Komodo Dragons are often ridiculed for their name. Many people wonder where their name came from and if they are even really lizards. For this reason, I will explain where they actually got there name from.
Why is a Komodo dragon called a dragon? When they were first discovered, they were known to have “dragon-like” features and are from the island of Komodo. These lizards were discovered in the early 1900s. During the first world war, when a plane crashed and discovered them.
Now you know whey they are called this, lets now learn more about them, such as what other names they have, if people can actually have them as pets, if they are venomous, what other animals they prey on and more.
The Komodo Dragon is also known as the Komodo monitor. Its scientific name is “Varanus komodoensis” and it is found on the Indonesian island called Komodo. It is also one of the largest lizard species in the world.
It often raises curiosity amongst people, due to its sheer size (up to 10ft long) and dangerous persona. They are large formidable lizards. They are also known part of the Monitor lizard family (Varanidae).
This is because the Komodo dragon fits into the category of reptiles perfectly. Firstly it has a backbone, scales, does not live in water, so it breathes through its lungs rather than using Gills. Finally, it is also cold-blooded. With all these attributes it is a perfect fit to be classed as a reptile, no matter the size.
Yes, the Komodo dragon is an endangered species. The reason for this can be pinned down to a few key things:
To summarise, in the Komodo dragons natural habitat there has been volcanic activity which has caused widespread damage to their environment. This has affected their numbers.
But one of the biggest problems that they have is us, humans. Firstly they are sometimes hunted by us and secondly, there are indirect effects such as us hunting food that they rely on for food. An example of this is deer and other livestock.
Another large contributing factor is their tendency to eat their own young. They are also known to attack smaller Komodo Dragons as well.
The short answer for this is no. But let me explain:
Komodo dragons can be up to 10 feet in length. This is a really big lizard. Meaning anyone that would consider taking care of them would need a very advanced level of skill as well as unlimited resources to accommodate their diet and living environment. Not to mention the fact that they would be a constant danger of being eaten.
Komodo dragons are known to have very bad dental hygiene, to say the least. In recent studies, it has been found that the Komodo dragons can have up to 50 different variations of bacteria and toxic offerings. In fact, a proportion of these are actually very dangerous to humans if they are passed on.
The male and female Komodo dragon is very hard to tell apart. In fact, there is no obvious way to do this especially if you are an untrained individual.
Also to make matters worse mixing males together is very dangerous because you can almost guarantee they will fight.
One of the things that Komodo dragons tend to do it is to prey on smaller Komodo dragons in their vicinity. As I’ve stated earlier, they also have a tendency to eat their own young. They will not hesitate to attack each other. As a potential keeper, you could have serious problems keeping them away from each other.
Out of over 3,000 lizard species, the Komodo dragon wins the prize for being the largest living lizard in the world! pic.twitter.com/6teBafl6eu
— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) August 16, 2016
Nothing is safe around a Komodo dragon, they will eat almost anything. And when I say almost anything, I mean it. This includes hair, teeth, and horns off of their prey.
They have really poor hearing especially in comparison to us human beings. They cannot voices that are low or high pitch screeches. So, communicating with them could be a challenge.
A: Yes, they are. However many people do not believe they are. Due to a recent discovery by researcher Brian fry, it was discovered that they do actually have venom.
Previous to this it was believed that they would only cause damage by the bacteria and toxins in their saliva which is passed on when they bite their prey.
This still happens to be honest, but they also unleash venom into their victim which can cause a number of different effects on their body.
This includes reducing the victims’ blood pressure, sending the victim into a shocked state.
All of this makes it almost impossible for their prey to escape, even if they are lucky and manage to escape their vicious bites.
It is been found that the Komodo dragons venom is comparable to the impact of some of the world’s most venomous snakes.
They are however different in the way that they inject this venom. Snakes typically inject the venom using their fangs. But, Komodo dragons do things slightly differently.
They unleash a vicious bite into the victim and open a deadly wound. The venom is then seeped into the wound affecting their prey, effectively immobilizing them. This stops them getting away so that the Komodo dragon can finish their meal.
A: Yes, Komodo dragons can go after quite large animals, including deer, wild boars or even bigger. They use a strategy known as “ambushing” to catch their prey. This is done by lying in wait, waiting for their prey to go past them, without them knowing they’re there. Then pouncing on them when they are unexpected!
Yes, not only do Komodo dragons eat large animals they also have the ability to eat a lot in one sitting.
To put this into perspective, it is been known that one Komodo dragon can eat up to 80% of its own body weight in one sitting.
However, although they eat a lot in one sitting they do not eat frequently. For example, after eating a really large meal, they may not again for a whole month.
They don’t actually digest and metabolize these parts of the body. They actually regurgitate them into pellets, known as “Gastric Pellets”. They are ejected from their body. It is a compacted pellet of hair, horns, teeth, etc.
They have a tendency to look out for carcasses rather than always hunting for Life prey. This makes life a lot easier for them. They have a good skill of being able to detect and smell carcasses up to 6 miles away from them.
Unfortunately for the residents of komodo, this presents a problem. Because they sometimes detect carcasses, such as human bodies, that have been recently buried. To stop this happening, locals have been known to stop using sand based graves and use clay instead. As well as putting large objects, such as rocks, on top to prevent them from digging it up.
A: In a bizarre method to save themselves from being cannibalized by their own peers, they sometimes cover themselves in feces to make themselves seem unattractive to their predator. In reality, if you were facing being eaten by them, wouldn’t you consider this?
Using wood a substrate for your reptile is quite common. But, you have to be careful because not all wood can be used. If you choose the wrong one, it can cause health issues for your reptile.
What is safe wood for an animal enclosure? Shredded Aspen and Cypress Mulch is a good safe wood for reptiles. If you have the budget you can pick them up in most pet stores. However, you can also consider using some types of wood from outside, as long as you are prepared to clean and sterilize it first.
To further expand on this, I am going to explain which other types of wood you use. As well as types that you need to avoid because they can be very bad for your reptile, and much more,
To start off with let me list a few wood substrates that you can use safely without any concerns. Later on in the article, I will outline some that you should avoid at all costs. I will also explain how you can prepare wood that has not been purchased from a conventional pet shop.
Here are some types of wood you can use for substrate:
Generally speaking, most hardwoods can be considered as well, such as:
I’m going to outline certain types of wood that you should avoid to keep your reptile safe.
Cedarwood is a popular wood that is used for furniture products, such as closets, it is used because it is good at avoiding long-term decay of furniture. Also, it repels insects. However, for reptiles, it is not a good idea, especially for lizards.
The reason it is not good for your reptile is that it can cause skin lesions or even respiratory health problems for your reptile.
Some of the most dangerous versions of this cedar wood include White or Japanese Cedar.
The biggest issue with this wood is that most commercial products very rarely say exactly which type of cedar that they use in their products. So as a general rule, you should avoid using them.
These trees have similar issues to cedar wood. Although, there is not as much evidence to back it up. However, as a general rule, they are to be avoided to maintain the health of your reptile.
The main issue is the fact that it secretes aromatic phenol, which causes health issues with reptiles.
Any wood that has been treated with chemicals is a big no-no! This obviously encapsulates quite a range of wood types. Sometimes it’s quite hard to identify which wood has been treated with chemicals. But if you suspect that it has been chemically treated, do not use it with your reptile.
These chemicals can contaminate the air or seep out onto your reptile, so they are not to be used.
Fruit trees are notorious for being sprayed with pesticides to keep away insects, that eat their fruit. These pesticides can have serious health effects on your reptile and should be avoided at all costs.
A general rule is, any tree that has been treated with chemicals should be avoided. This includes herbicides, pesticides, wood preservatives or anything along those lines.
This one is relatively obvious to see and common sense. Basically, avoid using any wood which has got sharp edges that could scratch or impale your reptile. The good thing is, this can be seen quite easily.
However, there are a couple of known trees that have exceptionally thorny branches that you should avoid, such as Hawthorn or Honey Locust.
Wood is often used in Terrariums in the form of branches, logs or any kind of wooden climbing apparatus. It’s fun for your reptile and is encouraged in most cases.
Most people tend to buy these accessories from their local pet shop or online.
However, if you are on a budget or have access to a large amount of wild grown wood, you can consider using it.
The reason you need to prepare it first is it may contain bugs, bacteria, viruses or dangerous fungus. Without prep, this can easily pass on to your reptile and cause unknown health issues. So, to avoid this you need to prepare the wood.
Preparation is essentially cleaning and sterilizing the wood so it is safe for your reptile to use.
The first step is to clean off all of the surface level dirt. Give the wood a good bang just to get rid of any of the dirt that may be collected on it.
Once you have removed some of the obvious dirt, you then need to use some hot water to clean the wood. The best way to do this is to use a steel bristle brush, so it can clean off the dirt properly.
The objective here is to remove any germs, viruses, fungus or any other related bacteria that are not visible to the naked eye.
Because wood is porous it is not a good idea to try and use chemicals to sterilize it. Because this would just contaminate the wood. The best way to do this is to use a handheld steaming unit. Alternatively boiling or baking the wood is a good way to remove all of these potential issues.
If you are going to consider doing baking or boiling, then take it from me, baking is the easiest and fastest option.
To bake the wood you need to place it into an oven and set the temperature to 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. However, be warned, never leave the wood unattended. Because it is a fire hazard!
You can expect it to take up to an hour before it is completely sterilized.
If you would prefer to go down the boiling route then you can set it at a slightly lower temperature such as 210-212 degrees Fahrenheit. But you will need to boil it for a lot longer. In particular, up to 6 hours to ensure that all the bacteria and viruses are removed.
After you have sterilized the wood you need to make sure that you completely dry it off. The reason that you need to do this is, is because leaving it wet will allow it to decay very fast. So you need to get it dry and usable for a substrate.
To do this you need to put it in a dry and clean area. Ideally not outside, because if you put it outside it could be susceptible to being infected again, by insects or other pathogens.
Once it is in this clean and safe area. You need to leave it to dry out for a number of days to be 100% certain that it is dried out properly. Especially if it’s a larger piece of wood.
Another option that you can use to dry it is by placing it into an oven for a few hours. You will need to set the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to take some caution though. Never leave it unattended while it is drying in the oven because it is a fire risk.
What kind of wood can you use to build an iguana cage? For Iguanas you can use most hardwoods. Such as Birch, Walnut or Cheery wood. However, be warned, it is always going to be quite an expensive job. If you want to reduce the costs, Oak and Birch are the most economical options at approximately $1 to $2 per foot.
Why do some people use vinegar to clean their reptile vivarium? If you are a reptile keeper you will know from experience that from time to time they will start to smell.
In addition to this, you need to clean the enclosure for good maintenance and to keep your reptile healthy. For that reason, white vinegar, in particular, is used. It is good because it cleans well, removes the smell and does not contain dangerous chemicals.
Many people are curious about Gila Monsters, mainly because they are deemed as dangerous venomous lizards. However, what is their Behaviour really like?
What is the Gila Monsters Temperament like? In general, they are quite relaxed, solitary lizards. In fact, it tends to shy away from human contact due to fear. However, they do have a venomous bite and if they are scared or feel that they are being attacked they will defend itself by biting.
Now you know a little about how they behave, let’s look into if they are safe to be handled, if people actually keep them in captivity, how to keep them if you wish to and so much more.
The Gila Monster (Heloderma Suspectum), is a venomous lizard from the southwestern regions of the United States and also found in Mexico.
It is closely related to the Mexican beaded lizard and is typically up to 2 feet long. It is a relatively heavy lizard and moves quite slow.
Yes, it can and will bite. However, it is unlikely to attack humans unless it feels under threat. Its natural form of Defence is to run away and avoid conflict. But, as discussed earlier, if they feel under threat they will bite you.
In the event that they do feel like they are being attacked, they will give a warning first by opening their mouth wide and making a hissing sound to give you the warning to stay away.
The bite is quite vicious and it will inject venom into you. However, it is unlikely to cause death. But one of the biggest problems with the Gilla monster is actually getting it off you once you are bitten.
Once it locks its jaws, it has a tendency to keep its mouth clampdown on your body. This can obviously cause extreme pain and psychological shock. All in all, quite a traumatic event to be avoided at all costs.
Generally speaking, no, they are not really safe to handle. However, if you are a trained professional and have the skills to do this it is possible to handle them. Be warned, even trained professionals still need heavy protective gloves. Just in case they get bitten.
An important tip, never hold them by their head or tail. This is because it can cause injury.
They can be kept in captivity, however, they are definitely not for beginners or inexperienced lizard keepers.
To handle them successfully you need to have a large amount of skill, patience and the resources required to facilitate them. This is because they are quite large lizards.
If you feel that you’re capable of this I will give you some tips on how best to keep them happy in captivity.
The minimum dimensions for a Gila Monster are 4 x 2 x 2 ft. But, I want to stress that these are minimum dimensions. The reality is, a Gila monster is a large lizard and can be up to 2 feet in length. Therefore, the bigger the enclosure the better. They need as much room to maneuver as possible.
If you are interested in what types of tanks or enclosures, you could consider large cattle stock tanks can also be considered for this.
Another very important point is to have a very secure lid to keep them inside the enclosure. This is for two reasons. One, it’s important for the safety of your Gila Monster itself. But also for other people, because if it is to escape it could be dangerous. If someone pushes or prods it by accident, it could cause it to bite them.
The best substrate for the killer monster is bark chips, moss or sand. the main objective is to try and keep the enclosure as dry as possible.
You want to try and keep the substrate deep enough but at the same time not so deep that you can’t find loose bits of uneaten food or even lizard feces. Also when I say deep enough I mean deep enough so that it can absorb the moisture, are you with me?
The Gila Monster likes to spend a lot of times hiding in hideout dens or Burrows. Therefore, it is a good idea, in captivity, to emulate this.
— Gila monster (@gilamonsterasu) January 5, 2018
In the wild, this lizard doesn’t eat very regular at all. As you can imagine it eats when it has success with hunting. To give you an idea of how infrequently it eats, you could expect them to eat only 8 to 10 times in a whole year.
When they do eat in the wild they typically eat Reptile eggs, small Birds, other lizards, frogs, etc.
In captivity, you can expect them to eat mealworms, crickets, and other insects. As they start to get a little bit bigger they will start to move on to small pinkie mice in their diet as well.
This lizard enjoys a combination of basking in sunlight as well as cooling off in a reduced temperature area. Therefore, you need to emulate this behavior in your enclosure.
This heated area, where they can bask, can easily be emulated by having a simple rock (Click to see the price on Amazon) which is elevated and then having a heat lamp to provide the Heat.
In the warmer area of the tank, you want it to be 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the cooler area, on the other hand, you want it to be from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At night-time you want the temperature to drop down anywhere from 70 to 75.
One thing to note, the heat that you provide is very important to the health of your Gila Monster. So, make sure that you have proper heating facilities. And also make sure that you have a plan B, in case anything goes technically wrong with your heating equipment.
Lighting is also critical to their wellbeing. It is advised, after the hibernation period, to provide 8 hours of light, followed by 16 hours of darkness. As it moves towards the summertime this will gradually increase. Light hours this time may increase up to 10 hours of light. It is important to have a basking light during these periods of lights to keep them happy.
They like to bask in the water directly, therefore, you need to provide a large enough water dish so that they can do this. You also need to make sure that you change the water on a daily basis. Because they like to bask in the water and drink at the same time.
Why is it called the killer monster? The Gila monster was named after the “Gila River” where it was originally found. However, the word “Monster” is unknown. One can only assume it is due to their build and size. Maybe the word monster was just a nickname that was attached to them.
Are Gila Monsters the only venomous lizards? No, there are other venomous lizards, in particular, its Close relative the Mexican beaded lizard.
Many people believe that there are only two venomous lizards available which is known to be the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded dragon.
However, there are some debates to suggest that there are more venomous lizards than these two.
How do they keep warm during the winter months? In the winter months, they dig burrows to keep themselves warm. They also have a method of storing fat reserves in their tail. To keep them alive during times when there is not much food available for them.
Do they have very good eyesight? No, they do not have very good eyesight at all. However, this is not a big problem for them. Because when they hunt for food, in particular, they actually use their scent and smell to detect their prey. They will flick out their tongue to pick up the scent to direct them towards their prey.
Are you legally allowed to own a Gila monster? In some states in America, it is illegal to own a Gila monster. For example, in Massachusetts, you cannot have one.
In other States, such as Arizona, they closely monitor Gila Monsters. You are not allowed to hunt for them and then bring them into captivity. This is a violation.
So it is a good idea to check your local state or location to make sure that you can legally own one of these before going out and trying to keep one.
The Mexican Beaded Lizard is often referenced for its venomous bite, however, I wondered how big are these lizards and do people actually keep them in captivity? Let me explain.
What size is a Mexican Beaded Lizard? Up to 3 feet in length. Its body weight is typically up to 2 lbs. Males and females have a stocky type build however the male is typically broader than the female. In addition to this, the male is usually larger than the female as well. The hatchlings typically are about 20 cm in length.
Now you know how large they can be, let me explain how big the largest recorded one is, what they actually are (natural habitat, scientific name, etc) and how their diet and housing can impact their size.
The Mexican beaded lizard (Heloderma horridum) is typically found in the west or central parts of Mexico. Its natural habitat is in the desert or tropical Forest areas. You can typically find it rested on rock ledges.
The largest recorded beaded lizard is up to 40 inches in length and almost 10 pounds in weight. So, it is a substantially sized lizard, especially in comparison to the Gilla monster.
As you can imagine the diet of any lizard is very important to their growth. If they are not fed correctly, this can directly impact how big they grow. As well as their health for that reason. I’m going to explain what is the best diet for them, to make sure that you maximize their size.
In the wild, they typically eat eggs of other small Reptiles and sometimes, they eat smaller animals.
In captivity, they have a slightly different diet. They will typically eat small mice, rats, etc. I mentioned earlier, in the wild, they will typically eat eggs. However, in captivity, this is not a wise decision. And this is for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the eggs that they are fed in captivity have a large risk of passing on salmonella poisoning to the Lizard. Secondly, eggs typically are fatty food. In the wild, this is excellent, because they need to build up their fat reserves.
This is done by storing the fat in their tails so that they can allow for days when they cannot find food. This is a common occurrence in the wild.
However, in captivity, they are fed on a regular basis. Meaning eating fatty foods like eggs will build up fat reserves that are realistically never going to be used in captivity. The problem with this is, it can lead to obesity in the lizard and further health issues.
However, there are many other foods that it can eat in captivity such as a wide variety of insects.
In captivity, if you do not provide the correct housing this could stifle the growth of your Mexican beaded lizard. If it is not comfortable or cooped up in a small enclosure, it will not be able to grow to its maximum length.
For that reason, I’m going to give you some directions on the preferred housing in captivity. Also some of the ideal substrate and accessories that you should have in their housing to keep them happy and maximize their growth potential.
Firstly you need to make sure that the size of the enclosure is at least 3 1/2 feet square. But in reality, you want to make it even bigger than that. This is because some of them can be up to 3 feet in length. And they need more space to move around and feel comfortable.
It is also a good idea to have some vines or some kind of climbing accessories because they do like to climb to keep them self happy.
This lizard will be happy with newspaper as a substrate. However, f you really want to make them happy it’s better to have wood shavings, in particular, Aspen shavings. Reason being they’re easy to clean up and move back in after you’ve done your maintenance.
Security wise you need to make sure that you have a very secure lid. You need to remember that this lizard is venomous. Therefore if it escapes it can be quite dangerous. So a secure lid is very important.
This lizard is naturally from the desert so it really requires high humidity and also good water reserves. The water is ideally served in a large bowl. Even better, something that it can actually soak itself in and drink at the same time, it will really appreciate that.
This lizard likes to have the temperature preferably in the lower end of the 70s on the cool side of its enclosure and over 80 degrees in the warm end of his enclosure. Splitting it up into a higher heated basking area and a cooler area is ideal.
This can be achieved by having a clamped lamp over the basking area with an appropriate bulb wattage to provide the 80 degrees that they require.
— John Crerar Library (@CrerarLibrary) October 10, 2016
Ideally, you do not want to consider handling these lizards. Even though you may have them in captivity they are not really safe to be handled.
The exception to this rule is if you are a trained professional. Even as a trained professional you will require some strong black leather gloves just in case you get bitten. Remember, they are venomous.
Their temperament is usually quite docile, but if they are provoked or upset they can bite. And if they bite they will inject dangerous venom.
By the way, if you find that you have ever been bitten by one, you need to consult medical attention immediately!
How can you tell the difference between a Male & Female Beaded Lizard? Firstly the male is slightly larger than the female. In addition to this, while they are both quite stocky in build, the male is typically broader than the female.
How does the Mexican Beaded Lizard Inject Its venom? This lizard is one of the few lizards that are venomous. They have specially grooved teeth to help them seep their venom into the victim. They have venom glands that are perfectively aligned so that they can pass venom through the glands down the grooves in its teeth. The venom is pumped into its victim as it chews for the best effect.
Are Beaded Lizards Endangered? They are listed on the IUCN register as “Least Concern”. Meaning they are not endangered. They are also typically kept in protected areas to keep them from being hunted. However, there is a sub-species that is endangered, called the Montagua Valley Beaded Lizard. It is rumored to be as low as only 200 of them in the wild.
How long do they live for? They have quite a long lifespan. In particular 30+ years. So if you ever considered keeping one of these lizards you have to understand the commitment that is required here. This is far greater than having a pet dog for example.
Why is the Mexican Beaded Lizard Protected? This lizard is rarely seen in the wild and for that reason, it is seen as a “Trophy” for hunters. They can demand a high rate for selling them. For these reasons, they have been put under protection to save their numbers from dwindling in the wild.
How many eggs does a Female Beaded Lizard lay? This can range anything from 2 right up to 30 eggs. Quite a big range. The lizard becomes sexually active from the age of six. The male Beaded Lizards will often fight quite viciously for their chance to mate with the female. The winner gets their price and mates happily with the female.
Cockroaches are usually a big pain, some people will try using a number of remedies to get rid of them, but can lizards help? This question intrigued me. On paper it makes sense, but let’s see if they do eat roaches and if they can be a viable help for this.
Do Lizards Eat Cockroaches? Yes, they do eat cockroaches. However, not all lizards do. Only insectivores or carnivores will typically eat them. In addition to this, even if they are capable of eating cockroaches, it depends on the actual size of the cockroach. If the cockroach is too large they will not eat it.
Now that you know that some lizards will eat cockroaches, let’s investigate exactly which species will eat them if they are a viable solution to insect infestations, how the size of cockroaches will affect them being consumed and more.
There are a number of lizards that eat cockroaches. I will now give you a list of some of them.
Panther chameleons eat cockroaches, along with other insects. However, there are a number of other chameleons that also he cockroaches.
It is advised that you seek out captive-bred cockroaches rather than feeding them random wild ones. This is because the wild ones are often filled with diseases. This can pass on to your lizard.
These lizards definitely eat Cockroaches. They are quite an expensive lizards to maintain, as a pet. So, feeding them cockroaches is a good economical way of keeping them fed.
Madagascar hissing and Dubia cockroaches are a couple of species that are regularly used for these lizards.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals and therefore cockroaches are ideal for them to go after. In particular, they love Dubia Cockroaches.
Cockroaches are also an ideal alternative to crickets. Crickets have a tendency to bite leopard geckos if they are not consumed within a certain time frame. Whereas cockroaches do not do this.
You can expect a juvenile leopard gecko to consume up to 10 cockroaches in a day. An adult, on the other hand, will be more like 20 in the day. Typically they will also be fed up to 4 times a week.
Monitor lizards are typically quite large. For example, up to 3 ft in length. Therefore, many insects, such as crickets, will not interest them.
Cockroaches, on the other hand, stand a chance. But it depends on how big they are. Some cockroaches can be as big as 4 inches in length and those are the ones that will pique their interest.
The Emerald Tree Monitor lizard is a good example of a Monitor species that will devour these cockroaches and other large insects.
Expecting guests for the holidays? Make sure they are not the uninvited kind! Roaches are also looking for warmth and food this season, so we are ready to help you keep them out: https://t.co/Rp4eu769CK#RoachControl #HolidayGuests pic.twitter.com/b4o5NtYYiR
— Brants Pest Control (@brantspc) December 8, 2017
Using lizards as a way to control a pest infestation is not always the best way to do things. Reason being the number of insects that one gecko can consume will not make much difference to a true pest problem. Are you with me?
In addition to this, you have to be careful about what food you feed to your lizard. There is a good chance that these pests carry salmonella or other bacterial infections that can seriously harm your lizard.
These lizards need a large amount of humidity to survive. Unfortunately, most houses in the US will not naturally provide this level of humidity.
The insects in the house may provide a certain level of moisture for them, but not nearly enough to sustain them. You may find within just one week they are dehydrated or just escape to find better surroundings.
Another issue with using lizards as pest control is the predators of the lizards. Remember, lizards also get eaten by other predators. Animals such as a pet cat can put an end to your pest controller in a heartbeat.
There have been reports of people trying to use a Tokay Lizard as a way to get rid of their pest problems. Just to clarify the Tokay can be up to 1 foot in length. The assumption was made that a cat would be intimidated by this lizard. In reality, the cat attacked this lizard without hesitation.
Remember that a cat capable of grabbing a large rat in his mouth will have no hesitation to grab lizard. So, in summary, using a lizard as pest control is not always the best way forward.
There are many different types of lizards available, this can range from a very small gecko right up to an enormous Komodo Dragon.
Therefore, to focus this I will concentrate on conventional pet lizards which is what most people are interested in.
Even with traditional pet lizards, there is still a variety of different diets. But, in general, most of these pet lizards are insectivores or maybe carnivores. For that reason, they will typically eat insects.
However many of them in captivity will each other things such as plants fruits and vegetables. To give you an example of these I will give you a brief summary of some of the common pet lizards and an example of what sort of food you can expect them to eat.
Do house lizards eat Cockroaches? Yes, they will eat roaches. However, it depends on the size of the actual house lizard. The problem is, cockroaches can actually be quite large and they may even be too big for a house lizard to consume.
As discussed earlier the Tokay lizard has been used in some cases to try and deal with these Cockroaches, it would typically wait for a cockroach to go past and lap It up. But you can’t always rely on the house lizards to deal with the infestation.
Do lizards change colour? Yes, Chameleons can change colour, for example, the Yemen Chameleon is well-known for this. However, the Chameleon does not change colour based on its environment or surroundings, as many people mistakenly believe. It actually changes based on its mood.
Why do lizards need UVB bulbs? Lizards need UVB bulbs because the UV rays are very important for lizards. It helps the lizard to metabolize the calcium that it consumes in its diet. It’s a critical part of its requirements to survive. If it does not have enough UV rays it can have health issues such as metabolic bone disease (MBD).
Will Lizards eat Plants? Yes, some lizards will eat plants. For example, Omnivores. They can consume animal and plants, such as the blue-tongued skink.
Will Lizards Attack a human? Yes, but this is more likely for a vicious species like the Komodo dragon (click to see which animals attack Komodos). Other lizards, such as a Chameleon will bite you if you provoke them.
It is quite rare for a full-on lizard attack. In most cases, generally speaking, lizards will only bite if you make them feel uncomfortable. An example of this is if, in captivity, you decide to reach into their enclosure to handle them and you haven’t spent time to get them to trust you.
Do lizards come out at night? Yes, some lizards are nocturnal, meaning that they are active at night time. Such as most geckos. However, most lizards are diurnal, meaning they are active in the day and rest at the night time.
Why do insects get sprinkled with supplements and fed to lizards? As discussed earlier in this article, lizards need calcium. However, in captivity, this is quite hard to provide naturally. Therefore they need supplementation.
A handy way to do this is to sprinkle the insects before feeding them to your lizard. It is a trick used by many lizard keepers to keep their lizard’s calcium levels correct. Along with other required vitamins.
If you are interested in Yemen lizards, you may be wondering if they can be handled or loveable pets. It’s a good thing to check before you commit. I had similar thoughts and looked into this. Let me share my findings with you.
Do the Yemen chameleons like to be handled? No, they really do not like being handled. If you attempt to handle one of these lizards they may bite or inflate their body to appear larger to repel you. You may find that the hatchling will be a bit more accommodating.
Now you know, in general, they don’t like being handled. But is there any chance that they can be tamed and handled? Let me explain how this can be done. But let me also explain what you need to be careful about if you want to do this.
— Tyrannosaurus Pets (@T_PETS) August 14, 2017
The Yemen chameleon (Chamaeleo Calyptratus) is more commonly known as the Veiled Chameleon, however, it is also known as the conehead Chameleon. Its native habitat is in Saudi Arabia or Yemen.
The male Yemen can grow up to 24 inches, from the tip of his nose to the end of its tail. For females, they are quite a bit smaller, and they usually grow up to 14 inches in length.
Generally speaking, they are not very aggressive lizards. In fact, they are quite calm and laid back. So laid back in fact, that you will often find that they move quite slowly. They may even slow down their walking if they feel that you are watching them for some bizarre reason.
The baby Yemen lizard is also quite laid back and relaxed and it’s probably more susceptible to being handled.
Before I get into an explanation of how you can handle these beautiful lizards, as discussed earlier, in general, they do not really like to be handled. In fact, you should really treat them like fish. Meaning you should enjoy them visually but not physically engage with them.
As discussed earlier, you can train them to be more susceptible to being handled, however, this is more likely to be successful if they’re younger. This way they’ve never been pre-conditioned to not want to be around humans.
The main reason that the adult Yemen, in particular, is quite resistant to being handled is for the obvious reasons. Basically, it believes any physical contact of the human is typically followed up by a swift attack, and maybe even death.
So do not take it personally, it is just a defense mechanism from the Yemen Lizard to protect itself.
Now I will explain how you can handle them if you wish to proceed.
Unfortunately, most people have a natural urge to handle their chameleon (What is an Albino Chameleon? Click here and see) as soon as they bring it home. However, you need to do the complete opposite.
You need to give the Yemen sometime to break-in. Give it time to respond to his new environment and feel comfortable. You can expect this to last for at least 1 to 2 weeks before you even consider moving on to the next step.
Once you have passed the initial break-in period of one to two weeks, as discussed before, you can move on to the next step which is hand feeding.
Hand feeding is a gradual process. You can’t just wack some food in front of your Yemen and expect it to feed from you. You need to give it some time. The first thing that you want to do is just offer it some food. But, do not try and push your hand towards it.
To achieve this, you can use your naked hand or you can use some apparatus. Such as a pair of tweezers or some metal serving tongs. These are great for people that are a bit squeamish and do not really like handling insects.
Once the food is placed in the vicinity of the lizard, give it some time to see if it will actually take the food. Just keep your hand near it, so that it can start to associate your hand with providing food. In time it will start to associate your hand with a positive part of its day.
This part of the journey to hand feeding could take a couple of weeks before you see any real breakthroughs. Initially, it may just ignore you because it is frightened. In time it will start to feel a bit more confident.
For the best results, I’d advise that you attempt to feed it this way on the first feeding of the day. Reason being, they are generally starving at this point in the day and more likely to take the food.
The objective here is to let the Yemen lizard come out of its cage on its own accord and naturally approach you after you’ve had success with hand feeding it.
To make sure that this goes as smooth as possible you need to be very patient. Therefore,
you need to make sure that they come out of their hiding place on their own accord and not forced out.
One of the things that you can do is to literally leave the cage open. Then place an object just outside of the cage. This can be a tree, plant or something that may arouse some interest.
Give it some time, maybe do something to entertain yourself while you wait, such as checking your email or something like that. This may take days or even weeks, so don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t respond right away.
If you do this right, in time it will naturally react to you. After a while, you should be able to open the cage, offer your hand and allow it to walk onto your hand naturally.
One of the things that you can do to make this happen a lot smoother is rewarding your lizard for coming out and interacting with you. Basically, associate this simple act of interacting with you with happy treats.
You can do this simply by having some food nearby or even giving them an opportunity to bask in some lovely sunlight whenever they come out.
In time, with persistence, they will start to enjoy coming out.
The reality is not every chameleon will react positively to these steps. As discussed earlier, they are not naturally susceptible to being handled. And some will never really want to do this. So, you need to take this on a case-by-case basis.
Give it a shot and if it works, wonderful! If not then there’s nothing you can really do about it. The reality is not every Yemen chameleon will react positively to these steps.
If you are going to do this seriously, you need to give it some time. You can’t just try for 1 or 2 days, say it doesn’t work and then give up. You need to give yourself a number of weeks at least to evaluate if it successful.
Are Chameleons kind to humans? Chameleons do not naturally trust humans. So they are not the ideal beginner pet. They are not necessarily aggressive or unkind to humans, but they do not really like to be handled and do not trust humans.
Will chameleons recognize their owners? Yes, they can recognize their owners. However, their emotions are quite hard to read and gauge. Unlike dogs or cats, there is no obvious sign of happiness or affection.
Therefore, the closest thing that you can do to understand if they recognize or trust you, is to check how they react to you. Will they come towards you? and allow you to handle them? Or are they are willing to take food from you? If yes, then you have the proof they recognize and trust you.
Why are piebald chameleons also known as Coneheads in some cases? The piebald chameleon is effectively the same as a veiled (or Yemen) chameleon. In fact, the only real difference its distinctive color scheme. As discussed earlier another alias for the Yemen lizard is “Cone Head”. Hence the reason why the Piebald is also known as the Cone Head Lizard.
Is a chameleon’s bite poisonous? No, the Chameleons’ bite it is not poisonous. To be perfectly honest, the bite is not really that bad at all. You can easily survive a bite from a chameleon.
If you have considered getting a Chinese Water Dragon as a pet, then you should know by now that UVB lighting is an absolute must. The question is, which one? Let me explain.
What is the best UVB Bulb for Chinese Water Dragon? The Zoo Med ReptiSun T5 Bulb (Click to see the price on Amazon) is the best UVB bulb in my opinion. There are other competing bulbs on the market like the mercury vapor bulbs but there are concerns about their UV intensity.
Now you know which UVB light I recommend, what other options are there? Why do the Water Dragons even need these lights? What happens if they don’t get these UV rays? Let me give you an answer to these questions now and more.
The Chinese water dragon is from a very hot climate therefore, naturally, it is used to receiving large amounts of UVB rays.
To make sure that you emulate its natural environment you need to make sure that you provide a large number of UVB rays.
Fluorescent lighting is a good source of UVB for your water dragon. The best way is to use a reflector so that none of the important UVB rays are wasted.
When purchasing these fluorescent bulbs, it is a good idea to make sure that they are specifically for desert species like the Chinese Water Dragon.
There are two different types of fluorescent bulbs that you can get:
The T5 is the newer improved model and as you can expect, it has better specs. In particular, it has double the range of the T8 model and can also last twice as long.
Meaning you will need to replace the T8 bulbs at least every six months whereas the T5 will only need to be changed every 12 months. So, although the T5 is more expensive, they last twice as long, so they are worth the investment.
As discussed earlier, water dragons are from very hot climates, therefore realistically you need to maintain this expectation in captivity.
During the day you will need to be providing at least 10 to 12 hours of intense heat, in particular up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to achieve this is by using some strong 60w basking light bulbs (Click here to see the price on Amazon) towards one end of the tank.
If you are using a particularly narrow enclosure, then you may only require one of these.
During the Night-Time you will need to drop the temperature down. In particular, down to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, you also need to reduce the lighting at this as well. This is so that it’s a nice dark atmosphere so that they can get the rest they need.
To achieve this you can use a ceramic bulb (night bulb). The great thing about this, it will still keep the heat but will reduce the light. To complement this, it is a good idea to have a thermostat. The thermostat is good because it can turn on the ceramic bulb automatically when the temperature drops.
UVB is an invisible wavelength that is emitted from the sun. In captivity, these UVB rays are emulated using artificial lighting.
The UV rays are important because it allows your lizard to metabolize the calcium that you feed it. Unfortunately, without these necessary UV rays, there is a good chance that your lizard will become very sick. An example of this is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Other issues that will occur will be the lack of ability to synthesize vitamin D3, which is required by a water dragon. This is something that is required by all almost lizards.
In captivity, the only way to provide UV light without using an artificial UVB bulb is to provide direct sunlight from your window. However, the issue with this is, if you have anything blocking this light, such as your terrarium glass, it will not provide the required UV light needed by your Dragon.
Therefore, in reality, it comes down to a choice of two main types of UVB bulbs:
These fluorescent bulbs usually are mounted within a fixture such as a reflector or Hood (click to see the price on Amazon) to reflect the light into the enclosure.
The UV light that these bulbs emit has a tendency to run out before the actual bulb blows. Therefore it is recommended that you change these bulbs on a regular basis. As discussed earlier, if you’re using a T8 bulb this will need to be every six months. Or if you’re using a T5 bulb then this will be every 12 months.
To make sure that your lizard gets the full benefit of these bulbs it’s important that you keep the correct distance between the lizard and the actual bulb. It is recommended that you maintain a distance of 6 to 8 inches for best results.
In addition to the distance, you have to be careful about the materials that you place around it the bulbs. Because if you get it wrong, it will not be able to penetrate it. An example is plastic or glass.
So it is important that you mount it in the enclosure so that the UV light can be passed on to your water dragon effectively.
These bulbs are ideal for large enclosures and they have the ability of emitting UVA and UVB rays. They can also provide heat as well as this lighting so they are like a two in one solution.
The advantages of the mercury vapor bulbs is it can last a lot longer than the fluorescent bulbs, however, there are some debates that the level of UV rays is too intense for reptiles and shouldn’t be used.
Others have argued and there are many lizard keepers who use Mercury vapor lighting without any issues and swear by it. So it depends on your views on this matter.
If you do decide to go with the Mercury vapor bulbs it is a good idea to keep a good distance of at least 12 to 24 inches away from your lizard. Also, provide some good cool spots for them to move away from the intensity.
This bulb does everything similar to the fluorescent bulbs discussed earlier. However, it has some advantages and disadvantages, as you could imagine.
Its advantages are it uses less energy than fluorescent lighting. However, they do not provide the same radius of heating because it is a very concentrated UV light.
There are some concerns that the strength of the UV lighting is too intense for some lizards. Other concerns are it is likely that the bulbs will not last as long.
They are also only really viable for small enclosures because they concentrate the heating into a very small area.
Can Chinese water dragons be housed together? Yes, they can. However, you need to make sure that you get the group mix correct. They can share in small groups but is very important not to have more than one male in the enclosure. If you have more than one male, they will fight over territory.
What fruits can Chinese water dragons eat? They can eat a wide variety of fruits. Such as Melon (such as cantaloupe), blueberries, raspberries and more.
How can you tell if a Chinese water dragon is male or female? There is a difference in their head size. Females have smaller heads than the male. Also, you can look at their jowls. Males tend to have bigger puffier sized jowls than females.
Do Chinese water dragons shed? Yes, they do shed. As they begin shedding you will notice a difference in their skin color. You should see it get a bit darker until they shed. They also tend to use water as a way to help the shedding process.
House Gekos are known to make a lot of weird noises. These noises intrigued me, and I wondered why they actually make these noises and what type of noises they actually make. Let me explain more.
Why do house geckos make noise? To mark their territory or attract the attention of females. House Geckos are mainly found as pests in peoples houses and rely on insect infestations to survive. If they feel that a rival lizard is infiltrating their treasure, they will make noise and fend them off.
Now you know why they do this, let me explain how they feel they benefit from these noises. How these noises can indirectly help you, when you understand their objective and how you can tame them to keep them quiet.
I would actually rather take pictures of monitor lizards than common house geckos, but the problem with monitor lizards is they fall off the walls. And I want to remind all of my friends Wikipedia says these are good luck in Asia. #alizardaday #bangkok #thailand #commonhousegecko pic.twitter.com/oCpR4TIlxO
— Joseph Dewey (@semioriginaltht) July 5, 2018
House Lizards, also called House Geckos (Scientific name Hemidactylus frenatus), make various different noises. I will discuss further in the article, There are two main reasons for these weird noises:
Unfortunately House geckos are commonly known as pests in houses around the world. They survive off insects they find in your house.
The noise that they make in this instance is to fend off and warn other house geckos to move away from their food. It is believed that these sounds are best delivered vocally rather than using visual forms of communication.
This is mainly because house buildings create an echoing effect, making the sound more powerful and easier to travel over longer distances.
House geckos make a few different sounds in particular:
The barking sound is believed to be a defence mechanism to ward off other Predators or other rival house geckos, that are trying to infiltrate their territory.
Squeaking is another sound that they make, which is believed to be heard mainly during fights. The clicking sound however is used to entice female geckos for mating.
As discussed earlier these sounds can be linked to territorial issues with other house geckos, in particular the barking sounds.
But let’s step back and understand why they are aggressive in the first place. They are trying to fend off other lizards stealing their food. And as discussed, their food are insects that are found in your house, effectively a pest and a problem in your house, right?
Therefore you can argue that these lizards are actually doing you a good service? Reason being they are eating the insects that are causing a problem in your house.
The real problem is the insects not necessary the house gecko, right?
To put this in perspective let’s say each gecko consumes about 12 insects a day. With that assumption, that would mean over an annual basis, that would be over 4000 insects that your house gecko is consuming.
No lets think deeper, These house geckos are very rarely on their own. You can easily assume for every house lizard that you actually see, you can guarantee there is probably another dozen hidden somewhere else.
Therefore we are talking about tens of thousands of insects are being consumed by these house geckos and helping you with a big pest problem. So, indirectly these weird noises they make are part of cleaning up your insect problem.
Firstly, is it even possible to tame a lizard? The answer to that question is yes. You can definitely tame them. But one thing to consider, taming a lizard will not give you the same results as a pet dog, for example.
You can never expect to get the same affection from a lizard as you do from a dog. For example, you will never be able to hug and kiss a lizard, like some people do with their dogs. This is just not the way it is.
However you can expect your lizard, once it is tamed, to be receptive towards you. Meaning it will come towards you when you approach him. And even eat food from you when you put your hand nearby.
Firstly once you first introduce a house a lizard to your enclosure you need to give them some time to adjust to their new environment. The best way to do this is to literally leave them alone first. Without attempting to touch them. This is advised to be done for at least the first week, maybe a bit less, but a week is or more is better.
Once you passed this initial period and you’ve giving them space to adjust, you then need to present them with some food. But do not hold onto the food and try and coax them towards you. Just simply present them with the food and watch them as they eat it.
This is the first attempt for them to get used to your presence and associate you with positive experiences, such as food.
Once you have got past this stage, the next step is to start introducing food to your house gecko. Using a pair of metal tongs. The idea here is to simply place the food, using the tongs, each day so that the house lizard can see you.
Do this repeatedly for 2 weeks to a month. Be patient, the idea is to gradually let the house gecko start to associate you with being fed and being a positive part of its day.
After you start noticing that this is working the next step is to place the food down using your hands. Each day use your bare hands or gloves, If you do not want to handle the insects. Place the food for the Gecko to come, but do not be tempted to try and grab the Gecko.
You need to take your time and let him come to you. What you should find is, towards the end of this process. If it’s done correctly, your gecko will start to build the trust for you and associate you with being fed on a daily basis. And in time will start to move towards your hands for the food, rather than waiting for you to disappear.
Be patient with this process because it’s not an overnight solution it is something that you have to do bit-by-bit to build up the trust.
Can Lizards hear you? Yes, they can hear but their hearing is very different to us. Instead of flappy ears like we have, they have small holes that are quite visible. The sound is passed through these holes. Their eardrums are just below their skin level. They can’t hear very well, but better than other reptiles such as snakes for example.
What happens if a lizard falls on your left arm? It is believed that you will feel some type of personal shame in the near future. This stems from a number of superstitions that exist around lizards. In fact there is a big list of various different places a lizard can fall on your body and for each one there is an expectation that something will happen.
Do Lizards Smell? Yes, they can do. You wouldn’t expect them to smell, because when you compare them to mammals they do not produce as much feacas. They also do not shed too regularly and they do not mark their territory using urine, like dogs can do. But for some reason they do have a smell.
Do house Geckos Carry diseases? Yes, they can carry salmonella, so you are strongly advised to take caution. This disease can spread by direct or even indirect contact.
How big can a common Lizard grow? On average you can expect them to grow from three to six inches in length. Therefore they are a relatively small lizard. However, in the wild, or as a domestic pest, they are known to travel in numbers, so as a collective it can be quite overwhelming.
If you are like me, you want all the facts before you dive in. Understanding what Green Anoles can live with is important (Click here to see my best 7 substrates for Anoles) if you want to make the best efficient use of your tank. Let me explain in detail what they can be mixed with and some important things to avoid.
What can live with green Anoles? They can live with house Geckos, various species of Tree frogs and even the Fire-bellied toad. However, it is not a good idea to mix them with brown Anoles, as they are quite aggressive towards the green specie and they will be bullied.
Now that you understand what they can live with, let me give you a bit more detail on the sharing habits, and how to avoid problems. Such as the perfect way to work out how many Anoles to share together. The best way to mix males and females and more.
Deciding to mix and find compatible tank mates can be very challenging in fact it can be quite disastrous if you get this wrong. You stand a good chance of putting your pet lizard at serious risk or at least injuring them in some way, if you do not get it right.
To help you understand which lizards can pair well with a green Anole, I have compiled a list for you.
Firstly, before I begin the list, the first line displayed below is a green or a brown anole. However, I am not suggesting that you consider mixing these together. Because the green and brown Anole do not get along (more on this later in the article). Anyway, here is the list:
This list I have provided is a good mixture of potential combinations. The idea is to mix and pick, not all in one enclosure.
They have been selected due to the fact that they are not as aggressive. Therefore they are likely to get along well and have similar requirements. These requirements refer to diet, temperature, etc. Keep in mind that this is not a guarantee that they will actually work together in perfect harmony.
Sometimes you may have an unexpected “bad egg” that will ruin the harmony of a tank, regardless of the expectation of its bread or specie. However, his is a good general guide to get started.
Sharing male and female animals is quite simple, but you have to be careful about how much space you give them. Also you need to get the combination correct. If you get this wrong you could be in for a big mess.
The simple rule of thumb is, maximum 2 anoles for every 10 gallons of Tank space. To give you some examples of these combinations, let Me Explain. Let’s say that you have 4 Anoles.
And you want to house them all together in an enclosure. Based on this calculation you need to have a 20 gallon tank.
To continue this example, let’s say you have 6 anoles, as you can imagine, you need to have at least a 30 gallon tank, to keep them happy.
This will go on and on with the additional anoles added to the enclosure. However you need to consider the type of enclosure that you purchase as well. Reason being, they need a Tall enclosure, rather than the conventional wide version.
This is because they need to have two levels. The first level (ground level) will be where they will dwell. And the higher second level will typically be where you have your plants and greenery. Which will help the humidity of the tank.
Also after the plants are misted, the water droplets dropdown and nourish the anoles. They do not like to drink from water dishes, so these droplets are mandatory.
Apart from this you also need to consider the male and female mix before you go ahead with your purchase. It is not a good idea to have more than one Male in the enclosure. This is for the simple reason that it is likely to end up in fights.
However one male with multiple females will get along just fine. You should find that one male can easily keep 4 or 5 female anoles more than happy. Just bear in mind, if you do mix this way, there is a good chance that they will mate and breed. So you will need to consider having even more space for the hatchlings.
You may be considering mixing green and brown anoles together. On the surface, this may sound like a good idea. Simply because you may assume that there is nothing much different with these species apart from the obvious colour differences.
Before you do this, let me warn you it is not a good idea. This is for the simple reason that the brown ones are very aggressive, in comparison to there green tank mates. Therefore you will find that your treasured green anoles will be bullied.
In particular, when it comes to feeding or even basking to capture as much heat as they need to survive, they will be pushed out of the way. This can result in the green anoles starving or suffering from heat or calcium deficiencies. Ultimately it could lead to you losing one of the green anoles.
If you are considering sharing the enclosure with multiple Green anoles, in particular mixing the males and females together, you may find that they do indeed eat each other.
But this is mainly to do with hatchlings. In the event that anoles mate, breed and lay eggs. The hatchlings could be at risk of being eaten by one of their tank mates.
As discussed earlier you need to make sure that you have at tall vivarium, which can accommodate a maximum 2 lizards for every 10 gallons of space.
In addition to this, you need to make sure that it is a tall, vertically aligned terrarium. It needs to be very well ventilated. This is because the air ventilation for these lizards is very important for their survival.
It needs to have a lot of plants and greenery which will be located in the higher level of the vertical vivarium.
I can’t emphasise this enough, never go short on the amount of greenery and plants. These can be live plants or alternatively you can go for artificial alternatives. For example, acrylic vvines or other types of artificial greenery.
These lizards would much rather hang out in the green areas, rather than at the lower level hiding in caves.
In the wild green anoles do not eat every single day. They have to hunt for food. And as he can expect they are not guaranteed to be lucky in hunting everyday.
For that reason they can easily live without food for a couple of days, which is even regarded as normal in their natural environment. However for it to become a real serious problem they are likely to be able to live a lot longer than that without food, maybe even a couple of weeks.
However you are not advised to test to see how long they will last. Make sure that they are well fed, if you are looking after them in captivity.
Brown anoles have a similar diet two green anoles. This includes the following?
In addition to this they will even consider eating their own kind, as well as other lizards, such as a skinks. They will even eat old dropped off tails and old shedded skin.
Another interesting fact about their diet, if they are located near water they will even eat small fish or pretty much anything that will fit into their mouth.
After hearing the chirping sounds of a Lizard, you may be concerned or interested to know if Anole Lizards Chirp (Click here to see why these are the best 7 substrates for Anoles). Maybe you are considering picking one up as a pet or just interested. I was also interested in the answer to this, so I have decided to write this article to explain.
Do Anole lizards chirp? No, Anole Lizards do not make sound. In fact there are almost 5000 different Lizard species and very few have the vocal ability to make sounds. The gecko is one example of a Lizard that is known to make sounds.
Now that you know about the Anole lizard, let us look into which lizards make this chirping sound, as well as other weird sounds. Not just that, but the reasons why they make these sounds. Also, lets understand other forms of communication that lizards use.
The Gecko is known for making a chirping sound, along with an array of other sounds. It is one of the few lizards that has vocal ability to make sound (more about this later). This chirping sounding is sometimes confused with weird barking sounds too.
It is believed that this chirping sound can happen for one of two reasons:
The first reason, as listed above is for territorial reasons. But what do I mean? Basically it used to repel predators or rival male Geckos.
The second reason is for mating calls. This is relatively straight forward, it is an opportunity for the Gecko to entice the female into its trap for mating.
There are different species of lizards that make weird and wonderful sounds. My objective is to explain to you now what they are.
The first one to discuss is the Mediterranean house gecko. It makes a range of different sounds. Firstly, it’s known to make a chirping sound as well. This is known to be used to fend off his enemies.
In particular, it has a very distinctive “single chirp”. It also has a loud squeak. Again, this is used to ward off enemies as well.
Another one of its sounds is the “click”. This clicking sound is known to attract the opposite sex. Females are lured in for mating.
The turnip-tailed Gecko is known to make clicking sounds as well. These clicking sounds have often been compared to insects. It is almost as if it’s mimicking these insect sounds.
It is also known to make a chirping sound. This is also associated with attracting females for mating.
The New Caledonian Gecko has quite an interesting sound. This sound is quit distinctive. And if you heard it, you would probably be freaked out.
It is known to make a really loud and weird growling sound. Almost like a growling dog. It has also been nicknamed the “Devil in the trees” for this very disturbing growl sound.
The Tokay Gecko lizard is known for its a very distinctive “Tokay” sound. So much so, that it is named based on this sound. if you heard this sound, you would be quite amazed.
This is another gecko which is named based on its distinctive sound. It makes it a weird “Chee Chak” sound, hence the name.
As discussed earlier, Geckos are one of a few lizard species that can make sounds. But the question is, how do they actually make these sounds? Let me explain at a high level.
Geckos actually have vocal cords, which most lizards do not have. As well as this, they have a well developed larynx. Along with this they have cartilage and muscle positioned in their throat to help create the sound.
Air is passed from its lungs and manipulated using its throat muscles. As it passes by the larynx its vocal cords create vibrations. Depending on the frequencies of these vibrations, different sounds are made.
Lizards communicate in a few different ways, not just sound. They communicate using visual (body language), Chemical based communication and also a combination of these. Let me explain this now.
The first example of this is the Green anole. It has what is called a “dewlap”. It is a large throat fan, which can be expanded. This Dewlap has amazing visual communication qualities.
It can entice and trigger ovulation in a female Anole. It can also be used to inflate and discourage any unwanted male predators.
The next example of this visual communication is the Frill-necked lizard. It has an extended flap of skin around its head. This can be inflated and used to intimidate any Predators It may not always work to scare them off, but it is one of their ways of communicating, “do not mess with me”!
The island lizard has a couple of different ways of communicating for a number of different reasons. Firstly it will jump high in the air to grab the attention of the female, to try and differentiate itself from all the other competing males.
They also have an interesting way to flatten out their body and lie on their side, to trick their enemy. If this doesn’t work, this is usually followed by physical confrontation.
Another known communication behaviour from lizards is push-ups. They will literally do push ups to try and send a message to their predators. This may be seen in captivity, for example in a zoo.
It has been known to see lizards doing push-ups, if the see a visitor getting too close to their lizard enclosure.
A good example of these chemical communication methods is the skink. The skink is known to let out chemical pheromones. These pheromones are known to be excreted from its legs.
These pheromones can be decoded by another lizard by smelling and then reacting to the chemical. However lizards do not smell in the same way that we do, as humans. They actually use their tongue which is similar to snakes.
By using their tongue, they can grab the smell and decode the communication methods used by the skink.
Do Anoles Make good pets? Yes, the green and brown anole in particular are great beginner lizards. They are not too big and quite a good place to start with lizard keeping.
What happens if you don’t have the correct housing for your Anole? If you have a Green Anole, for example, If you do not provide the best housing it can get stressed. If this happens a number of health issues can be triggered as well as your Anole turning Brown.
Are Anole Lizards Aggressive? They can be if they are provoked, If you do not handle them properly the Anole could bite. But this is easily avoided by using common sense and treating them with respect.
Do Anoles Mark their Territory? Yes, the Anole uses visual displays to establish and mark their territory. This includes flexing its Dewlap, push-ups and aggressive head motions to make sure that no other male will try and infiltrate their territory.