A-z - Animals

black dragon lizard

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" Their blackness is caused by a genetic mutation! "


  • The water monitor is the second largest lizard in the world, after the Komodo dragon.
  • The whole body of the black dragon lizard is black. Hence, it is in great demand.
  • This monitor lizard is not its own subspecies. It's actually an ultra-black version of the SE Asia Water Monitor.
  • Its color is the result of a genetic mutation – much like albinism!


Black dragon lizards are a very sought-after species of water monitor lizard because of their exotic black color. A subspecies of water monitor lizard, they are semi-aquatic and require bodies of water to survive. They are carnivores, eating carrion or dead flesh, including human bodies.

scientific name

Black dragon lizard is also known as black Asian water monitor lizard. The black dragon lizard's color comes from a genetic mutation similar to the type that causes albinism in other lizards.

This lizard belongs to the family Varanidae and the genus Varanus . It is a subspecies of the water monitor Varanus salvator. Formerly known as Varanus salvator komaini , it is now thought to be an ultra-black variant of the Southeast Asian water monitor Varanus salvator macrumaculatus .

In addition to the black dragon lizard, Varanus salvator includes four other official subspecies. These subspecies are:

  • The Asian water monitor Varanus salvator salvator is a nominative subspecies
  • Two-striped water monitor Varanus salvator bivittatus
  • Andaman Islands water monitor Varanus salvator andamanensis
  • Ziegler's water monitor, Varanus salvator ziegleri

Other common names for the black dragon lizard are black dragon, black water monitor, and black Asian water monitor.

Black Dragon Lizard Appearance

Black Dragon Monitors are fairly rare. Unlike other types of monitor lizards, which are usually dark on top and light yellow on the underside, black dragon lizards have a genetic mutation that makes them appear all black, like a type of reverse albinism.

Black dragon monitor lizards have muscular bodies, including short arms and short legs. They have long necks and long, narrow noses. They are fearsome creatures with razor-sharp claws, serrated teeth, powerful jaws and a strong tail that can wreak havoc when whipping attackers and prey.

Although black dragon lizards are relatively large lizards, they are slightly smaller in size than other water monitor lizards. Water cannons usually grow to be around 35 to 44 lbs, although their maximum size is around 110 lbs!

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They have a forked tongue that can flicker in the air to catch scents. They can sniff out carrion from a great distance.

black dragon lizard
Black dragon lizards have a genetic mutation that makes them solid black.

© Kurit afshen/Shutterstock.com

black dragon lizard behavior

Black Dragon Hydra is generally a solitary animal. They rarely come together, except during certain periods, such as mating season. The master of the black dragon should remember this. These animals are very territorial, so keeping two of them in the same enclosure is not a good idea.

Captive black dragon lizards are docile and can grow into affectionate, loving pets. They are not a beginner lizard species and should only be handled by professional lizard keepers.

These lizards are generally peaceful. However, they generally show no signs of timidity with humans or other animals, and will defend themselves when provoked. They will not hesitate to bite or lash any offender's strong tail. Their bites are very dangerous because their teeth and oral bacteria can cause infections. They are venomous, but the venom is only lethal to small animals such as rodents and is harmless to humans.

Another defensive tactic for black dragons is to climb trees. They climb trees to avoid predators, and can even jump from trees into nearby streams to escape capture.

Black dragon lizards are semi-aquatic, which means they need to live near water sources. They are excellent swimmers and will burrow around their habitat, especially along the banks of rivers where they usually live. They strategically dig these burrows to collect enough water to create a shallow pool inside where they can rehydrate. Bodies of water are also a defense mechanism. When threatened, lizards find safe places in water out of the reach of predators.

This reptile is a diurnal species. Most of their hunting occurs during the day. Only on rare occasions do they hunt at night.

Habitat and Population

Water cannons are native to South and Southeast Asia. The black dragon lizard is produced in Thailand, the Thai-Malaysian border, and is also naturally distributed in some areas of Indonesia.

The black dragon monitor lizard is a semi-aquatic lizard that is dependent on water and must live near bodies of water. They live in mangrove swamps, primary forests and wetlands. They like to dig holes in the banks of the river. These reptiles can span considerable bodies of water, expanding their geographic range.

Black dragons are adaptable creatures, as well as opportunistic ones. They can live in human cities, mainly in canals and agricultural areas. They sometimes inhabit parks and canals in Bangkok. This versatility is their survival advantage.

Captive black dragon lizards have similar handling requirements as other monitor lizards. Although they are smaller than other water monitors, they can grow quite large, which means they need plenty of room to hold them. They like to climb mountains and also like to swim, so they should be provided with plenty of water so that they can go to cool water.

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In Thailand, all monitored species are protected. The black dragon monitor lizard is not separately included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. However, its nominated species, Varanus salvator, was listed as a species of least concern.

Reproduction and Lifespan

There is not much reproductive information on the black dragon monitor lizard, but it is very similar to other water monitor lizard species. Male monitors reach sexual maturity at 3.3 feet and at least two pounds, while female monitors only reach sexual maturity at 1.64 feet. While these dimensions may seem small, black dragon lizards can grow to relatively large sizes, reaching up to 5 feet in length and a maximum weight of just over 110 pounds.

Mating between water monitor lizards can be a little strange to first-time observers. Lots of biting and scratching involved. These lizards reproduce very quickly. Breeding begins during the rainy season, with female monitor lizards laying eggs four to six weeks later.

First, they seek out warm, moist places such as burrowed tunnels, active or abandoned termite or rodent nests, and rotting logs or tree stumps. They then return to their chosen location to lay their eggs, with clutches of 10 to 40 eggs. The number of eggs depends on the size of the female. The bigger the mother, the more eggs she lays. Incubation time varies by account and lasts an average of six to seven months. Sometimes, it may be shorter or longer.

Newly hatched hatchlings mature precociously and gain independence upon emerging from the eggs. In captivity, these monitor lizards can live between 11 and 25 years.

black dragon lizard diet

These lizards are carnivorous monitor lizards that love a variety of food. Since they are not picky eaters and live in different habitats, they have adapted to eat whatever they can find. Dragons that live in swamps and forests prey on rodents, frogs, turtles, snakes, crabs, baby crocodiles, crocodile eggs, and fish. Like other water monitor lizards, they usually go after their prey openly rather than resorting to more subtle stalking methods.

Black dragon lizards that live around areas of human disturbance will certainly include human food waste in their diet, in addition to farm animals and domesticated animals such as cats, dogs, and rodents.

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They are mostly insectivores, especially the newly hatched larvae. In captivity, owners should sprinkle calcium and vitamin powder supplements in their food to meet their nutritional needs. Gut insects are also a healthy choice. As pet monitors age and become larger, they can eat larger prey. They will be able to eat animals such as frozen chicken and turkey, rodents and fish.

It is important to understand the dietary needs of your lizard to avoid malnutrition and obesity. Captive black dragon monitor lizards mostly face challenges in the form of health problems. They should be fed regularly throughout the week rather than daily, depending on the size of each meal. Also, the temperature should be optimal for proper digestion.

Predators and Threats

In the wild, black dragon lizards have few natural enemies. These include saltwater crocodiles and king cobras.

Another threat these animals face is the ever-burgeoning fashion industry. Water monitor lizards are at the top of the list of most exploited animals due to the high demand for leather and reptile hides. Hunters kill them and skin them to make clothes, shoes and bags.

In captivity, black dragons are prone to various health problems, such as metabolic bone disease (MBD) characterized by weak bones caused by calcium deficiency. It causes fixation and death.

They are also prone to obesity due to frequent consumption of high-calorie foods. A proper feeding program should be implemented to prevent this from happening. Owners should also avoid feeding excessive fatty foods such as hard-boiled eggs and fatty worms or rodents.

related animals

  • Asia Water Monitor
  • komodo dragon
  • alligator monitor

See all 280 animals that start with B

Black dragon lizards are black due to a genetic mutation that causes excess melanin.

Black dragon lizards are dangerous when provoked or provoked. They have sharp claws, serrated teeth, powerful jaws and a strong, muscular tail, which form a good defense system against attackers. You don't want to touch the bad side of this lizard. However, they keep to themselves most of the time and don't bother others.

Captive black dragon lizards can make amazing pets if handled and cared for properly. They are friendly, intelligent, and full of affection for their owners.

The black dragon lizard is just a species of Asian water monitor lizard. They are a super-black variant of the Southeast Asian water monitor subspecies.

Yes, they are, but don't worry. The venom is not fatal to humans. If you do get bitten by a black dragon lizard, you still definitely need medical attention due to the severity of the bite and the oral bacteria that can lead to infection.

Black dragon lizards will only attack when they sense danger. They are not easy to attack people. They usually stay out of our way. However, if they are threatened, they will not hesitate to defend themselves.