Chinese Water Dragon: Care And Everything You Need To Know

Do you have a Chinese water dragon as a pet? If yes, in this article I will tell you everything about them from how to care and what you need to know about them. These reptiles are a species of lizards that are native to Southeast Asia and China. They have many different names like the Asian water dragon, green water dragon, and Thai water dragon. If you are looking for an easy-care pet then these water dragons are a good choice. 

But they require some special care and attention that I will tell you about. Keep reading the article to know more facts and information about the Chinese water dragon. 

Chinese Water Dragon

These water dragons are the most friendly among the other lizard species and can be kept as pets. They have diagonal stripes of turquoise and green color on their bodies. These water dragons have an attractive tail which is colored green and white from the middle till the end. There is a range of colors found in this species of lizards. 

The male water dragons have a larger size than female water dragons and have larger crests on the head, neck, and tails. It has been observed that they use their tails as weapons and hit with them whenever they find themselves in danger. 

The tail is also used by them for maintaining balance and for swimming in the water. The interesting feature of them is that they have a pineal eye or the third eye that helps them to regulate their body temperatures. 

The scientific name of these Asian or green water dragons is ‘Physignathus cocincinus’.

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Chinese Water Dragon Habitat

Chinese Water Dragon likes to live alone and are happier if kept alone. They require a humid and warm environment to survive. As these are native to the highland and lowland forests of southern East Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Burma, and of China. 

These water dragons are commonly found on the sides of freshwater lakes and water streams. They are diurnal it means that they are most active during the day. 

It is also found that they like to spend their maximum time on trees and plants. They tend to spend most of their time outside of water but if threatened they prefer swimming or submerging in water. 

The humidity levels at which these water dragons can live is about 40-80%. The temperatures that are perfect for them is in range of 80-90 degree Fahrenheit. 

Chinese Water Dragon Lifespan

The lifespan of the Asian or Thai water dragons is only up to 10 to 15 years with good care and handling. 

Chinese Water Dragon Size

The size of an adult water dragon can be up to 1 meter or 3.3 feet in total length after including its tail tip. 

These water dragons reach their ideal size in one to two years. At 12 months of age, the size of these Asian water dragons when they are in the growing stage is about 10 to 12 inches. 

Chinese Water Dragon Colors

You can find many different colors in these Asian water dragons ranging from red, blue, orange, yellow, or the combination and hues of these colors. Their colorful appearance makes them count in the most attractive and beautiful lizards. 

Chinese Water Dragon Food

The Chinese or Asian water dragon requires different types of food at different stages of its life. 

  • When these water dragons are young they are primarily carnivorous. They need small insects and rodents as their food. 
  • The adult water dragons become more omnivorous and can even eat fruits and vegetables. 
  • The baby water dragons need to be fed every day whereas the adult water dragons should be fed in 2-3 days. 
  • The insects that you can feed them include silkworms, crickets, waxworms, grasshoppers, and small fishes. 
  • The vegetables that you can feed them are kale, collard greens, carrots, sweet potato, and green peppers, etc. 

Chinese Water Dragon Care

These water dragons are nowadays becoming popular pets as they are easy to take care of. 

  • It is not as easy to handle them as it seems but once they get used to your presence they let you tame them. 
  • As the study conducted on them found that they are usually competitive and fight with their other mates. But they are never aggressive towards their human keepers.
  •  If they feel threatened they open their mouth or give a light whip by their tail. It is seen that when they get scared they hide behind the plants or go in the deep water. They may even turn dark which is rarely observed.
  •  If they are not looked after properly they may get infections or intestinal parasites. 
  • The people who are considering keeping them as pets should make sure that they take their water dragon to the vets regularly. 

Chinese Water Dragon Setup

Before bringing a water dragon home you must know the ideal Chinese water dragon enclosure and how it should be kept. You need to set up a tank that should at least have fifty-five gallons of water. The small baby dragons can live in a tank that has less than fifty-five gallons of water but you should make sure that you shift them in a bigger enclosure before one year. 

They grow a lot faster and the tank also requires a lid so that there is no risk of escape. The most commonly available enclosures are made of glass but you need to make sure that if you are buying a glass enclosure it should be covered with the grass on the three sides.

Chinese Water Dragon Facts

Now, I will tell you some interesting facts about the Asian or Thai water dragons that you can have as a pet. 

  • The water dragons are named after dragons as they look similar to them. They can be called miniature versions of the real dragons. 
  • The Chinese or Asian water dragons have a unique habitat. They enjoy living on both the land and the water habitat. On land, you can see them running around and they jump in the water when they sense any type of danger. 
  • They have an exploring nature like dogs. These water dragons observe everything that is kept in their habitat. They are often seen hopping around the plants, smelling and playing with them.
  • They are quite affordable and are easily available in pet shops. You don’t need to invest too much money to buy and to keep them. 
  • Interestingly they are a part of the Chinese horoscope and there are five different types of water dragons called Metal dragons, water dragons, wood dragons, fire dragons, and earth dragons. 


Is A Chinese Water Dragon A Good Pet?

Yes, the green water dragons make a good pet as they are friendly. Once, they get used to your presence they can be easily handled and tamed. 

Are Chinese Water Dragons Hard To Take Care Of?

No, they are not hard to take care of and they just need a proper humid environment with an adequate amount of water and plants in their enclosure. 

Do Chinese Water Dragons Like To Be Held?

Yes, the water dragons are the friendliest species among the lizards and they like to be held. They enjoy being taken care of and tamed by humans once they get used to them. 

Are Water Dragons Good Beginner Pets?

Yes, the water dragons are good beginner pets and you don’t need to make much effort to keep them. They are friendly and they like to be handled by humans. 

Can You Play With Water Dragon?

Chinese water dragons can be aggressive towards both males and females of their species. The good news is that Chinese water dragons are known for being friendly with humans. If you do have trouble getting your dragon to be sociable, work on handling the dragon each day, but also give it time to rest in its habitat.

How Long Can A Chinese Water Dragon Hold Its Breath?

25 minutes

Water dragons are arboreal and if threatened they will drop from a tree into the water to make their getaway. They are proficient swimmers and they can hold their breath underwater for up to 25 minutes.

What Is The Meaning Of The Chinese Water Dragon?

They are highly intellectual and always take advantage of every opportunity spontaneously. Water Dragons are strong-minded and determined to do well in whatever they try, which comes to them quite naturally. They are a little perfectionist and will always try to maintain their high standards.


In this article, you will get to know about the Chinese water dragon and how to keep them. They are nice and easy to handle pets. You need to take proper care of them as they are prone to get infections and intestinal parasites that can turn fatal. The water dragons enjoy playing around and it is fun to watch them. 

If you are thinking to keep them as pet make sure that their habitat is well designed and have the proper amount of water and plants. This will help to keep them playing and engaged. Read the full article to know all the important information and facts about the Chinese water dragon.

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