The Dragon Agama is also known as the Chinese agama, because it originates out of parts of China and other Asian countries. They are small relative to the size that many types of agamas can grow to.
The dragon agama will reach a length of 9 inches fully grown, and the majority is made up of their long tail. They have vivid, green neon stripes running down both sides and are a combination of green, blue and black speckles. This species can live up to 10 years old with the proper care.
With regular handling, dragon agamas can be held for long periods of time, and many even enjoy to be removed from their enclosure. Some wild caught agamas will never enjoy human interaction and are best left alone. As hatchlings, they will defend themselves by nipping at your fingers, but they will calm down with maturity.
These lizards are not picky, and a diet of insects should be provided. As dragon agamas feed, they are very active so crickets are your best option to keep your agama happy and healthy. Hatchling agamas need to be fed daily, as much as they will eat in 10 minutes. Adults only need to be fed every 5 days. Remove any uneaten crickets when feeding is over so they do not become a nuisance to your agama.
Crickets should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements, and gut loaded. Gut loading means filling they crickets with healthy foods because what goes into the crickets goes into the agama.
Adults can live happily in a 20-gallon aquarium with a screen lid. Hatchling only need 10 gallons of space, but increase they size of the enclosure as they grow. With every additional agama you put in the cage, add 10 gallons. Do not house male agamas together because they will fight.
Height is an important factor when considering buying a cage. Dragon agamas will use all of the height that you provide, and will spend only a little time on the ground.
Simple, easy to clean and replace substrates like paper towels or newspaper can be used. If you want a more natural looking substrate, use potting soil, coconut fiber or bed-a-beast. Do not use pine chips or sand as substrates.
Since dragon agamas like to stay off of the ground, shelter can be provided in the form of foliage. Give dragon agamas plenty of hiding spots among branches, plants and rocks. One or two hides on the ground can be used as well.
Dragon agamas can be kept at room temperature, but a basking spot of 75-80F can be provided. This heat helps them function and digest food. A basking bulb of 30 watts is all that is required for heating.
These agamas also require a UVA/UVB bulb to acquire enough vitamin D3 to prevent bone diseases. A UV bulb should be no more than 10 inches away from your lizard, and needs to be replaced every 6 months.
Dragon agamas require very high humidity. The enclosure should be 75% humidity for the majority of the day. Achieve this humidity by misting the enclosure multiple times a day by hand, or using an automatic misting system. Also provide a small water bowl for your dragon agama to drink out of.
Replace simple substrates when soiled, and loose substrates every 3 months. Spot clean daily and keep the water bowl full and clean.
Although the majority of dragon agamas are wild caught, captive breeding is becoming more common with this species. First, acquire a male and a female that are fully grown and keep them in a 40-gallon enclosure. They will mate at any time in the year, and can be kept together if you want to continue to get eggs.
Once the male and the female have mated, give the female a lay box filled with vermiculite or potting soil. Keep it moist, as this is where she will lay her eggs. Once the eggs have been laid, they can be removed from the enclosure to prevent breakage. Eggs will be laid in clutches of two and should be incubated at 75F until they hatch. Once out of the egg place them in a 10-gallon aquarium.
Hatchling dragon agamas will only be 3 inches long, and can be cared for the same as adults, just smaller. Provide a lot of shelter and places to climb and explore. They need to eat appropriately sized crickets daily, and since they dehydrate easily, keep the humidity up above 70%.
Dragon agamas originate from parts of Asia and Australia, and are striking reptiles to own. They can become tame with enough handling, and their care requirements are not overly difficult. Remember, do your research before buying any pet so that it can live happily and healthily.
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Robert Crespo - December 3, 2020
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