Depending on the age of your children, you have probably been bothered about getting a pet. But is a Leopard Gecko a good idea for your child, that is the question. Let me explain right now.
Are Leopard Gecko’s Kid-Friendly? No, not if they are unsupervised. They can be if they are well supervised. Children unsupervised are at the risk of consuming salmonella from the skin of the Leo and the Leo is at risk of being harmed from an overexcited child.
Now you know some of the potential issues with this. Let’s go deeper and see what other issues there are if it is a good idea for older children, how you can gradually involve your child if you want to pursue Leos as a pet and more.
No, really and truly leopard geckos are not 100% percent kid friendly, let Me Explain.
Young children have a habit of putting things in their mouth and the problem with this is lizards are known, in some cases, to have salmonella. This can be transferred from their skin at the point of touch, then over to the mouth of your child.
Also, young children cannot handle the responsibility of looking after a pet lizard. For example, feeding them live insects such as crickets or other live insects can make them want to question why you doing this, are you with me?
They may not understand why we are giving them another living creature to eat.
However, you can consider giving them limited responsibilities. Such as checking or replenishing their water supply, anything basic like that.
With supervision, they will make a good pet for a child. But, they are more suited for older children. They are responsible and at the stage where they are not willing to put just about anything in their mouth.
Children can get over excited by movement. A younger leopard gecko is likely to have high energy, be on the move all the time, darting around and exciting your child.
In addition to this, a younger leopard gecko hasn’t been conditioned to be handled by humans yet. Therefore, it is likely to object to being touched, especially if you have an aggressive Leopard Gecko (click for my article on how to deal with aggressive Leopard Geckos).
An older Leo, on the other hand, would have more experience. Especially if it’s been raised in captivity. It will be more susceptible to being held or touched by a human.
However, regardless if you have a supervised child, older or younger gecko you need to make sure that your child is not going to grab and hold them too aggressively. Because they are quite small and are easily damaged.
Yes, they are very docile well-behaved lizards in general. I know I spoke earlier of the older leopard geckos being favorable over a younger one, but in either case, their general temperament is very good.
This is the reason why they are such a popular choice when it comes to pet lizards.
Even still, with this in mind, you still need to treat them with some respect. This is because they are living things and are gentle. They can easily be harmed with heavy hands.
If you are a pet owner and have other animals such as birds, cats or dogs. You need to seriously consider if a leopard gecko is a good idea to add to your family.
The reason for this is, no matter how tame or well behaved your pet is, there is a very good chance it will see the leopard gecko as it’s prey. Your Leo would be seen as an easy target for these animals. Therefore these pets are not an ideal mix.
Even if you have the leopard gecko in its own enclosure, which you must have any way in captivity, there will still be attempts to get into this enclosure. And there will always be an opportunity when your Leo is vulnerable and at risk of being attacked.
If you are considering getting a leopard gecko for your family and you have children, as briefly discussed earlier, it is a good idea to gradually ease in some responsibility for them, let me explain:
If you have a young child that is adamant that they want to help out with some of the lizard caring duties, you may have simple daily tasks. Such as clearing up their enclosure or tidying things up.
In the beginning, offer them simple duties like getting the substrate packet so that you can then help you replenish it in the enclosure. Or letting them gather the water that you’re going to use to replenish in the enclosure.
The idea is to make sure that they are supervised but still feel that they’re involved in caring for the pet.
As they get older and prove themselves with responsibility, you can increase their duties.
Once they are old enough and they have proven themselves they can start to play a bigger role in the care for your Leo. Ultimately the end goal is for them to take sole responsibility. If not, take on the majority of the tasks that you need to look after them.
Before committing to owning a leopard gecko with a child you should first analyze your child’s personality. This is to understand if a Leo is a good match for the characteristics of a leopard gecko. Let me explain:
If you have a child that is very high energy. For example, likes the jump around, wrestle, fight with her sibling, run around, you know, kind of “the rough and tumble” type of child. Then the chances are a leopard gecko is not ideal for them.
Simply because leopard geckos do not do much apart from staying in their enclosure and walking around occasionally. Also, from time to time allowing you an opportunity to hold them. These lizards cannot take this kind of rough play, are you with me?
If that is the temperament of your child, they are probably better to have a dog or maybe a cat in some cases.
Also, you may find that your child will get bored of having a leopard gecko after the novelty wears off in the first week. Simply because they may desire more of an interactive pet. You know, wanting to stroke and play with it.
……If this is the case, again, a leopard gecko is not a good choice!
As briefly discussed earlier, Leopard Geckos, along with other lizards, can carry salmonella. For this reason, they may not be the ideal choice for a child that doesn’t understand the danger. Worse case, they will need to be supervised.
These lizards carry this on the surface of their skin, so all a child has to do is just come into contact with them. This harmful bacteria can then get transferred into their body by simply holding them and then putting their hands in their mouth.
As a father of two with young children, I understand that everything usually ends up in their mouth. Especially when they’re very young toddlers.
Therefore if that is the case then it is not a good idea. In the worst case, if you’re adamant that you want to proceed, you need to at least make sure they’re well supervised.
If you are considering caring for a Chinese Water Dragon, you must have considered the best vivarium size for them, right? Well, you are in the right place, let me explain:
What’s the best Vivarium Size for a Chinese Water Dragon? The ideal size is 36 inches tall and 46 inches in length. Water Dragons can be as long as 1.5 feet and need a decent sized vivarium to make them feel comfortable.
Now that you have an idea of what they need, let’s also look at the type of vivarium, what decorations and accessories they need in the enclosure and so much more.
As discussed briefly, the ideal size for a water dragon vivarium is at least 46 inches in length and 36 inches in height. The reason for this large size is the following:
Firstly, Water Dragons (Click here to see why I feel this is the best UVB light for them) are not small lizards. They can grow up to 1.5 feet in length. For this size lizard, you need to give them enough space to feel comfortable in the enclosure.
Secondly, they do like to climb and spend a lot of their time off the ground. So, you need to give them enough height so that they can climb in the enclosure.
Lastly, the length of the enclosure is also important, the reason being you need to make sure that you have a contrast of temperatures within the enclosure, let me explain.
One side of the enclosure needs to have a very warm temperature. This will allow them to bask in the heat. On the opposite side of the enclosure, there needs to be a cooling area. This is where they can cool down when their body has had enough Heat.
Ideally, you should get the water dragon a large wooden vivarium. There are a couple of reasons why you should do this, let me explain:
Firstly, wooden vivariums are very good at insulating the heat. As discussed earlier, you need to have a hot area and a cool area. To maintain this heat the most efficient way is to have wood because it will keep it well insulated.
However, you need to make sure that it is well ventilated so that you can control the humidity and keep it ventilated.
Using material such as glass is not ideal for some lizards. It definitely is good for some, that’s why they also are quite popular.
However, for Water Dragons, it is not ideal. Mainly because glass vivariums lose temperature. and not as insulated as the wooden counterpart.
Water dragons are partially Arboreal. This means they spend a good portion of their time in trees off the ground and climbing.
For that reason you need to make sure that you provide a good source of wood branches and equipment for them to climb on.
Trailing or artificial plants are all good things that you can use. Trailing plants are good because they can help disguise some of the electrical equipment in the enclosure as well and keeping it looking as natural as possible.
To avoid any problems with parasites or any other small creepy crawlies that could be hidden in the plants or foliage, it is advisable to treat them with a rinse of 5 to 10% bleach.
If you are going to use real plants it’s a good idea after you have rinsed them to re-pot them. Then leave them sitting for at least a week before moving them into the vivarium.
This is simply to ensure that there are no parasites that have been collected within the plants that may transfer to the enclosure and cause health issues with your lizard.
Artificial plants are just as good as live ones. They can also be considered. You could also consider some of the following plants:
To maintain the required humidity it is important to go for a moist substrate. Many competent lizard keepers are often concerned by loose substrate. This is because of the chances of the lizard consuming the substrate and then leading to issues such as impaction.
However, successful lizard breeders who keep Water Dragons have had success with this substrate (Click for the price on Amazon) and this is something that you can consider. An added bonus with this substrate is it easy to maintain and keep clean.
Ideally, you want the humidity to be 70 to 80% This can be achieved by doing a few different things, let me explain.
Firstly, you can consider spraying the enclosure which is also known as misting on a daily basis. When I say daily, ideally you should be doing this at least a couple of times a day.
Secondly, if you feel that manually spraying the enclosure is a commitment that you cannot stick to you can also consider getting a more automated misting system (Click here to see the price on Amazon).
They will cost you but at the same time, it will mean that you will have more of a reliable system to keep the humidity in the enclosure.
To make sure that the humidity level is correct it is a good idea to purchase a Humidity Gauge (Click to see the price on Amazon). This little device, whether it’s electric or the dialed version, will allow you to monitor the humidity levels to ensure that you are sticking within the boundaries for the water dragon.
Yes, you can breed them in captivity. Let me explain…
Before you do this you need to make sure that you get the conditions in the enclosure correct and also the timing is very important as well.
Assuming you have a male and some females in the enclosure for this to happen, just after the autumn. You need to reduce the temperature.
Ideally, you want to drop the temperature down to a maximum of 78 degrees Fahrenheit with the basking area up to 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
At night-time, you need to reduce this again down to approximately 74 degrees Fahrenheit. During this period you want to reduce the feeding down to a lower level. Potentially once a week is ideal. After winter you can return the levels the temperature levels back to normal and increase the eating schedule again.
A week after this you should find that the male water dragon will show signs of wanting to mate these signs are as follows:
You can expect copulation to take anything from 10 to 20 minutes. After this time period, all being well, 2 months the female lizard should be ready to lay her eggs.
You can expect as much as 5 to 15 eggs per clutch clutch (means the collection of eggs). She lays these all at one time.
All being well you can expect her to lay another clutch of eggs in approximately 3 to 4 months after this.
It is important to have some moist soil substrate so that she can dig and hide her eggs. You need to make sure that it is at least 8 inches deep so that she can feel happy. She should lay and place them into the soil comfortably.
Following this, it is important to remove the eggs and place them into incubation. In the incubator, you can expect the temperatures to rise up to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and then you can follow the incubation procedure to make sure that you get some successful hatchlings
Yes, to keep them healthy and happy in captivity you will need to provide some supplementation. Let me explain.
Firstly, they will need a calcium based supplementation as well as vitamins and minerals. The calcium base supplementation and the mineral and vitamins are usually in a powder form.
The calcium based supplementation should be provided on a daily basis. You can easily dust the powder calcium supplement onto their food. Right onto the insects that they consume.
For the vitamin based supplementation, you can provide this daily or every other day. Best to read the instructions on the supplements that you purchase to make sure you follow the requested dosage.
Also the insects that you provide them should be “gut loaded”. This is to make sure that they have got the maximum nutritional value.
You can achieve this by buying insect food which is preloaded with vitamins and minerals. After this, the insects that you feed to your water dragons with will pass on this nutrition.
The Komodo is a big and formidable lizard, in fact, the largest. But I was wondering what animals prey on them. In reality, no matter how big you are, there must always be danger or predators, right? Let me explain.
What are the predators of Komodo Dragons? Other Komodo Dragons and humans are their biggest predators. However, as hatchlings, they are also preyed upon by birds of prey. Because they are so big and ferocious they are usually the attackers.
Now you know what their main predators are. Let me explain in more detail and also explain if they can be kept as pets, if they are endangered, what food they eat, how they attack them and much more.
Komodo dragons do not have many Predators simply because they are so big and dangerous in their own right however there are some.
When they are hatchlings their biggest predators are:
As a hatchling, they are left to fend for themselves by their own mother. Their mother digs a hole, buries the egg and abandons them to hatch and take life in their own stride.
Unfortunately, it is even possible for the Komodo dragons own mother to attack and even eat it if she finds it at a later date after it hatches.
As they get older their Predators change slightly. The biggest predators become:
Unfortunately, humans pose the biggest threat. There is an appetite to hunt for Komodo Dragons (Click to see my article on why they are called Dragons). They are seen as treasures, but more on this later on in the article.
Yes, they are endangered species, according to wikipedia. And they are actually on the international protective list.
In fact, they are only allowed to be kept by zoos and educational institutions. And they are closely monitored to make sure that their numbers do not reduce.
Currently, there are 5000 komodo dragons. The biggest concern is that there are not enough females breeding to increase these numbers.
It is estimated that there are approximately 350 breeding females which is a cause for concern.
The biggest danger to their numbers is illegal hunting and other inhabitants of their natural habitat.
Unfortunately, people hunt them for their body parts which they can sell on on the black market. In the early part of last century, they were also hunted and sold to zoos or black market private buyers.
They are also hunted for their skin and their feet to make novelty items which can be resold.
As you can imagine, Komodo Dragons are carnivores. Meaning they primarily eat meat. They have a huge appetite and hunt large animals. Such as:
They have such a big appetite that they can even eat up to 80% of their body weight in one single sitting.
The Komodo dragon uses a simple technique of knocking over its prey and using its large serrated teeth, which are very similar to shark’s teeth, almost like razor blades. Then shredding their prey and causing horrific injuries.
If their prey is not immediately killed by this attack, within 24 hours they’re expected to die due to the venomous bite of the Komodo dragon.
This saliva is believed to hold 50 strains of bacteria. Their victim’s blood will effectively be poisoned and effectively die from this attack. The Komodo dragon will find them later with its very keen sense of smell for blood. It will locate the victim and devours them.
No, it is illegal to keep them as pets. In fact, as stated earlier they are protected animals and only zoos and educational institutions are allowed to keep them.
In addition to this, they are very vicious animals and one bite from them could lead to your death. So, it’s not advisable for an average person to even think of having them as a pet.
In addition to this, even if you were brave enough and allowed to keep one, these animals require a very large enclosure and large amounts of food to eat.
As discussed earlier they would expect large animals such as water buffalos or deers. These types of livestock can be purchased but it’ll be very difficult to maintain financially and logistically.
The deceiving thing about these animals is if you ever come across them in a zoo or in an educational institution they are usually quite well behaved.
They are well trained and have a very likable temperament. This is because in captivity they are handled very well so that they are not an immediate danger to humans.
This doesn’t mean that they are not capable of attacking anyone in captivity. It just means that they are treated very differently than if they were in the wild.
Komodo dragons, believe it or not, are very fast lizards. You may look at them and assume they are really slow based on their humongous size. However, in reality, they can run as fast as 12 miles per hour in short sprints.
Bear in mind this does not mean they are capable of sustaining this speed at any great length of time but it is enough for them to sprint up to their prey and deal with them.
They are also very good in the water and can dive as far as 15 feet deep.
They are located in five separate Islands located in Southeastern Indonesia. In particular:
In their natural habitat, they are mainly surrounded by savanna grassland and Forest.
As discussed earlier the Komodo dragon is an endangered species. And you may be thinking to yourself how can you help to save them and stop their numbers reducing?
There are a few simple things that you can do that can contribute to helping them to survive. Firstly do not purchase anything which is made from Komodo Dragons.
This includes ornaments or any type of offering that may have been made from Komodo Dragons. The likelihood is, they were illegally hunted. However tempting it may be, don’t buy it. you will be contributing to the illegal black market.
Secondly, you should avoid buying any timber or wood which originates from Komodo Island. This will help to keep their natural habitat intact. This will indirectly help them to last longer.
Finally, as a tourist of Komodo Island, if you are ever fortunate to visit, make sure you do not do anything to harm them.
Yes, the Komodo is bigger than a Lace Monitor (Click for the full article on Komodo vs Lace Monitor). The Komodo is the largest lizard and a formidable carnivore.
When a female lays her eggs, she simply buries it. Then she immediately disappears. The reality is she forgets where she buried it and never gets to even meet it as a hatchling. Once it is hatched the chances are she will not even know it is her hatchling.
Its sounds weird when we compare this behaviour to humans, but this is nature.
If you are considering getting a lizard as your family pet, you may be curious about what the benefits are. Or the reasons why others have done this. Let me explain.
Why are lizards good pets? Easy to look after. In comparison to other pets, lizards are quite easy to look after. Especially when it comes to feeding them. Obviously, there are some issues with some people who are a little bit squeamish around insects.
With that issue aside you can find insects and other vegetables that they use in various pet shops or even easily online.
Let me explain 9 reasons why people keep lizards as pets:
That tongue tho…😜😍 #gecko #leopardgecko #geckos #geco #gecoleopardino #geckobreeder #reptile #reptiles #lizard #lizards #pet #animals #love #cute #sneaking #leopardgeckomorph #eublepharismacularius #crestedgecko #beardeddragon #dragon #reptilelover pic.twitter.com/e2EqYHG37S
— The_[Brave]_Gecko (@GeckoBrave) February 24, 2019
One thing that I like about lizards is, as you walk past their enclosure or in their vicinity, they are always interested in what you’re doing. This is a good feeling as a pet owner.
There are many benefits of having a lizard as a pet. One, in particular, is allowing your children to earn some responsibility, let me explain.
You can start them off with simple duties like providing a bowl of water for the lizard or preparing the food for them, even if it’s just some veggies.
This small task will give them some ownership and accountability. It will start the road to them becoming a responsible adult.
Looking after a pet lizard or even just helping out with some agreed tasks, as discussed earlier, will add to them feeling more confident.
If they do this small job well, such as providing water on a daily basis, then they can start to feel confident in themselves and then gradually be awarded more involved tasks.
This can lead to good personal development. Later on down the line possibly helping and creating an income for themselves.
As a father of two children, I know how much children love to talk. And if I am honest, I am not a big talker. I am very much a person that likes to keep myself to myself and have my own space.
Having a pet lizard is a great way for your child to express itself and talk at no end. It will always be attentive and always be a listener. This is good for a child that’s got a lot to say.
Unlike dogs, you do not need to walk a lizard on a daily basis for them to get exercise and go to the toilet. Most lizards in captivity are happy to stay in their enclosure. This makes it easy for you to maintain.
In fact, most lizards do not need to be taken out of the enclosure at all. As long as you’re prepared to do the minimum maintenance required, such as cleaning out their enclosure on a regular basis and providing food, they are happy and easily maintainable.
Many people in our Society today suffer from allergies. I also have a son that has many allergies. We have to be careful what food we give him, what we put around him. For example, cat fur can be a problem for him.
With lizards, this is not an issue. They have no fur and there is no risk of the dust mites building up.
However, if you do have children or family members that do have allergies related to fur. You still need to be careful about what substrate you choose for your lizard. To make sure that it is compliant with their allergies.
The good thing about lizards is they really do not need a large amount of food to keep them happy.
Being cold-blooded animals with low metabolism rates they don’t need to consume large amounts of food. Especially in comparison to a pet dog.
Obviously, as discussed earlier, there are some people that are a bit squeamish about insects. But, if you can get past this then it is really not an issue.
Also, if this is a big problem for you. You can also consider getting a herbivore lizard. They can eat vegetables, fruits as well as insects.
On average lizards live a long time. Sometimes greater than 20 years and even more.
When compared to the lifespan of a hamster, for example, which could be as short as a couple of years. Or even worse, fish.
For example, my son has some fish and we find that we having to replace them on an annual basis or even less.
So, lizards can be a good long-term family pet. Just keep this in mind. They are not a good option if you are just interested in a short term pet, they are a lifetime commitment.
Another benefit of their long life span is, it usually means that there’s always a good source of lizards that are looking to be rehomed from other families that may have a change in circumstances.
The great thing about lizards, you don’t need to worry about going to work and leaving them unattended. Or staying out overnight. For example, at a friend’s house or for a weekend.
We all know if you have a dog you cannot just up and go without pre-planning and organizing a sitter. Or at least someone to come in periodically and check on him.
With a lizard, you could literally have this pet in your home and no one would even know it’s there because it will happily get along with things. As long as you make sure that it has access to water and food that is.
As briefly discussed, lizards are nothing like dogs. They don’t need to be trained on how to use the toilet and they do not need regular walks.
If you have a very demanding career and having a dog or a cat is a problem for you, then the lizard is a perfect answer for this.
However, I would like to emphasize that you can not completely ignore the lizard and neglect it. It does need some of your attention. But in comparison to other pets, like the pet dog, it is a big difference.
The first one is the leopard gecko (click for full care sheet). This lizard is easily one of the most popular reptile pets in general. It is a real hardy lizard that is easy to get along with. This is because of the easy maintenance required for it and also because of its lovable temperament.
The bearded dragon (click for full care guide) is another popular lizard amongst pet owners. It is loved because of its docile, laid-back behavior. It is also a good size, being relatively small, for a beginner to look after.
Yes, some do. In theory, they shouldn’t. Let’s look at it, they don’t need to urinate to mark their territory, they do not have any noticeable sweat problems and they’re not highly active reptiles. They also shed infrequently. So, you would expect them not to really have any issues with smell.
However, in reality, the bearded dragon has been known to create some orders within its enclosure. Obviously, they are still very popular pets. And if you look after them well and maintain the enclosure then you can deal with this problem. It’s not a deal breaker problem.
Yes, they can do. Some lizards are commonly known for carrying Salmonella. This is something that can be passed on by contact.
Therefore it is advised that pets, such as cats and dogs, be careful if they attempt to eat these wild lizards. In some cases, it’s important that humans are vigilant when handling wild lizards.
Are you keen to learn what substrate you can use for your Iguana? Well, you are in the right place. Let me explain why it is important to not just choose any old substrate for your pet.
What can I use for iguana bedding? There are two main types of bedding particle based, such as sand and non-particle based, such as substrate liner (Click to see reviews on Amazon). The best and safest, in my opinion, is the non-particle based.
Now you know what is available, let me explain why I don’t recommend particle based substrate for your Iguana, what can happen if it eats this substrate, some great substrate options that are easy to maintain and are safer than particle based offerings, and more.
Loose substrate or particle-based substrate as it is sometimes called looks great in an enclosure. And in most cases, it gives a good look and resembles a lizards natural environment.
However, it does have problems. Let me explain.
It is based on small pieces of particles that can easily be eaten by your lizard by mistake. The problem is, if this happens, it can cause some major health issues, in particular, impaction.
Impaction is where some loose substrate is consumed, this could easily be done by an Iguana. For example, they may be using their tongue to eat an insect or something and inadvertently pick up a particle of the substrate.
They also use their tongue for a number of different activities, as you can imagine, any of them can inadvertently result in this loose substrate getting into their system.
Once the substrate is in their system there is no way for it to digest it and it causes a blockage (Impaction). Depending on how serious it could lead to different levels of health problems. There are two major types of impaction that I will discuss now:
This one is more obvious. The symptoms are quite simple to detect. You can expect your lizard to become constipated. Also, in extreme cases, it can also lead to them passing away.
Effectively the food particles from the substrate get lodged into their system not allowing any other food that they eat to get digested properly.
In time the food will start to enter their bloodstream and could eventually lead to them dying. If it is caught in the early stages it can be cured. But, the key thing is making sure that you pick it up early enough.
This form is a bit more subtle and is easy to go unnoticed. This is because there are no obvious symptoms. You may observe your lizard continuing to defecate without any noticeable problems.
You may also notice that they are eating as normal, without any noticeable problems. However, internally there is a substantial problem happening.
In this case, the food is not being digested correctly. On the surface, it looks like they’re eating, but in fact, the food is not being digested. They are basically slowly starving their system of valuable nutrients required to survive.
However, if you catch this at an early enough stage then your vet should be able to help you get around this problem. But, the issue is ever knowing what stage it’s at and identifying the problem in the first place.
These are the reasons why most lizard keepers try to avoid particle base substrate, especially for Iguanas. However, it is still possible to use loose substrate successfully. And in fact, many other lizard keepers have done this.
If you do want to pursue using loose substrate you need to make sure that the substrate is digestible. This is important because in the event they consume the substrate, then it is possible to go through their system and not cause the blockage and lead to impaction.
This type of substrate is definitely not as good looking as the particle-based. However, it is a lot safer. The reason being, it does not have any small particles. In fact, it is pretty much solid and doesn’t have any particles at all.
The advantages of this, in addition to not having small particles, is the fact that it is easily found around the house, economical to use (e,g, kitchen towels or newspaper). And finally, it is quite easy to maintain and keep clean.
There are slightly more expensive options such as ceramic tiles but this is at your discretion.
Vinyl Tiles (Click for reviews on Amazon) is a great option. They are easy to keep clean, maintain. The main benefit is the fact that they do not have any loose particles, meaning they are a lot more safe option.
The Zilla Substrate Liner (Click for reviews on Amazon) is a very simple substrate ideal for Iguannas. It does not have any loose particles to keep your lizard safe from impaction.
It is easy to clean and maintain. The only little thing is, you will need to cut it to size before use, but that is quite a minor thing in my opinion.
Artificial Grass (Click for reviews on Amazon) Is a great substrate. It looks great and more importantly it looks realistic. It is safe, without any loose particles.
On top of that, it is toxin-free. Another great benefit is that it is washable, meaning that it is easy to clean and maintain. The only minor annoyance is cutting and shaping it to fit your enclosure, but that’s it
Yes, they do. In fact, they need heat in the night, however, they shouldn’t have the lights on. Let me explain.
Iguanas need to have the lights off in the night hours so that it does not affect their sleep cycle. If you do not do this, they will not rest properly. And will become aggravated and could lead to health issues.
You may be thinking to yourself, if that’s the case how can you heat the enclosure if there is no light?
Good question, to do this, you need to use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) (Click to see the price on Amazon):
This CHE gives off heat without requiring light. They easily screw into an incandescent light fixture.
One final tip on this note you need to make sure during the Night-Time. That the temperature does not drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
The reality is there are a number of different iguana species. So, it is hard to say an exact age across all. However, on average you can expect them to hit maturity at around 3 years old.
Full-size for an iguana has quite a big range depending on the species. For example, the Spiny-tailed iguana, one of the small Iguana species (click for 7 of the smallest), will be approximately 4.9 inches in length. As opposed to a green iguana which could be as long as 7 feet so there is quite a big broad range.
If you are interested in Chameleons you may have heard people talk about Masoala Panther Chameleons. They are rare, but well worth it if you can get one. Let me explain.
What is the Masoala Panther Chameleon? The Masoala Panther Chameleon is effectively a Panther Chameleon but, from a very specific locale. Panther chameleons (Furcifer Pardalis) are large species of the Chameleon. They are typically found in Madagascar and there are over 20 different variations of this species.
Now you know a bit about them now, let me go deeper. Let me explain exactly were Masoala is, what they eat, other variations of the Panther Chameleon (Click here for my reasons why they need a tall enclosure) and so much more.
Masoala is a peninsula on the Eastern coastal area of Madagascar, hence the name of this lizard variation. They have a distinct coloration. Their body parts show a combination of yellow, orange and black.
This type of Chameleon is very rare. Because of this keen breeders have found it hard to get hold of females. So, some breeders have resorted to mixing these lizards with other locales.
This is so that they can sell them on, unfortunately sometimes falsely claiming they are genuine Masoala Panthers.
Because they are quite rare, the economics of supply and demand means the prices for them is quite high. So if you can find a genuine one, make sure that you have the budget to support this.
As discussed earlier, there are over 20 different variations. Let me give you a list and break down of some of them now:
This type of Chameleon is found in the Northwest of Madagascar and has a typical color variation of blue, green and red.
Also found in the northwest area of Madagascar, but just north of Ambanja. It is sometimes referred to as the “Turquoise Blue” or even the “Blue Diamond” Panther Chameleon.
Very close to Ambanjo, and also near Diego Suarez, this Madagascan Panther it is often referred to as the Sirama (a town close by) or “Picasso” Panther.
There are many more so I will give you a list of the rest:
All being well and you have a healthy adult Masoala Panther Chameleon you can expect it to grow up to 18 inches in length. That is from its nose to the tip of his tail. The female is slightly smaller and you can expect it to grow up to 14 inches in length.
With regards to the weight, for the adult male, you can expect to grow up to 180 grams and a lady female up to 140g.
Best to be given a wooden enclosure. The reason for this is because wood is an excellent material to insulate the heat.
Masoala Panther Chameleons like a very specific heat requirement. Wood is a perfect option for them to retain the heat and humidity they need.
Glass enclosures have a habit of not retaining the heat as well as wood. And that’s the reason why I would suggest using a wooden one instead of glass.
However, you need to make sure that the wooden vivarium is well ventilated to keep them happy in there.
With regards to the heat. It needs to be at least 36 inches in height. There are two reasons for this:
Number one, they like to have a heat variation within the enclosure. The top level being the hottest and then a gradient of heat as it reduces to the ground level.
Lastly, they appreciate climbing. So they need enough of vertical space to keep them happy.
Masoala Panther Chameleons originate from the rainforest of Madagascar. Therefore, it is important to keep their habitat as close to this as humanly possible.
In captivity, they bask in the natural sun allowing them to receive a lot of UVB rays. Therefore, you need to provide a good strong UVB light to maintain their requirements.
UVB lighting is very important because it allows them to metabolize the calcium which is put into their body from their diet. Without this, they will not be able to process the calcium that they need and it could lead to health issues.
The best UVB lights will have a strong five to six percent rainforest jungle strength UVB. There are two tubes that are recommended to provide this level of rays. The first one is the T8 (click to see the price on Amazon) and then there is the T5 (Click for reviews on Amazon).
The T8 will give you twice the Range and is more efficient than the T5. It will cost you slightly more but you will find that it will last longer as well. Meaning it is more efficient and more value for money.
For example, with the T5 you need to swap the bulbs at least every six months however with the T8 that could be every 12 months. For that reason, the T8 is a good idea if you have the budget to support it.
Some people say that loose substrate can be dangerous because they can be swallowed by the lizard. However, many keepers have found using bark chips (click here for reviews on Amazon) as a reliable substrate.
Obviously, the decision is yours which substrate you choose. But the bark chips have been known to be a good choice.
It is important to try and replicate the rainforest environment as close as possible.
For that reason, the top half of the vertical enclosure should be well decorated with vines plants and greenery to make your chameleon feel at home.
Trailing plants and upright plants are a good option for this. It will make your chameleon feel at home and also allow them to exercise and enjoy climbing which is one of their good pastimes.
Another benefit of this decoration is, when you spray the mist into the enclosure on a daily basis (as you should be) it will allow the water droplets to run off these plants and greenery. This will provide a valid and required water supply for them.
As discussed earlier you should be spraying water for misting, as it is called. This is directly into the enclosure on a daily basis. This is important because they will drink the water droplets that fall from the plants and greenery that have been listed at the top end of the enclosure.
The humidity levels should remain at approximately 50% in the enclosure
You can measure the humidity by using a hydrometer (click to see the reviews on Amazon):
In addition to this, you can also train some chameleons to drink from a dripper system as well.
Their main source of food is live insects in particular brown crickets. But you can also offer them locusts and also black crickets. They will even appreciate Dubia cockroaches.
On rare occasions, just to provide a bit of variety, you can also offer them mealworms or wax worms.
Are Masoala panther chameleons good for beginners? Yes, in general, they are quite docile and well behaved. However, Chameleons do not appreciate being handled (click for an article on Yemen Chameleon handling) especially not on a regular basis.
It is possible to handle them if you know what you were doing. But, you need to really think of these chameleons as display animals like a fish that is how they prefer to live.
If you are interested to know if Chameleons can survive in the water you are in the right place. As a lizard keeper, it is important to know their limitations so you can keep safe.
Can Chameleons swim? No, however, they will attempt to float. There are some videos and clips of them attempting to swim, but in reality, they are not built for swimming. Other lizards can swim (click to see full article), but Chameleons are not natural swimmers.
Now that you know that Chameleons are not natural swimmers, let’s go a bit deeper and see if they can breathe underwater, water items that you should avoid to keep them safe, how they prefer to consume water and more.
Yes, they can drown. In fact, even very shallow bowls of water can pose a risk for chameleons.
To be honest, Chameleons do not want to drink from a bowl anyway so, you should not be providing this anyway, but more on this later on in the article.
But, if for some weird reason, you need to provide a water bowl in their enclosure, do not make it very deep. They are not very clever and can easily walk into this bowl and may never be able to get out.
No, they cannot breathe underwater. In fact, there is no known reptile or amphibian that can breathe underwater.
Fish use Gills to breathe underwater. Reptiles simply do not have this. So, it is not physically possible for them to do this.
It may be confusing for some people because they may argue that a crocodile can breathe underwater, right?…. Wrong!
The majority of its time is spent in water, but in reality, they do not actually breathe underwater. They submerge their body in the water and keep their nostrils and eyes above water level. This is so they can see their prey, keep breathing and spend large amounts there.
No, they do not like to be sprayed directly. However, they do appreciate their enclosure being sprayed.
This spraying method is commonly termed as “misting”. It gives lizard keepers the ability to replicate the natural environment of rain. In the wild rain causes the trees to get wet.
Chameleons typically lick and drink the water from the trees, plants or branches left by the rain. Fortunately, rainwater is a reliable water flow.
So, if you have an enclosure and you are misting, be careful not to spray the lizard directly.
This is because waterfalls may look aesthetically pleasing to the eye but in reality, they are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Obviously, this can be harmful to your lizard. Let Me Explain.
These artificial waterfalls constantly pump potentially dirty water back through the enclosure. If the water is soiled in any way for example if your lizard has produced feces in the water, or an insect died in the water. This tainted water is continuously pumped around the enclosure. Are you with me?
Meaning germs and bacteria generated by these things will keep being pushed through the system and passed on to your lizard.
In reality, if a human saw this defecation in the water bowl, it would be removed. But, the waterfall system will continually keep pumping the dirty water around. This is why it is not a good idea to use them.
How do you help a dehydrated chameleon? Naturally, chameleons have eyes that should be protruded from its body. Almost as if they are sticking out.
I mention this because if you notice this is not the case and they appear sunken, this could be a clear indication that they are suffering from dehydration. If this is the case, you will need to act immediately.
Dehydration at this level could cause serious problems for your chameleon. The reason this happens is that eyes are largely made up of water. And a substantial reduction in water causes the eyes to become sunken. This is clearly visible to the human eye.
The first thing you need to do is get them hydrated as soon as possible. My recommendation would be to take them to the Vet as soon as possible. In extreme situations, the vet may be able to hydrate them using an IV.
He may even advise you to attempt to hydrate your Chameleon using a pipette so that they can get some water directly.
Once you have stabilized the hydration, you need to understand how you can prevent this from happening in the future.
Clearly, there is an issue with your enclosure or your water source. Therefore, you need to add or change the way that you are providing water your to your chameleon.
If you are attempting to provide water using a bowl, then this clearly could be the problem.
You should also look into the humidity levels in your enclosure to make sure that they are optimal for a chameleon.
Are Automated water systems a good idea for your chameleon? Yes, in fact, they are one of the best ways of doing this, if it can fit into your budget.
They are a bit more expensive than just grabbing a water bottle and misting on a daily basis but they are very reliable and it means you don’t need any manual intervention.
These automated systems will simply require you to program them to say what frequency and when to switch it on and off.
For example, you could set your automated water system to spray in water for 15 minutes, three times a day. Meaning you could literally have your water source on autopilot.
As I discussed earlier, there are various different types and options. For example, the MistKing (Click for reviews on Amazon) provides a very fine spray.
This is different from the others that us a “rain effect”. But, again, this is fine it’s still automated and your Chameleon will get the water that they require.
Can you give your chameleon tap water? No, it is not advisable to give them normal tap water. However, some lizard keepers do this and argue that there is no issue with it.
As a precaution, I would advise not to use it. But, it is your call if you want to attempt this.
The reason I say not to do it is that water supply in different areas and countries varies quite a lot. The problem is water systems that we drink can have a lot of chemicals. They are used to clean the water.
As it is unclear exactly what chemical is in the water without actually testing it, it is a guessing game if it is sufficient for your chameleon or not.
If you want to be safe the best thing that you can use is distilled water. Distilled water is the closest thing that we’re going to get to regular rainwater that they are used to in their natural habitat.
Do Veiled Chameleons need a verticle enclosure? Yes, Veiled Chameleons do. This is because they are natural climbers. Also, they like to get their water from the droplets of water that come from the plants and leaves in their enclosure.
They expect these plants to be located in the top level of their enclosure and the plants to be sprayed with water on a regular basis to force the droplets down to the ground level so they can consume the water.
Are Yemen Chameleons Aggressive? No, Yemen Chameleons (click here for a guide on handling them) are not naturally aggressive. However, they don’t really like being handled. It is possible to do this, but you need to know what you are doing to make sure you do not aggravate them, which could result in you getting bitten.
Have you ever heard about Lizard Astrology and some of the common beliefs and effects a Lizard has? Well, there is a particular one that got my attention, about what will happen if a Lizard falls on your left foot. Let me give you the detail on that.
If a Lizard Falls on your Left Foot, What Happens? It is believed in Lizard Astrology that bad times are ahead if this happens. This is strongly believed by a collective of Hindu’s. However, it has never been proven if it will actually happen.
Now you know what will happen if a lizard falls on your left foot. Let me explain what will happen in many more situations. For example, what happens if it falls on your head? Let explain more and also where these beliefs came from.
This is all part of lizard astrology which is part of the Hindu beliefs. It is believed, by the Hindus, that depending on what position a “Chipkali” (Indian word for common house lizard) falls on you, a combination of different things can happen.
There is an understanding that there are different outcomes depending on if the lizard is male or female (more on this later in the article).
It is not been proven if these things can really happen, so it’s really down to your beliefs. So let’s look at the effects of these lizards now:
Gowli Pathana Shastra is a part of the astrology that outlines these perceived effects from Lizards falling on the individual. They are found in the Gowli Panchangam.
In this section, I will list each body part that a Lizard can fall on. Then I will explain what is believed will happen if the lizard falls on that body part.
This first section is focussed solely on the effects on a man. I will explain the effects on women in a different section later in this article.
Hindu Astrology is more commonly known as Jyotishya. It is also referred to as “Vedic Astrology”. This term has only been used recently, since the 1970s. But is more commonly recognized today.
Hindu Astrology is taken very seriously in India. In fact, you can even get a university degree on this topic. There was a court judgment back in the early 2000s that ruled in favor of Hindu Astrology, giving the green light for this to happen.
The main difference is, Vedic Astrology is based on a diamond-shaped chart as opposed to the wheel based model used with Western Astrology. The Vedic astrology is also based on the Lunar calendar and in conjunction with the Sidereal zodiac.
It is important to acknowledge that Vedic Astrology is not the only one recognized in India. In fact, there is:
In India, they are taken very seriously. However, in general, in the western world, many would regard them as superstition and not likely to be real. In relaity, it comes down to your beliefs. Some people say that even if what is predicted actually happens, it is really only based on luck.
Q: What other Lizard Myths are associated with Lizards?
There are a number of different lizard related myths in Hinduism. Again, it is based on the individuals’ beliefs, but here is an example of this:
It is believed that if you are engaged in conversation with someone and a lizard is heard “Chirping” or “Ticking” at the same time, it is believed that they are telling the truth.
This is linked back to the mythical story of a daughter-in-law of Varahmihir (an astrologer). She was believed to very truthful, in fact, whatever she said was deemed to be truthful.
So much so, that some of her predictions would embarrass and contradict her father in law. And as a consequence of this, she was asked to cut off her tongue to save him the embarrassment.
It is believed that she did as she was asked and removed her tongue. This tongue was then allegedly eaten by a lizard. This is where the link to the lizards comes from.
So, to this day it is beleived that when the common lizard (Chikali) makes this sound during the conversation it is believed to be true.
This is one of many different related superstitions linked to lizards that Hindus believe. Again, many in the western world are intrigued but many are unsure of how real it is. But it is taken seriously in India.
Are you wondering where house Geckos may hide out in your house? Well, this is something many people consider or wonder. Let me help you and provide some answers.
Where Do House Geckos Hide? You can typically find house geckos hiding in houses that have insect infestations. Often hide in crevices, under sinks, behind cupboards, bookshelves, etc. Wherever you can find insects such as cockroaches or bed bugs, you will find them.
Now you know where they can hide out, let us look at a few more places they may hide, why some people like them in their house, what damage they can cause in your house and more.
House Geckos (Hemidactylus Frenatus) are found in Southern Asia. Also known as:
Some people say yes for the following reasons:
Other people say that they are an asset because:
One thing I would say, regarding pest control, they are not perfect for this. The reality is, they can only eat so much before they get full, and insects multiply a fast rate.
Before I explain where they lay their eggs, let me say one thing. It’s important to control the number of common house lizards in your house. If not you may start by trying to battle an infect infestation, and then left with dealing with a lizard problem, are you with me?
The best way to control this is to find out where they lay their eggs. I’m going to explain some common places where you can find them.
Here are the common areas:
Basements are perfect because they are very dark, plenty of places to hide and usually damp. Perfect for them to lay their eggs.
You can expect a female lizard to lay up to 20 eggs per batch. In the mating season, you can expect two or three batches of this size.
Cabinets and sinks are ideal to lay their eggs. Sinks, in particular, are always in the vicinity of flowing water, meaning that there is usually a level of moisture within this location. In addition to this, it’s usually dark. Another perfect location for them to lay their eggs.
This is another ideal location for them. They are typically in areas of the house which do not have much activity. Meaning that the eggs are safe and not likely to be disturbed by anyone. This is why it’s a good idea to look out for these places.
You can expect a number of different issues with a gecko rampant in your house. One common issue is with them getting caught behind electrical devices.
For example, especially in hot countries, an air conditioning unit. Problem is, they tend to get caught, trapped and die from electrocution. Typically leads to the electrical device malfunctioning and high repair costs.
This largely depends on what country or state you live in. For example, if you live in Australia, then you cannot just try to eradicate these lizards. Why? because technically they are protected. Meaning that you could get into some serious trouble if you try and take the law into your own hands.
Therefore, the best way to do this, in these areas and stay within the law is to try a different angle. Instead, you can try to get rid of their food sources instead.
The best way to do this is to eradicate the insects and bugs that they usually come to your house to feed on. So, you need to deal with the root cause of the problem, are you with me?
Yes, they will fight. Especially if they find a very good location with food. Adult geckos will fight over territory without hesitation.
The male Gecko, in particular, can be quite fierce. Especially around the breeding season. During this time they compete for the attention of females.
They make a very distinctive “chuck chuck” sound. Which is an indication of them stamping their authority and claiming their territory.
Most geckos are nocturnal. Meaning they are active in the night and usually hide in the day. The common house lizard is no exception to this and is definitely a nocturnal lizard.
It often hides in crevices, cupboards or many different areas (as discussed earlier). So if you want to see one active you need to wait until night time.
Yes, as a pet they can be fine. As long as you treat them well they are actually pretty good pets. Also ideal for beginners or children.
However, if you have children and you want to keep them around this lizard. Make sure that you supervise them.
Their tails are very sensitive and children have a habit of grabbing hold of things. This can provoke the lizard and make it feel uncomfortable. Obviously, if a lizard feels under threat it may even bite.
They can go without food for at least 2 weeks, maybe even up to 3 weeks. However, this is largely based on the assumption that they have access to water.
If they did not have any food or water, they will not last that long. In fact, they won’t last that long at all. Because water is one of their most important needs.
They hate the smell of eggs. Use this as a deterrent. However, do not wash the eggs out because this will get rid of some of the smell which will repel the lizard. Instead, gently dry them off or wipe them down then put them around the house.
However, you need to understand that lizards do not like the smell of eggs, it is also quite unpleasant for us humans. So you have to make a decision if you’re willing to put up with the smell yourself.
Garlic Emits a certain enzyme which causes a smell which lizards do not like. If you want to repel the lizard it is a good idea to put some cloves of garlic around your house to repel them. Especially in areas where you know they hang out.
Alternatively, you could actually create a garlic juice spray and spray down some areas where they hang out.
The Asian house lizard is known to be able to go in the water. In fact, it can move across the water at a pretty fast speed. When you look at it, it seems that is doing a half running-half swimming motion to keep itself Afloat.
The best Basilisk Lizard is another lizard which is good in the water. It Moves its feet at a rapid speed in the water which avoids it from sinking.
On average House lizards can live for five years this is based on their entire lifespan. Obviously, they will move around a lot. You should not expect them to live in your house for that long if you have them as an unwanted guest.
If you are like me, you may be thinking how can a lizard survive in the desert and what do they even eat? Well, let me explain this to you now.
What do lizards eat in the desert? Depending on their species, they can eat insects, small animals, and even other lizards, even including their own species. If they eat other lizards, this is typically a smaller lizard that they can easily pick on.
Now you know what they eat at a high level. Let me explain how they get their water, what predators they have in the desert, how they survive and more.
There are many different types of predators that a lizard has. In the wild, especially in the desert, this includes many types of birds such as hawks, Eagles, owls and other birds of prey.
Snakes are another known Predators for lizards. Finally, lizards are even known to eat other lizards. You usually find that a larger lizard will prey on a smaller lizard, even if they are the same species.
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When the desert reaches its maximum heat for the day you’ll often find that lizards will hide away from the sun to regulate their temperature. They have an amazing technique to control their breathing and heart rate in this period of inactivity to conserve energy.
Lizards have to be careful in extreme heat because they are cold-blooded animals. Meaning they have to regulate their temperature by moving away from direct sunlight. If they don’t avoid the direct sunlight they could burn to death.
The majority of the water comes from the food that they consume. You may be thinking to yourself, how is that even possible?
This is because they have a very unique system of retaining as much water as possible from their food and not expelling it through their body. As humans we are the opposite, we expel a lot of water through common daily activities such as sweating and urinating.
However, when a lizard urinates the majority of it is urates. Meaning a salt particle of uric acid. As opposed to a liquid form that we as humans have.
This is similar to Birds however birds do not do this as well as lizards. This is evident in the watery white paste that you may have seen soiling your car windscreen, remember?
Also, their scaly body is designed to retain as much moisture as possible and not to expel it through this skin.
This process of refining its urine and retaining as much water as possible is quite taxing on their energy levels. But it is beneficial to them, especially in the desert where water is scarce.
Based on this efficient system that they have, they can easily consume a diet of crickets, for example, and retain enough moisture from the cricket to sustain themselves.
However, if they are given the option to consume more water through other means they will still take that option. It’s just that they have a natural survival Instinct to be able to get by in the absence of freely available water.
Yes, they do. Lizards are split up into two main groups:
To put this into context, let me give you an example of a couple of lizards that fit into these categories.
The Famen lizard is an example of an omnivore. It will eat a combination of fruits vegetables and insects and small animals. Then you have the Chuckwalla Lizard. This lizard is a herbivore, meaning it will only consume plants and vegetation.
Different lizard species have different time periods that they can live without consuming food. For example, you can expect a Bearded Dragon to last a few weeks without consuming food and still to survive.
You may be thinking to yourself, how is this even possible? how can they live for this long without consuming food? The answer is, in most cases, they store food in their tails. For example the leopard gecko, it stores water and fat reserves in its fat tail.
It does this instinctively because in the wild it is not guaranteed a meal every single day. So it stores this fat as a clever survival tactic.
Lizards need water as much as humans do. It’s one of the most important parts of their diet and cannot be avoided. Without water, they won’t last long at all. Food, yes, they can last a bit longer. But, water is a big problem if they don’t have it.
In captivity, you should be supplying fresh water to your lizard on a daily basis. You should also be cleaning the water container on a daily basis as well. Followed by a deeper weekly clean. Which would be a more thorough clean. For example, using soapy water or detergent to properly clean out the water dish.
However, some common sense is required. Obviously, if the water dish has some obvious debris inside of it, for example, feces, it will need to be swapped out immediately. regardless if it’s less than 24 hours before the last change.
Earlier I did mention details about a water dish, however, it is important to understand that not every lizard species expects water to be fed to them in a water dish. This is not expected from, for example, a green anole or a chameleon.
These lizards prefer to have their water taken from droplets on leaves and branches within their enclosure. These droplets are formed by the lizard keeper “misting”, which is basically spraying water into the enclosure on a regular basis.
When I say regular basis, I mean is at least once or twice a day. This includes spraying the water onto the leaves and branches of the enclosure as well as the sides of the enclosure.
You should expect your lizard to Lap up the water droplets after you have done a good job of misting the enclosure.
For other types of lizards, that prefer to have it in the water dish, you should provide a dish big enough for them to submerge their body in. However, not deep enough for them to drown. Remember, lizards are not usually good swimmers.
Having a large enough dish is important because they often use some of this water around their body to help them with shedding, which is a regular thing for them.
Here is another tip for you, if you want to provide a constant stream of dripping water, for example for a green anole or a chameleon. You can actually use a simple paper cup. Pierce a hole into the top of the cup and then put some water in it. Then place the cup on top of the enclosure.
Once it is there, depending on the size of the hole, which will affect the rate of the water, you should notice it dripping consistently into the enclosure. However, to avoid any unnecessary mess in the enclosure, it is advised to have another cup beneath it to mop up any excess water which isn’t being consumed by the lizard.
There are quite a few species that live in the desert, but here is a list: