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RE: Gonocephalus grandis...?

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Posted by: Spawn at Mon Mar 19 22:40:28 2007  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Spawn ]  

Hello Ingo:
It's been a long time. In answer to Bob's question, there are lots of people who have kept G. grandis but unfortunately success stories with this species are almost non-existent. These unique lizards come from humid jungles and are closely tied to water. Though they are no different than hundreds of other species (including the ever popular Chinese Water Dragon)in the way they live in the jungle they do not seem to be as adaptable.
These lizards are captured and brought back to city areas where the humidity is lower. They are then sent all over the world to city areas where the humidity is even lower. The importers get them, spray them down, give them a large water bowl, feed them, and there they sit until they sre sold.
My first exposure to this species was in 1986. I was at a huge Miami importers place and looking through their list. I spied "Great River Crested Dragon." Being a "Dragon" enthusiast I just had to check them out. I was directed to a cage where they would be be. Looking inside I saw the coolest looking lizard with a bizarre head crest that connected to a fin running the length of the dorsum. I was sold immediately. There was a male and two females in the cage. i chose a pair and left.
As soon as I got them home they were placed in a forest terrarium complete with large water dish, branches, and live plants. I even threw in a few crickets which they promptly went after. All was good.
It was only five days later when the female died. I was devastated and I couldn't helpbut think that there was something mysterious involved with her death. Within a couple days i noticed the male had lost what little color he had and became listless. If I didn't figure out something soon he would be dead as well.
On the other side of my reptile room I had set up an "aqua Terrarium using a large hex tank where I could keep frogs, fish, newts, and Anoles in a "naturalistic" environment. The middle was a land island with branches, rocks and live plants. In desperation I figured that being a jungle animal what could I lose. I placed the "Dragon" in the aqua terrarium which already had fish and a couple newts in it. The tank even had the glass lid on it with a light. I turned off the lights and went to bed,
When I woke up I turned the lights on and couldn't believe my eyes. Somebody had switched lizards (not really). The "dragon's" body was filled out, his eyes were bright, and his colors were unbelievable. The orange dots on the blue belly actually looked fluorescent, almost pulsating with a life of their own. I reached in to take him out to look at him and he lunged at my hand, his enlarged "fangs" clearly showing. Needless to say I left him alone. Now he was a "Dragon" worthy of legend, "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" in miniature complete with the crest running the length of the dorsum.
It was obvious that though I sprayed them and gave them a large dish the humidity levels were way to low in the terrarium. As I said in the beginning, these lizards are just not as adaptable as some other "Forest Dragons." I have been compiling lots of info on these animals and find them to be fascinating.
I have written this story before on kingsnake but it was several years ago and is now buried in the archives somewhere. I think that discussions of any of these Forest Dragons is appropriate on this forum as Acanthosaura and Gonocephalus are similar in many ways.
I hope this info helps.
Have a Great day!!!


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<< Previous Message:  RE: Gonocephalus grandis...? - jobi, Sun Mar 18 16:38:59 2007