FRILLED DRAGON (Chlamydosaurus Kingii)
: Baby and juvenile Frilled Dragons should be housed in a 30 gallon breeder tank. Adult frilled dragons should be housed in enclosures no smaller than 4' x 4' x 2'. Frilled dragons are climbers, and require a vertically oriented enclosure, as well as plenty of appropriately sized vines for climbing and basking. Lining enclosure walls with cork bark provides the dragon with lots of climbing room, and helps keep the dragon's nails at a manageable length.
: Baby and juvenile dragons to 12" do best on paper towel, unprinted newspaper, non adhesive shelf liner, or other non-particulate substrate. Paper towels and newspaper should be changed at least twice daily. We personally house our smaller dragons on paper towels, and our larger dragons on coconut substrate such as EcoEarth. We recommend that you research and make the decision on what substrate you will use based on potential risks and ease of cleaning. All feces should be removed as soon as possible, and entire substrate should be changed at least every three months. Please do NOT use any of the commercially marketed reptile sands (i.e. Vitasand, Reptisand, Calcisand) or walnut shell, bark or wood products, or rabbit pellets. All of these substrates are overpriced and pose a serious risk of impaction for your dragon.
Heating and Lighting
: UVB lighting and heat are vital to the health of your Frilled Dragon. Reptiles utilize exposure to UVB lighting to synthesize the Vitamin D-3, which is necessary for calcium absorption. Frilled Dragons will need to be able to get within 6-10" of the UVB source to fulfill their UV requirements.
There are two ways to achieve the proper UVB exposure for your dragon. The first option is a fluorescent UVB tube, used in conjunction with a separate fixture for heat, which can be used for any size enclosure. We personally use Reptisun 10.0 fluorescent bulbs together with a reflector dome fixture and standard household bulb of the appropriate wattage for heat. For larger enclosures, you can use a halogen spot light of the appropriate wattage for heat.
The second option for heat and light is an "all-in-one" mercury vapor bulb (i.e. T-Rex Active UV Heat, Zoo Med Power Sun). Should you choose the mercury vapor bulbs, please follow the package instructions closely. Mercury vapor bulbs provide very high UV output, and can be quite beneficial to the health of your dragon. These bulbs, however, cannot be used in smaller enclosures.
Proper temperatures and temperature gradients are critical for the health of your dragon. Temperatures should be 90-100 degrees on the basking spot, and 75-80 degrees on the cool side of the enclosure. Light and heat should be provided 12-14 hours per day, and consistent heat and light can be achieved by using a timer to control the lights. Nighttime temperatures as low as 65 degrees are safe. Should your dragon require additional nighttime heat, ceramic heat emitters and infrared heat bulbs are preferred. These bulbs don't emit light, allowing your dragon undisturbed sleep. Please do NOT guess at the enclosure temperatures. Temperatures are best monitored with a digital thermometer available at most pet stores, or a temperature gun. Stick on thermometers are highly inaccurate, and are not recommended.
: NEVER FEED YOUR DRAGON LIGHTENING BUGS/FIREFLIES. THEY ARE DEADLY. Dragons under 1 year of age should be fed adequately gutloaded crickets NO LARGER than the space between their eyes. Baby and juvenile dragons should be fed as many crickets as they can eat in a 10-15 minute period, three times daily. Crickets should be calcium dusted once a day, and multi-vitamin dusted twice weekly. Silkworms are a great alternative staple and can completely replace crickets. A small shallow bowl of bite sized greens (such as mustard, turnip, collard, dandelion) and finely chopped fruits and veggies and a small shallow bowl of water should be provided throughout the day. We also sprinkle moist Repcal pellets on the dragons salads daily, as they are a great way to balance the dragons diet.
Babies should be misted at least twice daily with warm water, and bathed at least once a week in 85 degree water for 15 minutes.
Adult dragons should be fed calcium dusted, adequately gutloaded crickets NO LARGER than the space between their eyes once daily, and multi-vitamin dusted crickets should be provided twice weekly. Silkworms are a great alternative staple and can completely replace crickets. For adult dragons, other protein items can be added to the diet, such as superworms and waxworms. These items are high in fat and should be used sparingly as treats. Larger bowls of greens, fruits and veggies should be provided throughout the day. We also sprinkle the dragons salads with moist Repcal pellets daily. For hydration, a large pan of water should be provided (large enough for the dragon to submerge itself).
Adult dragons should be bathed at least once a week in 85 degree water for 15 minutes.
Please do not feed your dragon within two hours of bedtime, as they will not have time to begin the digestion process. Please do not feed your dragon iceberg lettuce, as it provides no valuable nutrients to your dragon. Spinach and kale should be used sparingly, as they bind calcium and prevent it from be absorbed by your dragon.
Some Frilled Dragons will not eat greens and vegetables, and rely solely on crickets, silkworms and superworms. All prey items should be adequately gutloaded and well hydrated with fresh greens, fruits and veggies and/or prepared gutload. Please ensure that crickets are not left in your dragons enclosure overnight, as this may cause your dragon stress.
Recommended Reading: The Bearded Dragon Manual by Vosjoli, Mailloux, Donoghue, Klingenberg and Cole, which includes a small section on Frilled Dragons.