Crested Dragons, scientifically known as Correlophus ciliatus, are charming and unique reptile pets native to New Caledonia. These small lizards have gained popularity as pets due to their distinctive appearance and ease of care. Here's a care sheet to help you provide the best care for your pet Crested Dragon in Australia:
- Enclosure: A vertical terrarium or vivarium is ideal for Crested Dragons. A 20-gallon tank is suitable for a single adult.
- Substrate: Use a substrate like coconut coir, cypress mulch, or a bioactive setup with a drainage layer for optimal humidity control.
- Temperature: Maintain a temperature gradient, with a basking spot around 82-86°F (28-30°C) during the day and a slight drop at night.
- Humidity: Keep the humidity level around 50-70%. Regular misting is necessary, and a hygrometer will help monitor humidity levels.
- Hiding Spots: Provide ample hiding spots and climbing branches to create a naturalistic and secure environment.
- Omnivorous Diet: Crested Dragons are omnivores, primarily consuming fruit, nectar, and insects.
- Fruit: Offer a variety of fruit, such as mashed banana, mango, and papaya, as the primary food source.
- Insects: Supplement their diet with appropriately sized insects, like live black solider fly larvae, crickets and roaches, ideally dusted with calcium and vitamin D3.
- Feeding Schedule: Feed juveniles daily and adults every other day.
- Cleanliness: Regularly clean and disinfect the enclosure to prevent bacterial growth.
- Handling: Crested Dragons are generally docile but can be skittish. Handle them gently and infrequently to reduce stress.
- Health Monitoring: Keep an eye on their behavior, appetite, and shedding. Crested Dragons are susceptible to calcium deficiencies and may require vitamin and calcium supplements if not getting enough from their diet.
Legal Considerations: Ensure that you comply with local and state regulations regarding the ownership of Crested Dragons, as permits or licenses may be required.
In summary, Crested Dragons are delightful and low-maintenance reptile pets when provided with proper care and an enriching environment. Tailor your care to your individual pet's needs and seek guidance from reptile experts or veterinarians when necessary to ensure their well-being.