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Care Sheet for Frilled Dragons

Average Rating Given To This Care Sheet Is 4.53    (1=lowest, 5=highest)    Last Updated: 01/13/2004

Main Category:


Sub Category:

Frilled Dragons

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Years Experience:

3 to 5 Years


Frilled Dragon

Other Species or Phases this Care Sheet May Cover:

Agama-Frilled Dragon

Sexing and Characteristics:

The males are typically larger than the females. They also have larger heads and teeth, larger femoral pores, and tend to have brighter frill colors than the females. Females can sometimes tend to be more skittish than the males.

Frilled dragons can reach up to 30 inches in length. The tail is almost double the length of their body. When adults, the frill can be fairly large--up to 12-14" in length!

*The lifespan of the Frilled Dragon can reach up to 15 years.

Frilled dragons range in color from olive to grayish-brown to nearly all black. Their frill ranges in color from yellow to orange to jet-black, along with spots of orange, red, and white.

Mostly Active During:


Substrate and Water Needs:

Make sure to leave a large water dish in the enclosure at all times. A cat litter pan works great as a water dish for adult Frilled Dragons.

Young dragons should never be housed on sand. It will more than likely cause impaction and you will either end up with an enormous vet bill, or a dead lizard. Young dragons should be housed on black and white printed newspaper, paper towels, or alfalfa pellets.

*note- alfalfa pellets do cause mold and it is more high maintenance to keep clean.

When your dragon gets bigger, you can house it on cypress mulch, newspaper, wheat bran, alfalfa pellets or bed a beast. I prefer bed a beast because it holds humidity a little better.

Lighting and UVB:

All Frilled Dragons require a basking light and UVB light. The basking light wattage depends on how warm your house is. Make sure you find the correct wattage to get the right temperature. I would even suggest maintaining these temperatures before your Frilled Dragon comes home. Make sure that you use a light with UVB. Many light packages say they contain "UV light", make sure the package says UVB! I usually recommend Mercury Vapor Bulbs. They are a basking light and UVB bulb in one. They come with a 1 year warranty. With regular bulbs, you have to change them every six months. Not to mention, the mercury vapor bulbs seem much brighter and it seems to make the lizards more active--which is very healthy!

*UVB light is very important for the Frilled Dragon to produce enough calcium, which prevents bone deficiency and MBD.

Frilled dragons need 10-12 hours of light. (The brighter the light, the better. Frilled dragons thrive under full spectrum UV light.) I put my lights on timers to make it easier, and so the light schedule stays constant.

Temperatures and Humidity:

The basking area should be around 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. (See what your dragon prefers. If he is always under his light, bring the temp a little higher. If he is hiding from the light, bring the temperature lower)... The cool side of the tank should be 75-80 degrees. The night temperature should be kept at the mid 70’s at best, but no lower than 65 degrees.

Humidity should be at least 50%, no higher than 70%. I keep mine at around 60-65%. If humidity is too high, respiratory problems may occur.

Heating and Equipment:

Do not use heat rocks! They can cause severe burns on ANY lizard. I don’t even use heat mats. They have made little to no difference in temperatures in my experience, and there is still chance of the Frilled Dragon (or any lizard) getting burned by one. During the night, if the temperature goes below 65 degrees Fahrenheit use a heat lamp or a ceramic heat emitter. These produce up to little to no light so your Frilled Dragon can sleep soundly.

Caging Provided:

The bigger the cage, the better for Frilled Dragons. They love to climb and are very active lizards. The MINIMUM for the enclosure of one adult dragon is 4’ high x 3’ wide. You can house two adult Frilled Dragons in a 6’ height x 3’ wide x 4’ long enclosure MINIMUM. I recommend building a custom enclosure. It saves money, and you can do what you want with it! There are plenty of web pages on the net to give you some ideas on how to build the enclosure yourself.

You can house a hatch ling in a 10 gallon tank. They will not be able to live in a 10 gallon for very long. Juvi Frilled dragons can be housed in a 40-55 gallon tank, but they will grow fast.

Make sure that Frilled Dragons have plenty of things to climb on, along with a basking spot and a large water dish.

*Note- Never house a large dragon with a small one. The small one may end up being dinner! Also NEVER house different species together.



Description of Diet:

Frilled Dragons are mainly carnivorous, but may also eat some fruit and veggies. These lizards eat A LOT. Hatchlings and Juveniles should be fed every day at least 2 times a day. Adults can be fed once a day. Wait to feed them until one hour after their basking light turns on, and two hours before their lights turn of so they have time to properly digest the food.

Frilled dragons can be fed live crickets, super-worms, pinky mice, meal worms, roaches, cooked eggs, and canned reptile food. The juvenile Frilled dragons should be fed pray no larger than the width between their eyes. Veggies that can be fed are collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and dandelion greens. Go to to get a nutrition list for greens. Mealworms, pinky mice, wax worms, and fruit should only be fed as treats.

Supplements, Nutrition and Usage:

Make sure to gut load all insects before feeding. I give my insects fresh fruit and veggies to eat off of. Dust insects/pinkies with calcium supplement powder every day for juveniles, and every other day for adults.


Clean the cage every 2 weeks. What I do is scoop out fecal matter whenever I see it and replace all the bedding and disinfect the cage about every 3-4 weeks. Change the water every day, or every time you spot fecal matter in it. (Yes, Frilled Dragons love to poo in their water!) Mist them at least once daily. You can also give them a weekly bath in shallow luke warm water.

*When you first get your dragon I recommend taking it to a reptile vet for a regular check up and fecal exam. Many new reptiles are known to have internal parasites that can be very dangerous to the Frilled Dragon if it goes untreated.

Some Words on this Species:

Frilled Dragons make wonderful pets for the responsible herp keeper. They have very strong personalities and are naturally curious. Juveniles may be slightly shy at first, but they warm up to their humans quickly. They are very docile. This species can be one of the most rewarding and personable of all reptile companions, next to the bearded dragon.
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The information contain in these care sheets represents only the opinions and husbandry care of members and therefore is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate or reflects the advice or opinions of It is always advised to seek additional information or the advice of a qualified veterinarian or qualified reptile dealer. It is also advisable for you to a good amount of research before implementing any of the ideas and care described in these care sheets. We also recommend you ask many questions in their related forums before acting on any information.

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