Frilled Dragon Care Sheet

Frilled Dragon Care

Frilled Dragon Care, photo by Tambako the Jaguar

Info

  • Scientific Name: Chlamydosaurus kingii
  • Lifespan: Approximately 20 years
  • Handling: Anytime
  • Size: Up to 24 – 36 inches long
  • Care: Easy
  • Community: With enough room, you can house multiple frilled dragons together.
  • Lifestyle: Diurnal, active during the day.

Tank Size

Frilled dragons love to climb and spend most of their days up high, so you will be wanting to make the enclosure more tall than wide. The size tank depends on the size of your frilled dragon. Below are two tank sizes that you will be needing for juvenile and adult frilled dragons.

 

If you are buying a tank, use the following tank size guide for juveniles and adults:

  • Baby and Juveniles: 29 gallon long tank is recommended
  • Adult: A custom made setup will be needed. The required minimum size enclosure should be (LxWxH) 48″ x 24″ x 48″ for a full grown frilled lizard. If you will be housing more than one frilled dragon in the enclosure, you must add more space.

Tank Setup

Frilled dragons are arboreal so you will be wanting to add lots of climbing items throughout the enclosure.

Basking

You should provide your frilled dragon a nice large piece of driftwood or rock to bask on during the day. This is what your frilled dragon will lay on to absorb heat and UVB rays. The basking platform should be placed right underneath the basking spot lamp.

Plants & Foliage

As stated before, these types of lizards love to climb, so you will be wanting to include a whole bunch of mini trees, plants, and climbing items to help your frilled dragon climb and feel comfortable. As your lizard gets bigger, plants will not be able to hold your frilled dragons body weight. The mini trees will allow your frilled dragon to climb easily while supporting its body weight.

Food & Water Bowl

The food bowl will usually be for the worms and vegetation that you will be feeding to your frilled dragon from time to time. The other insects like roaches and crickets will usually be free roaming the enclosure (if you don’t have loose substrate). The water bowl will be your lizards source for hydration.

Lighting & Heating

Lighting is very important for frilled dragons. Without proper lighting, your frilled dragon will have high risks of developing illnesses and diseases like metabolic bone disease which is painful and incurable. With proper lighting, your frilled dragon will live a nice and healthy life. All you need are two types of lights which are mentioned below.

Basking Bulb

This bulb is to provide heat for your frilled dragon when he decides to bask. Depending on where you live and the temperatures being held there, you will need to figure out which kind of heat bulb you will be needing. There are different wattage’s that give off different temperatures. Usually 75 – 100 watts will do the trick. If you live somewhere cold, you might want to get a basking bulb with 150 – 175 watts.

UVB Bulb

This bulb is very important for the growth and health of your frilled dragon. The best bulb that most reptile enthusiasts may agree on is the reptisun 10.o made by zoomed. When looking for UVB bulbs, try to get  a tube version rather than a coil version. Tube versions are overall better for your frilled dragon as they cover more area of the enclosure, last longer, and are better for the eyes of your frilled dragon.

 

If you can give your frilled dragon some outdoor time, take advantage of the natural sunlight. The natural sun is better than any bulb you can buy at any pet store. But make sure the temperatures and environment is safe for your lizard. Be cautious and aware of predator birds and rodents.

Temperatures

When measuring temperatures, it’s best to use digital thermometers. Dial thermometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.

Day Time

Ambient: 75 – 80 °F

Basking: 95 – 110 °F

Night Time

No lights are necessary. The temperatures of 68 – 75 °F are recommended for comfortable living. If it is too cold to meet these temperatures without lights, I recommend using a ceramic heat emitter.

Feeding & Diet

Feedings should vary as your frilled dragon’s size, weight, age, and gender does. Frilled dragons primarily eat insects which include: crickets, roaches, silkworms, phoenix worms, hornworms, superworms, and etc. Your frilled dragon should be given 30% vegetable and fruit with 70% insects when young, and as soon as he starts to mature and become bigger, the numbers switch to 70% vegetables and fruit with 30% insects.

  • Vegetables and fruits that are not eaten within 24 hours should be discarded to reduce the chance of mold and bacteria build up.
  • Live food should be taken out of the enclosure if not consumed by the time the lights go out to reduce the chance of the feeders biting or annoying your pet lizard while he sleeps.

The feedings must be dusted as follows:

  • Calcium without D3: every other feeding
  • Calcium with D3: 2-3 times a month
  • Multivitamins: 2-3 times a month

Rule of thumb: do not feed anything bigger than the space between your frilled dragon’s eyes.

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Levels should be around 60 – 70% throughout the enclosure. You can easily measure the humidity percentages by using a digital hygrometer (humidity gauge). Dial hygrometers tend to give off inaccurate measurements.

Hydration

One consideration to take in about hydration is that frilled dragons have a hard time drinking due to the fact that they do not know how to drink out of a water bowl. Some babies might know, but most don’t. Having this in mind, it is necessary to hand hydrate your baby frilled dragon if you do not see him hydrating himself. You can do this by dripping water onto his nose and having him lick it off. As they grow older, they will learn how to drink out of a water bowl. Water should be changed out every other day. Food bowls must be cleaned out every often as well.

Substrate

Frilled dragons should not have any loose type substrates like sand, bark, etc… A good substrate to use would be paper towels, reptile carpet, or any other sort of flat surface material. All loose substrate does is cause problems. It gives your feeder insects places to hide, causes impaction if ingested, and is expensive to keep switching out every cleaning.   If you do end up using sand or any other type of loose substrate, it is important that you place your feeders in a bowl or container so your frilled dragon can eat them easily without a mouth full of dirt. Some substrates that aid in humidity are washed playsand, cypress mulch, bed a beast, repti-bark, eco earth and organic potting soil.

 

Note: The information on this frilled dragon care sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care.

6 comments to Frilled Dragon Care Sheet

  • Brandon Purcell

    I would take the ceramic tile off the suitable substrate list…most juveniles ive ever seen, encountered, or heard about have fallen from a hi perch a few times. Thats an awful hard fall…….

  • Melissa

    I love my frilled dragon. thank you. He’s so happy his enclosure is 6ft by 4ft. He’s 8 months old.

    • Billy

      Hey Melissa,
      That is an awesome sized enclosure! I bet your frilled dragon is very happy. How about a picture?

  • Tomas Nichols

    would it be good to have live plants in their enclosure?

    • Billy

      Hello Tomas,
      Live plants are always a great addition to any terrarium. It will help aid in keeping humidity levels up. Just make sure you choose something that is safe and not toxic if ingested.

Leave a Reply