their reflection and rub their noses on the walls so much that they can permanently damage it.
These cute creatures love swimming. Make sure to place a deep dish with water in the enclosure so that they can soak. Change the water diligently every day because these creatures are incredibly prone to pseudomonas infection that they can pick up from impure water.
Light and heat requirements
The dragons need a heat and light source. Dragons will also need UVB radiations to synthesize Calcium and Vitamin D3 in their bodies. Basking areas must be included in the cage. Rich foliage so that they can hide in case of threat or fear.
The best substrate for the dragons is plain sterile soil. Anything else will create impaction.
Heat and lighting inside the cage must be taken due care of. Improper temperature and humidity can result in
- Weakened immune system
- Inadequate digestion and
- Slower metabolism