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How Long Do Panther Chameleons Live?

If you are a fan of panther chameleons you may be wondering how long they live, and the best way to care for them (Click here to see my best enclosures for Panther Chameleons to keep them happy), but how long can they live?

How long do panther Chameleons live? They live 7 to 8 years on average. However, females are expected to live less than this mainly because of laying eggs (more on this later). How they are treated makes a big difference in their life expectancy, as you can expect.

Now that you know roughly how long they live, let me go on to explain why the female is not expected to live as long, how breeding affects their life, how long till they get their colors and much more.

Why do Females live a shorter life, on average?

female panther chameleons life span

female panther chameleons life span

As discussed earlier panther chameleons can live 7 to 8 years. However, like us humans, how we treat our bodies plays a big factor in that. Therefore you can expect a well looked after panther to live longer, remember the figure I stated is an average.

I also mentioned that females live younger, on average. This is because their bodies receive a lot more stress. Mainly due to breeding. They breed every year and this takes a toll on their bodies.

The interesting fact about females, and life expectancy. Is the stress their bodies with breeding even if there is not a male around, really? Yes, really.

This is because, even if there is not a male to fertilize their eggs, they just go ahead and lay the unfertilized eggs.

How long until a Panther gets its colors?

With a relatively short life, you may be wondering how long they take to get those beautiful colors that you may have heard about.

It will take at least 18 months for them to get these colors. However, it can be quite confusing for some owners. Why? Because by the age of approx 6 months they will be displaying some lovely vibrant colors.

And, you may be fooled into thinking that they have fully developed their colors. But, this is not the case. They are not fully there yet. Again, in a few more months, say about 9 or 10 months, you may be fooled again for similar reasons. But, until they are at least 18 months, they have not fully developed their colors.

How often should they be fed?

So far you have learned how long panthers live for and why the female has the raw deal. But, what about feeding them, to keep them happy and maximizing their life expectancy?

According to this site, they should not be fed too much. This may sound like a weird thing to say, I guess. But, they suggest that in the wild, they cannot guarantee regular food, due to the restraints of hunting, etc.

Therefore in captivity, it is not recommended to overfeed them. Therefore, the recommendation is approx four times a week.

How often do Panthers lay eggs?

Earlier we talked briefly about how the female has the raw deal. With the extra stresses of laying eggs, etc. But how often is this egg-laying?

Once the female panther chameleon reaches sexual maturity, they are expected to lay eggs each year. And, unfortunately, are expected to die only a few years after they are done with egg-laying.

To give you an idea, they are expected to drop between five and eight clutches of eggs in their lifetime. And, each clutch can have quite a few eggs. But, to be more precise, each cutch can have anywhere from 15 to 35 eggs (give or take a few).

The eggs take quite a while to hatch as well. according to Wikipedia, they typically take 240 days to hatch, wow! Quite a while. If you think about it logically, the female spends the majority of her adult life either laying, mating or hatching eggs.

Can a panther Chameleon Change Color?

Yes, a panther Chameleon can change color (Click here to see what a Chameleon’s Color Actually Mean). However, many people have an unrealistic understanding of what triggers a chameleon’s color changes.

Contrary to popular belief it is not based on camouflaging themselves to their environment. And, they can’t instantly change to any color to match their surroundings, even though it makes entertaining television thinking this happens, right?

Their color changes are based on their mood, temperature, and lighting. And, regarding them being perceived to change to any color. In reality, they have certain colors within their range actually. For example, if yellow is not in their range, they will never turn yellow, regardless if they standing next to a yellow object, no what I mean?

Female Signals to a Male

From time to time a female may come across an over-excited male, you know the type, eager to get his “mate on”. But, how does this damsel in distress deal with this beast on heat?

Simple, she literally raises her alarm! When I say alarm, I mean visually, rather than sound. Basically she will change color to some weird contrasting hues.

I am talking about black with pink, for example. In the panther cham’s world, it means something to the over-excited male. They usually get the hint at this point.

In some cases, it’s not because she is just not interested. She may also be gravid (carrying eggs) at the time.

Related questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to panther chameleons. If you have any questions that you feel have not been answered, then feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Are Panther Chameleons Aggressive?

Yes, panther chameleons are aggressive. Especially male chameleons. In fact, not only are they aggressive to their own species, but they are also like this with other lizards.

The male is known to get so worked up about rival males that even his own reflection on a glass enclosure has been known to spark aggression. At this point, he will flare up his bright colors to show a clear warning sign.

Once these colors are displayed, If another male panther cham is in the vicinity it is likely to follow up with a fight for territory.

Q: What is an Ambilobe Panther Chameleon?

The Ambilobe is a sub-species of the panther chameleon. But, what is a sub-species? If you have researched chameleons before you may know that there are not only species of chameleons, such as the panther there are also sub-species such as the Masoala Panther Chameleon (Click here to learn more about them, Facts, Diet, Care, etc). They are ultimately still Panthers but may have certain color variations that are different, etc.

Q: Why are the called Panther Chameleons?

You may be wondering why the panther Chameleon is actually this, that is fair enough, I had the same question in my head until I discovered this. Let me explain…

According to this site, A Panther Chameleon’s scientific/particular name is “Furcifer Pardalis”. The “Pardalis” in their name stands for Leopard in Latin. This is because their skin has an interesting pattern that is spotted like a leopard.

In Africa, panther chameleons have black markings and black leopards are known as panthers. Hence the name Panther Chameleon.

Q: Do panther chameleons like to be held?

No, Panther Chameleons do not like to be held. As much as you may love the idea of holding them. They tend to get stressed out by this. Therefore many owners have the understanding that they are not really a touchy-feely pet. And, they understand that should be just observed and enjoyed from a distance.

Q: How long is a panther chameleon tongue?

Their tongue is approximately twice their body length. It’s actually one of those weird facts about chameleons.  The share size of it is amazing.

You may not be amazed right now, because it may be hard to compare to our tongues. But, lets put it like this. It’s almost like you walking around with a tongue that is about 12 foot in length, are you with me?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turkey? (Bad Idea?)

If you are a fan of beardie’s like me, you will be keen to offer them the right food (Click here to see what foods they should eat, and what to avoid), but what about meats such as Turkey?…

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Turkey? No, it’s not recommended. The reason is it has very little nutritional benefits for them and there are other more nutritional meats, such as insects that will better for them. Some keepers do feed it to their beardies, but mainly as an occasional treat.

Now that you know that turkey is not the best, let me explain to you exactly why turkey is not great, the exact nutritional benefits it offers, if the processed turkey is any better (hint: not much different) and other alternatives that are better suited, keep reading…

Why is turkey not a good idea?

Earlier I mentioned that turkey is not a good idea. But, what is it, exactly that is wrong with turkey, from a nutritional perspective?

In general, it has more salt and fat than a Bearded dragon should be consuming. As I said, you can probably get away with it occasionally, but it should never be considered their staple diet. Later on I will list the nutritional content of the turkey to help you understand my point.

What is Turkey (the animal)?

what is a turkey
what is a turkey

As they say, you are what you eat, but what exactly is a turkey, and how did it get that name? Let me explain…

According to Wikipedia a Turkey is a big bird and it’s from the Meleagris genus. It has a distinctive wattle that hangs down, looks like a piece of excess skin, are you with me?

The male is larger and has some stand-out colors. This trend of the male being more colorful has been seen in many other animals such as other species of lizards.

Where is it from?

These turkeys are native to the Americas. You may be wondering, if that is the case how did they spread out to Europe and other areas? Well, in the 1500s they were introduced to Europe & Asia by Spanish sellers.

And, what about their name? Why Turkey?

It is believed that one of their routes to get into Europe was via Turkey, and for that reason, the name stuck.

Nutritional Break-down of Turkeys

You may be wondering, what does turkey actually have in it? Have a look at the table below, compiled with the help of wikipedia (amount per 100g):

ItemPercentage
Fat10%
Cholesterol36%
Sodium4%
Potassium6%
Protein58%

What meat can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Now that you know that bearded dragons should avoid turkey, what meat sources can they actually eat is the obvious next question, right?

They can eat quite a wide variety of meat. This is typically in the form of live insects. However, some insects are better than others, as you would assume. Here are a few examples:

  • Mealworms (more on this later)
  • Waxworms
  • Earthworms
  • Cockroaches
  • etc

However, it does not just have to be live insects, it can also be animals such as pinky mice (but these are only a consideration for adult Beardies – but, more on pinky mice later).

Can Beardies Eat Turkey in the form of Lunch Meat (Sandwich style)?

So far I have explained some of the concerns with turkey and the meats that you would typically expect them to eat. But, even though the answer may be obvious right now, based on my last sections. What about turkey sliced meat, you know the one you usually put in sandwiches?

I get it, this type of meat is convenient, cheap and easy to get hold of. Also, you do not have to mess with live insects, right? I get the reasons why someone would be interested in. But, the short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not be fed turkey lunch sliced meat.

Why? Simple, it is packed with salt and fat (not as much fat at some meats, I get that, but still). These foods are even questionable for humans, to be honest (but that is whole other topic).

Ok, What about ground turkey?

So, by now you should be getting the trend. And, you should definitely know that sliced turkey is a big no-no. But what about the ground turkey, surely that’s ok, right?

The short answer is no, Bearded dragons should not eat ground turkey. But, why? Well, if you look at things logically, is this something that is available in the wild, in their natural habitat?

Exactly, no it’s not. Therefore, it should not be considered as pet food in our domesticated environment. This is why live insects are good, they are more akin to their natural habitat, are you with me?

Is Cooked food even an option?

So far I have given many meat-related foods a kicking when it comes to feeding your bearded dragon. However, does this mean that no cooked food is an option?

Generally speaking, no, cooked food is not a good idea for Beardies. However, from time to time many lizard keepers do feed them this, for example, these owners discuss it. But, the point is, it should never be considered as an alternative to their main (staple) diet, such as vegetables and live insects.

Can the cooked food have seasoning?

As discussed, in moderation, many lizard keepers have fed their beardies cooked meat. But what happens if that cooked meat has seasoning on it (e.g. salt, pepper, spices)?

The short answer is no, bearded dragons should not be eating seasoned cooked food. The problem with this seasoning is, even if it doesn’t have salt directly on it, the seasoning is likely to have a high salt content. So, it is not worth chances it.

Are pinky Mice better than serving turkey?

Early I mentioned pinky mice as a consideration. But, are they a better option than serving turkey? Arguably they could be considered a better option. But, they should still only be considered a treat.

However, before you go ahead and buy a selection of live pinkie mice and throw them in your beardies enclosure, let me explain why this is a bad idea.

Be careful of live pinkies

The problem is, pinkies are fighters! If you throw a pinkie mice in with your beardie and it inevitable tries to eat it live. The pinkie with bite your beardie pretty badly. They will not go down easy.

Therefore, many owners suggest it is better to feed them frozen pinkies instead. This will avoid the headache and potential injury.

Why are crickets a better option than turkey?

If you have looked into food for your Beardie, then there is a good chance that you have heard of owners discussing or buying crickets. But, why are they a better option than turkey?

Comparing turkey and crickets for Beardies is simply no challenge. Crickets have a great amount of protein and calcium and are a popular choice for that reason. Also, Beardies love live insects, the movement entices them.

The only gripe is their hard body. They can sometimes cause some digestion issues due to this. However, owners still persist to use them.

Are Mealworms a better option than Turkey?

So, now that you know why crickets are a better option. What about mealworms, no doubt you have heard of these before, right (Click here to learn more about mealworms).

Mealworms are perfect for many lizards, but according to this site, they are not ideal for bearded dragons. But, why is this? They say that they have too much fat and also phosphor.

To make matters worse, they have little protein and calcium, which is needed by your beardie. So, let me be clear, other owners do still feed them this. But, it is not their main staple food are you with me?

It’s like us humans, we know if we eat fatty fast food too much its bad, but arguably, in moderation (as a treat) it’s not that bad. Does that make sense?

Bearded Dragon Throat Pouch: What’s it for?

If you are keen to understand your beardie (Click here for more ways to understand your bearded dragon) then you may wonder what that throat pouch on their head is and what it’s used for. Let me explain…

What is the Bearded Dragons throat pouch for? It is used for a number of reasons such as being enlarged (or puffed up as it is commonly called) to intimidate its opponent, to attract a mate for breeding and even a sign of anxiety. Therefore, it is a multi-faceted organ.

Now that you know what it is used for let me now explain to you the number of ways it can be used, how baby beardies use it, why it can be linked to anxiety and much more…

What is the throat pouch?

Now that you understand what it’s for, do you actually know what this pouch looks like? If not let me explain. On the surface, as you glance at it, it looks like a flap of skin and fat and resembles a human beard.

This is the reason why it is typically called a beard, as you can imagine. This throat patch, or beard, has the ability to turn black as well (but, more on this later).

Ways they use their throat: The big puffer!

So far you have learned what their throat pouch is used for and exactly what it is. However, are you aware of all the things that it can use its throat pouch for? If not, hold tight, I will explain this now.

Aggression

bearded dragon aggression

bearded dragon aggression

One of their known tricks is puffing up their beard and body to intimidate their opponent. They are also known to open their mouth wide, whilst keeping their body puffed up so that they can further intimidate their foe.

Feeling nervous/anxious (baby beardies)

Often baby beardies are seen to be puffing up and turning black for unknown reasons. The confusion happens when there is no clear threat, however, they still do this.

It is believed to be linked to anxiety or nervousness. This may be brought on by a new environment. This is more expected as your new baby beardie gets acclimatized to its new home. In time, it is likely to feel less stressed and return to normal.

Increasing Shedding Speed

Another trick that often confuses lizard keepers is during shedding. For Bearded dragons, they have an additional trick up their sleeve. Basically they can puff up their throat pouch to force their skin to shed quicker.

As you can see by now, this behavior is so multi-faceted it can be very difficult to nail down exactly why the throat pouch has been expanded.

Hey, look at me!

Their throat pouch can even be used for them just to show off. Yes, they may just puff up that damn beard to put the spotlight on themselves. Especially if it’s mating season (more on this later).

Just Stretching!

Like us humans, we all need to stretch sometimes. This is no different for beardies. However, unlike us, they can expand their bodies, and throat pouch to relieve this sudden urge.

Pop it like its hot!

Ok, just a personal joke. But on a serious note, beardies are even known to pop their ears using the simple expansion of their throats and body.

Think of it in terms of us humans. Do you ever yawn to pop that thing? Well, beardies are no different, are you with me?

The Throat Breeder!

Puffing out their throat can also help them find a date. As they expand it, along with their body it sends a signal to a potential female mate. If the female is interested, she will reciprocate with a cheeky head bob!

Do Bearded dragons store food in their throat?

With the share size of their throat, you may wonder what else they can store in there. Could they store food in there? Well, let’s discuss this now…

Yes, they can store food in their throat. But, to be honest it is not a long term storage location. In fact, it is a hazard while it is there. Short term, yes it should be fine.

To help to prevent this happening, it is a good idea to provide smaller portions, monitor him while he eats and just check that he is not overdoing it, are you with me?

Why do they puff out their eyes?

There have been some beardie keepers that claim that they have seen their bearded dragons puff their eyes. According to this site, they believe it’s linked to shedding.

It sounds a bit weird, but the belief is that it is a technique used to expand their skin and force the shedding around that area to finish.

What does a black colored throat indicate?

If you have seen your beardie change its throat color to black, you may be puzzled wondering why it is doing this. The reality is, it could be for a few reasons.

In fact, we have covered a couple naturally in this article already. But just to summarise, this could indicate an unwell beardie, as well as a male trying to entice a female for mating.

Think of it as a complex signal that could be used for many things. However, one thing you can be sure of, it is an indication of emotion with an intended purpose.

Related Questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bearded dragons. If you have some additional questions, not answered here, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Q: Do bearded dragons have 3 eyes?

Yes, they do. This may seem like an outlandish statement. In fact, you may even feel like hitting the back button-based ion this, but hear me out. According to this site they do.

Apparently they have a parietal eye which is located o their head, near their other two normal eyes. However, this eye is not the same. They do not have the same vision with this eye. It simply picks up shadows and changes in light with it.

Q: Will a bearded dragon poop on you?

No, they will not poop on you. But, this is not out of courtesy, its because they technically do not poop. What? Instead of pooping they get rid of their waste in one universal matter called urates.

Urates is in the form of white/yellow solid form and come out of its cloaca. What is the cloaca? Think of this as your beardies equivalent of the human anus. This is probably the best way to explain it.

Q: Can bearded dragons see you?

Yes, bearded dragons can see you. You may be curious to understand what your beardie can really see, and to be honest that is reasonable. Especially when you are investing in them.

Not only can they see you they can also see colors. They also have a great field of vision as well. Their only real issue regarding their vision is their perception of depth.

Q: What is the lifespan of a bearded dragon?

Bearded dragons (Click here to see if Bearded Dragons can eat turkey) can live an average of 10 years. However, that is in captivity. In their natural habitat that can be less. But why? Well, in the wild there are a lot more hazards. Such as the constant threat of being eaten by another predator, lack of food to prey on, etc.

Q: Do bearded dragons smell?

No, unless you neglect them. What do I mean? Well, like any pet, if you neglect to clean up after them, such as cleaning their housing, making sure they are physically clean, etc. Then, you will start to smell them. It may not be instantly (however, in some cases it can be), but, in time it can for sure if the lackadaisical treatment continues, are you with me?

Do Bearded dragons eat banana?

If you are a bearded dragon fan and you want to make sure you do things right (click here for my best guide for bearded dragons) you may be wondering if they can eat a banana. Let me explain…

Do bearded dragons eat bananas? Yes, bearded dragons do eat a banana. However, you need to make sure that you give them bananas sparingly. This is because the nutritional value of the banana is not perfect for them (more on this later).

Now that you know that they can eat bananas, I will now go on to explain why they shouldn’t eat so much, exactly what is in a banana to raise these concerns, what the ideal food mix is for your beardie, and more…

Why should you not feed your bearded dragon too much banana?

In the last section, I explained that bearded dragons can eat bananas but I cautioned you not to do it regularly. In this section, I’m going to give you a couple of reasons why you should limit the amount of banana you feed to your bearded dragon.

Too much sugar.

One of the biggest concerns with bananas is the number of carbs it has (more on this later). Secondly, the other big issue with bananas is the amount of phosphorus it has in ratio to the calcium it has.

Phosphorus is a binding material for calcium. there is a certain phosphorus to calcium ratio that bearded dragons should consume to keep them safe. However, the phosphorus levels in bananas is far greater than thy need.

The problem with this is if you feed your bearded dragon a lot of bananas you could be making it calcium deficient. Which, in the long term, could lead to deficiencies such as Metabolic Bone Disorder or MBD as it is more commonly known as.

What is a banana?

what is a banana

what is a banana

 

So far we have learned why your bearded dragon should not be eating too many bananas and the reasons for this. However, I do not want to assume you fully understand exactly what a banana is. And, for this reason in this section, I will explain exactly what it is.

A banana is an edible fruit that is popular in many countries. Stereotypically it is known to be a yellow elongated fruit with a hard outer skin and a soft white flesh in the middle.

However, you can get bananas that are not always yellow. In fact, before they are ripe, they are green. You can also get plantain. Plaintain is typically used for cooking rather than a dessert banana. It is usually sold while it is green.

Can a bearded dragon live on bananas alone?

Earlier I explain exactly what a banana is and the reasons why you need to limit the amount you give to your beardie. However, there are some people that still ask if it’s possible to feed their bearded dragon bananas exclusively.

For that reason, I’m going to give you some reasons why this is not a good idea and an idea of what they should be eating.

Omnivores

Bearded dragons are omnivores. this basically means that they eat a combination of meat (insects) as well as vegetables and fruit.

This means that they have the best of both worlds. They can eat vegetables as well as meat. But they still need to have a balanced diet, meaning the combination of these food types, are you with me?

Therefore, no bearded dragons should not be eating bananas exclusively. They should be eating insects as well as vegetables and fruit.

Later on, in this article, I will explain some of the best ratios of meat to vegetables that your typical bearded dragon should be eating. I will also explain how this ratio will change with old age.

What are the benefits of bananas?

So far we have learned what you should or should not be allowing your bearded dragon to consume, when it comes to bananas and combining this with vegetables, etc. But, what are the advantages of bananas for us as well as bearded dragons?

Bananas are often loved for their convenience because they are easily picked up in supermarkets and easily served.

Even though we talked about some of the concerns, such as the amount of sugar/carbs, they still have a good source of fiber.

For humans, we love bananas because they are a sweet snack that can be picked up on the go, especially during lunchtime.

Are bananas filled with sugar?

I explained earlier that bananas are filled with sugar but why is this exactly? In this section, I will explore some of these reasons.

According to this site, 93% of bananas are from carbs. Right now this may not mean much to you at the minute but I will explain how this is relevant to sugar in a second.

Carbs have a massive impact on your blood sugar levels. They are a big concern for diabetics and they need to be monitored for this reason.

Therefore for a bearded dragon, it is important to control the number of carbs they are consuming. Because there is only so many carbs and sugar that their body should be consuming on a daily basis.

Carbs effectively raise the blood sugar level more than any other nutrient and this is one of the reasons why they have to be controlled.

What is so bad about bananas?

One of the biggest concerns with bananas is they are not great for humans that are on a low-carb diet. For a bearded dragon there is a certain nutritional balance that they need to maintain and therefore bananas are great but need to be consumed in small doses.

And, as I mentioned briefly earlier for diabetics that are controlling their carbs and sugar intake they are a bit concerned because they can spike insulin levels.

Related Questions:

In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to bananas & bearded dragons. If you have some extra questions that you need answering, please feel free to drop a comment below.

Q: Do bananas have seeds?

No, most commercially sold bananas do not have seeds. Some bearded dragon owners have concerns about seeds in certain fruits and how it may affect their pet.

In the commercial market, you’ll be very hard-pressed to find seeds in bananas. If you happend to notice some black speckled dots within the banana there is a good chance that these are immature seeds which will not actually develop and reproduce.

Meaning they are harmless seeds that are not the same as the original wild grown bananas that you would find in tropical countries such as Jamaica.

But why is this?

The main reason for this is due to commercial objectives and profit. Meaning it is a way to control the reproduction and supply of bananas to entice their buyers to continually buy from one supplier.

Q: Can you feed bananas along with insects and water?

Yes you can serve them bananas along with insects and water. But, when you are serving up bananas or any fruit for that matter along with insects you need to be careful when you combine them with water.

This is because there is a chance that the insect can actually fall into the water and drown. This is not ideal because the dead insects are not good for your bearded dragon. Therefore you need to discard these insects as soon as possible.

Q: Do bearded dragons need a different diet as they get older?

Yes, as bearded dragons gets older you need to adjust their diet. Especially in the domestic market. But why is this? Because, as a bearded dragon gets older it inevitably becomes less active.

This means that the beardie stands the chance of becoming obese if you do not control its diet correctly. It is a good idea to reduce the amount of meat they consume in a day when they get older to cut down the chances of them becoming too obese.

Q: Should you feed baby bearded dragons vegetables?

Yes, you should feed baby beardies vegetables. in fact, they should be consuming at least 20% of vegetables and 80% meat. This is the kind of percentage you will need for a hatchling and a juvenile bearded dragon. As discussed earlier, as they get older this ratio will change.

Q: Should you feed bearded dragons onions?

No, you should not feed bearded dragons onions (Click here to see why Bearded Dragons should not eat onions).

How Often Do Chameleons Shed? (Stuck/Problems/Tips)

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…

Why do chameleons shed their skin?

why do chameleons shed

why do chameleons shed

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

How long does the shed process usually take?

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.

How much do they shed in one go?

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.

Things that can go wrong during shedding.

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.

What can you do to make shedding easier for your chameleon?

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.

What happens if your chameleon is not shedding properly?

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.

How do chameleons act while they are actually shedding?

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.

Change of appetite & white spots

shedding white spot

shedding white spot

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.

Drier skin & weird rubbing behaviors

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.

Does shedding hurt chameleons?

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 special qualities of a chameleon’s top layer of skin.

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.

Can Leopard Geckos See Color? (Night Vision/Red Light)

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…

Do leopard geckos have good night vision?

leopard gecko night vision

leopard gecko night vision

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.

Why are gecko’s eyes so special?

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.

The Human eye vs a Leopard Gecko’s

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.

Can leopard geckos see blue 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.

Are geckos blind on a moonless night?

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…

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).

Do geckos have good eyesight (In general)?

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.

Related questions:

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.

Q: Can leopard geckos see infrared light?

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.

Q: Can leopard geckos eat dead insects?

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.

Q: Do leopard geckos pee on you?

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.

What are 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

Q: Do you need white lights for a leopard gecko?

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.

Q: Are reptile UV lights safe for humans?

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.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Onions? (Is it safe?)

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.

 What is an onion?

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.

 Will onions make a Bearded dragon cry?

do onions make bearded dragons cry

do onions make bearded dragons cry

 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.

What about red onions (are they safe)?

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.

Red Onion Appearance

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.

 Why are red onions bad for your Beardie?

 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.

 Are onions toxic to other pets as well?

 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.

Are there other vegetables that your bearded dragon should avoid? 

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.

 Can Bearded dragons also eat meat?

 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.

Related Questions:

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.

Q: Should you pick up a bearded dragon?

 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.

 Q: Can bearded dragons be fed bananas?

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.

Q: Can bearded dragons be fed purple kale?

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.

Q: Can you feed your Bearded Dragon Wild Insects?

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.

How Often Do Blue Tongue Skinks Shed? (Facts + Pics)

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…

What areas of the body caused the most “headache” with shedding?

cause the most headache

cause the most headache

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

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.

Their Head

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.

Natural oils for shedding.

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.

Is shedding necessary?

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.

How can you tell when your Bluey is about to shed?

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.

The color of their skin

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.

Their old shedded skin

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.

Why do some lizards use water to shed?

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.

Should you pull off the excess skin during shedding?

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”!

Why?

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.

Related Questions:

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.

Q: Can blue tongue skinks eat dry dog food?

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.

Q: How many eggs does the blue tongue skink lay at a time?

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.

Q: What is the biggest blue tongue skink?

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.

Why Does the Armadillo Girdled Lizard Bite its Tail?

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

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

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

What is the Armadillo girdled lizard?

lizard that bites its tail

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

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

According to Wikipedia, It is also known as:

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

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

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

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

Coloration and Size

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

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

Do people keep them at Pets?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What other defensive tricks does the Armadillo Griddled Lizard have?

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

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

Their Tail dropping trick

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

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

Alpha male tactics!

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

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

Weird living conditions.

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

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

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

Rival Groups

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

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

Are these lizards dangerous?

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

Do they lay eggs?

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

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

The expected number of offspring

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

Wrong!…

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

Related questions:

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Do lizards eat their tails?

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

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

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

Q: How is a Lizard’s tail so special?

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

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

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

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

If you have a Bearded Dragon and looking for an ideal meal for them (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.

What is a Calci worm?

black soldier fly

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Calci worms

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

Easy to maintain

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

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

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

Should these Calci worms be their staple diet?

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

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

Firstly yes we did discuss that the calcium has great nutritional benefits and the great fat they have. But as far as treating it as the staple diet for your bearded dragon goes, especially about thinking of it as potentially the only food for your bearded dragon (click here to see what the Bearded Dragon’s throat pouch is for?) , I wouldn’t advise this. But, let me explain…

Too much fat

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

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

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

Do Calci worms turn into flies?

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

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

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

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

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

How do you store Calci worms?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related question:

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

Q: How long do Calci worms live?

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

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

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

Q: Can Calci worms climb?

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

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

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

Q: Do Calci worms like to wriggle?

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

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

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

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

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