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Chinese Water Dragon Care Sheet

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The Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) is a medium sized lizard native to Southeast Asia. Countries they are commonly found in are Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and of course, China. Chinese Water Dragons can grow to sizes of 36 inches for males, and up to 24 inches for females. They have a long lifespan, especially in captivity, living up to 18 years.

Feeding Your Chinese Water Dragon

Chinese Water Dragons are omnivorous, but given the choice, they will eat meat more often than not. The majority of their diet should consist of feeder insects. A baby Chinese Water Dragon should be offered small crickets and small pieces of vegetables every day. When older, larger insects (crickets, butterworms, waxworms, silkworms, etc.) and pinkie mice can be eaten, and they should be fed every second day. Make sure to dust the food with a vitamin supplement and/or calcium powder prior to feeding. All insects should be gut-loaded with nutritional foods. As you can tell from their namesake, Chinese Water Dragons love water. They need water in their enclosure at all times. They will swim in it if there is enough water. The only problem in this is that the Dragons will consistently defecate in the water, and this needs to be cleaned everyday. It may easier to use a large pan filled with water. They will drink from the pan as well, but a daily misting and a drip system is also recommended.

Lighting, Temperature & Humidity

A Chinese Water Dragon needs its heat. You should keep the temperature during the day between 83 to 88 degrees F. There should be a basking spot reaching 90 degrees F. At night, the temperature should be between 75 to 80 degrees F. Keep the day light on a 12 hour cycle, and 14 during the colder months. You should keep the humidity in the Chinese Water Dragon habitat around 80%. Do not let it reach above 85 to 90% under any circumstances, as high humidity may cause respiratory problems. Your Dragons will need full spectrum lighting. Having both UVA and UVB light will allow the Dragon to get the vitamins it needs.

Chinese Water Dragon Habitat

A large enclosure is a must for Chinese Water Dragons. The length of the tank should be at least twice the length of the dragon. Since they need water to swim, a glass aquarium is a good option. The top must be fully screen. You could easily provide a screen enclosure, but would have to make sure to supply enough water for the dragon. Screen enclosures also provide good ventilation to avoid stagnant air. If you are not using water on the bottom of the enclosure, potting soil, sand and peat moss are good substrates. You must provide large branches and other objects for the Chinese Water Dragons to climb and perch on.

Distribution Map

chinese water dragon range map

Chinese Water Dragon Pictures

chinese water dragon thumbnail   chinese water dragon on branch thumbnail image   Chinese Water Dragon Skull thumbnail picture
View our entire Lizard Pictures gallery.

Read all about the Chinese Water Dragon in the Wild, where it lives in Southeast Asia.

Take a look at these Chinese Water Dragon Pictures.

The Chinese Water Dragon shares the Genus Physignathus with one other lizard.


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