Frilled Dragons: The King Lizard

by Luke Tansley on in Lizards

Frilled dragons (Chlamydosaurus kingii) are a majestic species from Australia who are known for their speed, ability to climb and large frills. When threatened the frilled dragon can rear up on 2 legs, using their tail for balance, and sprint away from the danger. If they feel they can’t get away or have just had enough of their owner they might be inclined to flap out their large frills, open their mouth and hiss in an impressive threat display. In captivity, these dragons are rarely threatened enough to frill but it is very exciting to see and is reminiscent of the dilophosaurus scene in Jurassic Park. Tchad woke the Northampton Reptile Centre’s frilled dragon up for this photoshoot…

He was not impressed

They thrive in similar conditions to a bearded dragon but would appreciate much more height for climbing and a bit more humidity during the day. We have found that troncho and oak branches are brilliant for their enclosures as they will absorb moisture in the morning spray while providing sturdy basking platforms and climbing apparatus for the dragons. For bedding, we tend to use coarse orchid bark but you could use a loose soil and moss bedding if you prefer. Frilled dragons take to bioactive enclosures really well and would do well in a planted enclosure.

Generally, frilled dragons are kept solitary as the males will fight but they don’t require much company. As with other water dragons, they are quicker and tend to be less comfortable with handling but with time and experience, this behaviour can be tamed out. Overall they make an amazing pet for an intermediate or experienced keeper.

Don’t worry, he calmed down after a couple of minutes

If you have any questions about these lizards or if there is anything else we can help with please email us at

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About Luke Tansley

Luke works within the customer service department at At home he keeps hognose snakes, bearded dragons and kingsnakes.