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Frill-Necked Lizards

Caring for Frill-Necked Lizards


Frill-Necked Lizards

Frill-Necked Lizard

Photo © Flickr user paddynapper

Frill-necked lizards, also referred to as frilled lizards and frilled dragons are amazing reptiles. They are bipedal and have a beautiful frill around their neck that reminds me of a prehistoric Dilophosaurus. These may not be the most commonly seen pet reptile, but that is no excuse to overlook the proper care of these exotic creatures.


Frill-necked lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii, are originally from Australia and New Guinea where they are arboreal creatures. They enjoy an environment with 55-65% humidity and 75-100 degrees Fahrenheit. They usually only venture out of the trees to eat or fight. A large tank, at least a 55G, will allow your frilled dragon to move about. Screened enclosures allow for more climbing opportunities but do not hold in humidity like a glass tank does.


Frill-necked lizards eat a variety of foods. Crickets and superworms are the most available and should be dusted with a calcium and multi-vitamin supplement every other day. Frilled dragons will also eat butterworms, silkworms, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, split peas and green beans. Waxworms, mealworms, mice and fruit should be offered sparingly.


Frilled lizards can live up to 15 years with the proper care. They are well known for running on their hind legs to escape a predator and will expose the frill around their neck when threatened. When feeling especially threatened, they will stand up on their hind legs, frill out their neck, open their mouth and spit, exposing tiny little teeth in their mouth. They don't whip their tails in defense  in the wild like an iguana would (but some owners report their pet frillies whipping their tails at them), but instead jump at the animal and perform the aforementioned threatened routine.


Frill-necked lizards will grow to be between 70 and 90 cm long, including the tail. They come in a variety of colors but there is only one documented species. The body of a frill-necked lizard is darker than the frill, which is often a yellow or orange color.

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