Making a commitment to owning a pet calls for also making a commitment to always doing what's in the best interests of your animal. If you own Chinese water dragons (Physignathus cocincinus), never allow the intensely green lizards to share living quarters with animals of any other species, period.
No Other Animals
Never permit Chinese water dragons to share enclosures with any other animals. They can only live alongside fellow Chinese water dragons. Lizards of different species often have totally different lifestyle demands from Chinese water dragons, including temperature and feeding habits. Many animals find it extremely frustrating to be in the company of others from different species. Remember, too, that many reptiles actually favor living by themselves; many reptiles in the wild are independent in their patterns. If you house a Chinese water dragon with an animal of a different species, any number of unpleasant things could happen, either to the water dragon or to the other creature. One animal could get sick due to differences in temperature needs. The more territorial animal could act aggressively and kill the other. The intense anxiety could even cause one of the animals to stop eating.
Water Dragon Roommates
In nature, Chinese water dragons sometimes reside in social units that are made up of a few females and single males. The single males are in charge of the groups and are highly territorial in behavior. Chinese water dragons in captivity can also usually live successfully in small groups, but it's crucial to never allow males to live together, as they can be extremely aggressive toward each other. Pairs of females are often strong matches. If you permit mixed gender groupings, note that mating and reproduction are highly probable. When Chinese water dragons live together, it's imperative that all specimens are equipped with sufficient room of their own.
Although free-roaming Chinese water dragons often exist in social units, captive specimens can thrive living on their own, too -- no roommates are necessary. If you're new at keeping Chinese water dragons, you might want to begin with a solo pet. If you decide to house Chinese water dragons in groups, split them up immediately if they ever behave violently toward each other. Squabbles are not uncommon in Chinese water dragons, especially when they involve trying to achieve higher social status.
Chinese Water Dragons and People
While tension and physical aggression between Chinese water dragons isn't an overly unusual notion, that doesn't mean that these lizards are fierce creatures in general. These Asian reptiles don't usually direct their truculent behavior to the people in their lives. When they've had sufficient time to adjust to their caretakers' company, they typically are docile and mild-mannered.
- Coastway Exotic Pets: Reptile Care Sheet - Water Dragons
- World Association of Zoos and Aquariums: Chinese Water Dragon
- Specialized Care for Avian & Exotic Pets: Chinese Water Dragon
- Potter Park Zoo: Chinese Water Dragon
- Animal Planet: Thai Water Dragons
- ReptileChannel.com: Chinese Water Dragon Care Information
- ReptileChannel.com: Chinese Water Dragon Reptiles
- Lizards; Jennifer Coates
- Cedar Creek Veterinary Clinic: Reptiles
- Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services: Water Dragon