Sailfin Dragon (Hydrosaurus pustulatus)

Sailfin Dragon
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Hydrosaurs are prehistoric looking lizards from Asia. In particular, New Guinea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Sailfins are large lizards and can get up to 4 feet long and can live up to 25 years!  You may have seen these dinoesque creatures in movies.

They can vary greatly in size and color.  With the males generally being more colorful than the females. Males also have a larger crest than the females. In both sexes, their skin color changes as they age.

Sailfin on someone's arm.

The Deadly Sailfin waits for its handler to get close enough so it can eat his face.


Sailfins are semi-arboreal which means they don’t mind hanging out in trees when they feel like it. They can also run on water when frightened and are actually good swimmers. Seems like these guys are awesome on land, sea, and.. err. tree?

Sadly, due to their popularity as pets, they are listed as a threatened species. They are also eaten by natives. I think this one is safe.

Hoffman @ Old Library


People wishing to own one should have a large enclosure with short branches in the habitat for them to climb. They easily cost between $80 to $125 dollars. They eat: vegetables, insects, lizards, small mammals. Don’t feed them after midnight. 🙂 Like most reptiles, they use the environment to regulate their body temperatures (ectothermic).


Check out this brave soul handling his Hydrosaurus.

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