Explore the Chinese Water Dragon Reptiles

People love to keep the Chinese water dragons for many reasons. Their unique shape, docile nature, and love of water and climbing make them distinctive species. In this article, you’ll learn how long a Chinese dragon can live in water. There is a detailed discussion about their reptile nature, i.e., how they lie in the reptile category.

Chinese water dragon reptile’s characteristics, diet, compatibility with other animals, and size are also points of discussion. In conclusion, you’ll also learn some interesting facts about this green beauty. Just scroll down and enjoy reading.

Chinese water dragon

Chinese water dragon

Is a Chinese Water Dragon a Reptile

Water dragons or Physignathus cocincinus are green lizards with a large banded brown tail. They have a blended multicolored throat, i.e., yellow, peach, and orange, without a throat pouch and a pale yellow or white belly.

They have five-fingered feet that end on a pointed tip. Water dragons use their large tail to balance while climbing up the trees and as a weapon when they feel danger. They can change body color due to humidity, temperature, and camouflage changes.

Water dragons are native to different regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia, i.e., China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. They are excellent swimmers. They jump into the water to cool their bodies and avoid a threat. Therefore, they are called water dragons.

Is the Chinese Water Dragon a Reptile

Yes, the Chinese water dragon is a reptile. It is classified as a reptile because it shows the following attributes.

Lay eggs Use their lungs for breathing Have a well-developed skeleton with a proper backbone
Cold-blooded Have scales, i.e., green scales, on their skin


  • They have bright to dark green bodies to camouflage in tropical habitats.
  • They have a ridge of thorny scales from head to toe, apparently giving them a dragon-like appearance.
  • Males have larger heads with brighter coloring than females.
  • With masculine limbs, they can climb, jump, swim, and leap.
  • They are diurnal, i.e., sleep at night.
  • They can submerge in water bodies for some time.
  • Chinese water dragons live in groups, i.e., one male with several females.
  • They can live up to 15 to 20 years.

How Big Do Chinese Water Dragons Get

Although, before adulthood, both males and females were almost equal in size. However, after adulthood, the size of Chinese water dragons varies among males and females. Male dragons grow larger than females. Their tail length makes up most of their body length, i.e., 70% of total body length.

Male Chinese Water Dragon Female Chinese Water Dragon
They can grow up to 3 feet long from snout to tail with a bulky head On average, female water dragons can achieve up to 2 feet in length

What Do Chinese Water Dragons Eat?

Chinese water dragons are omnivores. Therefore, they can feast on multiple food items.

Crickets Grasshoppers Small fish Carrots Dandelion greens
Waxworms Roaches Collard greens Sweet potatoes Commercial pellets
Locusts Mealworms Mustard greens Berries Canned food items
Chinese water dragon reptiles

Chinese water dragon reptiles

Chinese Water Dragon in Water

Chinese water dragons usually live near water bodies, i.e., rainfed forests, rivers, ponds, etc. Such habitat allows them to swim, bask, and climb on trees. They have streamlined bodies, strong limbs, and webbed feet. These characteristics make them excellent swimmers.

They spend most of their time climbing on trees. However, when they feel danger or need to cool their body, jump into the water. They can live underwater for up to 25 minutes.

Can Chinese Water Dragons Live with Other Reptiles

Chinese water dragons are highly territorial. They differ in living parameters and temperaments from many other reptiles. Usually, it’s recommended not to keep them with any other reptile or animal.

However, if you are eager to keep them with other reptiles and want to test your potential. Giving them enough room, and accompany them with some peaceful, same size and temperament reptiles.

You need to train your dragon before keeping some other reptile. Here are some potential companions.

Green Anoles Eastern Bearded Dragons Box Turtles Fire-Bellied Toads African Clawed Frogs
Chinese water dragon in water

Chinese water dragon in water

Chinese Water Dragon Facts

Here are some interesting facts about Chinese water dragons.

  • They are bipedal locomotives, i.e., they can walk on two feet.
  • They can change their body coloration, and do it by changing humidity, temperature, age, and camouflage.
  • Chinese water dragons puff their throat and bob their head to show aggression.
  • They use their tail for swimming, defense, and balancing while climbing trees.
  • In case of any damage, they can regenerate severed tails.
  • They live in groups, i.e., one male with several females.
  • Both males and females are highly territorial.
  • They use head bobbing and arm waving to communicate with each other.
  • They have a small, photosensitive spot between both eyes, known as the pineal eye.
  • Chinese water dragons can adapt to urban conditions by providing suitable conditions.
  • In Chinese culture, they are considered the rulers of water and weather.
  • Thai water dragon, green water dragon, and Asian water dragon are the other common names of this water dragon.
  • Australian water dragons are different from Asian water dragons.
  • They are considered near-threatened species.
  • They can run up to 30 miles per hour, weigh up to 1.1 to 2.2 lb, and live in solitary.

In Summary

Chinese water dragons are reptiles that equally live on land and in water. These colorful dragons are native to Asian regions. They can grow up to 3 feet. These opportunistic omnivores show territorial behavior. However, they live in a group of the same species, i.e., one male with several females. They exhibit different aspects, including running up to 30 mph.

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