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How to Care* for Your Frilled Lizard

How to Care* for Your Frilled Lizard


Frilled Lizards (Chlamydosaurus kingii) are large (2-3’), diurnal, arboreal reptiles native to the humid jungles of Australia and New Guinea. Frilled Lizards are primarily brown, black, and gray patterned, though, in some localities, they may have red, orange, or yellow coloring as well. They get their common name from the large ruff around the neck, which can expand to a circular cowl when they are upset or on the defensive. Due to their size, they should be considered to be advanced level pets.


Adult Frilled Lizards require large enclosures, with a minimal size of 5’x2.5’x4-6’ tall. In order to ensure that the Frilled Lizard feels safe, it’s important to cover 3 sides of the enclosure to make it opaque. The front can be left open. Since these lizards are arboreal, they also require sturdy branches or even a shelf built into the upper part of the enclosure to enable them to climb and bask. The enclosure should include at least 6” of mulch (cypress is often used) or a soil, sand, and coco fiber mix, which will help to maintain the 75% humidity the Frilled Lizard requires. The cage should be misted once a day. Frilled lizards primarily drink the water drops after misting, but a small water bowl can be placed in the enclosure if desired.

Heating and Lighting

Frilled Lizards require a basking area with temperatures of 115 degrees F. Basking lamps are often placed toward the top of the enclosure with a shelf or branch that would allow the Lizard to be about 12” below the light when basking. In addition, a full spectrum light is required to provide the Lizard with UV. The recommended UVB light is a full-spectrum 10.0 florescent bulb that runs most of the length of the enclosure. The fixture can be placed inside the cage underneath the cover or on top of a mesh cover. If the fixture is placed on top of the cage, a glass cage cover should not be used, since the UVB will not penetrate through the glass. Florescent bulbs decrease in the amount of UVB emitted with time. It’s safest to replace the bulb every 6 months, though a more accurate schedule can be determined if a UV meter is purchased and used to check UV levels. The air temperature in the remainder of the enclosure should be 85-90F during the day, and in the high 75-80 at night. In some climates, the Frilled Lizard may require supplemental heat in the winter.

Food and Supplementation

Frilled Lizards primarily eat a variety of bugs and worms, including crickets, Dubia, and other roaches, hornworms, silkworms, and superworms. Some Frilled Lizards have been known to eat chopped fruits and vegetables as well. Feeders should be dusted with calcium and vitamin D3. Adult Frilled Lizards may enjoy the largest Dubia roaches in addition to the bigger prey items.

*This care sheet contains only very basic information. If you are new to Frilled Lizards, please do additional research to obtain additional information from more detailed care sheets.

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