Why Does the Armadillo Girdled Lizard Bite its Tail?

If you have stumbled across the Armadillo girdled lizard before, you have probably heard people talking about it biting its own tail, while they scratch their head with confusion. But why does this happen?

Why does the Armadillo girdled lizard bite its own tail? It bites its own tail as a clever defensive technique. It rolls itself into a tight ball, grabs its tail in its mouth and in the process creates a very effective defensive shield.

The great thing is, any predators that are considering attacking the Armadillo Lizard at this point will probably think twice. The reality is when they are wrapped up in this way, they are very hard to attack and most Predators will give up a move onto easier prey. Keep reading, because I will reveal what other tricks they have and more…

What is the Armadillo girdled lizard?

lizard that bites its tail

You may be wondering what exactly is the Armadillo girdled lizard. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to explain exactly what they are,  other nicknames that they have and more…

You may notice by the picture it looks similar to the Armadillo, with its protective shell and skin. Hence the reason why it is named this.

According to Wikipedia, It is also known as:

  • Ouroborus cataphractus (Scientific name)
  • Armadillo Lizard
  • Golden-armadillo lizard
  • or armadillo spiny-tailed lizard

Formerly it was part of the Cordylidae genus. However since 2011, it has been moved to its own genus.

What do these lizards look like & how big are they?

Now that you know a little bit more about them you may be wondering what they look like, how big they are, etc. For that reason, in this section, I will give you a brief description of what they look like.

Coloration and Size

They are typically a brownish color that helps them in their natural habitat. As for size, they usually are anything from 3.5 inches ranging up to 5 inches in length.

At a glance, they look like little dragons or a spitting image of an armadillo.

Do people keep them at Pets?

Yes, they are kept as pets. However, they are illegal in certain countries such as South Africa. This is mainly due to the fact that back in 1996 they were endangered and classed as “vulnerable” by the IUCN.  Since then they have recovered slightly and then now moved to a “Least Concern” status.

The endangered status back in 1996 was rumored to be due to illegal trafficking, which still happens to this day.

They are attractive to lizard keepers because they are relatively easy to look after. And, getting food for them is not usually a problem.

Also, they are easily captured in the wild because they roam around in large groups and are very slow-moving lizards.

Another reason for their demand is cosmetically speaking they look quite attractive and some people compare them to little Dragons.

Other rumors blame their food source (termites) being linked to their reduction in population. Due to environmental issues that impacted the termite numbers.

What other defensive tricks does the Armadillo Griddled Lizard have?

Earlier we talked about them biting their own tail and rolling up into a ball as a clever technique to protect themselves. However, I’m now going to reveal another trick that they have up their sleeves which also helps them to get away from their ensuing predators.

One Of their tricks is dropping their tail. This is common across a number of different lizard species (How Many Times Can A Lizard Regrow Its Tail? Click here to see) and a great trick which they have in their Arsenal as well.

Their Tail dropping trick

If they feel that they are under attack their tail will drop. During this time the tail will continue to wiggle aggressively which helps them in two ways.

Firstly, it draws attention to the wriggling tail, which will hopefully give them enough time to escape from the pursuing predator. Also, this wriggling tale is now a potential meal for the Predator to keep them satisfied.

Alpha male tactics!

Like a lot of lizards, the male species of the Armadillo girdled lizard is particularly aggressive and territorial.

You may also notice, especially during mating season, they are likely to increase their aggressiveness. This is mandatory for them to win and mate successfully during this time.

Weird living conditions.

You may be wondering where these lizards actually live and what is their preferred living environment. This is one of the things I love about this particular lizard species. They are known to be social lizards.

If you have studied lizards in any capacity you will agree with me that this is quite a weird, or shall I say rare commodity.

These griddled Armadillo lizards typically roam around in large groups of up to 60 lizards. They move around quite slowly and shared their living space, which is typically crevices in rocks in their natural habitat.

Rival Groups

You may also be assuming that this group is segregated and may even cause arguments or fighting with other passing rival groups…

However, in reality, this is not the case. You will find that group members interchangeably move from one group to another without any hassle or fighting. In fact, it is quite the norm.

Are these lizards dangerous?

No. These lizards are not dangerous. In fact, they are quite slow-moving and would typically prefer to run away rather than confronting potential predators or even a passing animal.

Do they lay eggs?

You may be wondering about their breeding habits, and in particular, if they lay eggs or not. For this reason, in this section, I’m going to explain their breeding behaviors.

The Armadillo girdled lizard is quite a rare lizard. I mean in the fact that she actually births live young. It doesn’t lay eggs.

The expected number of offspring

For each clutch, you can expect to see anywhere from 2 to 4 live lizards born at a time. If you have studied lizards before you will probably expect the lizard to give birth to these babies and walk away and leave them to fend for themselves, right?

Wrong!…

The Armadillo girdled lizard is different in this department as well. In fact, females are often seen feeding their young similar to a human mother. Which is quite unusual but refreshing to see.

Related questions:

In this section I will answer some questions related to the Armidilo Gridled Lizard, if you have additional questions please feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Why do lizards bite each other’s tails?

This is usually a show of dominance. Earlier I talked about the griddled lizard having a unique defensive style by rolling up into a ball and biting it’s tail, right?

However, other lizards have weird behavior such as biting each other’s tails. This is usually due to the fact that the male lizards are quite territorial. And, will always want to claim dominance in an enclosure.

This is even more prevalent in the domesticated market because they are restricted to a very small enclosure. This intensifies their need to prove who is the dominant one. Especially if they are females in the enclosure as well.

Q: Do lizards eat their tails?

Earlier I discussed how lizards have a defensive technique where they drop their tails. This is also connected to this question. Why?

Because in the event that they drop their tail and a Predator decides not to eat it. The lizard will return back to the spot and rather than trying to keep the tail it will actually devour it.

This may seem weird to you but this is expected behavior in the lizard’s world.

Q: How is a Lizard’s tail so special?

The Lizard’s tail is special because it has two key things that it does for it. Firstly it improves their mobility and stability as they move around.

And by now you probably understand the importance of their tail as a defensive mechanism for them. Especially with lizards like the Armadillo girdled lizard who will happily drop their tail and run for the hills if needed.

Or, failing that roll up into a tight ball and use their tail as a protective shield.

Are Calci Worms Good for Bearded Dragons? (w/ Pics)

If you have a Bearded Dragon and looking for an ideal meal for them, then no doubt you have heard of Calci worms. But, are they a good option for you or not? Let me explain…

Are Calci worms good for bearded dragons? Yes, they are good for them. They have great nutritional benefits. Such as ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio and Lauric Acid. In fact, 53% of their body fat is this nutritional lauric acid.

Now that you know that they are a great option for your beardy, let me go on to explain the benefits of these worms, exactly what they are, how long they will last, whether or not it is a good idea to refrigerate them and more.

What is a Calci worm?

black soldier fly

You may be wondering what exactly is a Calci worm, right?  For that reason, I’m going to explain, in this section, exactly what it is. The Calci worm is the larvae (maggot) of the black soldier fly.

It is often called a number of different names, which can cause confusion. It is known as:

  • Phoenix worm.
  • Repti worm.
  • Calci Worm.

Even though they have very different sounding names they are all one of the same thing. One of the reasons why these Calci worms are so sought-after is the simple fact that they store a lot of fat and calcium in the pupation stage of their life cycle.

What does this mean for your lizard? It means that they are a great nutritional meal for your bearded dragon. And, they find them delicious as well.

Benefits of Calci worms

You may be thinking, what is so great about these Calci worms to even make you consider buying them, right? In this section, I’m going to explain some of the benefits of these worms for your benefit.

Easy to maintain

Firstly, one of the benefits is you really do not have to do much work to keep these worms happy. You can keep them at room temperature without having to refrigerate them, which is a great benefit on its own.

In addition to this, you do not necessarily have to feed them, they can literally be kept in the same pot that you purchased them in and they can last a few weeks until your lizard is ready to consume them.

These are some of the reasons why lizard keepers think they are a good option.

Should these Calci worms be their staple diet?

You may be wondering with all this talk about high calcium and great nutritional facts. Should they not just be the staple diet for your Bearded Dragon?

Should you just focus solely on these worms and not beat around the bush? These are all good questions and what I plan to cover within this section.

Firstly yes we did discuss that the calcium has great nutritional benefits and the great fat they have. But as far as treating it as the staple diet for your bearded dragon goes, especially about thinking of it as potentially the only food for your bearded dragon, I wouldn’t advise this. But, let me explain…

Too much fat

The fact that they have a high-fat content makes me suggest that you need to be careful with this. Not that they are dangerous in any way mind you, but you want to avoid your beardy becoming overweight/obese, are you with me?

Therefore, you will better off offering them as treats and combining them with other insects. The variety is good too.

To be perfectly honest with you, beardies like variation anyway. They will easily get bored with the same thing day in day out.

Do Calci worms turn into flies?

There are many people that forget that these worms are just flies in the making. To cut a long story short, yes calci worms will eventually turn into flies.

However, the fact that you have purchased these for feeding your bearded dragon, the chances of you seeing them turning into a flight is quite low.

However, it is definitely possible. Especially if, for some reason, your bearded dragon stopped eating. Or maybe you’ve bought too many of them.

In the event that they do you turn into flies. They only really live for a few days before reproducing and the cycle continues. Obviously you don’t want a whole load of black soldier flies in your house, so this is not best practice.

The reality is they are quite harmless flies because they do not regurgitate and cause issues that normal other flies do (more on this later).

How do you store Calci worms?

You may be wondering after you purchase these Calci worms how are you going to store them in your house, right?

If you’re new to this, it may be a concern or cause some slight anxiety for you. Therefore, I will explain exactly how you go about this in this section.

The reality is, Calci worms need very little thought when it comes to storage. Do not worry about filling up your refrigerator with these worms. It is really not required, in fact, you can keep them in the same pot that you purchase them in and keep them at room temperature.

The reality is they can tolerate high temperatures. That does not mean that you should keep them at sky-high temperatures though.

In the event that it is a hot summer day, you should keep them in the vicinity of an AC unit so that they are not too overly exposed.

Conversely, on a ridiculously cold day, they have been known to survive small stints in the freezing cold conditions, but this is not necessarily the ideal situation for them.

You may be wondering what is the ideal temperature for them? In this case, you need to aim for 50 to 60 degrees to keep them at their optimal temperature.

Related question:

In this section, I’m going to answer some questions related to Calci worms and Bearded dragons. If you have any additional questions that you feel have not been covered here please leave a comment below.

Q: How long do Calci worms live?

In reality, Calci worms are pretty good. They can last a few weeks left at room temperature. I mentioned this earlier as one of their main benefits in fact.

Beyond these few weeks, they are likely to pupate and turn into flies so you want you do not want to go further than this.

However, in my opinion, this is ample time for your beardy to consume these worms. Unless you have over-purchased.

Q: Can Calci worms climb?

Yes, they can. You may be wondering if you keep them in a pot what are the chances of them escaping and trying to climb out of it.

The reality is, they do climb. But, if you are concerned about this, there is a simple way to avoid this happening.

If you apply water to the dish then this will give them the ability to climb out. Therefore, it is advisable to have a dry dish with the worms altogether. This will actually reduce the chances of them coming out.

Q: Do Calci worms like to wriggle?

Yes. They do like to wriggle. This is one of the reasons why they are ideal for bearded dragons. Because their movement actually excites them and makes them inclined to eat them.

Q: Do you need to dust Phoenix (Calci) worms?

Yes, but, not with calcium. In fact, if you attempt to dust them with calcium it will actually be dangerous because they already have high calcium content already. Instead, you should consider dusting them with a vitamin supplement to optimize their nutritional benefits.

Are soldier flies dangerous? No. In fact, they are one of the good ones. Why? Because they do not have mouthparts and they do not fly around all day hoovering up waste, then regurgitating it, as most flies do. Also, they do not bite and are not known for passing on diseases. All in all, a great fly.

Do Blue Tongue Skinks Have Teeth? (Will it Bite?)

If you have some concerns, or just curious, you may be wondering if Blue tongued skinks have teeth and if they pose a real threat. Well, I am going to give you the facts you need right now.

Do blue tongue skinks have teeth? Yes, blue tongue skinks do have teeth. However, their teeth are nothing really to be worried about. They are quite small and non-threatening. They do not offer any real threat. Also, they are not poisonous so that is not a concern either.

Now that you know that they do have teeth, and they are not much of a threat. By the way, in the unlikely event that they do bite you, the chances of them drawing blood is very minimal.

Let me go on now to explain if they are generally aggressive if they make good pets. Also, I will reveal one particular species that you may want to avoid. Keep reading…

What is the blue tongue skink?

what is a blue tongued skink

The blue tongue skink has a number of different names. It is known as:

  • Eastern blue-tongued skink.
  • Blue Tongued lizard
  • or even nicknamed “Bluey”

It is a member of the Scincidae family and part of the Tiliqua genus. In fact, the Blue-tongued skink is one of the largest members of the skink family.

They are most commonly known for their very vividly bright blue tongue. They are natives to the desert and rainforests of Australia and New guinea.

Do blue tongue skinks bite?

Earlier we discussed if blue tongue skinks have teeth. We established that they do. But, you may be wondering what happens if they do bite you? Is it anything to be worried about? And, what is the likelihood of this ever happening? Let me attempt to tackle these questions.

The reality is they are very unlikely to bite you. The blue tongue skink uses biting as a very much last resort. Are you with me?

The Tongue Flicker!

It prefers to call the bluff of his preditors by flicking its elegant blue tongue. This tongue usually scares off most predators and allows them to get away unscathed (most of the time).

In the unlikely event that the predator is not scared by their blue-tongue. Then, if they are backed into a corner, and that is the only option, only then will they consider biting.

And with that being said, the bite really is not that effective. So, the chances are it won’t be enough to get rid of a persistent predator.

Are the blue tongue skinks aggressive?

As we have been talking about the blue tongue skinks ability to bite or if they have teeth. You may be wondering if they’re general temperament is aggressive or not. For that reason in this section I’m going to discuss their temperament and if they pose much of a risk.

Generally speaking, the blue tongue skink is not really aggressive. They are quite docile and good pets.

However, I have to warn you that there is a particular type of blue-tongue skin known as the Tanimbar Island Blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides chimaera) which is aggressive.

This blue tongue skink sub-species is not advisable for families, and therefore you should not consider this as a potential pet.

Why do blue tongue lizards hiss?

If you have ever been around blue tongue lizards you will notice that hissing is one of their best choices when it comes to self-defence. You may be wondering why they do this?

For that reason, in the section, I’m going to explain some of the reasons for this and explain the psychology of this behaviour.

Limited Defensive Tricks

Look at it from their perspective, he has really short legs and not really much to defend himself with. With his short legs and lack of climbing ability means if he is chased, he is going to struggle. So, in summary, he doesn’t really have many options to play with.

Therefore he is likely to hiss to try and frighten off any potential predators. Think of it as their bluff, hoping that the predator will get scared.

So if you ever notice that your sink is hissing at you this is a clear indication that he sees you as a threat and you need to give him some space.

Are they easy to take care of?

So far we have learned that they are generally well behaved and not much of a real threat. But are they easy to look after, as a pet? Well, let me explain.

Generally speaking, yes these skins are easy to take care of. I say “generally speaking” because, if you remember, I mentioned earlier there is a specific sub-species of called the Tanimbar. And, if you remember, he is quite aggressive and definitely not an easy pet to take care of.

And following on from what I said earlier, this is a particular species that you want to stay clear off as a domesticated pet.

How do they communicate?

You may be wondering how do these lizards communicate with other lizards or animals, right? In general, their mode of communication is body language, like most lizards to be fair.

Simple things like flashing their tongue, how they look at other lizards, running away, etc. These are all subtle parts of body language that they use to communicate. Are you with me? In a way, this similar to human nature as well.

Are they affectionate?

In general yes they are affectionate and good pets to have. However, they do not mix well with other lizards.

Issues with deciding their Sex

Another complication with these lizards is it’s difficult to tell which sex they are. You may be wondering why this is an issue or why it’s relevant.

The problem with this is, if you mix two males together it is a big recipe for disaster. Why? Because they are likely to fight like cats and dogs, are you with me?

Also, with this confusion about their sex you could also run into problems with unexpected breeding. This can happen if you accidentally have a male and a female grouped together.

For these reasons, it is always recommended to house them alone to save yourself the headache.

Do they keep snakes away?

You may be wondering if blue tongue skinks could be helpful and scare snakes away.  This may be because you have a snake problem or just general curiosity. For this reason, I’m going to address this question.

Firstly it is possible for a blue tongue lizard to eat or attack a snake. However, it is also known for snakes to attack and even kill them as well. This all comes down to size. Effectively, whoever is the biggest and strongest wins.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Blue-tongued skinks (Click here to see if Blue Tongue Skink can Live in a 40 Gallon Tank. If you have some questions that you feel have not been answered, feel free to drop a comment below.

Can blue tongue skinks eat dog food? Yes, they can be dog food, according to this site. Also, many keepers feed them dog food. In addition to this, they swear by mixing dog food with vegetables to make a nutritious meal.

However, if you consider doing this, make sure that you choose can dog food instead of dried kibble. Also, make sure that you look for dog food which does not have artificial colors, sweeteners or anything that will cause issues with your lizard.

I’m not saying that this is the ideal diet by the way. But, based on the fact that other people have done this successfully, it is possible.

Do blue tongues lay eggs? No. This is quite an interesting question because most people would assume that they do. Why? Because most lizards do. And, it is usually a safe assumption to make.

However, this lizard is an exception. After mating successfully, the female skink will give live birth to two or three babies.

How often do blue tongues shed? The adults will typically shed every month or two. But, this depends on the weather and other environmental factors, such as, have you hydrated him correctly? As for the babies, they are likely to shed more frequently than this. So, be prepared for that.

How Long do Feeder Mice Live? (Maximise their life)

If you are keen on feeding your lizard with live feeder mice (Click here to see the price on Amazon), you may be keen to understand exactly how long they can last, so you can plan on how much you will need at a time, etc. Keep reading and let me explain.

how long do feeder mice live? They can live up to three years if treated as a pet but typically consumed within weeks or months. Because, they are purchased for the sole purpose to feed to lizards (or other retiles, e.g. Snakes.)

Now that you know how long feeder mice can live for. Let me explain more. More specifically, what exactly they are (the difference between, wild, or fancy mice), which lizards eat them, different types, pros, and cons of having them. Keep reading.

What are feeder mice?

You may be wondering what the difference is between a normal pet mouse (fancy mouse, more on this later), a wild mouse and an actual feeder mouse. Well, in this section I will explain just that now.

The reality is, there is no real difference. They are the same mouse but just treated differently. Feeder mice a bred specifically for food. Meaning, they are not cared for as well as a pet mouse. And, there is no real effort put into extending their life.

With that being said, although they have the same capabilities at birth, to your conventional pet mouse, their lifespan is likely to be much shorter. Either through being eaten (by lizards, snakes, etc) or neglect by their breeders/owners.

What lizards eat feeder mice?

what lizards eat feeder mice

With all this talk about feeder mice, you may be keen to understand what type of lizard will actually consume them, right? Well, that’s good news! Why? Well, I will be sharing some information on this now in this section.

The following lizards are known to consume feeder mice:

  • Skinks.
  • Monitor Lizards.
  • Basilick Lizards.
  • Water Dragons.
  • Geckos.

Understand this, some of the lizards above are a part of a large group, with many sub-species, e.g. Geckos. Therefore, not all of them will consume feeder mice. But, I am saying there are at least some that are known to eat them, are you with me?

Also, just because they are known to eat them. This does not mean that feeder mice are their staple diet. This just means that they are an option, make sense?

What Types of Feeders are there?

Feeder mice come in a range of sizes. This is great because there is a wide range of lizards, of differing sizes as well. In this section, I will explain the different types of feeders and which type of lizards typically consume them.

Pinkie Mice

Pinkie mice are great for younger lizards, such as juvenile or hatchlings, depending on the species. Basically, they are small mice, typically less than 5 days old. They are so young in fact that they are completely hairless (no fur). They can be purchased live or even frozen.

Fuzzy Mice

These mice are bigger than pinkie mice, but not substantially. They are called “Fuzzy” because of the small layer of fur that they have grown by this time. You need to be careful that they are the correct sizing for your lizard. As a general rule, you shouldn’t feed them anything bigger than the distance between each of their eyes.

Adult Mice

As you can imagine. These are the largest type of feeder mice. They are usually separated into two or three smaller sub-groups (small, medium & Large). Which is good to help with your lizard’s ideal sizing.

Typically the small or medium feeders are less than 20 grams. Whereas, the large ones can be 20 – 50 grams.

What’s a “Fancy Mouse”?

Earlier you heard me mention the term “Fancy mouse”. You may be wondering what I was on about. Well, in this section I will explain exactly what they are and some more related facts.

A fancy mouse is basically a mouse that has been bred as a pet or even for an exhibition. They usually are directly caught from the wild or originated from a wild mouse somewhere in their previous generations. Since then, they have become domesticated and docile.

Availability

These fancy mice are freely available in many pet shops. According to this site,  they are not advocates of using feeder mice as pets. But the reality is a lot of the fancy mice sold in pet shops come from breeders that have large scale feeder setups.

Mice & Diseases

You may have heard many people look down on mice and label them as “dirty”. But are they though? This may seem like an obvious answer. But, in this section, I will explore this with you.

Parasites

According to this site, they say that mice are generally clean and healthy. However, they are still vulnerable to pick up parasites. These parasites include:

  • Mites.
  • Pinworms.

Mites are pretty bad. They cause some serious itchy and sore skin for the mice which leads to other issues. And pinworms, they are just as bad, causing serious bouts of diarrhea, etc.

Incisor Issues

Another problem that mice face is with their incisors. They grow at a fast rate and need to be managed. Basically they need to be gnawed down to stop them overgrowing.

If they are not gnawed down they stand the risk of overgrowing and causing knock-on problems such as weight loss, malnutrition, etc. Why? Because it affects their eating.

Benefits of Feeder Mice

You may be wondering what is so good about feeder mice. What are the main reasons why they are quite popular amongst reptile owners? Well, in this section I am going to explain exactly why this is the case.

In all honesty, the biggest benefit is their cost and availability. You can find them in many outlets. That is in person in a shop or even purchased online (frozen or live, but more on that later).

Also, they don’t require much maintenance because most owners understand they are literally purchased for food. Put it this way, would you treat your farm chicken the same way as your pet cat? (Similar concept).

The “Hassle” of Live Feeders

We have spoken a lot about feeder mice so far, but we have not discussed the fact that they can be purchased live as well as frozen. In this section, I will explain some of the issues with the live feeder mice.

Dangerous Fangs!

Many inexperienced lizard owners think of feeder mice as some docile, pushovers that just can’t wait to be eaten. However, in reality, this is really not the case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

These feeders, in some cases, have dangerous fangs. They will use them to defend themselves (which is reasonable, in my opinion). When they are eventually sent into your lizard’s enclosure, don’t think they will be rolling over and waiting for their attack. No! They will fight for their lives.

You may be thinking, so what’s that got to do with my lizard? Well, think about it. These fangs are sharp as hell. Your lizard can sustain some injuries from this. So its an issue I have to highlight with these live feeders.

Re-stocking Issues

Another issue with these live feeders is the fact that you can’t buy them in bulk. Because they are live food, you need to keep just enough in stock, until your lizard is close to finishing the stock. The downfall of this is, it becomes expensive this way.

Benefits of Frozen Feeder Mice

Earlier we talked about the issues with live feeder mice. These problems are quite the opposite of frozen feeders. So in this section, I will explain their benefits.

So, the first clear benefit is the fact that you buy these mice in bulk, and store them ahead of time. No more need to wait until you are just about to run out. This helps to keep the cost down for you. And also, the suppliers are able to reduce their costs too.

Also, this saves a lot of your time, because you do not have to go back and forth from the shops getting live food as much.

Can Iguanas Eat Cucumber (Is it a Good Idea)?

If you are thinking about the best food for your current or future Iguana. It lets me know you want to know everything about your lizard (Click here for my best Iguana Guide, on Amazon) to treat him right. But what about cucumber? Is that even an option?

Can Iguanas eat cucumber? Yes, they can eat cucumber. Iguanas are herbivores so vegetables and fruits are pretty much the staples of the diet. In addition to cucumbers, an example of other fruits and vegetables they consume are collard greens, asparagus, etc.

Now that you know that they can eat cucumber. Let me explain more about cucumbers. In particular, if they are actually good for his nutritional needs. Also, other foods that you need to avoid to keep him healthy, necessary supplements and much more. Keep reading…

What about fruits for your Iguana?

can iguanas eat fruit

Yes, Iguana’s can eat fruits. However, fruits need to be eaten in moderation. Why? Well, fruits have limited nutritional value for Iguanas. Therefore, they should only represent approximately 5% of their food consumption.

This doesn’t mean that you should not give them fruit. You just need to understand that the majority of their food intake will be vegetables. Are you with me?

What is a cucumber?

I am sure you have seen or heard of a cucumber before, but do you really know the detail about this? Such where they come from, the plant that produces them, etc? Let me explain…

According to Wikipedia, there are three different variations of cucumbers:

  • Slicing
  • Pickling
  • and Seedless.

They come from the vines of the Cucurbitaceae plant, which is part of the gourd family.

Is a cucumber a vegetable or a fruit?

Strictly speaking, a cucumber is a fruit. But, before you jump at me in disbelief, let me explain why. You may have consumed cucumbers for most of your life or at least familiar with them.

It may be confusing to hear that they are actually fruits. Because typically they are served with other vegetables and are typically referred to as vegetables. Even in shops and superstores.

However, according to to the guidelines of botany they are actually regarded as a fruit.

This is why they are fruit

The reason for this is a fruit is formed from a flowering plant, so it can reproduce. The fruit has the ability (seeds inside of it), to reproduce and create new plants.

This is exactly what a cucumber is. Vegetables are other parts of the plant, such as the leaves roots, etc. So based on this, definition the cucumber would be regarded as a fruit.

However, I doubt you would get many objections if you continue to refer to it as a vegetable. Because most people still class them as vegetables.

What is an iguana?

Iguanas (Click here to see 7 of the best small pet Iguana species (With Pictures)) are native to Mexico, the Caribean, and Central America, according to Wikipedia. Their name is actually derived from the species “iwana”, which was a Taino name.

Do Iguanas need supplementation?

Yes, Iguanas do need supplementation. They have a need for more calcium than phosphorus and competent iguana owners are recommended to provide a calcium supplementation. This is usually provided in the way of calcium powder.

This calcium powder is typically sprinkled lightly on to to the food that the Iguana. Usually provided two to three times a week, but the actual calcium powder product will give further details.

Vitamin mineral mix.

In addition to Calcium powder, a vitamin-mineral mix is often recommended as well. This is usually consumed on a weekly basis, depending on the guidelines of the product that you choose.

It is even more important to not go too crazy with this stuff if it contains Vitamin D3. Reason being, you need to be careful not to feed too much to your lizard.

Can you overfeed an iguana?

You may be thinking or wondering if it’s possible to overfeed an iguana. This may be because you are concerned not to overfeed it and you want to understand the limit/boundaries upfront.

Vegetables

If we are talking about vegetables and fruits according to this site it is not really possible to overfeed them. Provided you are feeding them the correct recommended vegetables and fruits. And, with that being said, the majority of their food will have to be vegetables, not fruit.

Omnivorous Iguanas.

When it comes to omnivorous Iguanas there needs to be an extra level of caution. For example the spiny-tailed iguana or the chuckwalla. These lizards can consume vegetables as well as non-veg products.

With regards to the vegetarian side of their diet, there is no real limits. But, you need to monitor them for any non-veg consumption to make sure that they are not over-fed.

What do Iguanas eat in the wild?

You may be wondering, before domestication, what did they actually eat in the wild? Good question. In the wild, they pretty much live off green leaves and plants and flowers.

They also consume some fruits as well and other plants which are not readily available in the normal domestic environment.

The good thing is with Iguanas you are able to get a good source of vegetables that they will happily consume even if they are not in their natural habitat.

Hindgut fermenters!

You may or may not have heard of this term “hindgut fermenters” before. According to this site, essentially it refers to the bacteria used to break down the high fiber diet that if you want as consume.

This is important because they eat so many vegetables and greenery that they need these bacteria to help them break it down.

This helps the food pass through the intestines and consumed through the body.

Often Iguanas are referred to as herbivores, but the majority of their diet is leaves and plants, which some would argue that they should be more specifically referred to as “folivores”.

What do baby Iguanas eat?

Baby Iguanas are very similar to their adult version. 95% of the food they consume will be vegetables, in particular, leafy plants. The remaining 5% will typically be fruits that they can consume.

Dehydrated foods

They can consume dehydrated foods. However, you may find some will find it difficult to consume them.  In these situations, you need to mix them up with hydrated vegetation or apply water to make them easier to consume.

Foods to use sparingly.

Iguanas love to consume lots of different vegetables & fruits. However, there are some that you need to use very sparingly. Such as bananas, carrots, and grapes.

The reason for this is, these particular foods have low calcium and phosphorus levels. Therefore, they are not adding much nutritional benefit to your iguana.

Other foods you should avoid.

I’m going to share with you some other food items that are not advisable for Iguanas.

Meat products.

As we discussed earlier Iguanas are typically herbivores. Therefore you should avoid meat products such as rodents, insects or any live insect.

Soya beans.

Soya beans are high in protein and also contain phytoestrogens. For this reason it is not advisable to give it to your iguana. The issues with this is it can cause problems with their growth & development.

Pesticides contained in Plants and Flowers.

This may be obvious but like humans, Iguanas do not consume pesticides very well. This can be very damaging to them. So if you have any vegetables or flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides you need to be very careful.

As a general guideline, it is advisable to wash and clean any veg item before giving it to your Iguana.

In addition to this, as an extra precaution, it is a good idea to wash and leave them for a couple of days before providing them unless you have been sold them specifically for Iguanas and have faith that they have not got any pesticides on them.

Vegetables that are high in Oxalic Acid.

Foods such as celery and spinach have high oxalic acid. For this reason they need to be avoided. The down problem with his is, it binds to the calcium and can make it impossible or hard for your iguana to absorb the calcium that it needs to maintain the correct levels.

Can Iguanas Swim in Chlorine Pools? (Dangerous?)

Maybe you have a chlorine pool, or just curious about Iguanas swimming capabilities. Either way, I am going to cure your curiosity and explain if the back garden pool is a viable option for your Iguana.

Can Iguanas swim in chlorine pools? Yes, they can. Ideally, a saltwater pool, but many owners have used these pools in captivity, without issues. However, you need to be careful if you have just added Chlorine to the pool. And, understand it’s not recommended, but it’s possible.

Now that you know that they can swim in the pool. Let me also explain, exactly what chlorine is, and how it was used negatively in the past. Precautions you should take before even thinking about letting them in the pool. How Iguanas swim so well, and much more. Keep reading.

Precautions for swimming in chlorine pools

iguana Precautions for swimming in chlorine

As discussed, many keepers have had success with their Iguanas in their swimming pools. For example, according to a member of this forum, he has been allowing his Iguana to swim in these pools for 13 years, without issues.

As a precaution, it is recommended to make sure that the chlorine has not been recently added. This will help to reduce the exposure to your lizard. Instead, let the chlorine settle. Are you with me?

What is Chlorine?

With all this talk about this chemical in pools, forgive me, let me clarify exactly what Chlorine actually is.

According to Wikipedia, it is a chemical element. It has a chemical symbol of CI and an atomic number of 17. Also, it has a yellowish/green color at room temperature.

You may not know this, but it is actually used as an ingredient in manufacturing many different products. I say this because most of us assume that it is only used in swimming pools, right?

Interesting Fact.

One interesting fact about chlorine, it was actually used in world war I for chemical warfare. This is because used at high concentrations it is known to be very dangerous. And this is especially true around animals and other living things.

Are Marine iguanas good swimmers?

If you are curious about Iguanas swimming. You may have heard, or wondered about the Marine Iguana. This makes sense because it is an excellent swimmer.

What is a Marine Iguana?

The Marine Iguana is a resident of the Galapagos Islands. They are so good in the water they are regarded as marine animals. At a glimpse, they look roughly the same size as a Green Iguana (What Can I Use for Iguana Bedding? Click here) but they are slightly smaller. To be precise, they typically grow up to about four feet.

Swimming Ability

As discussed, they are excellent swimmers. It’s quite deceiving because at a quick glance they do not look like natural swimmers. Why? Because they look like they have the incorrect build for it, know what I mean? Never the less, they are great swimmers and divers.

When I say good divers, its a bit of an understatement, to be honest. Why? Because these “bad boys” can stay underwater for up to one hour. But, this is not their average though, it’s more of an extreme. They typically spend 5-10 minute stints under the water.

How do these Iguana’s actually Swim (Physically)?

Earlier I mentioned that at first glance, they do not look like natural swimmers, right? Remember? Well, I am guessing you may be wondering how they physically swim based on this remark. Good question, let me explain…

Big Boy Tails!

Firstly, they have strong tails that are great for propelling them through the water. Ideal for swimming. Their feet are also impressive, for swimming I mean. They are big and have webs that use to push and glide through the water.

They love Algae, so they are known to dive down to up to 32 feet deep. However, on a day-to-day basis, they are not consistently swimming, this would be tiring. Some of this time is spent floating, to give their limbs a break.

Also, worth noting they also very comfortable walking on land as well. Meaning they have the best of both worlds, which is an ideal quality to have.

Related Questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Iguanas and swimming. If you feel that you have some extra questions, that have not been answered, then feel free to drop me a comment below.

Q: How often should you bathe your iguana?

According to this site, you should be doing this once a week, at least. However, you may be thinking “Why do I even need to do this?”. Good question, let me explain…

Firstly, this is no reflection on their general hygiene or smell for that matter. Iguanas are not actually smelly. The main issue is with lizard keepers that neglect to keep them clean.

The reason for this bathing is for a few reasons:

  • Keeping them clean and maintained.
  • Help to shed.
  • Clean off obvious debris or feces.
  • Exercise.

Keeping them clean and maintained is obvious, but maybe shedding isn’t. The reason for this is, the water will help to make the shedding process easier and fewer chances of problems for your lizard, are you with me?

Also, exercise is another unexpected benefit maybe. Well, this water can help to keep them exercised as they play or swim in the water.

Water “Accidents”

One word of warning though. there is a chance that your Iguana might defecate in the water. Why? Well, to be honest, its relaxing for them. If they have been holding one in for a while, the water will naturally ease it out f them.

Do not be alarmed, this is natural and you can easily clean this up and replace the water. Just a warning.

Q: Do iguanas breathe underwater?

No. Because there are Iguanas like the Marine, you may have assumed that they could breathe underwater, and I get it, to be honest. This is a reasonable assumption to make. But, it’s incorrect.

But, why can’t they? Simple, they are not like fish. They do not have gills. Meaning they can not breathe without inhaling oxygen, like us. However, they can do thins underwater that we cannot. Like holding their breath underwater for 30 minutes. And, some impressive stuff, like diving up to 30 meters.

Q: Why do iguanas poop in the water?

The short answer is, they feel relaxed. Earlier, I spoke briefly about Iguanas pooping in the water. The reason for this is quite straight forward, and arguably quite logical.

The water makes them feel relaxed. So, their body will instinctively ease out the feces, because of this relaxed state.

Q: How many marine iguanas are left?

According to this site, there is 200-300 thousand Marine Iguanas on the Galapagos Islands (at the time of their writing. With these numbers, it doesn’t look like we need to be worried about them going extinct any time soon.

Q: Can iguanas hear you?

If you are a humble Iguana owner, you may be wondering if he can actually hear you. To cut a long story short yes, he can. But, the interesting thing is how he does it.

The thing is, at a glance, there are no obvious ears on the lizard, right? Well, not like you and I. However, it does have an eardrum that is vaguely visible. They hear differently to us, you see. This eardrum is called the “tympanic membrane”. And, it almost could be overlooked as part of their skin.

Q: Do iguanas like to be petted?

Yes. If you are wondering about an Iguanas temperament, they are typically quite slow and docile. They are likely to climb on you, for petting. But I do need to warn you, they have some sharp claws, so you need to take some precaution if you really want to handle him, without getting scratched.

How to Lower Humidity in Your Leopard Gecko Tank

If you want to make sure the humidity is correct in your Leopard Gecko enclosure (Click here to see my best device to measure humidity, on Amazon) you need to check the official readings. But how can you reduce it if it’s too high? Let me explain…

How can you reduce the humidity in a leopard gecko enclosure? You need to try the following: improve the airflow in the enclosure, replace a water dish with a smaller one, turn up the AC inside your house, replace porous substrate with tiles or use a dehumidifier.

Now that you know what you need to do to reduce the humidity. I will now go on to explain what is the ideal humidity for your Leo, how to regulate the humidity if it starts to get too low (the opposite), the ideal substrate to maintain the humidity and much more. Keep reading…

Steps to Reduce the humidity

Before you reduce the humidity it’s important to measure the humidity so that you can check the current status and more importantly make sure any changes you make can actually be quantified.

To do this you can simply use a hygrometer (Click here to see the price on Amazon). This is a device specialized to track and gauge the humidity in the enclosure.

Now that you have a way to track the humidity, I will tell you a few suggestions of how you can reduce the humidity.

Increasing Air Flow & Bowl reduction

One of the first things that you can do is try to increase the airflow in the enclosure. This will help to reduce the humidity.

With regards to the water bowls that you have in the enclosure. If you have a large water bowl, replace this right away with a smaller one because this will also help you.

AC & De-humidifiers

Other simple things that you can do is to turn the AC up in your house, which will help to regulate the humidity in a leopard geckos enclosure.

You can also purchase a dehumidifier which will also help to suck out some of the humidity in the atmosphere.

Making changes in the enclosure

To help reduce the humidity you can also remove any plants in the enclosure which could also be contributing to the humidity.

Finally, you should replace any substrate that could be impacting the humidity and replace it with tiles. For example, you might have soil in there, which generally helps to increase humidity.

What exactly is humidity?

In simple terms, humidity is a quantity which represents the amount of water vapor in the air. It is also used in relation to gas as well.

An example of this is, if you watch the news and listen out for the weather updates you will typically see a graphic or verbal update on the humidity levels in the air.

What is the ideal humidity for leopard geckos?

To maintain the ideal humidity you need to make sure that it stays between the range of 20 and 40%.

This ensures that your leopard gecko will stay nice and hydrated. But also, it will allow him to shed successfully as well, which is a very important part of their life cycle.

If you maintain this humidity you can avoid a couple of serious issues. In particular, if the humidity is too high it can increase the chances of pneumonia or skin related infections.

On the opposite side of things if the humidity is too low then there is a chance that your Leo could dehydrate which could lead to an early death.

Should you spray your leopard gecko with water?

do not spray water on leopard gecko

Although you need to keep your leopard gecko cool and keep him hydrated you should not be spraying him directly with water.

Instead, you should be misting the enclosure which will inject water into the enclosure and will naturally evaporate and hydrate the skin. This is more like natural raindrops in the wild.

You could also buy specific devices which handle this for you on an automated basis which can reduce the chances of you forgetting.

What are the signs that my enclosure is too humid?

If you are keen to understand if your enclosure is too humid. As discussed earlier you can actually get a hygrometer to measure that humidity.

However, in the absence of one of these, there are obvious signs which you can use as an indication of this high humidity.

One of the obvious signs, which is absolutely free, is to check to see if your enclosure appears to be steaming or fogging up. This is an indication that it is too humid and you need to take action.

If it is too humid your leopard gecko may become sick, common problems revolve around repository issues.

How can you keep your enclosure humid (increase humidity)?

If you are concerned about regulating the humidity or keeping the humidity at the right level it’s important that you use the correct enclosure as well as the correct substrate.

The enclosure.

The enclosure should really be glass instead (Click here to see my best Glass Leopard Gecko enclosure, on Amazon) of mesh. Why? Because glass holds the humidity a lot more than mesh does. Mesh has other qualities but holding humidity is not one of them.

Substrate.

The substrate that you need to look for is the porous substrate such as soil (Click here to see my best soil substrate on Amazon). Avoid non-porous substrates such as crushed walnut or even sand for this reason.

Maintaining the soil to improve humidity.

Earlier I talked about soil being the ideal substrate to keep your enclosure humid. When dealing with soil it is important to have deep soil in particular approximately 3 inches deep.

This will keep the humidity at a good level. In addition to this, it is a good idea to have a weekly maintenance procedure where you will mix the soil.

Why? Because this will bring the moist soil from the bottom and mix it with the top, which might be drying out.

Keeping the Soil Moist

If you find that the soil is drying out you need to consider adding a little bit of water to it to keep it moist.

However, “moist” is the keyword not mushy. You do not want mushy substrate you want it to be nice and moist.

Related questions:

In this section, I will be answering some questions related to Leopard Geckos and humidity. If you have a question in your mind, that you feel has not been answered, feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: What plants help to improve humidity?

When you are looking for plants the key thing you are looking for is good transpiration rates. What is transpiration rates? It is the measure of how quickly plants release water from their leaves. Therefore it is a good indication that it will help you to keep the enclosure humid, are you with me?

The Areca Palm plant.

This plant is ideal for the enclosure because it keeps it humid. In fact, it is one of the best plants for this and has excellent transpiration rate.

The rubber plant.

The rubber plant is another good candidate for the enclosure. One of the good things about this plant it can tolerate drier soil and is good to deal with that if that’s something that you need. On top of this, it also has a very good transpiration rate.

Q: How cold is too cold for a leopard gecko?

Ideally, 88-92 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm end. If you find that you are not achieving that then you need to look into your enclosure heating. If the temperature is not correct this can affect their lifespan.

Q: Should you be concerned if your Leo is cold when you touch him?

Not necessarily. The key thing is they are cold-blooded. What?…

Well, this means they are not built like us. We have a way to regulate our body temperature (to an extent). However, Leos, and lizards, in general, require direct heat to keep them warm. Hence the reason they need a basking spot to help to regulate this.

Q: Do leopard geckos smell?

No. However, their enclosure may give the impression that they smell, are you with me? Basically, if you neglect to clean up after them, for example, leave feces in the tank for days, then naturally, it will smell. Know what I mean?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pumpkin? (Get the runs?)

If you love Bearded Dragons, you want to make sure you feed them correctly (Click here for my best Bearded Dragon guide, on Amazon). Many people wonder if they can eat vegetables, such as pumpkin. Let me explain…

Can bearded dragons eat pumpkin? Yes, they can eat pumpkin. However, you have to be careful when not to give them too much. Because it has low calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1:2 (more on this later). This means it’s not ideal, but ok in moderation.

Now that you know that they can eat pumpkin, albeit in moderation, let me also explain the dangers of their seeds. Also, if your Beardie will experience runny feces as a consequence of this, which pumpkin is best and much more. Keep reading.

What is a pumpkin?

For those of you that have never seen a pumpkin, let me explain. A pumpkin is a large orange/yellowish vegetable which has orange flesh. Its skin is tough and ribbed.

It is widely associated with Halloween. Families will typically carve out the inside flesh of the pumpkin during this time of year, to reveal a scary face for Halloween. It is also linked to Thanksgiving in the United States as well.

Where do pumpkins originate from?

They originated in North America. But these days you can see them all over the world as they are exported and farmed, due to their demand.

Should their seeds be removed?

remove pumpkin seeds before giving to Bearded Dragons

Yes, it is important to remove the pumpkin seeds before giving it to your lizard. Even though the meat of the Pumpkin is fine for them, you need to be careful about serving the skin or any seeds.

If you are curious to understand why this is because it can actually cause impaction. This is because the seeds are not digestible by your lizard and will effectively “back it up” (Meaning its system will be blocked).

Impaction is very painful for your Beardie and can be a very slow and unnoticeable issue. Meaning your lizard could be suffering in silence.

Will they get runny feces?

One of the issues of giving your lizard pumpkin is the inevitable after-effects. Basically, there is a good chance that you will notice it will get runny feces (loose stool). This is due to the high water content of this vegetable.

This is not necessarily anything to be worried about but you should be prepared for this before you decide to give it to them, are you with me? This is also similar to other highly water-based fruits, such as watermelons.

What type of pumpkin is best for your lizard?

With over 42 different types of pumpkin, it may be hard for you to decide which one is ideal to feed your lizard. In my opinion, the butternut pumpkin is the best one for Beardies. However you need to see how your lizard responds to the food before taking my word for it.

In general, the Howden pumpkin is quite popular, but this is more to do with the tradition of cutting up the pumpkin for the Halloween festival once a year. Other variations of pumpkin to consider are the Aladdin, Caspar, and Amish pie.

The calcium to phosphorus ratio of Pumpkins

Earlier I mentioned that Pumpkins are not ideal because they have the incorrect calcium to phosphorus ratio. Let me elaborate on that…

In general bearded dragons require a 2:1 ratio which is ideal for them. Whereas the actual ratio for pumpkins is 1:2. As you can see from the maths it is not the ideal balance needed for your bearded dragon. Hence the reason why I suggested in moderation is the best practice.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to pumpkins and Bearded Dragons. If you have a good question in mind, that has not been answered, feel free to drop me a comment below.

Q: Can bearded dragons eat pumpkin puree?

No. They cannot and should not eat pumpkin puree. If you have not heard of pumpkin puree before I will explain what it is…

Pumpkin puree is basically natural pumpkin which has been grounded up and cooked into a liquid form (puree). And, it is typically sold in shops as a canned product.

Most lizards, including the bearded dragon, do not do well with pureed food in general. They typically require whole food.  And, for that reason, it is better to cut it up and then give it to him in small pieces. Obviously avoiding the seeds as discussed earlier.

Q: What can you do to get your bearded dragon to eat more greens and vegetables?

You may notice that your bearded dragon refuses to eat vegetables. It may just be one particular type or it could be veg in general.

If this is the case I have some tips on how you can try and get around this to improve their diet and make it more nutritional.

Reducing their options

The first thing that you can try and do is to reduce the number of insects you’re giving them. Then see how they respond to the vegetables then.

My point here is if they fill their stomach with insects the likelihood of them wanting to eat vegetables as well, which they are probably not that keen on anyway, is quite low.

Therefore if you reduce their options, at least, to begin with, they may be more inclined to go for it, because they may think that’s all that is available. So give it a try and start off the meal with vegetables before you give them the insects.

Mixing it up.

Another tactic that you can use is mixing the vegetables in with the insects and see if they will actually take it naturally.

Hand-feeding.

If you have not tried hand feeding before this could be something that you could try. With this technique, you will effectively hand feed it an insect, then follow it up with a vegetable and see if it will take it.

Q: Can you feed your bearded dragon herbs and spices?

Yes. However this needs to be in moderation. And, to be honest herbs and spices is quite a general term for a lot of different options.

But the general rule is they can be given, but you have to be careful with what you’re serving and the amount you’re serving. This is largely to do with the Essential Oils that are usually in most of these herbs and spices.

Q: Can I feed my bearded dragon canned vegetables?

No, is the short answer. You may be wondering if canned vegetables are a good idea, maybe because they sound like a nice convenient and cheap option, right? Well, it’s really not a good idea.

Why? Simple, have a look at the ingredients of a canned veg can next time you get a spare moment. What do you think you will see? Preservatives!

These preservatives may be ok for us humans (which is also debatable, to be honest). But, for your Beardie, this will not be a good idea. Because it is likely to make them ill over time.

Q: Can I put a real cactus in my bearded dragon tank?

Yes. Maybe you want to keep your enclosure looking aesthetically pleasing for your Beardie. In that case, a Christmas cactus or Aloe will be fine. But, be careful of any succulents, these can’t go in there.

Q: Can my bearded dragon eat aloe vera?

Yes. They can chew on this. And you may find that they really love this. However, the Aloe may not look too cool after it has been nibbled up by your beardie. But that is more of a cosmetic issue, more than anything.

Q: Can Bearded dragons have rocks in their tank?

Yes. But, be careful of heat rocks. If you have not heard of these before, they help to increase the temperature in the enclosure. However, they could actually burn your Bearded Dragon, hence the reason I say its not a good idea.

What Fruits Do Lizards Eat? (You may be surprised!)

Lizards are typically herbivores (Vegetarians) or insectivores (meat-eaters). But, you may be keen to understand if they eat fruits. And, if they do eat fruits what types of fruits are acceptable. Let me explain…

What fruits do lizards eat? In general, for those species that eat fruit (more on this later), they can consume apples, strawberries, grapes, and Melons. However, with literally thousands of different Lizard species, this is quite a general statement. Why? Because some lizards cannot eat fruits at all.

Now you know some of the fruits that these lizards eat, let me explain some of the qualities of these fruits and why they will be beneficial to some lizards. Also, the different types of lizards that actually eat these fruits, and much more. Keep reading.

Why these Fruits are Lizard Friendly

In this section, I am going to explain some detail about the fruits that some lizards consume. I will explain what’s great about the fruit as well as explaining how thye should be prepared, before handing them to your lizard.

Apples

Apples are typically quite big for the average-sized lizard. So, its good practice to cut up the apple into bite-sized pieces. Also, it is important to remove the seeds before you feed them the apple. Why? This apple seeds can be quite toxic for lizards.

Melon

There are many types of Melons available. For Lizards, honeydew melons are usually best. Like apples, they are big fruits. So you need to prepare them by cutting them up and removing the core and melon seeds inside.

Strawberries

Strawberries have some good qualities, such as being high in oxalates (Oxalic Acid, arguably a good thing). However, as the other fruits mentioned, these need to be prepped first.  This includes removing the top of the strawberry (the green bit), as well as the stem.

Blueberries

This is great, mainly for their antioxidants (this basically means it has the ability to remove damaging oxidizing agents).  Even so, they need to be moderated. Basically, don’t go crazy with these.

Grapes

Like strawberries, this is high in Oxalates. To prepare these, you can either crush them or chop them up into smaller portions. I understand they are small as they are, but it is still necessary to do this.

What lizards eat fruits?

What lizards eat fruits

Now that you understand a selection of fruits that some lizards can consume. Let me explain which lizards are known to actually consume Fruits. Some Lizards will eat only insects, while others do not (Click here to see which lizards do not need Live insects).

Iguanas

There are many different species of Iguana. But, more specifically, the following Iguanas are known to consume fruits:

  • Rhinoceros Iguana.
  • Desert Iguana.

I summary, these lizards are not ideal for beginners for a number of reasons. They typically eat vegetables, fruits. For example, Bananas and Apples.

Argentine Black and White Tegu

These Tegus (How Often Should a Tegu Eat? Click here to see) are big fans of insects and fruits. In fact if you are not careful they will overeat. So it is important to watch their eating habits to avoid obesity.

Chuckwallas

The Chuckwallas (Learn more about their feeding habits here) mainly eat fruits and vegetation. They also rely on their food intake to cater to their water consumption (Meaning they get their water from their food). They can be difficult to keep, mainly because of their need for quite high temperatures in their basking area.

Blue-Tongue Skink

The Blue-Tongue Skink is quite a popular one amongst lizard keepers, mainly because they have reasonable demands for their enclosures (Can a Blue Tongue Skink Live in a 40 Gallon Tank? (Click here to see)). They are also fruit fans, as well as consuming insects as well.

Is it a good idea to feed your lizard Fruit?

If you are wondering if it’s a good idea to feed your lizard fruit, I am going to explain why you may want to hold back a bit. Also, I am going to let you know of something you should be careful of before you feed any fruit to your lizard as well.

Just because it’s tasty, doesn’t mean its good!

I remember munching on a delicious burger (I won’t mention the brand name, but I think you can guess) and the melted cheese squeezing out. At that moment, I couldn’t think of anything better.

Unfortunately, roll forward 3 months later, when I needed to cut weight for summer, I remembered that day, for some reason it wasn’t as good thinking back on it, not that I had to get rid of the burden it left behind.

My point is, yes, Lizards may well eat fruits. But, that does not mean it is a great nutritious meal for them, are you with me?

Some lizards, like the Beardie, will happily eat fruits, but digesting it is another thing. Basically, by all means serve some fruit if your lizard is into it. But keep it in moderation, are you with me?

Can all lizards eat the same fruits?

No. Talking about lizards as a collective is quite a dangerous thing in general. Especially when we discuss their diet. Why? Because there are so many different species, there is really not a one-size-fits-all.

The reality is, each lizard species have their own preferences and nuances. Therefore, depending on your particular lizard, do your research first, to ensure you can eat the fruit.

Fruits to avoid

If you have a long list of available fruits, its a good practice to read this section first. Because I will be explaining some fruits that need to be avoided. I will also explain why they should be avoided to enrich your understanding.

In general, the following types should be avoided:

  • Citrus.
  • High Water content fruits.
  • Fruit Seeds & rinds.

Citrus

Citrus fruits, such as Oranges, Lime and Grapefruit should be avoided. As tempting as it may be, or even if you feel that your lizard seems to like it, steer clear. Why?

Simple, these fruits are quite acidic. They can upset your lizard’s stomach. Also, other issues such as diarrhea or even vomit. So, for these reasons its a good idea to avoid them.

High Water content Fruits

Some fruits (and veg) have high water content. For us, they may seem refreshing, but for lizards, they can cause problems. For e.g. Tomatoes (yes, they are fruits).

These fruits offer little to no nutritional value and due to their high water content, they can cause diarrhea issues for your lizard. As a general rule, you should avoid high water content veg, such as cucumbers as well.

Fruit Seeds & rinds.

With any fruit that qualifies as “ok”, you still need to take precaution. Why? Because, even though the actual meat of the fruit is ok, the seeds or rinds are not.

An example of this is apples. Yes, some lizards are fine with these. But, the apple core and seeds is not lizard friendly. So, make sure you chop them up, remove the core and seeds before serving them up.

Can lizards also eat vegetables?

With all this talk about fruits. You may be wondering if they can also eat veg. So, for that reason in this section, I will explain a bit more about this.

The short answer is Yes. There are some lizards that love veg, and in fact, some primarily eat veg. An example of these are the following:

The general rule for veg & fruit

While there are some lizards that eat veg, the key thing is variety. If your lizard will eat turnips, for example, doesn’t mean you need him turnips every day, are you with me?

Mix it up and offer a variety of veg. Why? Because each vegetable has different nutritional benefits, and the variety provides a balanced diet.

What is an Albino Chameleon? (Do they even exist?)

Have you heard the myth about Albino Chameleons? But is it a myth or reality? Either way, the first priority is understanding how to care for Chameleons t the best of our ability (Click here for my best Chameleon guide, on Amazon). But, let me also satisfy your curiosity on these Albino Chameleons…

What is an Abino Chameleon? An Albino Chameleon is a chameleon which has a rare medical condition which affects its skin pigmentation. They appear to be pale (without any visible skin coloration). Albinoism is not limited to just chameleons, they can be seen in humans and many other animals.

Understand this, this condition not only affects their skin (or fur in other animals). It also affects their eyes (more on this later). I will now explain if they really exist, what problems they have, if they have shorter lifespans and much more. Keep reading…

Do Albino Chameleons even exist?

This is a good question. And, you know when people say this, it means they are not sure. According to this site they do. However, personally I have not seen any convincing evidence. Also, I haven’t personally seen one.

Which does lead to some doubt. However, Albinos are present in many different animal species (with obvious evidence), as well as humans. So logically speaking it is very possible, and very likely.

Do other albino animals exist?

Alligator Albino

Yes, as mentioned earlier, they exist have been seen across many different animal species, as well as humans (which I have seen with my own eyes).

According to this site, there are Kangeroos, frogs, snakes and even more. They also have images to prove their point.

What problems do albinos face?

Albino chameleons or any albino for that matter have a number of potential medical issues to deal with. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to list and explain some of them. Some of these issues are more obvious than others.

Vision problems.

Some albinos have problems with their vision. This is linked to abnormal development in their Iris. And also linked to the lack of pigment development in their Iris.

In some extreme cases, there can be abnormal nerve connections in their eyes, which cause severe vision problems.

Eye color issues.

This is more of a subtle problem and arguably, more of a cosmetic issue at that. Basically, they tend to have red eyes or odd eye color variations. Again, this is linked to the lack of pigmentation color in their eyes.

Issues with skin.

Due to their pale skin (or fur) and lack of melanin (more on this later), Albinos are susceptible to skin diseases, which are triggered by direct sunlight. In humans, albinos are susceptible to sun-related diseases such as skin cancer.

Animal Fur color.

Other animals, such as Albino cats, will have light-colored fur. In extreme cases, they may have white fur. For humans, there is also a condition called “Forelock” which affects their hair. In particular, the hair near their forehead.

Social issues.

One of the biggest problems that albino animals face, as well as humans, is social problems.

There are obvious differences between them when compared to their families and friends. Therefore they stick out like a sore thumb and are often singled out. Usually not ending well, such as animals getting attacked or humans being bullied.

Is there such a thing as a partial albino chameleon?

If you read forums or search the web you may have heard people talk about partial albino chameleons.

However, there seems to be little to no real evidence of this. And, according to Wikipedia, the whole concept of a partial albino doesn’t make any sense.

The argument states that you are either an Albino or not. There is no in-between. And an interesting analogy has been drawn, which states you cannot be “half pregnant”, right?

What causes an Albino Chameleon (or animal) to have its appearance?

According to Wikipedia, the lack of melanin is typically caused by a gene called TYR. This governs and codes the development of melanin. It if it is damaged in any way it can cause issues with the development of melanin, which is required for the pigment coloration.

Do albinos have shorter lifespans?

Not necessarily. Albinos can live a long and normal life. However, there are other factors that can affect this, such as their environment.

For example, as discussed earlier, albinos do not have good sun protection, due to the lack of melanin in their skin.

And, unfortunately, no amount of sun cream can really help with this (for humans anyway). Therefore, if an Albino lives in a tropical environment. And they are not careful to protect their skin, they could be more susceptible to skin diseases such as skin cancer.

Chances of Multiple Albino Chameleons

The chances of having multiple albinos is very very low. To quantify this, for humans, it’s likely to be one in 17,000 that may be Albino. This is similar in the animal and lizard world. Therefore, you can do the math, it is very unlikely to have more than one at the same time.

Related questions:

In this section, I will cover some related questions to Albino Chameleons.

What is melanin? This is the pigmentation, which has a dark or light brown color, which is responsible for the coloration in the skin, hair, and eyeballs.

When humans go on holiday and tan their skin. The tanning of the skin is caused by the melanin. Naturally darker people typically have more natural melanin than lighter-skinned individuals.

Why does the lack of melanin affect lizards or other animals? It affects them because melanin is usually responsible for protecting our skin against sunlight.  One of the biggest concerns is a melanoma which is a form of skin cancer.

The lack of melanin in the skin of the human or an animal will mean that they are more susceptible to skin-related diseases.

Can Albino Chameleons change color? Some people have asked if chameleon albinos have the ability to change color. The answer is no. This is because they lack the ability to manipulate their skin color based on the fact that they are albinos.

As you know chameleons have a unique ability to change their color. However, unlike what you have been told, this ability to change color is not necessarily linked to matching their environment (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s color actually means.

What type of chameleon changes colors? The Panther & Madagascar Chameleons are known to be very colorful. They have the ability to change into many colors. Typically you will expect to see green or brown colors with Chams, but they have the ability to change to some really bright and beautiful colors, such as yellow, pink, red and other great colors.

Do Jackson chameleons change colors? Yes. They definitely do change color. However, they are not known to be as colorful as others, such as the panther or Madagascar Chameleon. But, they still have the ability to change to colors such as yellow, blue and other colors.

Do Chameleons change color to match their environment? No, this is not true. It is a myth actually. It’s cool for TV programs and ads to play on this because it is easy to sell things. However, in reality, this is not the case. As stated in my article about Chameleon colors (Click here to read it now), I explain the true reason why this happens.

How fast can chameleons change color? They can change color in as little as 20 seconds. This may be a lot faster than you expected, but this is a natural, instinctive thing, that the Chameleon does not consciously do. its likes breathing oxygen, we just instinctively do it, are you with me?

How does a chameleon’s tongue fit in its mouth? It has strong tongue muscles that help its tongue expand and retract. Also, it has collagen that helps with the sprining action that you have probably seen or heard people talk about.

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