Lizard lovers know that Chinese water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus) are as cute as a button, regardless of their gender. If you know what to look for, however, you can tell the difference between males and females of this meek species. Chinese water dragons live both out in the wild and in homes as pets.
Chinese water dragons are usually green reptiles that are part of the family Agamidae. Their homeland is Asia, namely southern portions of China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. True to their monikers, they adore H20 and are fixtures close to water sources, whether rivers or lakes. Chinese water dragons are primarily insect eaters, although they don't hesitate to munch on other tiny creatures, including reptiles, birds, mammals, amphibians and fish. They are social animals, and their units generally consist of single males and numerous females. The males serve as the leaders.
A quick look at overall body length can be useful in sexing Chinese water dragons. The females are typically a lot shorter than the males. The males are capable of achieving more than 35 inches in length, while the females generally can only get to 23 inches or so.
Analysis of body coloration also can possibly help you identify a male or a female Chinese water dragon. These lizards have deep green physiques, although the colors are just a bit more striking in the boys. Male Chinese water dragons are also equipped with colorful yellow or orange markings just below their throats.
Apart from just body length, male Chinese water dragons are bigger than the females in several visible ways. The ridges on their necks, tails and upper portions of their bodies are more prominent than the females' are. Their heads are more substantial in size than those of the females, with a shape that is highly triangular in form. The lower parts of males' faces -- or their "cheeks" -- are also markedly more pronounced. Lastly, the femoral pores on the thighs are bigger in male Chinese water dragons. These tiny holes give off a sticky matter that enables them to claim territory.
Behavior can also sometimes be handy in discerning between male and female specimens. Chinese water dragons are highly turf-oriented, and as a result the males sometimes partake in aggressive physical battles against others they feel are encroaching on their own territories. Wooing activities can also be indicative of gender. If you observe one of these lizards persistently nodding, there's a strong chance he's a male attempting to draw a female in for mating activities.