Acquired: Wild caught / rehabilitation animal
Auckland, New Zealand
Posted Nov 19, 2015
Australian Eastern Water Dragon
The Eastern Water Dragon is strikingly coloured, strong, muscled, solid bodied lizard growing to 1m in males, males are more colourful displaying a red belly and often yellow and black markings around the eyes and throat. Best kept in a group of 3+ Females to 1 Male lizard of similar size, keeping juveniles with adults will result in injuries to smaller lizards. More than two males are not usually kept in the same enclosure, however, if the enclosure is large enough, provided with plenty of hiding spaces, and there is no aggression showing toward either males or females then more than one male can be kept together comfortably. Provide a minimum of one female, preferably a group of females, to one male. Will be difficult to keep in small spaces, they are fine while they are young but as they grow toward/reach maturity they will require a large enclosure, minimum 2m x 3m and will require circulated water for drinking and swimming. Water: It is important to keep the water as clean as possible as the young lizards and adult lizards will poop in the water that they are drinking. Young lizards may require 3 water changes per day if they are pooping more. Adults daily. If a large outdoor pond is used, 2 times a week water changes if possible otherwise weekly. Habitat: Avoid enclosures that have a wire base as the lizards will try to dig through the wire if the soil is directly under the wire. It is best to build a large outdoor enclosure using some form of soil retaining timber or concrete blocks as a barrier up to 1m high/soil depth to stop lizards digging out of the enclosure. Provide plenty of climbing branches and sunning branches as they like to spread out for the Uv. It is important to provide some hides for your lizards, provide hides for both summer and winter hiding from heat or cold. Hollow logs make excellent hides. Over winter the lizards will brumate (hibernate) and will require a covered/sheltered box/hide with straw added for them to bury themselves under for extra protection from the cold. Lighting: Natural sunlight outdoors, or if the enclosure is indoors use UVB10% Bulbs covering the length of the enclosure and provide basking locations within 20cm of the bulbs. Provide a basking UV light/heat lamp for heat and basking. Temps: The Enclosure should have a temperature at the Hot end: 30.c and at the Cool end: 25.c. Night time temps: 22.c. The basking spot can be up to 40.c but preferable at 38.c. Avoid heat mats as they prefer to take their warmth from above not underneath their body. Heating mats can cause burning. Water temp: Ambient room temp around 22.c. Humidity: 40-70% Feeding: Mixture of live insects while juvenile, small crickets, maggots, houseflies, small mealworms and veges (Dandelion, apple, pear, they will try veges as juveniles, however they are more interested in veges as adults), prepared lizard dried foods, Wet Cat food/Dog food (Kitten or puppy for Juveniles) Adult dog/cat food for adults. Keep a variety of food available ie. Dried lizard foods, meat and veges. Breeding: As the lizards become adults prepare an area in the enclosure for egg laying. Outdoor enclosures the female may prepare her own bed for laying in the soil provided. Indoor enclosures will require a large enough box with a soil preparation of peat/sand/perlite. Make sure the mix is deep enough and the container is long enough for the female to dig into comfortably and position to deposit her eggs. Once the eggs are laid remove the eggs gently and place in containers laid with vermiculite. Place eggs/containers in a reptile egg incubator. Incubation time may be up to 90 days.