Glasgow Zoo Park
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Indonesian Water Dragon Physignathus cocincinus
Indonesian Water Dragon
Indonesian Water Dragon
Photos by Andy Smyth, Photographer. ©

A semi-aquatic species of lizard from Indo-China and a small area of china, water dragons are frequently bred in captivity and are relatively easy to sex, exhibiting significant sexual dimorphism. The males' head, dewlap and crest are far bigger than the females'. Males are usually larger and more brightly coloured and, like many iguanids with a thicker tail at the base and more developed femoral pores (the fleshy pads on the inside of each thigh).

We keep our water dragons in a variety of enclosures, all of which are very large. Currently, they are housed in a glass and stone-sided room 3 m x 4 m x 1.5 m in height, which they share with a few tortoises and two plated lizards. Daytime temperatures are around 27EC, dropping a few degrees at night. Much of the food is shared with tortoises, but crickets, locusts, and mince meat with mineral supplements are also fed routinely.