Eastern Water Dragon

Image Credit : La Ferme Tropicale

Intellagama lesueurii have long powerful limbs and claws for climbing, a long muscular laterally-compressed tail for swimming, and prominent nuchal and vertebral crests. They tend towards white, yellow and red on the throat and possess a dark band behind their eyes.

Males show bolder colouration and have larger heads than females. Colour is less distinct in juveniles. They are light greenish grey in overall colour with black bands running across their back, tail and legs. Intellagama lesueurii can slowly change skin colour to aid its camouflage.

  • Scientific name : Intellagama lesueurii
  • Distribution : Australia
  • Average Size : 0.9 m (3 ft)
  • Life Span : 15 years or more
  • Difficulty : Intermediate


Large enclosure for adults, preferably outdoors if the weather conditions allow it, 1.8 meters long 1.2 meters wide and 1.2 meters tall (6 x 4 x 4 feet), would house 1.2 to 1.3 comfortably. Well decorated with hides and a burrowing substrate to escape the cold of winter. Starting enclosure for up to 3 juveniles should be in something like 0.9 x 0.45 x 0.45 meters (3 x 1.5 x 1.5 feet) enclosure.

Hide box

They do excellent with concrete blocks(with the 2 square holes) stacked to provide various heat gradients on different levels as well as holding in humidity.


For adults, large river rocks for drainage, or natural earth floor, but a footer of around 0.6 meters (2 feet) deep built around the perimeter of the enclosure so they can not dig their way out.

Lighting – Heating

Natural sunlight with plenty of basking areas, will provide the necessary heating during the warmer months. When kept indoors, a basking area should be between 43-49 °C (110-120 °F) as well as a high quality UVB source to emulate day/night cycles according to the season. Daytime ambient temp for the indoor enclosure should be around 28-30 °C (83-87 °F). The lowest temp is kinda tricky as they survive below freezing temps in the wild, but they dig burrows and block themselves in, so this must be noted when keeping outdoors, leave plenty of substrate, dirt, hay, hollows that go underground where temps are above freezing.


Large pan of water, large enough to completely soak in, large cat litter pans or concrete mixing tubs work well as well as any type of custom pond. Water should be changed daily.


These lizards are quite tolerant to varied humidity, as long as they can soak in a large enough water pan they should do well. Hosing down the cage daily should provide ample humidity as well as any hides placed within.


Adults should be fed daily during the warmer months. Calcium dusted Crickets, superworms, grasshoppers, roaches, caterpillars, fish, chicken and some fruits and vegetables may also be taken. Vitamins should be added once to twice a week. Juveniles are mostly only going to eat insects so appropriate sized crickets, mini mealworms, small superworms, caterpillars, roaches etc. I do place my worms in a dish that also hold some mashed ripe fruit or bits of greens, this way they may develop a taste for the salad/fruit but also keeps the worms gut loaded.


If you’d like to have a calmer dragon that’s considered “tame”, it is probably best to raise indoors where there are less visual threats. Regular handling from an early stage will also help keep your dragon confident and manageable.


Outdoor enclosures should get the water dumped daily and all feces hosed down into the ground, the lizards can also get sprayed to help hydrate if needed.


They will soak in their large water pan during the shedding process. Daily spraying and moving through the holes in their block hides will also help rub off excess skin.

Potential Health Problems

When keeping groups of lizards together, the potential of a quarrel is likely to occur at some point. An injured dragon should be cleaned up and separated and proper care administered. A yearly stool sample is not a bad idea either, especially when living outdoors and eating a variety of live prey. These are hardy captives that could potentially live up to 35 years.



The information contained in this care sheet reflect the opinions and methods of the mentioned breeder, based on their expertise and long-established experience.