Chinese water dragon

Chinese Water Dragon

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The Chinese water dragon (Physignathus Cocincinus) is an agamid lizard from China and mainland Southeast Asia. It is also recognized as the Asian water dragon, Thai water dragon, and green water dragon. The species name is Greek for “inflated jaw”. Chinese water dragons differ from dark to moderately light green. They have vertical, diagonal streaks of green or blue-green on their bodies.

Chinese water dragons seem much similar to small iguanas and consume a lot of their time swimming. They are famous pet lizards due to their smaller size, but their care needs are further potent than most people expect. Adult males have more oversized heads than females, and they promote more prominent peaks on the back of the head and neck.

Content Overview

Description

Characteristics

Appearance

Behavior

Habitat

Diet

Health Concerns

Things to know

Description

Although several associates the Chinese Water Dragon with only China, Water Dragons are a breed of lizards beginning from various parts of Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. When endangered, Chinese Water Dragons utilise water as a shelter, retreating and staying immersed until the threat passes. Some have been associated with holding their breath underwater for up to 90 minutes. As a result, they are classified as having a “vulnerable” conservation status, and their population is decreasing in the wild.

They are bright green reptiles with large pointy tails. Same the Uromastyx, this long tail is employed as a weapon upon predators and for balance when running, climbing, or swimming. Most confined Chinese Water Dragons have been wild-caught, which indicates they will not be as adaptable as most pet lizards. Related to different pet reptile species, Water Dragons can be challenging to consider in captivity.

Characteristics

Chinese Water Dragon Facts

  • Color: Variable shades of green or brown with dark tail bands, light body bands
  • Length: Up to 3.3 ft (1 m)
  • Weight: Up to 2.2 lbs (1 kg)
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Group Name: lounge
  • Lifestyle: Arboreal, Precocial
  • Seasonal Behavior:  Sedentary
  • Social structure: housed alone, in pairs, or as trios.
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Preferred Habitat: Tropical Rain Forests, near water
  • Average Clutch Size: Around 7 eggs
  • Main Prey Species: Insects, though some vegetation is also eaten
  • Predators: Large birds, mammals, other reptiles, humans

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Iguania
  • Family: Agamidae
  • Genus: Physignathus
  • Species: P. cocincinus

Appearance

Chinese water dragons differ from dark to relatively light green. They have vertical, diagonal lines of green or greenish-blue on their bodies. Their stomachs are white or pale yellow, and their necks blend yellow, orange, and peach. The long tail is slender and banded with green and brown. Chinese water dragons are ordinarily green, varying from bright green to aqua with a tan or brown-banded tail.

Males lead an adult size of around three feet in length, and females are relatively a little smaller. The legs of a water dragon are developed to climb. The front legs are slim and more determined, utilized for gripping and raising the dragon up and within the foliage, while the solid rear legs aid in climbing and provide a water dragon to run bipedally.

Behavior

Chinese water dragons are amongst one of the friendliest lizards out there, friendlier even than iguanas. They appreciate being handled and need constant handling to deter them from becoming destructive. If a Chinese water dragon feels threatened or is scared, it may lash out by biting and whipping its tail. They love to climb and swim and are incredibly powerful in the wild. Having chances to implement these activities in captivity is required.

They are also great swimmers and are fortunate when there is water in their place as well. Chinese water dragons are pleasant animals. They manage to thrive in captivity when in pairs or groups. This is recommended; particularly since owning more than one Chinese water dragon doesn’t require considerable more work.

Habitat

Belonging to southern China’s lowland and highland forests and southeastern Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma), Chinese water dragons are most ordinarily discovered along the banks of freshwater lakes and rivers. The original habitat of Chinese water dragons is warm and humid. Water dragons exist in domains with average humidity levels of 40–80% and temperatures fluctuating from 80–90 °F (26–32 °C). They also require a warm, humid environment to thrive.

Diet

Though an adult Chinese water dragon is omnivorous and also consumes vegetation, the water dragon’s nutrition includes insects essentially furnished with an occasional small fish, mammal, or reptile.

Additionally, they can be picky eaters, so changing their diet is required to ensure they obtain their nutrition. Feeding juveniles every day and then transitioning to feeding adults each two to three days is suggested.

Chinese Water Dragons can consume a spacious quality of tiny organisms, including the following:

  • Mealworms, earthworms, and waxworms.
  • Crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts.
  • Minnows and feeder fish.
  • Tiny rodents.

Health Concerns

Chinese Water Dragons typically exist 10 to 15 years in confinement. However, with meaningful husbandry and care, they can exist for up to 20 years. In captivity, they are inclined to several health issues, including various kinds of infections.

Mouth rot is one of the most prevalent health irregularities felt by this species in captivity. It includes infection of both the mouth and gums and is generally related to inflammation and pus. Veterinarians can guide a course of antibiotic medicines for 14 days to handle this disease.

If you wish to bathe, pouring water gently over their body and tail is suitable. However, do not pour water instantly on the head as they can aspirate on the water and produce pneumonia.

Things to know about Chinese water dragons

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Size: They grow to be 3 feet (91 cm) long.
  • Lifespan: Chinese water dragons live about 15 years.
  • Origin: They come from tropical climates.
  • Behavior: They spend most of their time in branches and trees that are in or around the water.
  • Did You Know: They have a “third eye,” actually, a spot between their eyes that can sense changes in light.

Feature Image Source By: Photo by Anthony from Pexels

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