Painted dragon (Stellagama stellio brachydactyla)

Painted dragon

In the Arid Lands house.

Fast facts

Status Least Concern

Size Length: 30cm

Gestation 2 months

Young 3-12 eggs are laid

Life span Up to 6 years

What do I eat?

Painted dragons are opportunistic feeders, and will eat a large variety of prey, particularly insects such as ants, bees and wasps, as well as other invertebrates such as snails. They will also eat plant material and even occasionally small lizards or hatchling birds.

Where do I live?

These lizards are found across a wide area, including in Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. They live in a variety of rocky arid and semi-arid areas, often in mountainous or coastal regions.

Breeding

Painted dragons usually breed between March and early June. They dig a nest in the ground to lay their eggs in.  Females may lay up to two clutches of eggs a year.

Conservation

Painted dragons are categorized as Least Concern by the IUCN because they are found across a wide range of areas and there are currently no major threats to the species. They are also found in many protected areas.

Did you know?

This species is able to change colour, and they often turn lighter when they are warm and darker when they are cold.

Painted dragons are usually light or dark brown or grey, but dominant males may be brightly coloured and often have reddish-brown, turquoise and pale brown markings.

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My husband and I came to visit today. We were amazed at how much there was to see. All the staff including the car park chaps were very cheery and helpful. The whole visit was a tremendous day out. Thanks to everyone. We will be back in the future.Susan, 31st July 2018