The famous BLACK DRAGON! One of the most sought after pet monitor lizards. As interest in monitor lizards grows throughout Reptile keeping, a common question we get is What is a Black Dragon? And, what is the difference between a Black Dragon Monitor and an Asian Water Monitor?
What is the Difference between an Asian Water Monitor and a Black Dragon?
Black Dragons are Water Monitors. Black Dragons are a color mutation (like an Albino in Leopard Geckos) which make an ALL BLACK hyper melanistic variation of the water monitor. Varanus salvator a.k.a the Asian Water Monitor is a large growing, intelligent, and alluring lizard that is found in southern and Southeast Asia. Commonly, water monitors are dark colored on top, with a pale yellow coloration under their face and body. They also have a variation of yellow colored circular pattern throughout their back and their tails. Fun Fact: Black Dragons can be found naturally occurring on some islands in Indonesia. Some say that Black Dragons (a.k.a komaini) stay smaller than the mainland water monitors.
Black Dragon Asian Water Monitor Lizards have the same care as their mainland relatives! A 3 ft reptile enclosure is sufficient for a pet baby black dragon. Please note that they still get relatively LARGE, and sometimes it can happen quickly. As yearlings they should be moved for a 4 ft reptile enclosure and into adulthood they can move in an 8ft enclosure minimum. Monitors that grow this large are usually best kept in a proper outdoor enclosure as adults (if your weather is sufficient). You may decorate their enclosures with foliage, branches, and logs as they are great climbers. And of course as their name "Water Monitor" states, they are great swimmers. So a sufficient water source where they may enjoy a soak is a necessity.
When we consider care requirements for Black Dragon Water Monitors, we must pay attention to their high temperature basking temperatures in relation to their 60-70% humidity requirement. The temperature of the basking spot should range between 125-140º F. Ambient temps can be around 84º F with a slight night time drop. Water Monitors with proper husbandry can be seen exploring their cage regularly and spending a good amount of time basking. If your pet Water Monitor is basking for the majority of their day, they may not have sufficient ambient temps. If your pet Water Monitor is not basking, the enclosure may be too hot. Temperatures are extremely important for your monitor lizard to metabolize their food.
When your monitor enclosure is up to par, does that mean your pet monitor lizard will thrive? Yes and No! Always take into account food requirements. Young Black Dragons will be highly insectivorous. Gut loading your insects and dusting them with calcium and vitamin supplements will ensure proper growth for your pet Black Dragon. And as they grow you can offer them other proteins like rodents, fish, and poultry. Slow and steady wins the race, and variety is key. Enrichment and patience is important as a monitor grows to avoid obesity and other health issues. They eat a lot but temperatures need to be ideal for proper digestion, an experienced eye will need to develop to manage the body condition of your growing monitor. This is why Monitor lizards are recommended for intermediate to advanced keepers.
Captive Breeding and Availability
The demand for pet dragons and modern dinosaurs are very high! Imports are rare and captive bred ones are even harder to find (even as they are starting to become readily bred in captivity). Are you looking for a captive bred pet Black Dragon Water Monitor for sale? We work with trusted breeders who produce year round, providing us with quality Baby Black Dragons for sale every few months. With giant lizards that can be tamed like these, it's very believable why they are so loved. As time goes on, they will become more common! Soon you will see Black Dragons, Albino Water Monitors, Axanthic Water Monitors, Sulfur Water Monitors, and MORE readily available to the public... Can you imagine what an Albino Black Dragon will look like!? The surface has just been scratched in Varanus keeping and the future is looking brighter than ever!!