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Weber’s Sailfin Lizard

Hydrosaurus weberi

Fast Facts

  • Named after Professor Max Weber who studied East Indian zoogeography. Also known as Sailfin dragons.
  • Belongs to the genus Hydrosaurus which includes the Philippine and Indonesian Sailfins. The Philippine Sailfin is the largest agamid lizard in the world.
  • Hydrosaurus means “water lizard.”
  • Can hide underwater for over an hour.
  • Weber’s Sailfin Lizard has the longest tail of the three Hydrosaurus species.
Sailfin lizard



Islands of Halmahera and Ternate


coastal marshes and riverside forests


2-3 feet


fruits, vegetables and insects


They are greener than their larger cousins, but get darker as they age. Sailfin lizards have a short snout, large eyes, and notable ear openings. Some males will have a blunt scaly ‘horn’ on top of their nose. They have a dorsal ridge of scales down their back from head to tail. The dorsal ridge extends into a predominant ‘sail’ that extends halfway down the tail and tends to be much larger in males.


At the sight of danger, Sailfin lizards will often run bipedally, mainly towards a water source so they can dive underwater. They are excellent swimmers, using their flat tales to push them along in the water. Although amphibious, they obtain most of their food on land.


Sailfin lizards are oviparous.

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