Asian water dragonPublished on October 2, 2019 - Last modified: October 2, 2019
asian water dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) is a reptile bright green found in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and southern China.
They are expert climbers and strong swimmers. If necessary, they can remain submerged for up to 25 minutes. There are some small differences with her brother,. australian water dragon, read on for more information.
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There are no other recognized subspecies of the Asian water dragon, but there are other species of similar lizards, the closest genetic relative being the australian water dragon (Physignathus lesueurii).
The Chinese water dragon is also known by the names Asian, green, and Thai water dragon.
The Asian water dragon, also called thai water dragon, Chinese o green, is a dark green to bright green lizard with tall horn scales running from the head to the base of its laterally flattened tail. The tail is ringed in brown and green and ends in a fine point. The water dragon uses its tail for balance when climbing, and lashes it to defend itself from predators.
Water dragons are sexually dimorphic, which means that males and females exhibit different characteristics. Males generally have a more vivid color than females, including a bright orange to yellow area under the throat with pink tones near the lower jaw. Males also develop larger heads, jowls, and ridges on the back and neck, and their femoral pores are typically larger than those of females.
Water dragons do not have a double chin or throat pouch. They have well-developed legs, and their feet are five-toed with long, thick claws that end in sharp, needle-like tips. The front limbs are generally thinner than the back and are used for climbing and grabbing branches. The muscular hind legs also help with climbing, as well as swimming and jumping or jumping from one object to another. Asian water dragons can also be bipedal.
When nervous or scared, these lizards seek refuge in the water. They are strong swimmers and, if necessary, can stay submerged for long periods of time, sometimes up to 25 minutes!
Asian water dragons typically reach a length of 1 meter, and their tail makes up almost 70 percent of their body length. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
Both males and females occasionally express aggressive behavior toward each other in the form of waving their arms, puffing their throats, shaking their heads, and sometimes chasing.
These lizards usually live in groups of one male and several females, and both sexes establish territories.
They generally live around stagnant and permanent water, such as on the banks of rivers, in tropical forests and in the swamps. They are good climbers and can fall from branches into the water if threatened or scared.
Asian water dragons live in areas with an average humidity level that ranges from 80 percent in the morning to 60 percent at night and average temperatures of 23.8 to 29.4 degrees Celsius.
Asian water dragons are found in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and southern China.
The Asian water dragon is omnivorous, which means that its diet is based on both plants and animals.
The diet of the Asian water dragon is summarized in rodents, birds, fish e invertebrates, supplementing this diet with vegetation and eggs. Its sticky tongue and small, pointed teeth help to catch and hold on to prey. At the Smithsonian National Zoo, Asian water dragons are fed a salad of mixed greens, roaches, earthworms and crickets.
Large snakes and birds of prey are its main predators. But we cannot forget the human being as one of the biggest predators, since they are poached to sell as pets.
Males court their mates through physical displays, including head bobbing. During mating, the male clings to the ridge of the female's head. Females lay six to 15 eggs that hatch after an incubation period of 60 to 75 days.
The hatchlings are approximately 2,54 inch from snout to vent and 13 to 15 inches in total length. They are often greenish-brown in color with a pale green to white underside. Light colored stripes run vertically across each side of their bodies. They also have brown and green banded tails, large eyes, and short snouts.
The Asian water dragon can live for an average of 10 to 15 years.
State of conservation
The Chinese water dragon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List and is not listed in CITES.
Despite not being considered endangered, the destruction of wild habitat and the continued collection of wild specimens for the exotic pet trade poses a threat to the future survival of the species.
The Chinese water dragon is becoming more and more popular due to its low price compared to iguanas, which is why many people import them from China or Indonesia.