Author Archives: Wayne
Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.
Author Archives: Wayne
Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.
If you are a Chameleon owner, you may be wondering how long often they should shed as well as ways to help them along (click here to see my best humidifiers for Chameleons to help them shed). Let me explain…
How often will a chameleon shed its skin? Chameleons will shed their skin approx. every 3 to 4 weeks when they are younger than 18 months. As adults, this is expected to reduce to more like every 4-8 weeks.
Now that you know how often they shred let me explain: how long the shred usually takes, what happens if the shed has problems, how you can proactively help the shed go easier and much more…
This is to accommodate the growth of their bodies. As I discussed earlier in the previous paragraph Adolescent (younger) chameleons grow rapidly. Therefore, their bodies effectively outgrow their skin.
To continue with this growth their skin naturally has to replenish itself. This is where shedding comes in. As for adults, this rapid growth is irrelevant.
However, just like us humans, they may not necessarily grow in length but, they can gain weight. This weight gain will trigger their body to shed its older skin
You may be wondering how long the actual shedding should take. As you can imagine this can vary significantly. But, in this section, I’m going to explain…
The length of time for shedding varies depending on the species and age. However, to give you a range it could be a few hours or even as long as days.
Later on, in this article, I will explain some of the issues that can happen during a shed which can make this take much longer or even worse, an incomplete shed.
So far we have talked about how often and the expected duration of a shed. But, you might be wondering how much of their skin do they shed in one go. Is this likely to be all in one piece or is it typically piece-by-piece? In this section, I’m going to explain…
In reality, the amount of skin that sheds may vary a lot. Some chameleons will lose their entire skin in one whole piece, which looks quite interesting by the way. However, some chameleons will have it peel off bit-by-bit.
One of the contributing factors to this is how well you have cared for your chameleon. In particular, the humidity in their enclosure but, more on this later.
Earlier I briefly mentioned that there can be things that delay the shedding process. Sometimes the shed can just take long naturally. But, other times this can be problems that could have been prevented by you.
For that reason, in this section, I’m going to explain one of the common issues that prevent Chameleons from shedding quickly or even worse, an incomplete shed.
One of the biggest issues with shedding is the lack of humidity in the enclosure. The humidity plays a big factor in allowing them to shed easily and quickly. It is important as a chameleon keeper to regulate the humidity in the enclosure.
So far, I explained that there can be some issues that you may come across during shedding. But there are ways that you can proactively stop this happening.
In this section, I’m going to explain some simple ways that you can help your chameleon achieve a simple and pain-free shedding process.
As discussed earlier, humidity is a big issue. Therefore, you can do simple things like making sure that the humidity is correct. Also making sure that you mist the enclosure correctly.
If you are having issues with humidity because you rely on manually misting the enclosure, you can automate this process to increase the consistency.
Also, there are humidity detection devices that you can use to make sure that the humidity in your enclosure is at the correct level.
If you notice that your chameleon is not shedding properly you may be scratching your head and thinking of ways that you can get around this. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to give you some ways around this.
Firstly, I want to make it clear before we go any further, you should not ever be tempted to pull any excess skin off your chameleon. You may be wondering why you shouldn’t be doing this, right?
The reason is simple. This will cause stress to your chameleon and it’s not a natural way of shedding.
Instead of trying to pull the skin off you should increase the humidity in the tank (higher than normal). Alternatively, you can attempt to spray your chameleon with luke-warm water.
The combination of these two methods will help you ease off that stubborn excess skin. Another thing that you can do provide objects inside the enclosure, such as branches, etc.
The idea is, it can use these to scrape the skin off by brushing against it. However, it’s important to not have any sharp objects there to avoid them harming themselves.
During the shedding process, you may notice some weird behavior from your chameleon. To help you understand what is expected and what is abnormal I’m going to describe some expected behavior.
Firstly, during the shedding process, you may notice that your chameleon is not eating as regular as normal. In addition to this, you may notice little white spots appearing on its body. These white spots can cause some people some anxiety because they are unsure of what it is. And, some may feel that it is some kind of disease.
By the way, if there is any doubt, always consult your vet to be 100 percent sure. However, I can inform you that this is expected behavior during the shedding process.
If you look closely at these white spots you will see that it’s simply the old skin starting to raise.
Other observations during this shedding process is the skin becoming drier, as you can imagine. Obviously this will be the outer skin that is on the way out.
You may also notice weird behaviors such as your chameleon rubbing and scratching itself against branches in the enclosure.
I mentioned earlier that it is important not to have sharp objects in the enclosure. This is the reason why. Because your chameleon may need to use these branches to rid itself of any excess skin.
Therefore, it is important to have smooth branches that will not cause any issues.
So far we’ve discussed the process of shedding, how long it will take and how often they should do this. However, you may be wondering if your chameleon is in any sort of pain during this process.
To be perfectly honest, as human beings we can never know 100-percent exactly how a chameleon is feeling.
However, through numerous observations recorded from lizard keepers, it is clear that the process is almost like an itching irritation and a compelling urge to remove the itch.
This is why you will typically see your chameleon scratching and rubbing itself to rid itself of this irritation.
If you think about this logically though, some urgency to remove it is necessary or the shedding process would just never happen.
The top layer of a chameleon skin is quite special. It is partly responsible for the color changes that happen.
As the Chameleon grows this outer layer of skin doesn’t grow, it sheds. And, gets replenished. If
you were to look really closely. When I say close I mean microscopic, you will see that it is a transparent layer that removes itself during the shedding process.
If you are the proud owner of a Leo (Click here for my best 5 substrates for Leopard Gecko eggs), or just curious about them, you may have wondered how their eyes work. Can they see the same way we do and what about colours? Let me explain…
Can leopard geckos see colour? Yes, they can see the color. In fact, their eyesight is also great in dim light because they have a special ability to use the reflection of the moonlight to see colours even in the dark.
Now that you understand that Leos can see color, let me also explain: If they also have night vision, why their eyes are so special, compare their eyes to ours and much more. Keep reading…
Yes, as discussed earlier their vision is actually excellent in low light, especially when compared to us humans. This is due to the fact that they are nocturnal and their eyes have evolved to adapt to this. Have you ever tried to see the colour of a car on a dark night before? If yes, then you will understand how difficult this skill is.
You may be wondering what is so special about a Gecko’s eyes. You may have heard people discuss how excellent they are in low light, but what is the true reasons for this? For that reason, I’m going to discuss it in this section.
The biological makeup of the leopard geckos eye is very different to us humans. Our eyes rely on rods that support our vision. Whereas a leopard gecko has three cones, these codes are used to pick up colours in the dim light, which was discussed earlier.
In the previous section, we talked about how strong the leopard geckos vision is in dim light. However, how is this in comparison to our human eyes? Let’s discuss this in this section.
According to this site, the sensitivity of a Geckos eyes is far superior to us humans, in particular, they state that one type of Gecko, the Helmet Gecko, has eyes that are 350 times more sensitive than a human eye.
This is largely due to their impressive eye cones that I discussed earlier. This allows them to see images and colour in dim light. One of their unique skills is being able to dilate their pupils wide to take in substantially more dim light.
Yes, they can see blue light. As you collect light fixtures for your enclosure you may be wondering what colours they are sensitive to and what they can actually detect. They are sensitive to blue and green light which makes logical sense based on their original habitat.
Earlier we discussed that geckos use moonlight to reflect against their eyes to allow them to have the unique capability of being able to see colours well in low light.
However, you may be wondering what happens in the cases where there is no moonlight (or very little) moonlight? You, know, there are some nights when it seems almost impossible to see the moon. Let’s discuss this…
The short answer is no, they are not blind on moonless nights. They can still see colors well when the moon is nowhere to be seen. This is because there are other sources of light in the absence of the moon. For example, starlight. Also, other light sources that can reflect off objects will allow them to pick up colors in dim light.
If you think about it logically, around your local area, if the moon is not visible on that particular night it does not mean that there is no moon.
It may just seem that way because of its position in relation to the sun. But, it’s still there. You have heard of a solar eclipse before, right? Same concept. Therefore, there’s always going to be some light available (one will assume).
No, they do not have great eyesight. I understand that this may seem confusing, but, even though they can see colours in dim light, it does not mean that they have excellent eyesight, let’s discuss this…
Leopard geckos do have the unique ability to see excellent in dim light but they do not necessarily have great vision. Like most creatures, they are gifted with some features, but may lack in other departments, same as us humans, right?
They may be able to pick up a particular color in dim light with amazing accuracies, such as a blue or green image, but they will not necessarily see a very sharp view of that object, are you with me?
Their site is enough for them to see if the oncoming object presents a danger, or if their prey is in grabbing distance, which is enough for their survival, but overall the clarity of these objects is not great. This is largely due to the biological setup of their eyes. In particular, they have a short focal length.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Leopard Geckos, their vision and colors. If you have any other questions in your head that need to be answered, please drop a reply below.
You may be wondering if they have the ability to see infrared light because I have exposed some of their amazing vision capabilities. The short answer is no, they cannot see infrared light.
However, they can see some colours that the infrared beam will omit, but it will not be the actual infrared light itself.
No, they will not want to eat this. If you are on a budget, you may be thinking of ways to potentially reduce your costs. In the process you may be wondering if leopard geckos will entertain dead insects, right?
I understand the interest in this because in an ideal world. if they are able to consume dead insects then it is easy to store them and get them in bulk. The main factor, that makes Leos desire insects, is the way they move and wriggle.
This is the incentive for them to eat it. In fact, you could almost put any insect in front of them, which moves, and it will give it a go (not saying it will end up eating it, mind you, but it will show an interest).
Anyway, it is not advisable to even attempt to give them dead insects. Why? because this goes against their natural Instincts and arguably immoral.
No, they excrete Urates (more on this in a second). If you are new to keeping lizards or planning to get a leopard gecko, you may have some interest or concerns on their behaviours. I understand that this may be an attempt to see how they will behave before you make that purchase.
As mentioned earlier, Leos will not pee on you, because they do not urinate as we do. Instead, they have excrete Urates.
They are chunks of white looking cubes. When crushed up give off a powdery texture. This is their way of excreting unwanted bodily fluids.
If you are interested, a healthy leopard gecko should pass white urates. However, if it is yellow looking, it could indicate that he is a little bit dehydrated. Meaning, you need to focus on giving him more water
No, white lights are not required. The reason for this is, in their natural habitat they rarely bask in direct sunlight.
This is not because they do not like the heat (Click here to learn how to lower the humidity in your Leopard Gecko tank), it is because they are nocturnal. So white light is not natural for them.
However, blue or red lights is advised. They typically like having a blue light. Additional benefits of having this light will allow them to get additional heat from this blue light.
Not all of them. There are different concentrations of UV lights. Similar to humans, certain levels of direct sunlight (or UV) can cause issues with our skin and can cause skin damage.
Therefore, certain concentrations of UV light, over a sustained period can cause issues with a reptile’s skin. Therefore, it is important to check the lights before purchase.
If you are a Bearded dragon lover and careful about what you feed him (Click here for the to keep him housed & feed well), you may be wondering what foods he can consume, safely. In this article, I will confirm if onions are a viable consideration.
Can bearded dragons eat onions? No bearded dragons should not be eating onions. This is because they are highly acidic, have high phosphorus to Calcium ratio, toxic and are potentially dangerous for their digestive system.
Now that you understand the risk that onions pose I will now explain what the ideal calcium to phosphorus level should be for them if onions are an issue for other pets if they respond in the same manner as we do to onions (will they cry) and much more. Keep reading to learn more.
An onion, according to Wikipedia is also known as Allium cepa L (Its scientific name). It is also part of the Allium family. It is also closely related to the following vegetables: chives, shallots, and leeks. They are also commonly referred to as the bulb onions or the common onion.
If you are familiar with onions then you have probably heard the rumors that they make humans cry, right?
I can confirm this from personal experience. Anytime onions are involved in my cooking, I quickly find my eyes literally streaming with eye water as I cut into the layers of their flesh.
Interesting fact: there is a clever way to cut an onion to avoid this happening by the way. But, that is a different story.
But, back to Bearded dragons, this is not the same for them. You will not make them cry in the same way as us humans. However, their reactions to onions is a lot more severe.
Yes, they won’t cry from onions but they stand the chance of causing some serious health issues instead. In fact, a member of this forum claims that they had near-fatal issues mixing onions with their bearded dragon.
You may be thinking to yourself, you now understand that onions are not a good idea for your bearded dragon. But, you may also be wondering what about other variations of onions, such as red onions? To satisfy your curiosity, I’m going to clarify this for you.
The short answer is no, red onions are not good for your Beardie. Red onions, along with the common onion we discussed earlier, are to be avoided at all costs.
To be honest, from a nutritional standpoint, red onion is really not much different as the common onion. In fact, the only real difference is their appearance and taste.
The red onion has white flesh, similar to the common onion, with the addition of red outer skin. In addition to this, they have a sweet taste, in my opinion. And (serving suggestion) are quite good when served up with foods such as barbecued burgers.
….But, back to my point, they are not ideal for bearded dragons.
Similar to common onions, red onions have high phosphorus to calcium ratio. Ideally, for a bearded dragon, you want a ratio of 2 to 1 calcium to phosphorous ratio.
However, these onions have a higher ratio of phosphorus. Meaning more phosphorus than calcium, which is not ideal. Therefore, they should be avoided.
The reality is there are many different foods that can be given, so there is no real need to even consider giving onions to them.
You may be thinking to yourself, you understand that onions are toxic to your lizard, but do they affect other pets or is it just lizards? For that reason, I’m going to explore this thought with you now.
In fact, onions are generally not good for most pets. In particular cats, dogs, and lizards. For cats and dogs, onions can cause some serious problems.
This is because the compounds in the onion can negatively affect their red blood cells circulation. Therefore, onions need to be avoided at all costs, not just for your lizard.
Yes. There are other vegetables to avoid. Your beardie should not be eating iceberg (or romaine) lettuce. Or, even spinach for that matter.
The reason for this is the high water content in these vegetables. Even though they are not necessarily dangerous to your bearded dragon they offer no nutritional benefit.
In addition to this, they can cause elimination issues such as loose stools. And, can potentially lead to diarrhea issues. Which, can then lead to other nutritional problems down the line.
Yes, bearded dragons can eat meat in the form of insects. For example, Dubai roaches, crickets, etc. They can also eat mealworms and super worms. However, with super worms and mealworms, you need to be a little bit careful.
The reason being, mealworms have tough skin. Meaning they should only be considered for Adult Bearded dragons. The same goes for Super worms. Which are even bigger than the mealworms, which can cause even more challenges for smaller bearded dragons.
In this section, I will be answering some questions that are related to Bearded dragons, food & onions. If you have other questions you need answering, please drop a comment below.
If you are an owner of a bearded dragon you may be wondering if it is really a good idea to continuously pick him up. For this reason, in this section, I’m going to explain if this is a good idea or not (Click here to see if Bearded dragons like to be handled).
The short answer is Yes; you can handle bearded dragons. But, it is not natural for them to trust humans in this way. Fortunately, they are well natured and won’t give you much hassle. They can easily be trained to be handled, but it will take some time for them to get used to you.
Yes. they can be fed bananas (click here to see if Bearded dragons eat bananas and the risks involved) but you need to be careful with the number of bananas you give them. The reason for this is, bananas have high phosphorus to calcium ratio.
In the previous section, when we discussed onions, I explained that the ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio for a bearded dragon is 2 to 1, remember?
Bananas have a high phosphorus level, which is beyond this ratio. For that reason, it is not a good idea to give them bananas as their daily staple.
This doesn’t mean that you should necessarily avoid them completely but it is not ideal. Think of bananas as a treat rather than part of this staple diet.
You may be wondering about other vegetables such as purple kale. Are they a good idea for your bearded dragon or should they be avoided as well? For that reason, I’m going to give you an answer in this section.
Purple kale is an interesting looking vegetable and stands above the other kale variations, in my opinion. But is it a good idea for your bearded dragon?
Unfortunately, it also has high phosphorus to calcium ratio. In addition to this, it also contains a high water content. For all those reasons above it is not the ideal food for your bearded dragon and should be avoided.
In the attempt to reduce costs some lizard keepers consider farming wild insects to feed their lizard’s insatiable hunger. But is this the right thing to do? Let me explain…
The short answer is no, wild insects is not a good idea. But you may be thinking, why? Well, it comes down to traceability.
What do I mean? Well, with wild insects you have no idea where they have come from, right? Meaning they have no traceability. This introduces a risk to your Beardie.
The risks include potential parasites and diseases which are often not visible to the naked eye. So, the best option is to keep them away from your lizard.
If you are a proud owner of a Blue-Tongued Skink or just curious, you may be wondering how regular they shed. Maybe so you can gauge what is normal or maybe abnormal. Let me explain…
how often do blue tongue skinks shed? Shedding time depends on how quickly the blue tongue skink is growing. However, as a general rule, you can expect a baby skink to shed every few weeks. However, an adult may shed every 1 to 3 months.
With regards to the duration of time, it takes to actually shed, this varies quite a lot as well. You can expect some to shed really quickly (within 24-hours), whereas others may take a few days.
Let me now continue with more information such as the areas of their body that cause the most issues, some weird natural oils that contribute to their shedding process. Also, I will explain if shedding is even necessary when you can tell they are starting to shed and more. Keep reading…
During the shedding process things do not always go as planned. Therefore in this section, I’m going to explain some known problem areas that you may notice with your skink during the shedding process.
The toes on the blue tongue skink have known issues for shedding. The reason for this is their toes are quite delicate therefore they are prone to be the last pieces of skin to be removed.
Also, the head is another problem area. The head is an interesting one. Why? because the head is not as active as their legs or other parts of their bodies. Therefore, they do not have the ability to shrug off the old shredded skin as well.
Later on, in the article, I will give you some suggestions about how to help this.
You may be wondering how does a lizard shed its skin? Does it just happen instinctvly? and what is the actual process? In this section, I’m going to briefly cover the key driver in this process.
With the blue tongue skink, and other lizards, in general, they have an oily substance that comes out during shedding.
This oily substance will prevent the old skin from sticking to their body and causing problems with the shedding process.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go to plan and this is why sometimes you have some issues with the old skin sticking, to their head in particular.
One thing you can do is to gently rub the head to see if it will dislodge the old shedding. However, I wouldn’t persist with this too much. If it does not come off easily, forget it. The obvious reason for this is because you do not want to harm your bluey.
Yes. Shedding is definitely necessary. You may be wondering why this is. And, for that reason, I will explain in more detail in this section of the article.
Shedding is key to the growth of your lizard. In fact, this is not just for lizards or blue tongue skinks for that matter. Even us humans shed. The only difference is we do it very discreetly.
Us humans shed our skin very slowly, stage by stage. Meaning we may have very little flakes of skin that break off over a long period of time. This makes it almost impossible to notice it happening.
However, for your blue tongue skink, or any reptile for that matter, you will notice their shed very clearly. Because they shed their skin in one big go and there is an obvious piece of old skin left behind.
You may be wondering to yourself how can you actually lookout for this proactively? How can you tell when their skin is about to shed? In this section, I’m going to point out some subtle signs you can look out for. So that you can be prepared for this shedding process.
When your skink is about to shed there are some subtle and some not so subtle signs. The most obvious one is their coloration. The older skin gets a bit darker and should be quite obvious to you, especially if you are quite close to their skin.
Also you may notice a difference in color on the underside of their belly.
Other more subtle observations include their eating habits. You may find that they are off their food slightly during this process. However, this is quite subtle and not always the case for every lizard.
One thing that is obvious, and I’m sure you will agree with me when you see this. Obviously, when they have completed their shed you will see the old shed its skin, but there is something else. More interestingly is the new shiny glowing looking skin after they have shed their skin.
One thing that you may notice in the wild is some larger lizards use water to help them shed. These lizards will submerge themselves into lakes or rivers so the shedding process is done easier.
This can be emulated in captivity by providing a soaking dish. It can also double up as a reservoir of water for them to consume and keep themselves hydrated.
However, you want to make sure that this water bowl is not too deep. For obvious reasons you do not want your lizard to get caught in the water and cause themselves any injuries.
During this shedding process, you may notice that there are bits of excess skin left behind, as discussed earlier. In this section I’m going to explain some of the reasons why do not want to remove this.
Do not be tempted to remove the skin during a shedding process. This is a big “no-no”!
Because she is a natural process and will happen in its own sweet time. It may happen in one day, if you’re lucky, if not it could drag on for a few days.
One exception though, you may notice some dead skin hanging around their ears, known as “earplugs”, which may be easily removed. But, in general you should not be removing any of their skin. Especially not using tools like tweezers and things like this.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Blue-tongued skins and shedding of skin. If you feel that you have some unanswered questions in your mind, please feel free to drop a comment below.
No, they should not eat dry dog food. Dry dog food is not easily digested by blue tongued skinks and they will struggle to eat it. In fact, I’d be very surprised if they are even tempted to try it.
However, some lizard owners swear by giving their lizard dog food and say that they love it. But this is wet dog food, not dry. Also, you need to avoid dog food with artificial colors, flavorings or bad ingredients
According to this site, One serving suggestion is to use wet dog food but also mix it up with vegetables to improve the nutritional value of the meal.
You may be wondering if blue tongue skinks lay eggs or give birth to live young. For that reason, I’m going to clarify this one floor.
These skinks do not lay any eggs because they actually birth live young. This is quite rare because most lizards typically lay eggs, therefore, it is a reasonable assumption to make.
You may be curious about the size of skinks (Click here to see if a Blue Tongue Skink can Live in a 40 Gallon Tank?) well in this section I will reveal which one is the biggest.
According to Wikipedia, The Northern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua Scincoides Intermedia) is the largest. They grow to a whopping 22 inches in length and definitely more of an advanced choice of lizard.
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…
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:
Formerly it was part of the Cordylidae genus. However since 2011, it has been moved to its own genus.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have a Bearded Dragon and looking for an ideal meal for them (Click here to see what Beardies should be eating and much more), 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 (click here to see what the Bearded Dragon’s throat pouch is for?) , I wouldn’t advise this. But, let me explain…
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
The blue tongue skink has a number of different names. It is known as:
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In general yes they are affectionate and good pets to have. However, they do not mix well with other lizards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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?
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:
They come from the vines of the Cucurbitaceae plant, which is part of the gourd family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
I’m going to share with you some other food items that are not advisable for Iguanas.
As we discussed earlier Iguanas are typically herbivores. Therefore you should avoid meat products such as rodents, insects or any live insect.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, Iguanas can swim in pools. 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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.