(Last Updated Friday, July 03, 1998)
Southern Forest Dragon Care Sheet
(Southern Angle Headed Dragon- Hypsilurus spinipes)
They are a rainforest species found from Southern Qld to Central New South Wales and can be either kept in a well planted aviary or an unheated terrarium.
(Picture of juvenile)
We recommend a black light (must be suitable for reptiles) or no additional lighting. Use of incandescant (normal globes) is not recommended as the lizards have a different metabolism to other dragons and do not bask to the same degree. If no black light is supplied the they should be put in the sun from time to time, but only on mild days.
Moths, crickets mealworms, earthworms etc, preferrably dusted or gut loaded with calcium or reptile suppliment for about half of the feeds. They also eat fruit, particularly banana.
At approximately several months of age the males tend to lose their juvenile patterning, wheras the females tend to get more patterning.
(Picture of one of our males Southern Qld variety)
Apparently they may breed at less than 1 year, although ours bred at about 18 months.
They usually lay between 3 to 7 eggs, and may lay at almost any time of year if conditions are suitable ( warm).
The female usually digs a shallow test burrow the day before she lays the eggs.
The eggs are likely to require temperatures much lower than normal reptile incubation temperatures. We are trying 23 degrees. Otherwise they should be incubated the same as other eggs. In summer the eggs would probably hatch if the incubator is not turned on, just well insulated. An esky could be used.
They will easily overheat in summer. Ensure that the aviary or terrarium is kept cool.
They should be misted or sprayed with water from time to time, particularly in dry weather.
If several are kept together, ensure that they all get food otherwise some will not grow as fast as the others and will be intimidated by the larger dragons.
Thse lizards play dead and may look paralysed from time to time. This is normal behaviour.
In South Australia and Queensland, juvenile Southern Forest Dragons sell for $500.00. They are illegal to keep in Victoria. NSW prices may be cheaper due to the recent amnesty, but the lizards may not be captive bred.
We may have some hatchlings available, for sale or trade. If you require further information please email us at email@example.com
Note that that we have another updated
Forest Dragon Page(at http://www.kingsnake.com/australia/fdcare.htm)
Want to find out more about Australian Reptiles
Then check out our
Australian Herpetology Page
and our Bookshop & Picture Gallery
Also join the Australianherps mailing list (for Australians)