Sailing Fascination – The Sailfin Dragon

Description: The marine vegetation of the Philippines is made up of a mixture of three species of sailfish dragon. These three sailfin dragon species are collectively known as “the Big Five”. The sailfin dragon, crested sailfin dragon, sailing lake dragon, and its native name, ibid, is a small to medium sized lizards with smooth bodies and gray colored heads and bodies. The sailfin dragon, being the smallest among the group, has one of the widest genders with males reaching lengths up to 20.5 inches long.

Social Organization: sailfin dragons do not live in colonies, but rather, they live in bachelor groups that can consist of one to five sailfins. A single sailfin dragon will usually establish a territory consisting of a patch of land surrounded by water. The other sailing in this territory will be smaller and mature than the dragon. The male will attempt to mark his territory by making flights over the water to attract the attention of female sailing. The female sailfin dragon will then try and get close to the newcomer, which is usually a smaller sailing than the dragon.

Prey Selection and Attacks on Lizards: Since sailfins are solitary lizards, they are also prime prey for birds, snakes, fish and mammals. Their only natural predators are large fish such as tuna, whitefish and sharks. However, sailing can also be preyed upon by smaller lizards including monitor lizards, lizards, grasshoppers and spiders. It is not uncommon for sailing to attack birds and frogs. Occasionally, sailfins have been reported to kill and eat small fishes.

Tactics for Capture and Retreat sailfins will often strike at their own tail when confronted with a potential predator. When captured, they will coil round their own tail in an attempt to bite and drain blood. Sailfins like to live in large bodies of water where prey is abundant. The best way to capture them is to set up a net or trap them. If you plan to release sailfins, you can let them crawl out of their traps once they are fully grown.

Average lifespan of a sailfin is about three years. They mate in the spring and remain together until the summer. After that they begin to mate in the fall, but before nesting season they will fly out of the water to go after smaller prey.

The adult dragon can reach a length of 16 inches, although it can grow to nearly twenty inches. The tail can be very colorful. The sailfins have a head covered with a scale and have large bellies that resemble that of a large Russian bear. You can help them keep their scales smooth and shiny by using a soft brush daily.

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