Philippine Sailfin Lizard

Save as favorite

Avg. Owner Satisfaction


(3 Reviews)

Species group:

Other common names: Crested Lizard; Sail-fin Lizard; Sailfin Water Lizard; Soa-soa Water Lizard

Scientific name: Hydrosaurus pustulatus

The basics:
The Philippine Sailfin lizard is an oviparous lizard living only near rivers in the tropical forests of the Philippines. The Sailfin lizard is an excellent swimmer and has flattened toes that enable it to run across water.

Philippine Sailfin Lizards were commonly available in the pet trade during the 1990s, but today they are rare and expensive as they are limited to captive born specimens, and breeding in captivity has only been done by a few. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the Philippine Sailfin Lizard is listed as "Vulnerable". "The threats to the two species of Hydrosaurus in the Philippines are generally very similar. Populations appear to be principally threatened by habitat loss, often the conversion of wooded land to alternative uses (including agriculture), and through logging operations. In addition, animals (especially hatchlings) are heavily collected for both the pet trade (national and possibly international) and local consumption."

Appearance / health:
The sail-fin lizard is notable not only for its impressive size of up to a meter in length, but also for its rather spectacular appearance. Adults of this large mottled greenish-gray lizard boast a well-developed crest of tooth-like scales from the nape of the neck down the back. However, the most distinctive feature of adult males is the erect ‘sail’ of skin at the base of their tail, up to 8 cm high, which provides propulsion for this strong swimmer to move through the water, and probably also plays an important role in territorial display and thermoregulation. Another adaptation to its watery environment is the large, flattened toes that help the lizard to swim, and even enable it to ‘run’ across the water’s surface, observed particularly in the lighter juveniles.

It is omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves, flowers, insects, and small animals.


easygoing personality, ancient looking faces, miniature dinosaurs


tall enclosure, large financial investment, long claws, UVB tubes

Philippine Sailfin Lizard Health Tip

Philippine Sailfin Lizard

From Athravan Jun 13 2015 2:35AM


Member photos