Frilled dragons (Chlamydosaurus kingii) are fascinating reptiles native to northern Australia and New Guinea. They are named after the large frill around their neck, which they use as a display when threatened or to attract mates. As captivating as they are, they require specific care to thrive in captivity. Below is a care sheet for frilled dragons to ensure their well-being and happiness:
Size: A single adult frilled dragon requires a spacious enclosure. Aim for a minimum size of 36" wide x 24" deep x 48" tall for one adult, but bigger is always better.
Material: Enclosures made of glass, PVC, or wood are suitable. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent humidity buildup.
Vertical Space: Frilled dragons are arboreal, so provide plenty of vertical climbing opportunities with branches and sturdy vines.
2. Temperature and Lighting
Basking Spot: Maintain a basking spot temperature of 95-100°F (35-38°C) during the day. Use a heat lamp or ceramic heat emitter to achieve this temperature.
Ambient Temperature: Keep the ambient temperature in the enclosure around 80-85°F (27-29°C) during the day.
Night Temperature: Allow the temperature to drop to 70-75°F (21-24°C) at night.
UVB Lighting: Provide UVB lighting to help with calcium absorption and prevent metabolic bone disease. Use a high-quality UVB bulb and replace it every 6-12 months, following the manufacturer's recommendations.
Substrate Options: Use non-particulate substrates such as reptile carpet, non-adhesive shelf liner, or textured tiles to avoid ingestion and impaction risks.
Insects: Offer a variety of appropriately-sized insects, including crickets, roaches, silkworms, and black soldier fly larvae. Gut-load insects and dust them with calcium powder before feeding.
Vegetables and Fruits: Supplement the diet with dark, leafy greens, and small amounts of fruits (e.g., papaya, berries). Avoid feeding citrus fruits.
Hydration: Provide a shallow water dish for drinking and occasional soaking. Mist the enclosure regularly to maintain humidity.
5. Enrichment and Handling
Enrichment: Frilled dragons are intelligent and curious, so provide hiding spots, branches, and items to explore. Offer novel objects for mental stimulation.
Handling: Limit handling to short periods, as frilled dragons can be stressed by excessive handling. When handling, support their body properly and avoid grasping their frill.
Recommended BlackBox PVC Cage
One of the highly recommended enclosures from BlackBox Cages for a frilled dragon is the "Blackbox Cages XT4 48x24x48" or start with one XT4 BIO24 48x24x24 and as your dragon grows, get another one to stack on top with a cutout in the center. This enclosure is designed with vertical space in mind, perfect for the arboreal nature of frilled dragons. It is made of durable materials, has proper ventilation, and is very secure. Additionally, you can start with one of the smaller enclosures, allowing you to choose an appropriate one based on the size of your frilled dragon.
Always ensure to thoroughly research and understand the specific needs of frilled dragons and their care requirements before bringing one into your home. Regularly monitor their health, behavior, and environment to ensure they are thriving and seek professional veterinary advice if any issues arise.