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
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,
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.
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.
Chinese Water Dragon Pictures
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.