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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Frilled Dragon Setup Steps

Frilled Dragon (Chlamydosaurus kingi)

Experience Level: Intermediate

Frilled Dragon Peeping Up

Frilled Dragon

Step 1Choosing a Terrarium

(A) Use a tall, 40-gallon terrarium (32-36" long) for a small dragon. Full-size dragons will require a minimum habitat length of 48".
• Taller enclosures are preferred as Frilled Dragons like to climb.
(B) Screened lid, if not included with habitat.

Step 2Heating and Lighting

Frilled Dragons require a temperature gradient (cool side/warm side) to appropriately regulate their body temperature. Temperatures within the habitat should also vary between daytime and nighttime hours.

Equip the habitat with (C) two thermometers (one for each side of the habitat) and a (D)  hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels.
The basking spot should be the warmest point in the habitat during the day. Heat is provided by a (E) high-wattage heat bulb placed directly above the basking spot. During the evening hours, the basking light should be turned off.
• Use a ceramic heat emitter or night heat lamp as needed to maintain nighttime temperatures.


 Target Range
Humidity 50-80%
Day-Cool Area 70-80° F (21-27° C)
Day-Basking Spot 95-100° F (35-38° C)
Night 65-75° F (18-24° C)


• Frilled Dragons are diurnal, meaning they are most active during the day. Use a daytime (F) UVA/UVB linear or compact fluorescent bulb for approximately 12 hours per day.

• For night viewing, use a night-specific bulb to minimize light.

Step 3Substrate and Decor

(G) Use a 2-3" (5-8 cm) of reptile bark.
• Clean out waste weekly and completely change bedding at least once a month.

(H) Include decor to elevate your dragon close to the heat source for basking.
(I) Add a wood/rock hiding place in the cool area of the home for hiding.
• Ensure decor is large and stable enough for the size of your dragon.

• Provide multiple branches (artificial or live) for climbing.

New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

• Runny droppings for more than two days

• Eating or drinking less; weight loss

• Swollen joints

• Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

• Shedding problems; discolored skin

• Decreased basking; more time spent hiding

If you notice any of the above signs, speak with a PetSmart store associate or reptile veterinarian with questions about the health of your pet.

Other Reminders

Use caution when handling reptiles. All pets may bite or scratch especially when stressed. Always handle your turtle by the mid section and not by the limbs. Supervise children around pets.

Pets may transmit disease to humans; be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your pet, the aquarium water or cleaning its home.