Species group: Bearded Dragons and Frilled Dragons
Other common names: Frilled Dragon
Scientific name: Chlamydosaurus kingii
Frilled Lizards are native to Northeastern Australia and Southern Papua/New Guinea. They are primarily arboreal (seen clinging to a tree trunk) but are also seen perched on anthills and other elevated areas on the ground.
Appearance / health:
Frilled Lizards grow up to about 32 inches in length, with the tail almost twice as long as the body. Males, typically larger than the females, have brighter frill colors, and have larger heads, fang-like teeth, and femoral and preanal pores. Adults often have frills up to a foot in length, with base colors of black, orange, or yellow, accented by red, orange, or white spots. The body color of the Frilled Lizard ranges from black and gray to shades of brown and olive green.
Behavior / temperament:
Frilled Lizards are active in the daytime, although not as active as other lizards. They will stay still for long periods of time but will quickly run away when startled. They display their frills when threatened. They are most comfortable clinging to tree trunks and branches but can manage to run (on their hind legs) when on flat ground. They are considered good pets because they acclimate readily and are generally non-aggressive to their owners.
Frilled Lizards are best kept in a vertically oriented forest terrarium decorated with plenty of branches, logs, or cork bark for climbing and basking, and artificial foliage for aesthetics (these lizards damage plants). Recommended cage dimensions for an adult Frilled Dragon is at least 4 feet high and 3 feet wide, or a minimum of 100 gallons to bigger. Substrate or bedding should be paper, soil, cypress mulch, or sand, about 2 inches deep. A large water dish should be provided for soaking and drinking, and should be refreshed daily. Day temp: 86-100F; night temp: 64-71F; basking temp: 104-113F; humidity: 5-70%; lighting: up to 14 hrs; bright light and UV required.
Frilled Lizards can be kept as pairs or in groups with only one male. Because of their humidity requirements, misting them once or twice a day is recommended, as well as giving them warm showers every two weeks. They hibernate for 6-8 weeks at a temperature of 64-68F. If kept in ideal conditions, the lizards live to about 15 years.
Primarily feeding on insects, Frilled Lizards appreciate crickets, cockroaches, and beetles. At times, they will consume worms, rodents, nestling birds, and other lizards. They also feed on lettuce, corn, peas, and squash. Flowers and fruits can be offered in small amounts. Frilled Lizards eat less as they age. They should be fed in moderation because they gain weight easily.
Males can start breeding at one year old, but females should be allowed to mature for at least two years to minimize egg-binding (because their still small/young bodies are unable to sustain egg-development). Changes in temperature encourage mating. One male can be introduced to mate with several females. A nesting pan with large mounds of soil and sand should be placed in the cage for the female to use as a digging site for her eggs, usually 4 to 15 in number. The eggs must be incubated at 82-85F.
truly unique appearance, prehistoric looking display, wonderful coloration, fantastic animals
skiddish, humidity, handsoff animal, little Bastards, large enclosure
typical threat display, favorite movie scenes, light weight body, arboreal lizards
We got Dockson over here
Frilled lizards are probably one of my favorites, and that is purely to do with the fact that one of my favorite movie scenes of all time was nedry getting demolished by the dilophasaurus. But I digress, as the owning of the creature, is an interesting and yet partially disappointing one. On the one hand these guys are really cool to watch, have a wonderful coloration, and no problem showing off the frill they hold, that being said, they are also aggressive little Bastards that will show you how much power they have. I never got bitten by the one I owned, but it was at best a love hate relationship.
So what of the animal itself. Is it worth the money and time? I would easily say yes with an if, or no with a but, and that is ultimately the fairest way to approach the ownership of these guys. You will be disappointed if your looking for an adorable new friend, and yet you will be in awe at their display of dominance.
In the end, I would have to say this, if you want something that will interest and amaze you based on its truly unique appearance and behavior then I would totally recommend one of these fantastic animals.
From ManoftheNorth Apr 12 2014 2:30PM
Hardy, Frilled "Dinosaurs"!
Frilled lizards could not be seen in any US collections back when I began working as a reptile keeper at the Bronx Zoo. Today, these spectacular “dragons” are regularly bred by hobbyists, and their husbandry needs are well known. Although not an ideal “first lizard”, they do make fascinating, long-lived additions to the collections of those with a bit of reptile-keeping experience.
Space requirements are probably the main drawback to their suitability as a pet. Males can exceed 3 feet in length, and, while not particularly active, they hunt by leaping from tree trunks to the ground as insects pass below, and are ill-at-ease if not able to indulge this behavior. So frilled lizards need a great deal of room – close confinement invariably leads to stress disorders and an early demise. Cages for adults must be custom-built, and should provide at least 5 feet of height on a 4’ x 4’ base.
They prefer to rest on thick, upright logs and branches. Frilled lizards bask often, and should have access to a high output UVB bulb and a temperature gradient of 82-90 F, with a basking site of 115 F. The diet should be as varied as possible – crickets, roaches, waxworms, super mealworms, hornworms, locusts, and silk worms can form the basis. Frilled lizards will not thrive on a diet consisting solely of crickets and super mealworms. Wild-caught insects should be offered whenever possible. Mine especially favor grasshoppers, katydids, large moths and cicadas. Some individuals take plant foods, although in my experience they have been few and far between. Dandelion flowers, collard, mustard and turnip greens, diced carrot, yam, squash and fruit may be offered.
Also, please understand that the frilled lizard is strictly an “observe only” pet – even after years in captivity, most resist human contact, and all are stressed by removal to an unfamiliar area…and please do not make them “frill-up” for your friends – this is not good for their health!.
From findiviglio Nov 16 2015 8:33PM
I got him for the wrong reasons
This is one of the few reptiles I've ever picked up for the extremely wrong reasons. I didn't do my research, didn't look into their care, and simply went with what the guy was telling me and because I saw him display and instantly wanted him. They look just like a certain spitting dinosaur from a well known movie. I love their look but their care isn't all that easy. They need humidity, a big cage, and plenty of places to climb. But they're super sweet if tamed down or raised from babies. Too bad they're also fragile and, like most reptiles, never show signs of being sick or not having the right care until its too late to save them..
From CoverLove Apr 30 2014 9:30AM