Melissa cares for a range of exotic animals and also has perfect a certificate in veterinarian assisting and also a bachelor's level in biology.

You are watching: Form of the exotic dragon


Thanks come the exotic pets trade, over there are numerous dragon lookalikes that deserve to be retained as pets.

David Clode

Pets that Look prefer Dragons

It's no longer a fantastical dream come buy your very own pet dragon. Thanks to the exotic pet trade, there are numerous dragon lookalikes that can be retained as pets. Most existing 'dragons' in the pets trade space reptiles.

Mythical dragons different from each other; some have wings, horns, spikes, or plated backs. Oriental dragons are more snake-bodied, through whiskers and also mammal-like hair, while west dragons are more reptilian or dinosaur-like. Other dragon designs room unique, favor that of Toothless from the renowned film How to Train her Dragon. Below, you'll uncover a perform of all the pets the fit any type of of these descriptions.


This adorable red-eyed crocodile skink can be yours!

Nature'sAura - C.McKee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Via Flickr

Continue scrolling for an ext information about each that the exotic animals above.

Common NameScientific NameRequired experience Level

1. Chinese Water Dragon

Physignathus cocincinus


2. Crested Gecko

Correlophus ciliatus


3. Dragon Moray Eel

Enchelycore pardalis


4. Draco Lizard

Draco volans


5. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink

Tribolonotus gracilis


6. Green Basilisk

Basiliscus plumifrons


7. Mexico Alligator Lizard

Abronia graminea


8. Jackson's Chameleon

Trioceros jacksonii


9. Leopard Gecko

Eublepharis macularius


10. Mustache Dragon



11. Axolotl

Ambystoma mexicanum


12. Dragonface Pipefish

Corythoichthys haematopterus


13. Environment-friendly Iguana

Iguana iguana


14. Armadillo Lizard

Ouroborus cataphractus


15. Horned Lizard



16. Sailfin Dragon

Hydrosaurus pustulatus


17. Frilled Dragon

Chlamydosaurus kingii



1. Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Size: 2–3 feet

Lifespan: up to 15 years

Diet: omnivore

Experience Level: intermediate

As the name implies, the Chinese water dragon bears a slight same to the mythical creatures due to its pointed spikes. Girlfriend can additionally guess from the name that these lizards choose water, for this reason they need a large enclosure the they can both climb and also swim in.

A Special note on Chinese Water Dragon Enclosures

You may have seen these lizards offered in chain pet stores prefer Petco, and they frequently have damages on your snout from constant rubbing (which can reason sores). This happens since they don't know that lock can't pass through glass. Larger settings for them have the right to help. Girlfriend may likewise find that lining the bottom ar of your enclosure with an opaque material helps, together they are less likely to run into walls once they can see them.

In more serious cases, these lizards may run into the glass walls of your enclosures, leading to potentially fatal damages to your brains.


This cute small crested gecko can't avoid smiling!

Zaahir from Brooklin, Canada, CC by 2.0, via Wikimedi

2. Crested Gecko (Correlophus ciliatus)

Size: up come 10 inches

Lifespan: up to 15 years

Diet: omnivores (food must be dusted with a 50/50 mix of calcium and vitamins)

Experience Level: beginner

The succinct thing around crested geckos—besides their stunning appearance and dragon-like crested head—is that they are one of the few pet lizard types that don't must eat live insects. Instead, they deserve to eat all set powdered diets, through insects available only if the owner prefers to carry out supplementation.

Crested geckos are small lizards that have the right to live in fairly sized aquariums decorated through live plants. They grow when the conditions in captivity suit their needs.

Check the end this guide for more information about how to care for your crested gecko.


3. Dragon Moray Eel (Enchelycore pardalis)

Size: 2–3 feet

Lifespan: 10–15 years

Diet: carnivore (these eels just eat 2–3 times week, and also all food should be live)

Experience Level: advanced

The Hawaiian dragon moray eel is an high value fish commonly priced approximately $1,000, yet many hobbyists think they space well precious the money. They have beautiful patterns and also two 'horns' on their head. They tend to stick their head the end of caves through their mouth hanging open, showing off their pointy dragon-life dentition. Despite this open-mouthed view is sometimes used to threaten predators, a somewhat open mouth is merely their resting position—these eels have bottom teeth so large they can't close your mouths.

Dragon morays, like many eels, are sizeable and also require a somewhat large aquarium. Castle are also hard to feeding in captivity, so they are not because that beginners.

4. Draco Lizard (Draco volans)

Size: up come 8 inches

Lifespan: unknown

Diet: carnivore (these lizards typically prefer termites and ants, but they have the right to be taught to eat crickets, mealworms, and also flies)

Experience Level: advanced

A dragon v wings! though the name would imply that this 'dragons' deserve to fly, these small lizards room actually gliders akin to flying squirrels. In various other words, they're not flyers, yet they are extremely distinctive with their colorful 'wings'.

Unfortunately, they are not a pet because that those who are brand-new to keeping reptiles, because they room shy, require an arboreal enclosure, and might be challenging to feed. They are additionally not frequently available, therefore locating one deserve to take part investigation.

Check the end this guide if you want to learn an ext about exactly how to treatment for a paris lizard.

5. Red-Eyed Crocodile Skink (Tribolonotus gracilis)

Size: up to 7 inches

Lifespan: at the very least 10 year (maximum unknown)

Diet: carnivore (you need to supplement your skink's food v calcium at the very least every various other feeding)

Experience Level: intermediate

These lizards might have 'crocodile' in your name, yet they are far an ext dragon-like in appearance. They have vivid orange rings roughly their eyes, which gives them a an extremely distinctive look. They space also fairly easy come keep, v a 20- come 25-gallon aquarium being an adequate size for a pair.

Be certain to examine out this treatment guide if you're considering getting a red-eyed crocodile skink.

Lifespan: up to 10 years

Diet: insectivore (these reptiles require live food)

Experience Level: advanced

Also well-known as the plumed basilisk, this legend reptile is stated to be king that serpents and to own the power to reason death v a single glance (don't worry—that's just true in Harry Potter!). Through its stunning features, it's no wonder this creature is featured in so plenty of myths. This reptile is also known as the 'Jesus lizard' because that its capacity to run on water.

Green basilisks space flighty animals that don't prefer to be tackled much, and they are normally considered best for advanced reptile enthusiasts. In theory, they are still an ideal pets for owners who have the right to maintain their setting properly, yet they typically are no recommended together beginner herps.

Since green basilisks deserve to be tricky to treatment for, be sure to review this guide if you're considering one together a pet.

7. Mexico Alligator Lizard (Abronia graminea)

Size: up come 12 inches

Lifespan: 15–20 year (estimated)

Diet: insectivore (dust food through calcium every various other feeding and also with a vitamin supplement as soon as a week)

Experience Level: intermediate–advanced

These plated lizards come in vibrant blue and also green colors. In the wild, they inhabit cloud woodlands in central and southern America. These space arboreal lizards that space sensitive if your environmental elements aren't maintained perfectly, therefore they have an intermediate to advanced level of treatment difficulty.

Fun Fact

Mexican alligator lizards range in color depending top top the form of UVB light they're exposed to. Lizards who room exposed come a an excellent daily sunlight will be a colorful green, while lizards exposed only to fabricated UVB will appear an ext teal.

For an ext information about the special living conditions these herps require, check out this detailed treatment guide.

8. Jackson's Chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii)

Size: up come 18 inches

Lifespan: 8–10 year (males), 3–5 (females)

Diet: omnivore (dust insects through calcium double a week)

Experience Level: advanced

This pet lizard has the horns that a dragon, your eyes can rotate 360 degrees, and their body kind is specifically adjusted for tree-living. They have actually a prehensile tail, unexplained appendages, and a famously long and sticky tongue used for catching prey.

Due to their certain care requirements and also the truth that lock are quickly stressed, chameleons space not recommended because that beginner herpetologists.

To learn more about the living conditions that this reptiles require, inspect out this care guide.

Ditch the Water Dish

Chameleons hydrate specifically by licking water from your skin and also habitat, so your enclosures need regular misting.

From this leopard gecko's fierce look, you'd never guess the the types tops the end at 10 inch long!

Chris Parker, CC BY-ND 2.0, via Flickr

9. Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis macularius)

Size: up to 10 inches

Lifespan: up to 20 years

Diet: insectivore (these geckos need crickets that have been fed unique vitamins, and also their other food have to be dusted v a mix of vitamins and also minerals as well)

Experience Level: beginner

These small guys might be small, they're avid hunters and also will track under every cricket they're given. Yet while they're fierce hunters, they are also quite sweet and generally basic to keep happy. In fact, castle can even be claimed to smile. Don't think it? check out this leopard gecko's grin! (The jury is still out on just how to definitively interpret reptilian emotions, however the general consensus is the if they're calm, they're happy.)

For more about exactly how to collection up her leopard gecko's habitat and also care for it, this guide will provide a an excellent jumping-off point.

Bearded dragons may look quite fierce, but many the them actually have an extremely mild personalities.

Nature'sAura - C.McKee (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Via Flickr

10. Bearded Dragon (Pogona)

Size: up to 2 feet

Lifespan: up come 10 years

Diet: omnivore (dust insects with a calcium supplement twice weekly, and be sure to carry out a healthy and balanced dose of fruits and veggies)

Experience Level: beginner

This exceptionally popular pet v 'dragon' in its name is a great choice because that someone just acquiring into reptile keeping. Lock are more than likely one the the most basic lizards come handle. In fact, this lizards can also make good pets for responsible children. They room the perfect choice for someone who desires a pet 'dragon' or 'dinosaur'.

Some bearded dragons have the right to be trained to accept non-live insects, however they typically prefer live feed. They are omnivorous, for this reason they will also eat tree material.

If you're a first-time moustache dragon owner, this beginner's overview will help you obtain started.

11. Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Size: up to 10 inches (12 in rare cases)

Lifespan: 10 year (20 in an extremely rare cases)

Diet: omnivore (These tiny guys don't require vitamin/mineral supplements, but their diets are specialized. For more information, view the guide below.)

Experience Level: beginner

Axolotls deserve to have the figure of a Chinese dragon v their lengthy gills extending approximately their head. They additionally bear a very strong resemblance to the key character in exactly how to Train her Dragon.

These unique pets are actually amphibians, and in the pet trade, they are trained versions the a critically threatened wild species. Lock are, however, prolific in captivity and relatively easy come keep. They prefer cooler water, so there's commonly no require for a heater in your tanks (unless girlfriend live somewhere really cold!). However, keeping them in ~ the preferred 66˚F deserve to be a challenge in the summer.

Learn more about axolotls and how to care for castle here.

12. Dragonface Pipefish (Corythoichthys haematopterus)

Size: up to 8 inches

Lifespan: 5–10 years

Diet: carnivore (For an ext information around these fish committed diets, view the guide below.)

Experience Level: advanced

Pipefish room amazing, however, they room not for beginners to marine fish keeping. They have a lengthy body, providing them the illustration of a dragon straight out that a Studio Ghibli film. They require a species-specific tank v low flow and also a steady supply of live food uneven they deserve to be convert to frozen.

Pipefish are regularly kept with seahorses, i beg your pardon can likewise resemble dragons to a degree. The weedy sea dragon is specifically dragonlike, yet that types cannot be preserved by private hobbyists.

For much more information about how to care for pipefish, inspect out this guide.

A Gorgeous environment-friendly Iguana

Photo by Christo Goosen from Pexels

13. Eco-friendly Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Size: 6–7 feet (females rarely exceed 5)

Weight: 20 pounds

Lifespan: 15–20 years

Diet: herbivore (Dust food through calcium when a week, border protein intake, and also be sure not to give your iguana too much fruit, as it can reason diarrhea.)

Experience Level: advanced

The green iguana is a very big lizard. They were the stars of countless monster movie in the previously days of cinema, and also with good reason. Iguanas, especially males, exhibit superior spines in adulthood. As you deserve to guess, their cage have to be big . . . At least 6x6 feet, yet many owner recommend walk larger.

Iguanas room strictly herbivorous, and also they should have a salad all set for castle daily. They are a pet because that the experienced and also committed reptile owner, and also even then, there are numerous things to consider prior to adopting a pet iguana.

To learn much more about the treatment requirements because that these creatures, examine out this guide.

14. Armadillo Lizard (Ouroborus cataphractus)

Size: 4–6.5 inches

Lifespan: 8–12 years

Diet: herbivore (a dedicated pellet diet should make up 60–70% that this lizard's diet)

Experience Level: beginner

As their name suggests, armadillo lizards deserve to curl up right into a ball similar to their namesake. Your pointed plates give them a dragon-like appearance, and also they are reasonably simple to treatment for compared to various other reptiles. This varieties is unique because they are social and prefer being roughly other armadillo lizards, therefore they can be retained in groups. In fact, maintaining multiple armadillo lizards at a time is often advantageous for their overall welfare.

To learn much more about armadillo lizards, examine out this treatment sheet.

Coast Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum), California

Steve Berardi from long Beach, CA, united States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Diet: insectivore (Ants consist of 90% of their diet, so if you feed crickets, be sure to provide them a formic acid supplement at least twice a week. You should additionally supplement your insects through calcium every other feeding.)

Experience Level: advanced

Very dragony in the face, this lizards have actually the bizarre capability to shooting blood from your eyes as a defense mechanism. This lizards are daunting to care for and are for competent keepers only.

If you're considering acquisition on one of these lizards, be certain to review this care guide.

16. Sailfin Dragon (Hydrosaurus pustulatus)

Size: 3–3.5 feet

Weight: 3–5 pounds

Lifespan: up come 20 years

Diet: omnivore (To learn much more about this reptile's specialized dietary requirements, inspect out the care guide below.)

Experience Level: advanced

Perhaps these animals more closely resemble dimetrodons (an animal people mistakenly think is a dinosaur) than dragons, yet they are still really mythological-looking. They are the biggest member that the agamid family and also are an extremely impressive lizards to keep. They space less common in captivity and are because that keepers with some experience.

To learn much more about sailfin dragons together pets, inspect out this treatment sheet.

17. Frilled Dragon (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

Size: 2–3 feet

Lifespan: up come 15 years

Diet: omnivore (dust food v a calcium supplement twice a week and also a multivitamin when a week)

Experience Level: intermediate

Frilled dragons have a distinctive defense mechanism; they broaden an impressively large membrane roughly their head to hope bluff far potential predators. Just like with puffer fish, you might be tempted to check out this in person, yet it does result from the animal being stressed, therefore this an answer shouldn't it is in induced.

These reptiles should have actually a big enclosure to assistance their fairly high task level.

If you're considering a frilled dragon together a pet, be certain to review over this care sheet (PDF).

Are You ready to purchase a Reptile or Exotic Pet?

All reptiles require details temperature, lighting, and also humidity gradients. It's perfectly OK come be attractive to the idea of acquiring a reptile or other pet because that its ornamental value, yet be certain to study them sufficiently, especially if friend are new to exotics.

New owner should likewise ensure your pets are captive-bred because wild specimens can have parasites, it is in harder come feed, and also stress easily. Some of the pets here are rarer than others and might need some experience, however others are good for beginners who've done your homework. If you're not sure an exotic pet is right for you, examine out the write-up "Reptiles as Pets," a good resource because that anyone considering their very first reptile or exotic.

What to Research before Getting one Exotic Pet

As with any exotic species—including reptiles, amphibians, and fish—check with your state's laws about exotic pet ownership and possession. Relying on a species' status, it might not be legal to store as a pet (e.g. Intimidated species, invasive), yet being uncommon in the trade doesn't necessarily average a given exotic is much less likely to be legal. And also reptiles the are usual in some states could be illegal in rather (e.g. Hawaii, where all reptiles, also bearded dragons, room illegal).

For this reason, it's important to inspect your home state's exotic pets laws before getting her heart collection on any of the 'dragons' below.

Additional Resources

This short article is accurate and also true to the ideal of the author’s knowledge. The is not intended to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Pets exhibiting signs and also symptoms that distress need to be checked out by a vet immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Where deserve to I acquisition an armadillo lizard?

Answer: shot looking v classified ad such together Fauna Classified,, etc. You will likely need to have one shipped.

Question: Where deserve to I buy a skink?

Answer: some pet stores bring them, however not stores favor Petco and Petsmart. You can inspect classifieds like FuanaClassifieds and also and also get lock shipped. Or you'll discover them in reptile shows.

© 2017 Melissa A Smith


Travis on respectable 18, 2020:

Wrong just wrong the armadillo lizard is strictly a carnivore!

cj on July 29, 2020:

The details you have actually for the flying dracos in wrong. You deserve to not kerp them with each other they will certainly fight and also the male will stress the females out.

Avi on November 10, 2019:

What habitats do crocodile Skinks have and what execute they eat? good list btw!

Anonymous top top October 16, 2019:

Armadillo Lizards space illegal to own as pets

anonymous top top October 16, 2019:

Mexican Alligator Lizard, Frilled Dragon, Armadillo Lizard, and the green Basilisk seem choose the coolest to me. Draco Lizard and also Green Iguana space pretty awesome too, though.

Paul Hernandez ~ above October 14, 2019:

Armadillo Lizard is wrong. Care sheet connect takes you to a various lizard and the treatment is not the same.

Arthur Scroggs top top July 17, 2019:

Thanks because that share an excellent info you can additionally find out much more on

Melissa A blacksmith (author) from new York on might 27, 2019:

Ash T: What's laughable? I stated the animals look prefer dragons, and also they do. No one said these pets should be own by everyone. Stop trying to find reasons to acquire upset.

Melissa A smith (author) from new York on might 27, 2019:

Bubble Mara: good idea, but I don't know any kind of pets the look favor mermaids : /

Bubble Mara on might 24, 2019:

Please,make perform of 17 pets you have the right to legally very own that look like mermaids

Ash T. on may 23, 2019:

This list is laughable. Personally ns don't agree through the categorization. Whatever any of girlfriend decides on if your find for one of these pets has lead you right here please do your research. No pet deserves half cocked care due to the fact that it was noted as "easy" or "beginner" or purchased top top impulse due to the fact that you desire to be able to say you have actually pet dragons.

Terry top top February 03, 2019:

Your photo of the armadillo lizard is wrong. The pic mirrors Girdled Armadillo Lizards. Lock are very different and also don't look a lot of alike in the face. I think the pic shows the ones that cannot it is in legally owned uneven something has changed in the last few years.

Malachi ~ above January 26, 2019:

Are crocidile skinks rare

SnakeJunkie top top January 14, 2019:

I’m rather surprised blue tongue skinks aren’t on here they look like dragons come me at the very least there a remarkable pets I have own and also still own many of this a red eyed crocodile Skink, and many moustache dragons, mexican crocodile skink, and also many snakes to mine friends I’m known as the reptile queen lol but out of over 80 reptiles Blue tongue skinks room my height favorite these lizards get a great 18 in as adults and also they are incredibly smart because that a reptile they are able to be teach trick through patients and also they space hilarious they have so much personality because they are so intelligent and they can eat something from eggs to boiled turkey they deserve to eat almost anything there are recognized as the garbage disposal because of how many different foods they can eat. I love em and there look funny that’s what renders them for this reason cute they have a fat build brief stubby legs and also a huge head that’s every for currently - Snakejunkie

Ashley Twyning top top November 20, 2018:

Armadillo Lizard also, very cute and looks prefer a dragon.

gecko freak top top October 13, 2018:

Awwww they are so cute and cool, the axolotl reminds me that mudkip. Likewise I great there to be a leopard gecko.

chicken top top September 06, 2018:

love this

Sara ~ above June 05, 2018:

I have a beardie called Daenerys, and I can confirm the bearded dragons are extremely easy to care for. She is really laid back and she loves apples and pumkins in particular. Beardies deserve to reach 2 feet though, and also require a larger habitat together adults. They bring them as babies and juveniles in ~ pet stores. Babies are much easier to kill from food that is too huge for them. Ns must also warn the they every have unique personalities therefore my suffer can and most most likely will be various from others. This dragons need a 40+ gallon tank that is preferably a breeder-type tank(meaning it's quick but has an ext surface area for them come roam around) and are no social. If 2 dragons are in a enclosure with each other they will finish up death each other unless that is a 50 gallon breeder through either 2 females or a male and also a female. They also can't have actually actual sand or pebble/crushed walnut covering as substrate or they will get influenced (which way it will develop up in their intestines and also possibly kill them) so ns recommend Calci-Sand. It is safe for them since they deserve to digest it easily due to the fact that it's make from a mineral and also it's what I usage for mine dragon. Together babies the finest substrate for them is actually document towel and it can stay that method the totality time you have actually them, yet just be prepared to spend much more on record towel 보다 you would on a couple bags that Calci-Sand. I usually give these pointers at my neighborhood pet shops choose Kee's Aquarium and Pets (which is wherein I got my beardie) and Petco. I hope this is beneficial to anyone through uestions on mustache Dragons!

amolas on in march 27, 2018:

nice article

worlds best dinosaurs space titanosaurs

Dylan on February 24, 2018:

Love the crocodile skink

Lillian ~ above December 14, 2017:

My brother wanted "a pet dragon" because that Christmas and also I found this sight

Nick ~ above December 11, 2017:

I have actually 3 crested geckos, a moustache dragon, and 1 (soon to be 2) crocodile skinks. In addition to 3 white skin - man tree frogs and a leopard gecko but all these animals are remarkable pets come own and also I’ve had an excellent experiences with them!

Kayla ~ above October 29, 2017:

I to be wondering just how much a Crocodile Skink and also a Dragon Eel is ?

Ashton Wyness on September 02, 2017:

excuse me yet I simply adore the crocodile skink I just want to know how much is it

AP on respectable 02, 2017:

I think this is quiet my favourite of all the list you've compiled. I've heard of all of these other than the dragonface pipefish, and several (of the reptiles; ns like animals you can handle) room high top top the perform of reptiles I desire if I ever before get reptiles. In fact, I very seriously taken into consideration getting a crocodile skink a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I currently pay a comprehensive sum come cool mine apartment to a reasonable temperature in the summer, and also having a tank heated to the level a crocodile skink requirements would most likely make my electrical bill even worse. Since I'm no sure just how much the heater + extra cooling would price I couldn't spending plan it in, and also I don't carry out things if i can't budget them in.

Frida Nyberg indigenous Sweden top top June 01, 2017:

Very cool list. I've never owned a lizard, just snakes, however I really desire some in the future. I want chuckwalla (very level lizards but I favor them), eco-friendly iguana, rhinoceros iguana, and also black-throated monitor.

But girlfriend forgot the good girdled lizard! The "dragonest" pet on Earth!

Oscar Jones indigenous Monroeville, Alabama on might 11, 2017:

I because that one believe that these are miniature replicas that the real dinosaurs. Lizards and also reptiles never stop growing. Ago when guys lived approximately 900 years, therefore did the lizards and also reptiles, and simply explained, once they have actually lived 500-900 years, then they space gigantic. The answer come dinosaur genes lies in the dna history of reptiles and also lizards and eels and such, but longer life cycles.. So yes, really you room a dinosaur owner!

Charlu from Florida on might 10, 2017:

Great info and also pictures, although ns am no a big reptile fan as far as owning one I discover them fascinating. Thanks for a good hub.

See more: Which Of The Following Describes A Building Technique Commonly Used In Egyptian Temples?

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on might 10, 2017:

Interesting. The Dragon Eel is colourful. I favor the watch of the Chinese Water Dragon too.