The Water Dragon makes an interesting pet

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Alyssa Landau Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Alyssa Landau
Columnist, The Friday Flyer

Water Dragons are found in the tropical rainforests and can change their skin color between green and brown, depending on the temperature around them.

These reptiles also have long toes and spikes along the top of their head and scaling along their backside. They can grow up to three feet long and can live up to 15 years! That is a long time for a pet.

Most Water Dragons are green; the way you can tell which are males is that they have orange or yellow splotches on their throats.

These reptiles are great pets but are more so a window pet than one you can hold all the time. If you have a child who loves reptiles, I would recommend a bearded dragon, as they are very positive towards human handling.

Below I will discuss what these Water Dragons need to eat, how to house them and what you need to keep them overall happy.

Diet – Water Dragons thrive on eating insects, and the big staple of their diet should consist of crickets and mealworms.

A17-PIC-PetIt is also fun to get a couple small feeder fish (such as minnows) and place them in the water dish. Watch the dragon jump around, eyeball his prey and then eat the fish right out of the bowl. It is a fun way to get your children involved in the feeding as well as an interesting way to feed your reptile.

Tip: If your lizard is tame enough, it would be fun to let some crickets run around on the floor outside his cage and watch him run around to chase them down!

Habitat – It is important that you house your reptiles in an adequately sized container as it is essential to the emotional and physical happiness of your new pet. An ideal sized habitat for the Water Dragon is a 50-gallon tank. That way you will have time to upgrade to a larger size or never upgrade at all, depending on how fast or large your dragon grows.

Keep in mind that these dragons are from the tropical rainforests, so they are used to being in shallow water, living by rivers and swamps. It is essential to keep the habitat humidity up as well as having a large enough water dish for them to swim in. It is fun to walk by the cage and see them inside the water bowl!

I also recommend incorporating branches, moss and dirt (or coconut fiber) in the cage so that they can get as close to their natural environment as they can. If your Water Dragon starts to eat their substrate, switch over to a carpet or edible substrate.

Make sure the temperature of the habitat stays between 100 F in the morning to 70 F in the evening. I recommend, as a primary heat source, using an incandescent light.

Tip: Do not house males together, and do not house reptiles of different species together.

Temperament – Water Dragons have long tails, which not only aide them in balance, but also help to whip predators that come to harm them.

These dragons are nice window pets. Although you can train them to get used to human contact, most I’ve encountered do not want to be held and will whip you with their tails just like iguanas will.

As long as you get them when they are babies or even juveniles, they can be tamed; so avoid getting them as full adults as they don’t like to be handled as much.

Fun fact: Water Dragons can stay submerged under water for 25 minutes. Wow!

Like always, it is essential to do your own research before buying any new pet you are not used to having in your home.

These reptiles are great to have as long as you get them from when they are babies and allow them to become tamed. Have fun!

Fun fact: Water Dragons have a third eye! It’s located on the top of their head, 1-2mm!

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Sharon Rice