Philippine Sailfin Lizard  (Crested Lizard, Sail-fin Lizard, Sailfin Water Lizard, Soa-soa Water Lizard)

Hydrosaurus pustulatus (Agamidae) is a species of lizard notable not only for its impressive size of up to a meter in length, but also for its rather spectacular appearance.

Adults of this large mottled greenish-grey lizard boast a well-developed crest of tooth-like scales from the nape of the neck down the back. However, the most distinctive feature of adult males is the erect ‘sail’ of skin at the base of their tail, up to 8 cm high, which provides propulsion for this strong swimmer to move through the water, and probably also plays an important role in territorial display and thermoregulation.

This species, regarded as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, is endemic to the Philippines.

Reference: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Shekainah D. Alaban | Locality: Masbate, Philippines] - [Middle: ©Shekainah D. Alaban | Locality: Masbate, Philippines]  -  [Bottom: ©Michael H. | Locality: Captive, Melbourne Zoo, Australia]


our mystery animal! thanks to Baberista and this Anon for figuring out the name of this reptile!

these lizards are a group of large-bodied lizards from the tropical regions of eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and the Philippines. these lizards like water, and lots of it. they are often found basking near their streams.
They flee at the first sight of danger, typically running into the water until they sink and swim away. Their ability to hide underwater for up to an hour helps to ensure any threats pass. it also implements their sailfins.

these animals grow up to 3-4 feet long, depending on gender.

they are omnivorous, meaning they eat both insects and veggies/fruits.

Sailfin dragons have now been classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.Their main threats are being hunted for food and collection for the pet trade…
these parts are of interest to pet owners…but are not very available, or common. they are more skittish then iguanas, and MUCH harder to care for than iguanas…which are pretty hard…so it’s not recommended to a new reptile owner…or even an intermediate one. the only place you can get one is from the Philippines but they have protected the lizards, making it pretty hard, unless you live there or obtain one illegally.

there is not a lot of information on them, whether it be in the wild or in captivity.

in my research i found this website to be most helpful and informative about these animals….at least in a pet owning way…which i still dont recommend.

The Philippine Sailfin Lizard, (Hydrosaurus pustulatus), also known as the Crested Lizard, Sail-fin Lizard, Sailfin Water Lizard, or Soa-soa Water Lizard is an oviparous lizard found only in the Philippines.

The Philippine sailfin Lizard is an excellent swimmer and has flattened toes that enable it to run across water. It is omnivorous, feeding on fruit, leaves, flowers, insects, and small animals . It lives near rivers in the tropical forests of the Philippines. Males have a larger crest on their back than the females. The males also show a violet color as they grow older. Females are less colourful. The Philippine sailfin lizard lives mainly beside water, e.g. rivers, riverbanks, rice-fields, etc. as these lizards love to swim. The adults may reach up to a metre in length.

Due to confusion with H. amboinensis, the exact distribution in the Philippines is uncertain, but northern populations are generally considered H. pustulatus and southern considered H. amboinensis.

Photo and info from Wikipedia


Look at them! This enclosure is AMAZING! I want it all!