Tomorrow, January 16th, is Appreciate A Dragon Day! Dragons have long held us in thrall. Stories and legends featuring them date back to the beginning of history. While most people think of big, flying creatures, not all dragons are super-sized, fire-breathing grumps. In fact, there are several reptiles that look like tiny dragons. A local Wichita, KS vet lists a few of them below.

Beginner Dragons

At the top of the list of beginner-friendly dragons, we have the bearded dragon, a lovable, charismatic reptile that often enjoys being held and looks remarkably cute in hats. The crested gecko is another great dragon for beginners. These guys are fairly small, rarely growing over 10 inches. They’re also one of the only reptiles that don’t need to eat creepy-crawlies like bugs or mice, though they do like bugs as treats. The Leopard gecko, though not quite as dragon-like as the other critters on this list, is another solid option for first timers.


There’s no official test or certification that marks the progress from beginner to intermediate; it generally just means people that have some experience and understanding with reptiles and their care needs. The Chinese water dragon is a good option for people in this range. They need fairly sizable enclosures, and a lot of knowledge. Also on the intermediate level is the red-eyed crocodile skink. These pretty lizards have stunning orange-ringed eyes that give them a very dragon-like appearance. They aren’t very big, but they are quite fragile. Last but not least, we have the frilled dragon, which has a beautiful frill, or ‘collar’ that puffs out when it’s threatened. (Note: although this is pretty to see, you should never deliberately scare your pet.)


Advanced reptile owners tend to be rather smitten with snakes and lizards, and they often have several different ones. The green basilisk—a fascinating creature that earned the nickname ‘Jesus Lizard’ for its ability to walk on water—is one reptile that should only be kept by experienced owners. The Mexican alligator lizard is also best left to the experts. They aren’t very large, but are extremely sensitive to environmental conditions, which requires constant, careful monitoring. Two other options for people with experience are the horned lizard and the sailfin dragon.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dragon’s health or care? Contact us, your local Wichita, KS animal clinic, today.