Friday, January 7, 2011

Frilled dragon care info

Because information on the internet seems sparse in regards to Frilled Dragons, I'm going to post what I believe is correct for maintaining one of these creatures in an indoor enclosure. I'm in Iowa where it's dry and cold in the winter and warm and humid in the summer. Keep in mind where you're located because when the humidity changes in your area it's important to adjust your Frilly's humidity and temperature to keep it comfortable for him or her.

Temperature & Humidity
Temp. 100 degree F, in the basking side of the enclosure.  70-80 degrees on the cool side.  Humidity 50- 70%. It's important to have a large gradient (warm air in one part of the cage room temperature in another) It's also important to have a gradient in regards to humidity, the lower end of the thank can be more humid and the top of the thank can be dry.

Your Frilly will pick a spot to sit based on where it's most comfortable to him or her. These animals live in trees where it's natural to have temperature and humidity gradients. They're also similar to bearded dragons which live in deserts so it's important to have dry humid air. Because there is a lot of information out there on temperature and humidity and there are no authoritative resources regarding caring for these creatures we believe that it's best to setup a habitat that offers different areas for all climates and humidities. But keep in mind that your Frilly will also hang out where he or she tends to feel the most secure, as loving as they seem they become scared and frightened very easy. For that reason we have wrapped the back and side of his cage with black paper to make him feel more secure. We have also placed faux vegetation in front of his cage to allow him to hide which makes him more comfortable and secure.

In talking with many people who have kept Frillies as pets the common problem for mortality in juvenile frilled dragons is respiratory infection. Many believe that this is cause by excess humidity. We've seen authoritative resources state that these animals are from jungles and forests where there is a moderate uniform level of humidity towards the floor of the echo system. Unfortunately in a tank it's very hard to reproduce that environment because it's a very small echo system, we try to deal with this by minimizing the fog and humidity and we augment the humidity with water falls and standing water under infrared  light. This causes a more diffused and natural humidity. The problems with humidifiers from pet stores and the spray bottle method is that it introduces larger droplets in the air. This problem will cause respiratory infections get in to the tiny lungs of these creatures and cause infection. That's why we avoid misting, only use a humidifier or fogger on it's lowest setting and use heating lamps to evaporate water. This will end up with smaller particles of water in the air and will help avoid death from respiratory failure caused by excessive fogging or spraying while maintaining an acceptable level of water particle density that isn't harmful to the frilly.

Heating & Equipment
I use two day heat lamps during the day and a night heat lap on 24/7. I also have two full spectrum lights and a black light that i run at night for a cool night light for fluffy it doesn't seem to bother him. So it working and it aids in the web cam. I will post a video of the lighting and the set up at a later date.
Im having the best luck with the crickets, I also put Healthy Herp Veggie Mix Instant Meal reptile food. it beats cutting fresh veggies up every day Fluffy has not o my knowledge eat any yet but the cricket have and it keeps them alive so it is worth the $20. Other food you can try are wax worms in small doses,cause of the fat content. as the get older you can try baby mice and rats even pinkies. For veggies you can try collard greens,red leaf lettuce, mustard greens, turnips greens, dandelions greens. stay away from spinach, cabbage, large amounts of kale. You can also try carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, and fruits in small doses. Keep in mind not all frilled dragons will eat veggies!!!
when feeding your frilly crickets dust them with a calcium d3 dust you can get that at any pet store. when you feed crickets gutload them. Don't feed them insects from outside cause of pesticides that they may carry. they may kill you frilly!!!!
Substrate & Water Needs
I use a waterfall and I have a water dish for him to soak in, he does drink out of the water fall i find that neat. Substrate can be news paper, wheat brand, and cyprus mulch or soil. once again keep in mind of chemicals. will be dangerous and deadly to your frilly.
Lighting & UVB
Brighter the better. Full spectrum UV source are the best for your frilled. that is why i have two of these bulbs. if the weather is at idea temp &humidity you can let them out to play let them get the real thing it truly is the best.
Sexing & Characteristics
Ok this is not easy to do. as a rule of thumb. Male are larger and and have more color. frills are also larger, and males are less skittish.
Cleaning & and Maintenance
I clean fluffy cage once a week and deep clean once a month, water every day. When you first get your frilly take him to the vet don't just take your pet store a ok on his health. I found that out the hard way!!!

Tomorrow i will try to find out behavior and personality on the frilled dragons!


  1. Bearded dragons are from the reptile family that may be excellent home pets. They are commonly docile although their appearance may appear otherwise. Sometimes they seem as if they even enjoy being handled and like to take baths or dips in the water. As they are awake during the day and asleep in the night, their owners can enjoy watching them. Many herpetologists recommend them as pets because of their tame disposition and size.
    bearded dragon behavior

  2. This is a great article. Mine is quite similar. Check out my frilled dragon care article.