Crested dragon diet

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by cresteddragon, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. cresteddragon

    cresteddragon New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    I have recently got a crested dragon she is now around 4/5 months old. The only thing is she will not eat her greens or anything besides crickets. The place I got her from they were only feeding her crickets. I have tried woodies and she was not interested and even mealworms she will not really eat and I have tried nearly every veg safe. I have never had this problem with other bearded dragons before. And her health has also been checked and is good. Is this just a crested dragon thing? and how do I get her to try and eat other protein and veg?
     
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    8,251
    Likes Received:
    1,623
    Location:
    Victoria
    They don't really eat much vegetation, they're basically insectivores. They're not Bearded Dragons, they're a different type of dragon.
     
    dragonlover1 and cresteddragon like this.
  3. cresteddragon

    cresteddragon New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you, I had a feeling this was the case but the store kept telling me differently and there’s not much information of them online

    5C38AAC6-DE39-4CC3-8DB1-A144DC209B20.jpg
     
  4. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    879
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    There is not much information available on captive care of Crested Dragons as they are not commonly kept. They are specialist animal that should only be recommended for advanced keepers who have prior experience with the smaller species of dragons. They are nothing like a Bearded Dragon in terms of captive requirements (or behaviour) and for the store to tell you otherwise leads me to question their ethics. The store clearly has no clue about this lizard and this makes one wonder where it came from. Surely someone with sufficient expertise to breed this species is not going to off-load progeny to a store without ensuring they know how to look after them. To be quite blunt, it sounds like it has been wild-caught to me.

    Woodies are normally a staple item in the captive diet of this species. As a captive bred animal it should have been raised on them. Yet your lizard clearly does not like cockroaches. One has to ask why? The only logical conclusion I can come to is that it attempted to eat cockroaches in the past and found them very distasteful. This does not happen with woodies, or even common household cockies. However, the native species of cockroach, found in at least part of the Crested Dragon’s range, gives off a disgusting smell when grasped or crushed. This, no doubt, serves to put off potential predators. And if it tastes anything like it smells – YUK!!! Seems likely to me that your lizard has tried one in the past and is not keen to repeat the experience. Further indication that it was wild-caught. Bear in mind this is only my opinion.

    Retraining it to accept woodies would be good if you could. I’d have to think about how that might be done. Irrespective, I can tell you that these are not a can-be-handled lizard and do require a lot more space than their size would indicate. They are very active and extremely fast moving and that in itself presents challenges. If these are not the characteristics you are looking for, or it’s too challenging for you at this stage, then consider returning the lizard on the basis of being misinform at the time of purchase. You always have the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs as a bit of extra leverage if they want to be difficult.

    Alternatively you may wish keep the animal and take on the challenge of meeting its requirements, knowing full well it’s going to be a ‘look don’t touch’ arrangement. Unfortunately all my captive care books (and field guides) have been packed away for the last 18 months plus, so I cannot even advise you on a potential text to read. If no-one else with direct keeping experience replies in the meantime, I am happy to share with you what little I do know about keeping them. Just let know please.
     
    dragonlover1 likes this.
  5. cresteddragon

    cresteddragon New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Female

    Hi thank you for your response, I am aware these are nothing like bearded dragons and with the pet store there was multiple pet stores that did not know what they were talking about, I now assume they were just trying to make money. However, I know she was not captured from the wild, she had been there since born with others who got adopted prior but I get where you are coming from and cannot say the same for her parents. It was a main stream pet store so I now feel like they were just provided with them to sell and profit.

    With woodies I will try again soon, I think with woodies at the moment she wont eat them as they are too big for her, but thats just my opinion so I will try in a few months. But I have contact with a live food supplier so going to try bits and pieces and she what she enjoys. And yes I did understand they do not liked to be handed etc. and that they are extremely fast and active- this is actually what appealed me to her more than any other reptile/snake. She has already such a personally and is very active and is always jumping around, she just got a brand new rock wall which she absolutely loves and cant wait until she gets an even bigger tank next year. Surprisingly, she loves like interaction, like people talking to her and when I am working on my computer or even watching shows she comes and watch as well, she is just so curious in everything and she is not as skittish and scared as I thought she would be.
    And thank you so much for all the information , if I have any questions I will let you know :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020 at 7:19 PM
    dragonlover1 likes this.
  6. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    2,513
    Likes Received:
    1,496
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sydney
    First up I am surprised a pet store could legally sell crested dragons, in NSW there is a limited number of reptiles available through stores.
    I don't keep crested but I do keep another species of Ctenophorus which is a sand dragon like yours, I have central netted dragons.
    Now I wont pretend they love veg like beardies but they do on occasion eat it. (I have 20+ dragons from 5 species and feed them all veg 6 days a week), sometimes they eat it and sometimes they don't. Mostly it's just crix dusted every second day with calcium, mixed with occasional meal worms or small superworms. But I always offer veg in the morning so they have all day to look at it.
     
    Bluetongue1 likes this.
  7. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    879
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    It is in the lizard’s best interest for you to get things correct from the start. Given the shop has not really been very helpful, it seems more appropriate to provide what information I have now. My apologies if I am telling you things you already know

    This species can be kept in a similar setup to that used for Central Netted Dragons, for which there is plenty of good info readily available, with a few tweaks. Use a deep sand substrate as these lizards like to construct burrow under partially embedded rocks. While the deeper sand level can contain a little moisture to keep the burrows stable, the surface sand should be completely dry. The basking temp is best a little hotter, at around 45 – 50 C. At the same time, because these animals push their limits in terms of body temperature, it is essential to always have a cool retreat available. So make sure you place some rocks or hides along the full length of the temperature gradient. The size of the enclosure also needs to be somewhat larger. For an adult crested a 4’ x 2’ x 2’ = 120cm x 60cm x 60cm or close to it is recommended. My understanding is this extra space is not just desirable, but is needed to ensure your lizard can remain healthy. Being such fast moving animals, a top opening enclosure is best.

    With respect to food, I do not know whether this species eats any vegetable matter. Those that I have seen in the wild have always been on elevated perches of fallen timber and very alert, scanning their surrounds for potential food items or predators. However they may occasionally forage for leaves, fruit or flowers, I do not know. Personally I’d be providing a small amount fresh fruit and veg daily, same as for a beardy. Remember that even things like bok choy need to be cut up into bite size pieces, as the lizard cannot tear off pieces of the leaf as it would in nature. So nothing larger than the distance between its eyes. If after two or three weeks the vegies remained untouched, I would not be surprised and would discontinue it. Given that a number of juvenile dragons are totally carnivorous, whereas the adults can be omnivorous, I’d be trying again once it reaches adult size.

    Woodies, like crickets, are available in varying sizes. Measure or estimate the eye width of your dragon and ask for woodies of that size or less. These lizards love locusts and grasshoppers. If you get yourself a butterfly net you can collect your own. Plus you can use it to collect moths and butterflies to boot. I have yet to see a dragon lizard that did not like caterpillars. There are plenty around at this time of year. Just make sure you don’t collect them from a vegie or flower garden that has been treated with chemicals. You can also dig in a small glass jar so it is slightly below the mulch in a heathy growing garden and this trap will collect things like earwigs and wolf spiders which are great lizard tucker. Halved pieces of fruit, anything from apples to rockmelons, just slightly buried in a garden bed and left for a week or so, will attract beetles and maggots etc. which can also be tried in the food dish.

    Good luck with your Crested Dragon. They really are pretty awesome critters.
     
    cresteddragon and dragonlover1 like this.

Share This Page