Chinese water dragons come from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam. They are large green lizards that reside near water. These are strong swimmers staying underwater for up to 25 minutes at a time. While these are such interesting lizards to consider as a pet, their size is something that you must take into consideration. If you are thinking of welcoming a Chinese water dragon into your home, continue reading to see how big your full size Chinese water dragon can get.
How Big Does a Full Size Chinese Water Dragon Get
An adult male Chinese water dragon can grow up to three feet when fully grown, while females tend to be slightly smaller and duller in color. These dragons have long tails, which make up around two thirds of their total length. Once fully grown your dragon can weigh up to two pounds.
Chinese Water Dragon Growth Chart And Stages
Snout to Vent Length
Head to Tail Length
1" - 1.5"
5" - 6"
2" - 3"
7" - 9"
3" - 4.5"
10" - 12"
4.5" - 6"
16" - 18"
24 months - Female
6.5" - 7.5"
22" - 26"
24 months - Male
6.5" - 9"
22" - 28"
When Do Chinese Water Dragons Grow Fast?
Your dragon will grow the most in the first twelve months of its life. This is when it's developing strong bones and eating once a day. Growth starts to slow once they reach eighteen months until they are 24 months.
When Are Chinese Water Dragons Considered Babies, Juveniles and Adults?
- Babies – Up to 12 months
- Juveniles – 12 to 18 months
- Adults – 24 months and over
Are There Any Care Needs for Each Stage?
Babies should be fed daily with 85% of each meal being made up of insects. Juveniles can be fed every second day and adults can be fed every two to three days.
When it comes to enclosure size, bigger is always better, but as a rule of thumb for each food of lizard there should be two square feet of the enclosure. So, a two foot dragon will need a three foot long by two feet wide by three feet tall enclosure.
By the time they reach four months, you will want to separate the dragons into their own enclosures bearing in mind that they are very territorial. If you notice any head bobbing, puffing, or tail whipping when you have more than one in an enclosure, it's time to separate them.
When Can I Identify Gender?
You can usually tell if you have a male or female Chinese water dragon when they reach fourteen to eighteen inches in length. There are some telltale signs you can look out for to identify if you have a male or female dragon in your home.
Male Chinese water dragons have larger spikes on their crests with long broad heads. Males have noticeable jowls, while females don't. Of course, the femoral pores are a give way, as males have larger and noticeable femoral pores compared to the females.
Then there is color. Both the male and female Chinese water dragon is green and can range from light to dark green. The difference is in the male’s throat, which can range from orange to yellow with pink colorations around the bottom edge of the mouth. This is not seen in the female.
Factors that Impact Growth and Size
Bearing in mind that your Chinese water dragon can live up to fifteen years in captivity, you are going to want to provide it with the best care possible. There are certain factors that will impact the growth and size of your dragon, these include:
- Enclosure – provide a comfortable habitat for your reptile pet. Remember that you cannot stunt its size by providing it with a smaller enclosure. The enclosure should enable your dragon to move around with ease.
- Diet – Provide a healthy and varied diet to reduce the risk of boredom. Your Chinese Water Dragon will enjoy a mixture of insects, worms, small mice, vegetables, greens, and fruits. Ensure baby dragons eat more insects (85% of their diet) to help them grow strong and big.
- Supplements – Make sure you use a good quality Calcium supplement to reduce the risk of metabolic bone disease, which could negatively impact the growth of your Chinese water dragon.
- Temperatures – Maintaining optimal temperatures helps your dragon digest its food properly, enabling it to absorb the essential vitamins and minerals it needs. If temperatures are too high or too low your dragon may stop eating, which can negatively affect its growth.
It's important when choosing a baby Chinese water dragon to remember that it can grow up to three feet in total length and live up to fifteen years. These can be very interactive and entertaining reptilian pets, suitable for all reptile owners. Be prepared for a large lizard before you bring your new pet home.