An adult Chinese water dragon mainly eats worms, fish, small mammals and insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, earthworms, mealworms, cockroaches, locusts, goldfish, mice and quail chicks. While carnivorous in nature, Chinese water dragons in captivity may occasionally have vegetables or fruit in their diet, such as mustard greens, figs and carrots.
Chinese water dragons have small, pointed teeth suitable for biting prey, and their sticky tongues help them capture and trap animals and insects. When kept as pets, these lizards typically eat every two to three days.
Chinese water dragons are arboreal creatures that spend much of their time in trees, which make excellent vantage points for stalking prey. Their strong legs are made for leaping and climbing, and their five-toed claws have needlelike points for gripping trees. Chinese water dragons are also skilled swimmers and often live near river banks, rain forests and swamps, making it easy to find fish.