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Asian or Chinese Water Dragon – Captive Care and Common Health Concerns

Water DragonHello, Frank Indiviglio here. The Asian or Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) superficially resembles the Green Iguana and is popular with those iguana fans lacking the space for a 6 foot-long lizard. Alert, beautifully-colored and interesting, they are among the best of all large lizard pets. Water Dragons are subject to several unique health concerns but, as will be explained, all can be easily avoided.

Asian Water Dragons range from southern China through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. They are always found near water, frequenting riversides, swamps and canals. The less-common Eastern Water Dragon, Physignathus leseurii, may also be kept as described below.

Behavior

Water Dragons are alert and somewhat high-strung, and will run from noises, cats, dogs, and other threats.  In the wild, frightened individuals drop from branches to the water or dash into heavy cover; captives retain this instinct and are often injured during escape attempts.  While most calm down and accept gentle handling, always avoid startling your pet. Read More »

Breeding the Green Basilisk and Related Species – Part 2

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Please see Part 1 of this article for further information on keeping and breeding Green Basilisks (Basiliscus plumifrons), American or Brown Basilisks (B. basiliscus) and Banded Basilisks (B. vittatus).

Nesting Behavior

Female Green Basilisks deposit 7-15 eggs in a 6-10 inch deep pit that they evacuate in moist soil (please see Part I of this article for details).  The front and rear legs are then brought into play in re-filling the nest site.  Read More »

Breeding the Green (Plumed) Basilisk and Related Species – Part 1

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  We are quite fortunate that so attractive and interesting a lizard as the Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) also breeds well in captivity.  Two related species, the American or Brown Basilisk (B. basiliscus) and the Banded Basilisk (B. vittatus) may also be bred as described below.  The fourth species in the genus, the Western Basilisk (B. galeritus) is not often kept or bred.

Enthusiastic Breeders

Plumed BasiliskGreen Basilisks make things easy for their owners – unlike many reptiles, they seem not to need changing temperatures, rain or other environmental stimulation in order to come into breeding condition.  Although reproduction is influenced by seasonal changes in the wild, well-nourished captives may breed year-round.  In fact, it is important to monitor females carefully, as they may become egg-bound if unable to find a proper nesting site.  Read More »

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