Sailfin dragon a.k.a Hydrosaurus sp.
Intro to the Sailfin Dragon
Sailfin dragons are large agamid lizards native to Southeast Asia. These semi-aquatic lizards are built for the water, having a prominent sail on the base of their tail and elongated scales on their back toes reminiscent of webbed feet. Adult animals can reach lengths of up to 4ft within 3 years and can live up to 20-25 years in captivity. Sailfins inhabit the canopies above rivers and streams in hot and humid jungles. There are a few different species of sailfins, each having their own unique colors and sizes. Handling these animals should be kept at a minimum, as sailfins are very shy and aloof in nature. In the wild, they will actually jump from the canopy into the water below them to escape when startled. Although not known for biting, they can cause a lot of damage if improperly handled when stressed as adults. Special care should also be taken when handling adults to avoid getting severely scratched by their claws as well.
Sailfin Dragon Care
Sailfin dragons are omnivores eating a variety of different foods. Their diet can consist of insects, cut fish, fruits, veggies, and small mice or rats as adults. Sailfins can be fed everyday or every other day. Make sure to always dust insects with calcium and vitamin supplements. Enclosure size for sailfins is going to be very large. These animals are both semi-arboreal and semi-aquatic, so adequate height and length for a water area must be provided. Babies can be kept in a 40 gallon terrarium with a large water bowl or reservoir for them to submerge and soak in. Adults will ideally need something custom built, with dimensions around 6x4x6ft. Many keepers have found grow tents to be great enclosures. Primarily used to grow sensitive plants, these large multi-sized tents can make great enclosures (when retrofitted) for high-stress animals such as sailfins because of their blocked walls which helps keep the animal more secure and away from eyesight. Make sure to provide ample climbing space for these lizards to bask and rest on. Heat is best provided via heat bulbs, with basking temperatures in the high 90s to low 100s. Humidity should range in the high 70s and 80s as well, and is usually best kept by daily misting and having a large aquatic area in the enclosure that should be changed at least every 2 days. UVB lighting is required for these large lizards to grow properly and synthesize nutrients. Many plants and branches should be added to create basking perches and cover for the sailfin to hide and feel secure, as they tend to stress easily being such skittish animals.
Sailfin Dragons For Sale in the Pet Trade
Overall sailfin dragons are a beautiful and rarely seen display animal. Availability can sometimes be scarce as they have proven difficult to breed in captivity and most sailfins seen on the market will be wild caught individuals. Due to this, they are not very expensive. Most of the cost of this animal will involve their enclosure and setup. Sailfin dragons are known to be the largest agamid lizard and can be a challenge because of their size and skittish nature. As pet owners it is important to understand the animals we take home and understand what they need in order to keep them happy and healthy.
The ethical collection and sustainability of species Imported and Exported are monitored by USFWS & CITES. CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species. How does CITES work?: https://cites.org/eng/disc/how.php