The frilled dragon, also known as the frilled lizard is known for its frilly, colorful skin that surrounds its face. Frilled dragons are common exotic pets that are considered medium to large-sized lizards. But if you are looking to keep one as a pet you might be wondering exactly how big frilled dragons actually get.
Australian frilled dragons are about 3 and 2 feet long, respectively. Frilled dragons from New Guinea are about 2 feet and 1 foot, respectively. Frilled dragon size varies but you should expect a lizard that can get up to 3 feet long.
Male frilled dragons have larger frills and are typically bigger than females. So if you are looking for a smaller lizard you might look for a female New Guinea frilled lizard.
Additionally, frilled lizard size depends on their nutrition and living conditions. Read on to see the variation in these frilled dragons and what that means for you.
The Frilled Dragon Size Illusion
The Frilled Dragon is only one species, but there is a lot of variation from within. They can vary in color, scale pattern, and size, all based on their location of origin.
However, frilled lizards know how to make themselves appear larger than they actually are. This is because their “frills” will come out and give them a larger appearance.
When doing this, a process called “frilling out”, they also tend to open their mouths, hiss, and possibly bite.
How Long Does It Take For A Frilled Dragon To Reach Full Size?
Normally, the frilled dragon takes 2 – 3 years to grow to their peak size. This is assuming they have sufficient nutrition and a good environment.
Nutrition includes the food they eat, and their environment includes the temperature, humidity, sunlight, and cage in which they live. So you need to provide the right habitat for your filled dragon to reach full size.
Their food and environment go hand in hand to maximize their growth and in turn, health. If you want your frilled dragon to reach full size make sure they eat a proper diet.
Frilled Dragons Need A Healthy Diet To Reach Full Size
Frilled dragons like to eat a lot of food. A healthy diet and feeding schedule is crucial for frilled lizards to reach full size and health.
Adults can eat once a day but sometimes may skip a day. Younger frilled dragons get hungry more often, so it’s recommended to feed them up to three times a day.
It’s important not to overfeed – and for younger lizards, be sure to feed them insects smaller than the width of their head. Most insects should be roughly one-half to two-thirds the width of their head.
I’ve noticed that some of their favorite foods include:
- Other reptiles,
- Small rodents,
- Shrimp and
- Even canned reptile food.
Some reports also state frilled dragons will eat a variety of:
- Dark-green, leafy vegetables
- Other vegetables as well as various fruits
While it’s recommended they eat vegetables and other vegetation, they will likely pick at them or avoid them completely – especially the younger lizards.
Due to their distaste for nutritional vegetables, they will require food supplements on top of their regular diet.
Vitamins and Supplements For Growth
Younger lizards need to take vitamins daily. Adults are recommended to take them two times a week. However, female lizards should be given supplements every feeding if they are carrying eggs or nursing their young.
To supplement their food, simply sprinkle the powdered form of calcium and a D3 vitamin on top of the food they would normally eat. Then, mist the lizards with fresh water each feeding and you’re good to go!
Large Frilled Dragons Need Large Enclosures
The average tank size for younger and smaller frilled dragons ranges from 50 to 100 gallons. However, large adult frilled dragons need something that’s built more to their own personal specifications.
Owners usually get something custom-built for their lizard, as there is so much variation amongst them. With this being said, the average for a tank is a bare minimum of 6 feet tall and 3 or 4 feet for both width and length.
No matter what age, an important factor of the tank is that it’s more vertical than anything, as these lizards love to climb. So at the end of the day you are going to need a large enclosure if you want to keep frilled lizards.
Frilled Dragons Need Proper Heat and Lighting To Reach Full Size
Frilled dragons need the right habitat to reach their full potential size. They need fluorescent lights as a source of UVB and need basking bulbs as a source of heat. Without this frilled dragons will not grow properly and will suffer health consequences.
When installing, make sure the light is placed at the top of the cage and far enough from the branches that they won’t burn the top of their frills. Set the temperature to about 115-degrees Fahrenheit, as any hotter could overheat them.
The rest of the cage should be in the mid-80s during the day and mid-70s at night. It is a bit harder to keep the cage warm in the winter months, so you can purchase a ceramic heat emitter for the cage to assist with this problem. You could also line the bottom of the cage with heat tape.
Like light placement, installing these in the correct areas is important too. If not done correctly, lizards could get severely burned. Keep in mind, the temperatures are slightly different if you are caring for lizard eggs.
When raising Frilled Dragons, add a “visual barrier”. These lizards can feel unsafe when they see too much outside of their cage, as they feel the need to monitor all sides.
A visual barrier to line all sides of the cage (except the front) is the best way to go. If this is done, they are more likely to eat more and feel more relaxed in their environment.
Stress can play a role in the healthy growth of your frilled lizard. So providing a visual barrier can help them live long lives and reach full size.
Are You Ready For A Lizard This Size?
Frilled dragons are active, yet sensitive creatures. They don’t like a lot of attention or stimulation besides their food, branches, sunlight, and other lizards. Try not to remove them from their cage too often, as this stresses them out.
It’s important to remember this if you are considering getting one, frilled dragons get up to 3 feet long. So you will need to provide the proper home for your new pet. For more on frilled dragons check out my complete Frilled Dragon Care Guide!