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BLUE EYED CRESTED DRAGON


Reptile Rapture,
6308 Monona dr, Monona WI 53516
608-221-0094, www.reptilerapture.net

BLUE EYED CRESTED DRAGON Caresheet

Common Name: Blue-eyed Crested Dragon
Scientific Name: Gonocephalus
Origin: Southeast Asia
Size: 9" to 12" head to tail
Lifespan: 10 - 15 years

You will find many ways on the internet, on "how to" take care of this animal. This care sheet is showing the way we found works best for us from our experience of caring for this species.

HOUSING
In the wild, the natural habitat for Blue-eyed Crested Dragons in the rain forests near water sources. They are tree dwellers, spending most of their time above ground. They are very well adapted to living in trees and have excellent climbing abilities. They are an intermediate care reptile and will need a tall enclosure when they are adults. The minimum housing requirements for these dragons is an Exo terra 18" x 18" x 36". Preferably larger like 36" x 18 x 36".

Note: You cannot keep them from growing by housing them in a small cage. That's a myth. It won't make for a happy, well adjusted lizard.

We don't recommend screen enclosures for these dragons. Unless your home environment is already very humid, it can be very difficult to keep the humidity up. If you have space, go bigger. Designing an enclosure for your Blue-eyed Dragon can be fun. Add branches other structures for climbing on. For substrate, you want something that holds humidity well, like Zilla jungle mix or Zoo med eco earth.

If you want two or more of these, make sure there is only one male. Multiple adult males can fight, especially if females are present.

LIGHTING & TEMPERATURES
Blue-eyed Crested Dragons come from a tropical climate. They need a basking area and a cooler section within the enclosure so they can regulate their body temperature. All the heat elements should be located on one side and the other will be the cooler side.

A basking area of 87-95 degrees should be provided. The rest of the enclosure can be in the 75-80 range. At night, temps can drop to as low as 75 degrees. Use a good quality temperature gauge, like Zoo Meds digital temp gauge or Exo Terras Thermometer.

In addition to heat, dragons need UVB lighting to help absorb calcium and to synthesize vitamin D3. Since they are removed from natural sunlight in our homes, we must provide UVB light in the form of a special fluorescent bulb designed to produce UVB rays. Do not use heat rocks. Dragons are especially adapted to basking, getting heat from above. The whole enclosure needs to be the correct environment with a gradient of temps. You don't want just a small heat rock area that they have to cling to to feel warm.

The best bulbs are the mercury vapors such as Exo Terra's Solar Glo bulbs, ZooMed's Powersun, or Solar bright bulbs. These provide heat and UVB all in one bulb. You can also use separate basking (heat) bulb and UVB bulbs. If you use these you will want the Zoo Med 5.0 or Exo Terra UVB 100 variety for UVB.


HUMIDITY
Care of these dragons is similar to that of chameleons. Always provide a nice sized water dish with fresh water. Blue Eyed Dragons need some kind of moving or dripping water in their enclosure, so they recognize it as a water source. A bubbling water bowl, dripper or waterfall works for this. It's nice to have a water area big enough for them to sit in. Exo Terra bowls, Flukers rock dish are nice naturalistic non-porous water bowls. Remember though, you will need to change the water out regularly. Even if you install a filter. Also scrub the bowl at least once a week to keep bacteria slime from building up.

Maintain humidity around 80%. Unless you are in a very dry area, misting the enclosure a few times a day will usually provide enough moisture. A nice humidity gauge can help you in this area. Hand misters are usually sufficient, but if you don't want to hand mist, an automatic mister like the Exo Terra monsoon, or reptile fogger are a nice options. Exo terras reptile fountain provides bubbling water which also helps to raise humidity levels.


FEEDING
Dragons are mostly insectivores and should eat everyday. If your adult has good body weight, you can possibly feed every other day. Variety is important. Don't feed them the same things each day. They can get bored and picky if you do. Plus each bug has different nutrient content. Mix it up. They can eat crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms, hornworms, and other bugs.

Make sure to dust your lizard's food with calcium and vitamins such as Repashy calcium plus or Rep-cal calcium with D3.

TEMPERAMENT
Blue-eyed Crested Dragons are intelligent, and can make great pets. However, they are not for everyone. They are one that likes to be handled a lot. Baby dragons usually do not bite, but excessive handling should be avoided. Your first impulse will be to hold your new lizard and pet it. We strongly suggest you do not do this. Also, their tendency to freeze first (instead of running) when a predator is near by, can make you think that the stiff dragon in your hand likes being held because he's not running away from you. Once he is not all stiff in your hand or running away, you know he is used to being held and not stressed out. Most dragons tolerate some handling fairly well if acclimated to it slowly.