Category Archives for "Lizards"

Bearded Dragon Prolapse (Facts, Solutions & Tips)

If you have ever seen a Prolapse on a lizard, would you agree it is quite unsightly? In this article I will explain exactly what this is, and how you can deal with it.

What is a prolapse?  A prolapse is a piece of tissue that is sticking from the lizard which is visible it is quite a serious issue and needs to be taken and dealt with with extreme urgency. This is noticed by the organs effectively sticking out of the cloaca.

Now that you understand what a prolapse is, I am now going to explain how to avoid this, what the symptoms are, related issues that can cause it and much more.

What are the symptoms of Bearded Dragon Prolapse?

And I’m going to explain what the symptoms of a prolapse. Fortunately it is quite obvious when you see this. When I explain this to you, it will make perfect sense.

Effectively you will see a very an obvious purple or pink coloured organ sticking out from the rear end of your bearded dragon. I am sorry to be so direct, but this is the reality. It is quite unsightly and will definitely be alarming enough for you to take it seriously.

So how does a prolapse actually occur?

The prolapse of the Cloaca can happen for a number of reasons. In this section I’m going to explain some of the reasons why it may happen.

Lack of Calcium

One of the reasons can be due to a lack of calcium. This lack of calcium can happen due to a few different reasons. Such as:

Calcium deficiency in the lizards bones happens because they are starved of the required nutrition. This can lead to the deterioration of their bones, literally breaking down, becoming weak. For example, the pelvis. In this example the pelvis can actually break down due to the weakness and cause a prolapse.

Aggressive Mating

Another less commonly known one is damage caused by the bearded dragons efforts to mark it’s own territory. This can be caused by your Beardie rubbing its body against the substrate causing damage and a potential prolapse.

Other Reasons

Other reasons for this issue can be due to dehydration, impaction (more on this later),  egg-laying or even constipation.


How can you treat The prolapse?

So far in this article we talked about different ways that you can prevent a prolapse, looking at all the indirect causes. And explored exactly how these issues happen.

Now I’m going to explain what you would need to do to actually treat it if you actually see this.

First and foremost the most important thing is to take your bearded dragon to the vet immediately because this is a very serious issue and needs to be treated with some urgency.

When you are on your way to the vet’s it is advisable to place some paper towels down while you’re transporting him and keep the towels moist with KY Jelly to keep him to keep him happy on way to the vet.

Once you arrive at the vet’s it is likely that the vet will attempt to rehydrate the tissue and gently is it back in and then treat your bearded dragon.


Related Questions:

Q: But how can you actually avoid a Prolapse happening?

For me to explain this properly, I need to break this down depending on the potential causes for the prolapse.

Avoiding Calcium Deficiency

Firstly let’s focus on preventing calcium deficiency. There are two main ways that you can reduce the chances of calcium deficiency. The first one is making sure that you provide the required UVB lighting that they need to maintain the calcium levels that they require.

Secondly is to improve your bearded dragons diet. In particular, you may need to supplement its diet (Are Calci Worms Good for Bearded Dragons? Click here) with calcium. A great way to do this is by gut loading insects and brushing them with a calcium supplement. When you do this, these insects will pass on the calcium supplement to your Beardie.

Avoiding Dehydration

Avoiding dehydration is very important. Like human beings water is very critical to their diet. Water is even more important when they are feeling sick or unwell. During this time it becomes very hard for them to consume the level of water that they need.

To keep your Beardie hydrated is quite a simple solution. Just make sure that you provide it with enough water. The best water is Pedialyte, consider giving them this if you can. Obviously if you do not have this, they will still need water right away.

So do not make them suffer and wait any longer, you could easily substitute this with normal bottled water. This is better than tap water, which has chemicals that are used to process it.

However, as I mentioned earlier Pedialyte is the best option and also contains less Sugar and is digested and metabolized a lot quicker.

Avoiding Impaction

Impaction is quite a common issue with a number of lizards, not just Bearded Dragons. Let me give you some tips on this. Unfortunately there are many different misunderstandings and misconceptions about impaction.

But one thing’s for sure, it needs to be taken seriously, because it can lead to severe constipation and even in some extreme cases it can be fatal.

Impaction by Dehydration

Impaction can be caused by a number of different reasons. So let me explain some of the most common ones and give you some Solutions of how you can avoid it happening.

In the first instance it can actually be caused by dehydration, which I obviously discussed in the previous section. Let me explain one thing about why dehydration occurs a lot in captivity.

When your lizard is in its natural environment, nature has a very clever way of providing all of the water that a Bearded Dragon requires throughout the day. Such as simple things like the morning dew that builds up, that can be licked off and ingested by your lizard.

However, in captivity these things are not provided, so you, as a responsible keeper need to make sure you keep on top of the water supply. And make sure that they have got the required needs covered. My point is, unfortunately in captivity dehydration is rife, due to owners neglecting this.

One of the easiest ways is to simply provide the required water in a bowl in their enclosure. Allowing them to proactively feed from the bowl. However you may find, in some cases, that your lizard will not drink enough water from the bowl.

If your lizard is not drinking this water from the bowl you can consider another method. Actually spraying your lizard with water. It will actually lick and in take the required water from its own body.

Impaction by Diet

Another issue that can cause impaction is diet.  One of the biggest issues is that some lizard keepers do not understand that they need to provide their bearded dragons with a mixed variety of food.

Unfortunately some only feed their Beardie insects. You may get away with feeding a baby bearded dragon only insects but as it gets older it needs to have a more varied diet. This is to make sure that it gets enough water and doesn’t become dehydrated.

In particular, from the age of 1 and a half years up to about 2 years old, you need to make sure that it has a mix of protein as well as fruits and vegetables. To make sure that it gets the required hydration.

The thing to note here is, getting hydrated is not always directly from the water you provide, it also comes from the fruit and vegetables that they consume as well. That’s why this is so important.

The thing to note here is that a bearded dragons body needs a required amount of fibre on a daily basis for it to process the food that it eats. So that it can pass the food, without having any difficulties. This is very important for their diet.

Impaction from Substrate

Another issue is the incorrect substrate. When it comes to substrate (Click here for the best 3 Bearded Dragon Substrates) there are many different options to choose from.

A controversial choice, that has mixed responses by different lizard owners is the particle base substrate such as sand. It is a known fact that this substrate can inadvertently be consumed by your lizard.

This then causes a blockage inside of their digestion system. Which can then lead to impaction. Some owners happily use sand based substrate and swear by it. And say they have no issues .

While others have issues with impaction. Obviously this just depends on the behaviour of your lizard and also your individual appetite for risk.

If you are not up for taking a risk, then there are other substrates that you can use, that are not particle-based. Such as AstroTurf based substrate, which have no particles. These ones make it impossible for your lizard to actually bite and swallow it.

Impaction from Parasites 

Parasites are another issue that can cause compaction. For example tapeworm. This can cause a blockage in the intestines and lead to impaction. This is not always easy to diagnose.

You may actually require a vet to diagnose this problem. It is possible sometimes to inspect their faeces to see if this is the case. But you are advised to speak to your vet about this particular issue.

So what are the solutions for impaction?

So far I have given you ways that you can prevent impaction happening, to in turn avoid impaction. But what if your Beardie already has this issue? The first thing that you need to consider doing is visiting your vet because they will give you the best way to deal with this situation.

At the same time you can also consider having an immediate change of Diet for your bearded dragon , based on somebody information that you’ve read in this article. In particular moving it away from a highly protein protein, insect based diet.

Instead, you could consider a more high fibre diet with vegetables and fruit. Also as discussed earlier , provide it with a lot more water you.

Aside from this you can also consider giving them a warm bath and the the trick with this one is to make sure that the the water is at the level where it will cover their lower belly.

The idea is to is to stimulate the poop to come out from your bearded dragon. It is done by gently massaging the stomach of the bearded dragon in the hope that the warm water and a gentle massage will ease out the poop that is causing a blockage inside of their body.

How to Handle an Aggressive Leopard Gecko?

Hove you got an aggressive Gecko and need some advice on how to deal with it? Well, you are in the right place, I will explain why this may be happening and how to deal with it.

How to Handle an Aggressive Leopard Gecko? You need gain their trust first and identify if they have any underlying issues to cause their aggression, such as sickness. Once that established, and you have trust they can be handled gently with an open hand.

There are a number of reasons for this aggression, and it is important to understand why this is happening, how to deal with it, and know when and when not to approach them. Read on and let me explain.

Usual Temperament of a Leopard Gecko

In this section I’m going to explain how leopard geckos temperament usually is so that you can understand what they usually are like before we can get into how to deal with an aggressive leopard gecko.

Usually leopard geckos are quite docile well behaved, well-mannered lizards. In fact, ideal for any beginner. However, as you will learn in this article there are some that may have an aggressive nature. While this is quite rare, it does happen on occasion.

What is the strategy to tame an aggressive leopard gecko?

The best way to tame an aggressive leopard gecko is to present yourself as not a threat. To them, you will find that leopard geckos, especially when they are new, have a natural fear towards human beings.

As you can imagine, they have a good reason to do so, because they are so low in the food chain and anything that moves and is bigger than them is obviously interpreted as a threat.

To gain their trust you can use a few different strategies, first being, using food as a way for them to identify you with a trusted person. Secondly, you can use tactics such as handling them and also even talking to them, which I will talk about later on in this article.

Clear signs that they do not want to be handled

Before I explain how you should correctly handle an aggressive leopard gecko it is important to understand the times and the signs that indicate that they do not want to be handled. This is important because you may find that you’ll get your hand bitten if you approach them at the wrong time.

This may have nothing to do with an aggressive nature, it may just be the wrong time of the day for them to be approached.

Disappearing Swiftly

Hiding away is a very common, especially for new leopard geckos or even hatchlings. The thing to look out for is how they behave whenever you approach them. If they are in their hide, this might just be because they are relaxing.

But the key thing to identify here is if they are playing and hiding only when you approach them. Then this is an indication that they perceive you as a threat.

Especially if they appear to be running for their lives, into a hiding spot, as soon as you approach the glass or attempt to move your hand towards them. This is a time when you should proceed with caution.

You will find that leopard geckos are more active during the night, this is because they are nocturnal animals and this is when they are most active. For this reason, it is best to approach them in the night, when they are more active.

Again, if you find that your Leo is almost running away from you and hiding, then this is a clear indication, especially at night-time, that they do definitely perceive you as a threat.

Screaming the House Down!

Weird noises such as Screams and hisses are another indication that it is the wrong time to try and handle your Leo. To be honest, this should almost be common sense and a natural reaction for a human to avoid proceeding, but unfortunately there are some people who will not heed to these obvious signs.

You may find that they do this if you try to approach them or if you try to touch the glass of their tank enclosure. They may even hiss or scream and posture themselve in a defensive kind of stance. If this is happening this is a clear indication that it is not a good idea to attempt to handle them.

This hissing and screaming behaviour does actually stress a Leo out quite a bit. It is something that they obviously would like to avoid.

You may also find that some of them open their mouth wide, while hissing and scream at you. This is the time that you need to leave them alone. It is clearly not an opportunity to try and handle them.

Aggressive Charging

Charging is another tactic used to display a sign that they do not want to be approached. You may find that your leopard gecko will aggressively charge with its mouth open directly at you, as you approach their glass tank enclosure. Again, this is an obvious sign that you need to leave him, and not approach him or even try and handle him at this time.

Shedding Irritation

During shedding is another time that you should definitely avoid trying to handle your Leo. This is because when they have shed their skin, the skin can be quite sensitive. They can get irritated easily during this time.

Another thing is, it takes a lot of their energy to shed the skin and to get rid of all the old one. So, this is not an ideal time to approach them. Just bear in mind that during this time there is a chance that they may bite you.

Things to avoid when you handle a leopard gecko you

So in this section I’m going to outline things that you should definitely not do when you eventually get to handling your leopard gecko.

This is important because once you have earned their trust you can completely lose this in a second if you go about things the wrong way. For that reason let me explain what you need to avoid.

Never Hold Them By Their Tail!

Never ever grab a leopard gecko by its tail even though they have quite fat tails you may be under the illusion that it is quite strong and therefore you can just grab it. This is not the case.

Although it is relatively strong they have a tendency to drop their tails if they feel that they are under attack. So, if you do this you will find that your leopard gecko is likely to have no tail. Although this will grow back, it is not ideal. Because it is never the same whenever it eventually grows back

No Grabbing At All!

You should not attempt to grab them. This will definitely stress them out. What you have to understand is, in the wild, birds will usually try to grab them from above and this will simulate this behaviour and stress out your leopard gecko.

No Squeezing!

Never squeeze them or hold them too tightly. They have quite fragile bodies and it is very easy to hurt them. Especially if you do not know your own strength. In fact the best way to handle them, which I will explain in more detail later, is to have an open hand, rather than trying to grab their body, are you with me?

Be Careful Where you handle New Leos

For a new leopard gecko it is advisable that you hold them over their new cage, just in case they escape from you. Unfortunately this may happen, so to avoid it and to save yourself some time scouring your house looking for it.

It is better to keep them held just above the cage so that they can fall back into the cage if need be.

The Best Way to handle a leopard gecko (In Stages)

Start Building Trust

When you first have a leopard gecko,  your first priority is to get it acclimatised to its new surroundings. More importantly, get it comfortable with you. In the beginning you are a Predator to them, who is trying to attack. So this needs some patience.

At this stage it is advisable not to attempt to pick them up at all. Leave them alone for at least the first week to 10 days, so that they can get used to their surroundings. Let them roam around in their tank and find out where everything is and get used to their surroundings.

Avoid going into their enclosure in the first week. Obviously there are things that you can not avoid, such as giving them fresh water, daily spot cleaning, etc. If you need to do these tasks make sure that you do them as swiftly as possible, to avoid the chance of frightening them.

However if you are feeding them or putting insects out for them. Do this slowly, so they start to associate you with the provider of food. This is quite a powerful trust builder. They will associate you with something positive rather than negative, are you with me?

Another thing that you can consider doing is leaving an article of clothing in the tank which has your natural sent on it. This may sound weird at first, and its not mandatory, but is a suggestion.

Using food to Strengthen the trust

As discussed earlier the more they associate you with the food provider, is the More the the trust will start to build. In time they will start to tolerate you and see you as a great thing and an important part of their day.

Is Hand Feeding a Good Idea for Leo’s?

Some people suggest hand feeding a leopard gecko is a good idea. You may find that this may not be such a good idea. Because there are other ways that you can do this that are more effective and less stressful for your Leo.

They’re also people that suggest that you should use metal items such as tongs to feed them. Again, I will explain why this is not such a good idea.

Metal tongs to feed a leopard gecko can actually injure it. Because there are times when they will attempt to feed from the tong and may bite down on it at a bad angle.

This can injure them. This can then lead to diseases such as mouth rot. Simply because of the open wounds that are generated when it does not bite down correctly.

Another issue with using these metal tongs is that it can actually cause teeth injuries if they bite down incorrectly on them.

The Ideal Solution

Instead of doing this, in my opinion it is better to place feeder worms or a feeder bowl into the actual tank itself. Then simply leave your hand in plain sight. The idea here is not to do any sudden movements with your hand.

Just literally make the leopard gecko feel comfortable with your hand and get used to it. And associate it with food, not food in a literal way as in they will start snacking on your hand, but they will get used to its presence whenever you provide great food for it to eat. Know what I mean?

When your hand is in the tank and you are feeding them, remember your hand is just there, it is not actually feeding them. The feeder bowl with the feeder insects inside is doing this.

So, do not be tempted to grab some insects and try to force the insect into the lizards mouth. This is not the objective here, the objective is to have your hand as a comfortable presence as they feed themselves.

To help make this process even easier, it is advisable to use fast-moving red runner roaches. This will put more emphasis on the food in the bowl rather than your hand being there. Also keep them focused.

Another thing to consider doing is placing the feeder bowl next to their hiding spot to coax them out. Gently, day by day, gradually move the feeder bowl further from the hiding spot, so they get used to being coaxed out of their hiding spot.

Handling tips

Handle them in the best time conditions. They are nocturnal, so the best time to handle them is in the night time. Or you can also consider doing this when it is low light. Wait for them to actually be awake and roaming around comfortably before you attempt to try and handle them.

Leave your hand open with your palm facing up near to the feeder bowl. Just leave your hand there and see if they will naturally walk on to your hand. If this doesn’t happen immediately you can also consider lightly tapping their tail, which may cause them to move forward onto your hand.

When they eventually do get on to your hand, allow them to set the pace and move around naturally. Although this may be an exciting time for you, try not get over excited and attempt to pet or pat them.

They are quite fragile and they will associate this with being an attack, so avoid that are all costs.

Things to consider if you wish to hand with them outside of their tank enclosure

Always make sure that you are with them and never leave them unattended. This is a recipe for disaster if you do not follow this.

Make sure you do not put them in an area where they are likely to fall. Keep them away from loud noises such as stereo hi-fi systems. Even things like you speaking loudly or groups of loud people.

Another thing that is very important, when you are taking them outside of their tank, make sure that there is no other family pets such as cats and dogs in the same room as them. Because they have a tendency to attack, or even eat them. This can happen a lot quicker than you can think!

Why would your leopard gecko turn aggressive?

So in this section I’m going to explain some reasons why you may have a leopard gecko that will suddenly turn aggressive.

New Leo with Bad History

You may get a new Leo, but it may have a history of living with a pet owner who never looked after them very well. Or completely avoided some of the tips I’ve given you in this article. Therefore, it could have started life happy, but then turned aggressive due to mistreatment from a previous owner.

Lack of Mating

Other things such as not having a mate can cause your leopard gecko to get frustrated and aggressive. Like most animals they need a mate and it nature’s way of multiplying.

Feeling Unwell

It could also happen when your leopard gecko is feeling unwell or has a disease. It may not clear to you that it has this is the case, but could be causing it to get frustrated and aggressive without you understanding why.

Related Questions:

Q: How do you keep your leopard gecko happy?

Speaking to your leopard gecko is a simple tactic that you can use to keep him happy. Softly speaking to him and getting him used to your voice will help you build a bond and keep your leopard gecko happy.

When you are speaking to your leopard gecko it is important that you keep eye contact so that it understands that you are the one that is making the sound and it gets used to you. In time it will become happy in your presence.

Let your gecko explore

Simple things like letting your Leo explore beyond the confines of their glass tank is important for their happiness. Letting it crawl up your arm, up your body or even crazy things like letting it crawl onto your hair.

Just allow it to see things that it is not seen before and mixing up his environment a bit rather than being stuck in a cage all the time.

Create an obstacle course for your leopard gecko

Consider making a simple obstacle course. Be creative you can get a bin or some kind of container and put obstacles in there such as use paper towels for them to borrow and roam around.

You can place smaller boxes in there that they can climb over. Anything you can think of that can allow them to explore and have fun.

Q: How can you tell if your Leo is stressed out?

There are obvious things that you can check, such as if they have some form of muscle injury. Check their limbs, etc. Just check to see if there is obvious signs that they are in some kind of pain or duress.

Another clear indication is, if they start to go off their food. If you noticed that the usual amount of food that you leave for them is starting to be left behind, this could be an indication that they have an issue or they’re stressed out and it is preventing them from keeping the usual appetite.

How Often to Clean a Leopard Gecko Cage?

Want to know the best frequency to clean Leopard Gecko Cage? Well, let me explain this for you. I will explain how often, what you should use to clean and what you should not be doing.

How Often to Clean a Leopard Gecko Cage? You need to do this daily, weekly, monthly plus ad-hoc periodic cleaning. This the ideal requirement to insure that your Leo is well looked after and to avoid the build up of any bacteria or diseases.

Now that you know the frequency of cleaning, let’s delve into a bit more detail and see what you should use to clean, what items you need to clean. Where to put your lizard while you clean and more.

What happens if you don’t keep your Leos cage clean?

In this section I’m going to explain what happens if you don’t keep your tank clean and the reasons why you should be doing this.  Just so you can appreciate and understand the benefit of keeping to this routine.

It can seem a little bit Mundane and boring but it is critical to keep your leopard gecko happy and lead a long life.

When lizards are in the wild nature has a way of dealing with things naturally. For example, rainwater will fall, which will rinse and clean animals and locations. There are also natural cycles of nature, such as plants growing,  then eaten by other animals. This is a natural example of how nature is cleaning up after itself.

However, your pet leopard gecko in captivity cannot do this. It is relying on you to do everything, for example, they cannot wait for the rain to come down to clean and rinse their tank. They cannot rely on natural environmental occurrences to keep them clean. So you have to be the one that makes all of this happen on a regular basis.

If you don’t continue to maintain your pets tank then unfortunately you will encounter really bad smelling odours. You can also notice bacterial infections building in the tank, which can, in extreme circumstances, lead to the untimely death of your lizard. Which you obviously want to avoid.

You may notice build up of an unsightly layer of dirt, which can make it very hard to actually see through the glass tank that you are using, which is not ideal.

Cleaning Schedule

In this section I’m going to explain how you can follow a simple but effective routine to maintain and make sure that your leopard gecko is well looked after. If you stick to this routine, even if it’s not exactly to the word, you will greatly increase your chances of having a happy and healthy leopard gecko.

The Daily clean

For this daily clean, the idea is to do a quick spot clean that removes obvious things, such as faeces, old food that’s remaining, that hasn’t been used and cleaning up substrate such as paper towels.

If you are using lizards Sand as substrate then this should be cleaned up (more on this in detail later on in the article). Also if you have water, which you should have in the tank, make sure that it is refreshed on a daily basis.  You should have fresh water for them at all time,

Lastly, if there’s any signs of shedded skin, remove the skin from the tank. Finally, if there’s any unsightly spillages, obviously get rid of this as well. Simple, huh?

The weekly Clean

In the weekly schedule this is a more in-depth, thorough clean. And will require you to actually rinse and clean all the sides of the tank (more information on this later on). You will also need to remove items from the tank, to give it a proper clean.

When you are rinsing/cleaning the sides of the tank, another thing that you can consider using is a detergent bleach and water mix. (I will go through a more detailed explanation of what you can use later on in the article).

During this weekly clean, if you have tank cage carpet substrate, this needs to be cleaned. Also if you have any any substrate rocks in the tank, these need to be wiped down as well. In addition to this, if there are any old decaying plants, they should also be replaced.

Any other items that you have in the tank that are dirty, such as other toys or things for your reptile to entertain itself,  should be cleaned or wipe down during this time.

You will need to relocate your lizard to another tank or holding area while you clean up. The idea is to give the tank a proper clean out so that when your lizard returns it’s nice fresh and clean.

The monthly schedule clean

For the monthly clean, this is taking the deep clean to the next level, some may argue that you don’t even need to do this level of cleaning on such a regular monthly interval. You can make a decision if you want to deviate from this frequency. This is your own personal preference.

Essentially you want to do a deep clean here. Again, all items need to be removed from the tank, so you can do this properly and give the tank a thorough clean.

One thing, when I say deep clean, I mean every corner of the tank needs to be scrubbed. You may even need to get an old toothbrush out just to make sure that there is no areas missed, are you with me?

The Periodic cleaning schedule

This periodic cleaning schedule are tasks that need to be done on more of an ad-hoc basis. For example, substrates, such as sand, will need to be completely replace every couple of months or so.

Also if you have any other substrate that may need to be changed this is the time to do it. You will need to use some common sense here, if it really needs changing then change it, are you with me? Basically you maintain it.

At this time, it may even be a great opportunity to remove or replace certain items, such as old rocks. Or maybe even rearrange your tank to improve the decor.  And, again this goes without saying that you will need to relocate your lizard at this time, for this to be done properly.

Related Questions:

How do you Safely Clean Sand Substate?

Firstly you need to rinse this and to make sure that you get it clean. To do this, run some hot water and rinse the water through the sand. Stir the water and the sand around. Let it settle and then do this a few times to clean through the sand.

For the final time that you do this, rinse add some water conditioner to clean through properly. This conditioner is used to remove any dirt in the sand, the type I mean is the one that is used to remove chlorine.

You can typically find this water conditioner in most pet shops. You just need to follow the instructions and add sparingly.

How can you make sure that your Leo tank is really dry after you finish cleaning?

One thing to understand is that if you do not completely dry your tank after you have cleaned it, you can find out that bacteria may start to grow in these areas. It is very important to make sure that it is bone dry before you put everything back to where it was.

The first thing that you want to do is get hold of some paper towels and dry it down completely until it is 100% dry. After using paper towels to dry down the actual tank itself, make sure that it you leave it to air dry.

At the same time all the other items that were in a tank, for example rocks or any other items such as toys, leave them to dry separately. So, all the items, including the tank itself, drys naturally.

What is the safest way to make sure that you can remove debris or feaces from the tank?

Debris inside of a tank, such as feaces, can some harmful bacteria. Therefore it is very smart to protect yourself by wearing protective gloves. The kind of gloves that you need to use are the ones that you can pick up, use and then throw away after you’re finished.

Therefore any bacteria that may have picked up in your gloves can be discarded. Just remember this, some lizards can carry salmonella and other diseases, so it is important to make sure that you protect your hands when you are handling items inside of the tank, even if it is not feaces.

First you need to establish where the real messy areas are in the tan. Once you get to know your leopard gecko you will probably find a habit developing, where it will poop (Click here to find out if Leopard Geckos Pee) in the same area over and over again.

So, if you need to pick up the faeces you can usually find it in this same corner of the tank. The good thing about this is that this poop is likely to be quite dry and hard so it shouldn’t be too messy as you pick it up.

Simply pick it up with the gloves that you have and dispose of it. If you are actually using paper towels as a form of substrate in the tank, just make sure that you completely clean and replace the paper towel each time.

Why is a Leopard Gecko’s Tail Fat?

Ever wondered why Leopard Gecko’s have a fat tail? Me too, thats why I put together this article to explain exactly why they have this. I will also break down what their tail is used for and some weird things they do with it for fun and survival.

Why is a Leopard Gecko’s tail fat? Because they store fat in their tail. This fat is effectively reserved to keep them alive for periods when they have no food. They can live a long time without food because of this fat tail.

So, now yo know why their tails are so fat, but what is the purpose of their tail? What other things can they do with it that benefits them? Well these are the things that I will be explaining in this article to help you understand just this.

What is the purpose of a leopard geckos tail?

Fat Storage

In this section I’m going to explain to you what is the real purpose of the leopard geckos tail is. Primarily it us used as a way to store fat reserves. The reason this happens is because it’s a preventative measure to stop it from starving if it has large periods of time without having any food.

As an example, you can expect a leopard gecko to last anywhere from 70 to 100 days without eating. This is as long as it’s tail has been properly preloaded and stored with the required fat reserves.

Defencse Mechanism

Another purpose of the tail is to prevent it from being attacked or even killed by a Predator. So, in this situation the leopard gecko will raise its tail and wave it towards its predator. Almost tempting the predator to attack the tail.

The idea is to stop the predator attacking its head, which could effectively mean it would be killed in this situation. The predator is coaxed into attacking the tail, giving the Leo the chance to drop his tail (literally breaking his tail off). This happens instinctively, allowing the Leo a swift getaway.

So what happens when a leopard gecko drops its tail?

In this section I’m going to explain to you exactly what happens after a leopard gecko loses its tail. In the previous section I explained that after being attacked it is likely to drop its tail. Once the tail is dropped it needs to eat a lot of food.

This is to make sure that it keeps itself alive and rebuilds its fat reserves. This is quite a stressful time for the Leo, and obviously you want to avoid this happening to your lizard in the first place.

Can “Stick Tail” affect your leopard gecko?

Before I explain the affects of “Stick Tail”, let me first explain exactly what this is. “Stick Tail” is a physical condition, when your leopard gecko is losing body mass. Basically your Leo may seem to be losing weight, almost like it is starving, are you with me?

It is quite a  confusing thing actually, it can appear to be a disease, and sometimes quite hard to detect. It mainly affects leopard geckos, crested geckos and also fat tailed geckos.

If you notice that your Leo is losing weight in the tail area, this is an indication that it is a losing weight throughout its body. This is not actually a disease it is a indication of a bigger issue that is manifesting in the leopard gecko.

Be warned, it is possible that the leopard gecko can die if it is not looked after, if it has this condition.

A common cause for this condition is Cryptosporidium, which can manifest in the stomach and cause major problems. Leopard Geckos with this condition are quite hard to diagnose. It is also quite hard to get rid of once it is there.

What is Leopard Gecko tail waving?

So as discussed earlier, tail waving is away for the leopard gecko to prevent itself being attacked. It basically waves its tail at the Predator to make them lose focus on its head.

Which makes the predator attack the tail, rather than the head. If you have more than one Leo see one of them waiving its tail in this way, it is a good idea to separate them. Because there is a good chance that they will be fighting.

What is leopard gecko tail rattling or shaking?

This behaviour is noticeable when a Leo is excited (Click here to see if Leopard Geckos can see color). For example, if male sees a female. This rattling or shaking of the tail can be done by a male or female. However, during mating this behaviour is mainly seen by the male gecko.

Related Questions:

Where are leopard geckos originally from? They are originally from low-temperature areas of Asia, Afghanistan or northern India. in these low temperatures they are forced to dig burrows and keep them self warm. This is when they typically brumate (more on this in the next section).

Do leopard geckos go into brumation? Yes, brumation is a reptiles equivalent of a mammals hibernation. It typically happens to reptiles that are 1 years or older. During this time their metabolism slows down.

You may notice that your lizards will be very inactive,  not really eating, and not very active at all . You will notice that they may not move much at all during this time. It is nothing to be concerned about, unfortunately some people get worried that there is something wrong with their lizard.

It is just nature’s way. All that you can do is make sure that there is enough water available for them in the event that they need it.

One thing to look out for during this brumation period is their weight. If they appear to be losing a lot of weight during this period it could mean that they have another issue such as a parasite problem.

It is a good idea to deworm them, before brumation,  to prevent this happening in the first place.

What is a healthy leopard geckos tail size? You can expect the leopard gecko to reach anywhere from 8 to 10 inches in length. This includes the size of the tail. Obviously this can vary quite a lot, depending on the leopard gecko. You have and a number of different factors, however this is a good guide.

How Often Should a Leopard Gecko Shed its Skin? Adults will usually shed its tail once a month. However juveniles will shed their skin more regularly than this. They are expected to consume their own skin after shedding, so you shouldn’t need to intervene unless they have some issues with their shed.

Can you give your Leopard Gecko a bath? Yes, but it is not encouraged. It should only be done if you have been explicitly asked to by a qualified vet, or if your lizard is in an extremely dirty condition. The problem is if you do this, there is a chance that its skin can become dry and cause it some discomfort.

How can I tell if my Leopard Gecko is male or Female? It can be quite hard to determine this. But the answer is the preanal pores. These pores are on a male and female, but are more noticeable on a male, therefore, if you know what you are looking for, this is a great way to tell them apart.

How Often Should a Tegu Eat

Are you interested in Tegus and how often they eat? Well then you are in the right place. In this article I will look at Tegus at different ages and explain how much and what they need to eat to help you.

How Often Should a Tegu Eat? Hatchlings should be fed daily. Under 3, ideally every other day. And adults should be fed every 2 to 3 days. The portions of food depends on the age and size of the Tegu. They are omnivores and have quite a varied diet.

Now that you know how often they need to eat, let’s dig deeper and look at exactly what they eat, what to avoid and some supplementation that is required to keep them happy. Please read on to get this info.

What do Tegus actually eat?

In the wild Tegus are omnivores. Therefore, they have a wide variety of food that they consume. This includes insects, fruits and also vegetables.

In captivity Tegus will almost eat anything you put in front of them. This leaves them open to have a wide and varied diet. This variety is very important, to make sure that you keep them healthy as possible.


How often and what should you feed other aged Tegus?

Hatchlings and juveniles

Primarily fed insects. If you do feed them insects, it is a good idea to have the insects pre-fed with nutritional food, so that this will pass on to your Tegu.

They should be fed daily and the insects they consume include crickets, roaches and mealworms. You can also consider giving them pinky mice but this should not be a daily habit. And if you do consider offering them this, this is something that you should only consider giving to them when they are a little bit older.

Other things that you can consider feeding them include fish and cooked eggs. In general it is a good idea to keep a 4 to 1 ratio in favour of protein.

Tegus under 3 years old

Should be fed every other day. You can consider feeding them mice, fish, cooked eggs and also mealworms. This is not the only and definitive list of food but this is a guide of what you can feed them.

Also do not forget to give them fruits because this is important to their diet as well. Their are other forms of insects that can be considered as well.

Adult Tegus

Ideally you want to feed them every 2 to 3 days. They have a similar diet to other size tegu such as mice and insects. You can also give them pieces of of cooked chicken as well as rats and rodents. Ideally you want to maintain a 2 to 1 ratio in favour of protein to fruits & vegetables. This is an ideal guide to keep them happy.

Foods that you should avoid or only in moderation

Ground Turkey is fine, as long as it’s in moderation. Just make sure that it is not given to them as a regular part of their diet.

In general you want to avoid offering them tomatoes, bananas, onions and avocados. Because there is a chance that these can cause health issues. To be safe I would avoid giving these to your lizard.

Overfeeding and obesity

Ideally you want to avoid overfeeding your tegu. Ultimately you do not want to have an obese tegu. So just avoid overfeeding your taking as much as possible. I know this is easy to say, but tough in practice, so for this reason, I have a suggestion.

The best way to deal with this is to start off slowly and offer your tegu small portions. Monitor how fast they consume the food. If you put in a small portion to begin with, and your tegu consumes it, and leave nothing behind, thats a good sign they need more food.

Bit by bit you can increase their portions. If, on the next occasion, they are still eating all of the food, then it’s a clear indication that they can still eat more. So gradually keep increasing the portions in this manor.

If you get to the point where your tegu is starting to leave food behind or taking a long time to consume the food, then there is a sign that you are starting to over feed them. So for that reason you will want to stop giving them that amount.

If this is the case, reduce it slightly, and continue to monitor their intake. It is likely to be the perfect amount time round. This needs some common sense, so you just need to monitor it and make sure that you don’t go over the top.

By the way, If you are not a fan of bugs or insects you can easily substitute these with other other food and still have a happy tegu. So it is not a concern or a necessity to remove insects from their diet.

Food supplementation

In general you want to provide some small supplementation to keep your tegu happy and healthy. To do this you need to brush their food with a supplement, such as vitamin and calcium. This only needs to be done once or twice a week to keep them healthy and happy.

What is the best enclosure to feed your tegu?

In this section I’m going to explain some of the best enclosures that you can use for your tegu when you are feeding them. There is a choice of indoor and outdoor enclosures that can be considered. So, I will go into detail on both of these options.

These enclosures that I will explain are more of a home made option, due to the size of Tegus this is a good way forward.

Outdoor enclosures for feeding

You can use corrugated metal for this. the key thing though is to make sure that you dig it deep enough and provide a big enough perimeter to keep them happy and safe.

As a general guide you will need to put the galvanized, corrugated metal at least 2 feet deep into the ground, with at least three feet appearing above ground to keep them enclosed. Perimeter wise you want at least 4 ft by 8 ft to keep them happy.

Another thing that you can consider, is creating little burrows for your tegu. To do this you can use plastic tubing, that is typically used for drainage, and this will be a nice borrow for your tegu to play with.

When it comes to hide boxes for your tegu, in the outside enclosure you need to make sure that you have hay or grass inside. This will keep the humidity. Just make sure that your hide box has a door. This door will be used for inspecting your Tegus or looking out for eggs during breeding season.

Indoor enclosures for feeding

If you have a big enough house and you want to consider storing the tegu inside,  you will need a similar sized enclosure. Perimeter for indoors should be 4-ft by 8-ft.

However if you plan to have your Tegu roaming freely around your house, surprisingly some people do this, then an enclosure of this size is not necessary. Just note that if you keep them inside, they can suffer from humidity issues.

So you need to regulate the humidity to keep them happy. For this reason ultraviolet light is a must for an indoor enclosure. You must also have a hide box that has got moist substrate to keep the humidity levels correct.

Related Questions:

How big can a Tegu get? Tegus can grow to approx 4 feet in length. They are big lizards and quite muscular.

Are Tegus good pets for beginners? No, a Tegu as a pet is quite an advanced method. In fact it is very hard to cater for such a large lizard, so it is quite a specialised skill.

7 Differences: Leopard Gecko vs Bearded Dragon

Are you wondering what the differences are between a Bearded Dragon and a Leopard Gecko? Well if yes, you are in the right place. I will be breaking this down looking at 7 different factors.

What are the main differences between a Leopard Gecko & a Bearded Gecko? Bearded Dragons are bigger and eat more food and also require UVB lighting. Leopard geckos are smaller, do not require UVB. But both are great for beginners.

To help you make a decision on this, I have taken it open myself to compare these fine lizards, looking a number of different factors, such as food, activity times, life expectancy and more.

01. Activity times

Let me explain to you the differences in their activity. Bearded dragons are mainly active during the day, at which point you can see them feeding and moving around in their tank.

Leopard geckos on the other hand are more of a nocturnal animal. Meaning most of their activity is during the night. Therefore, they will feed and move around in the nighttime, which is the opposite to bearded dragons

02. Life expectancy

Both of these lizards have quite long life expectancies. Therefore, if you are planning on buying one, make sure you are in this for the long term. Reason being, Leopard Geckos have been known to live up to 28 years.

But to be honest this is quite a rare occurrence, but gives you an idea of how long they can live. On the other hand bearded dragons can live anywhere from 15 to 20 years to give you a comparison.

03. The cost to maintain

Now lets compare the costs to maintain these two lizards. Bearded dragons are bigger animals and therefore require larger tanks (Click here for the best bearded Dragon Tanks). They also require UVB lighting and higher temperatures.

Leopard Geckos, on the other hand, do not require UVB lighting. They are also smaller, a lot smaller, so so you can have a smaller tank enclosure.

04. Size of the enclosures

As discussed earlier, Bearded Dragons are larger animals. Therefore, they require a larger enclosure. For this reason you can expect at least a size of 30 gallons for the them.

However, for the leopard gecko you can get away with anything from 10 to 20 gallons depending on how many you want to store in the tank (more on mixing Leos later).

05. Food requirements

In this section I’m going to explain the difference in food requirements for the leopard gecko and a bearded dragon. Bearded dragons eat a lot more than leopard geckos. This is mainly to do with the size difference.

To give you an idea of the difference of food, a Bearded Dragon could be expected to eat up to 50 insects in a week, where as a Leopard Gecko could be up to 25. This is just an indication because there are other factors to consider here.

This largely depends on the age of the Lizard, health of the lizard, location, etc. So there’s a lot of different things that can affect the real volume of food that your lizard will consume. But as a general guide, this is a good indication of the difference.

Looking at these averages, you can expect a Bearded Dragon to consume almost twice as much as the Leopard Gecko. Also if you are dealing with younger juvenile Bearded Dragons you can expect them to consume a lot of food as well.

06. Mixing lizards

Leopard Geckos

Leopard Geckos, in general, can be mixed together. However, you need to make sure that you have enough space for them in the tank to keep them happy. For example, if you have one leopard gecko you can expect a minimum tank size of 10 gallons.

However, if you increase this to say two Leopard Geckos, the recommendation is at least 30 gallons. Depending on how many you want to put in a tank this will obviously increase.

Mixing Male Leos

With regards to male Leos, it is not a good idea to mix more than one male, because they are quite territorial. There is a good chance that they will fight. These fights can also disrupt any female Geckos that may be sharing a tank enclosure with them.

Therefore, regardless if you’ve got a male and thinking of mixing it with another. Or maybe more than one male along with females it is not a good idea.

Mixing Female Leos

Females mix together ok, but if you do decide to mix them together, you still need to take precaution. It is a good idea to make sure that they are a similar size and that you’ve got enough space for them in the tank.  As I mentioned earlier if there is not enough space in the tank then they may fight over space.

Mixing Male & Female Leos

If you decide on mixing a male and female leopard geckos, do not have less than 3 females for one male. The reason is, there will be too much mating and breeding. Also, the problem is, the females will not be able to keep up with the demands of the male Leo.

Another consideration is the health of the leopard geckos, when mixing. For example, if you buy a new leopard gecko and attempt to mix it with some existing geckos, their could be a chance that the new gecko could have some kind of parasite infection.

This can pass on to your other geckos therefore it is important to check this out before you continue.

Mixing bearded dragons

In general mixing bearded dragons is not a good idea. However it is possible, in some cases, which we will discuss now. But if it can be avoided this is the best.

Another thing to consider, if you attempt to do this, just be prepared to separate them if need be. So that would mean that you need a separate tank on stand by if the arrangement is not working out, are you with me?

If you do decide to mix the the bearded dragons, here are a few things that you should consider before going ahead. It is very important that you have a very large tank to deal with both of these lizards.

For the simple reason of their sheer size. To achieve this you would need a tank of at least 125 gallons, which is quite a big tank. And obviously, an increase in the cost for you.

Also you need to make sure that the Beardies that you decide to pair up are similar in size. If they are different sizes, the bigger bearded dragon is very likely to bully the smaller one

One thing for sure, never consider mixing two male bearded dragons. This is definitely asking for trouble. And will result in fights and injury.

If you consider mixing a male and a female together, just make sure that you do not mix a male with a young female. She needs to be at least 2 years old. This is because she needs to be at the correct age for breeding.

Even if she is the correct age, it is still “hit or miss” if they will pair up OK without any issues. There is still a chance, even if the Dragon is at the breeding age, the male could become too aggressive and may cause problems with the female so you’ll have to make a decision after you see how they behave together.

07. Overall Factors

In general as you can see the bearded dragon requires a lot more space, requires UVB lighting, as well as he consumes almost twice as much food, on average, than a leopard gecko. For all of these reasons.

If it comes down to it, in my opinion, you’ll be better off looking at a leopard gecko. However if cost is not an issue, and you really do like bearded dragons then at least you understand the differences.

Related Questions:

Are Leopard Geckos and Bearded Dragons Beginner friendly? Yes, they are both great selections for beginners. However, I feel that the Leo is even easier for a beginner for the reasons explained in this article.

How bad is a leopard gecko bite?

Getting a Leopard Gecko bite sounds scary, right? But how bad is this bite, and is it something to worried about? Well in this article I will reveal the answer.

How bad is a leopard gecko bite? Not bad. A Leopard Gecko’s bit is not that bad when you compare it to other lizards, such as ferocious Komodo Dragons. However, they have the ability to break your skin and infect you with a bacterial infection.

The reality is, Leopard Geckos are great pets, especially for beginners. But I understand that yo need to do your research and understand the risk. For that reason, in this article I will provide the detail need for example what makes them bite, signs that may bite you and more.

Why do some people fear leopard gecko bites?

Some people have a legitimate phobia for lizards called herpetophobia. This phobia is quite common and is something that makes people fair lizards, even at the thought of just seeing them. This herpetophobia phobia even has a formal clinical treatment to deal with it, if it’s really required.

When a leopard gecko bites you, you need to understand that it is not a personal thing, it is usually for a very valid reason, and in most cases it’s nature’s defensive tactic.

What Will Make a Leopard Gecko Bite You?

In this section I’m going to give you some ideas of why your leopard gecko may attempt to bite you:

Territorial behaviour from a male gecko

Male geckos are naturally territorial, even more so when it’s during the breeding season. Common things that can trigger this, can be as simple as you as an owner handling more than one Gecko in a day. The male can pick up the scent from your hands and confuse you as a potential male lizard threat.

To get around this, the simple solution is just to wash your hands before you handle each leopard gecko. Therefore, removing the unwanted sent away from your hands.

They are feeling hungry and “nippy”

Sometimes you may find that your hand may be mistaken as potential food. If they are hungry, as you reach your hand in to the leopard geckos cage, they will see the small movement of your fingers and naturally want to go and bite you.

This is mainly when they are hungry, waiting for food. When they are in this state, they are naturally prone to react to small movements and unfortunately, in this occasion, your hand has triggered them to bite and go for their prey.

A tactic that you can use to avoid getting your hand bitten as you reach your hand into the tank, is to coax them to follow your hand.

Let me explain, for example, using your right hand as a decoy, as they approach your right hand in an attempt to bite it, you use your left hand to grab them gently, allowing you to handle them while you then cunningly place the food into their tank.

Unnaturally overly aggressive leopard gecko

On some rare occasions you may just find that you are unlucky, and you have a overly unnatural aggressive leopard gecko. This is not too common but can happen.

If you find that your leopard gecko is shaking its tail aggressively, similar to a snake, or even charging at you, on a regular basis, even if it is not hungry, or in breeding season, there is a chance that you have one of these overly aggressive leopard geckos.

In the first instance it’s advised just to leave the Gecko alone to see if it’s just a one-off. If this persists over many days, unfortunately there is a good chance that you have a naturally aggressive leopard gecko.

Unfortunately, if this is the case, there is nothing that you can really do about this. It’s just one of those things. However, you need to be very careful not to allow any children to be around these type of leopard geckos.

Because they are quite dangerous and you should avoid handling them as much as possible. They are still good pets, but you just have to be mindful that they are dangerous. They’re good to look at through the tank window, but not one to let your friends have a feel of, are you with me?

What happens if a leopard gecko bites you?

A leopard gecko bite is not very dangerous. They will bite down with as much force as they can but in reality it is not a major bite. However, there is a chance that you could actually pick up a bacterial infection.

So it is very important that after you are bitten that you thoroughly wash the bitten area with antibacterial soap and if there’s any doubt consult your doctor to be doubly sure. One of the biggest mistakes many people make when they are actually getting bitten, is to grab the lizard and remove it, to try and get rid of the Lizard.

While this may seem like a logical thing to do it’s actually worse, because as you pull the lizard away, while it is chomping down on you, it can break and tear your skin, which can make the injury even worse.

In fact the best way to deal with this is to be patient and wait for the leopard gecko to let go on its own accord. I know this is easy for me to say as I’m writing this, because in reality it will most likely be quite a scary experience, and I fully understand your instinctive reaction of pulling the leopard gecko away, but if you can avoid this, this is the best way to reduce the damage.

Signs that your leopard gecko might be about to bite you

In this section, I am going to give you some indications that your leopard Gecko maybe secretly plotting to bite you:

Your Leo is Slyly Hiding away

If you find that your leopard gecko is hiding away in a small cave or hidden area in the tank this could be an early indication that he fears you, and may even bite you. If you find that every time you walk near your Leopard Gecko, and it was acting normally, but then all of a sudden it goes to hide away as it sees you, this is a clear indication that it fears you.

This is usually common behaviour from younger hatchlings before they have had an opportunity to get to know you. If this is the case, you need to be careful, because as you raise your hand in to pet or feed them, and try to move towards them, while they’re hiding they may instinctively bite you simply to protect themselves.

Aggressive tail swaying

If you notice that your Leopard Gecko is waving its tail, almost in an “s” motion, which may be hard to visualise now, but if you see it then you’ll understand what I mean, this could be an indication that it is getting defensive, and could potentially bite you.

This is commonly seen if it sees itself in a mirror and mistakes itself as a potential predator or if it sees another animal, such as a house cat, or other pet. In this case it then usually moves its tail in this manner to show aggression and to indicate that it may bite.

Agressive Hissing

You may find that your Leopard Gecko attempts to hiss at you as you as you approach it. This is a clear sign that it is not happy and it will consider biting you. Think of this as a clear warning sign. If you attempt to pick it up, be warned you will likely get bitten.

You may find, even if you are successful to pick it up and then reconsider, then drop it down, it will continue to hiss aggressively for a while. This may continue until it actually calms down. So it is a good idea to avoid handling your Leo when you hear this frightening hiss.

Aggressive stance and posturing

You may notice, particularly on cleaning days, that your leopard gecko will press its stomach towards the ground and follow your hand with almost laser type focus. While it’s doing this it may also have its tail in a vertical formation. This is a clear sign that it is unhappy, more of a territorial behaviour actually, and there is a good chance that it may attempt to bite you.

You may also find it behave in this manner if it sees you attempting to remove things from its tank, as you attempt to clean it.

Related Questions:

Are Leopard Geckos scared of humans? Yes, they are initially in captivity. Because they need time to build trust with you. In their natural habitat, then even more so. In captivity, once they get to know you, this should not be an issue.

9 Weird Crested Gecko Noises & Behaviors

Crested Geckos make some weird noises, right? Well, there is a reason for most of these noises, as well as their behaviors (Click here for my best Crested Gecko Guide, on Amazon). For that reason I am gong to explain exactly what these are now for you in this article, focusing on 9 of their weird noises and behaviours.

What is a Crested Gecko? A crested Gecko, scientific name Correlophus (Rhacodactylus) ciliatus, is a popular pet lizard species. It is loved for its easy care requirements and manageable behavior characteristics.

When it comes to Crested Geckos they have a number of weird and funny behaviours and noises that they make in the section i’m going to break down and number of different noises and behaviours that interest you,

01. The chirping Noise

The chirping sound is usually not very loud but definitely audible it’s usually an indication that your gecko is uncomfortable you may hear this sound when you are trying to handle them and they are not feeling very comfortable about it. Therefore if you hear this sound it’s a good idea to put him down and give him a break.

02. The barking Noise

The barking sound is another negative sound that is made by crested geckos. This is usually an indication from the female, to the male gecko, to leave her alone.

You may be confused if your crested gecko makes this sound to you, but there is a simple reason for this. There is a good chance that the female gecko may be confused and thinks that you are a male gecko trying to harass her.

03. Breeding Season Noises

During the breeding season the female gecko will make some weird squeaking sounds, this squeaking sound is usually a positive thing and is an indication that the female would like some male attention. The sound is there to attract a male and make it known that she is ready to mate.

Don’t be surprised if the female gecko becomes quite feisty during the mating season, you may even notice that they will attempt to bite your hand and make the same mating squeaking sound. This is because they may confuse you with a potential mate.

During this mating Season the male gecko may appear to be fierce, for example he may seem to be biting the back of the neck of the female and this may alarm you. However, there is no reason to be alarmed.

This is the male’s way of trying to make sure that the female does not escape. Whilst this sounds completely abnormal to us as humans, this is normal practice and acceptable in the lizard Kingdom.

After the male gecko mates you will notice that his hemipenis is sticking out. This is weird to see because typically their sexual organs are not visible and I held inside their body. They will attempt to lick this to bring it down to size and retain the normal inverted shape.

04. Whistling noises in your tank enclosure

If you have more than one crested gecko in your tank enclosure you may notice that you hear some whistling sounds. That may make you think and wonder what is happening?

This is commonly known as a form of communication between crested geckos. It’s a way for them to understand each other.

05. Crested gecko tail dropping

Crested geckos are well-known for dropping their tails. This happens for a few reasons, but the most common reason is when they engage in fighting with other geckos.

It is advised that you are very gentle when handling a Crested Gecko because if they are handled incorrectly this could also cause them to lose their tail.

However it is not as catastrophic as a human losing a limb, because there is a good chance that they will actually grow their tail back.

06. Eyeball licking

You may be shocked to find out that crested geckos do not have eyelids, therefore you may notice that your crested gecko will actually be seen licking its own eyeballs.

As much as this is seems quite bizarre it is the only way that they can moisten their eyes, because they do not have eyelids. Remember, as humans we have eyelids, and we continuously blink throughout the day.

This motion actually moistens our eyes and keeps them moist without us even really thinking about it. Therefore, a Crested Gecko has no choice but to use its tongue to replicate this behaviour.

07. Crested gecko colour changes

Crested geckos can come in a few different types of colours. However, they can also change their colour depending on their environment and how their surroundings change.

They also have the ability to change colour whilst they are sleeping to a slightly darker tone. This is something quite unique to crested geckos and is just one of their abilities

08. Weird sleeping habits

Crested geckos are known as nocturnal animals, this simply means that they actually sleep during the day and then I active in the night. One of the benefits of this behaviour is that it Shields them from the intense heat that the daytime hours offer in their natural habitat.

09. Eating Its own Skin

It is no surprise that crested Geckos shed their skin. This is because most lizards do this. However they do shed their skin quite regular, in particular, a couple of times a month. They also will eat their own skin immediately after they shed their skin.

In fact you may even notice that they lose their appetite during this time. Almost like natures way of making sure they consume the skin. It is believed that the skin contains nutrients that benefit the lizard.

Related Questions:

Do Crested Geckos also make clicking sounds? Yes, they are known to make a clicking sound as well. This has been observed when they are eating. The sound seems to be generated from its chest area, rather than its mouth and is another mysterious noise for Cresties.

Do Crested Geckos smell? No, not usually. They are not smelly animals in general. However, if there is feaces in their tank or some odorous food remains in their tank then you may notice some bad smells. But, for the most part, they are not smelly.

Do Crested Geckos need Heat? Yes, but not additional heating. What I mean by that is their heating requirements are similar to ours, so they do not really need any extra heating or lights to keep them happy. So, yes, obviously they need some form of heat, but nothing excessive.

Can you handle crested geckos? Yes, they are naturally quite laid back lizards. Not really aggressive. Which is one of the reasons they are a popular pet lizard. However if you are new to owning lizards, you need to handle them carefully and learn how to do this safely.

What types of fruits can you give to Crested Geckos? They can eat a variety of fruits, in particular they can have mangos, bananas, apples, plums just to name a few.

Can Crested Geckos See in the night? Yes, they can. As discussed earlier, they are nocturnal, meaning they are active in the night. For this reason their eyes have been adapted to deal with roaming around in the night and will have no problems seeing and finding food in the night.

Are Crested Geckos friendly? Yes, they are friendly. As discussed earlier they have a great personality for beginners because they are so tame and laid back. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular amongst lizard keepers around the world.

Do Bearded Dragons Enjoy Human Contact?

Would you agree that t would be good to know if your Bearded Dragon actually enjoyed your human contact (Click here to see my best Bearded Dragon manual)? Well, this is what I thought, and for this reason I will reveal if they really do enjoy your contact, and more importantly when to give them some space, because you are about to get bitten!

Do bearded dragons enjoy human contact? Naturally no, but in captivity they can be trained to enjoy human contact. They are instinctively well mannered lizards, so taming them is not too much of a challenge. In time they can grow to love your contact.

Now you understand that they can enjoy human contact, let us delve a bit deeper and understand what you need to look out for, and what warning signs you need to check for to avoid agitating your Beardie.

Why does my bearded dragon wave at me?

Have you ever come across or heard of a bearded dragon that waves at you? In this section of the article I’m going to explain why this may happen just to clarify exactly and also to satisfy your curiosity. 

There are many different theories about why your bearded dragon will wave like this, including a form of communication or even as some weird form of submission. In all honesty, there is no proven reason why this happens.

It is often seen that this hand waving will also be coupled with a weird head bobbing which is another mystery.

Either way this is a good indication that your dragon is trying to communicate and is a caring member of your household.

Be warned that not all bearded dragons do this behaviour. It is commonly believed that some of them do not do this because of their environment. Based on the type of terrarium setup you have and how happy they are in the tank.

About bearded dragons behavior

Bearded dragons are naturally happy to be on their own, in a way they are a happy introverts. They are not instinctively affectionate animals. However, if they are used to seeing you around and you become a regular presence in their life they will grow to appreciate your existence.

It is not uncommon to see your bearded dragon approach you as it sees you coming close to it. They are a very laid back lizard with a good temperament.

How can You Begin to tame your Dragon?

If you have an aggressive bearded dragon you may be interested to know how you can tame it, to make him more manageable.

For that reason in this section I’m going to explain how you can do this and finally tame your bearded dragon

Some things to look out for, if your Dragon is in an aggressive mood, yo may find that his beard will darken, this is sign to back off and give him some time, you don’t want to get bitten.

To start off with the taming, once he has calmed down, hold him firmly, but not too tight, you don’t want to hurt him, right? Now gently pet him to show him some love.

This is not an overnight process, it takes consistency. If he starts to get upset while you are holding him, just let him go for a second and then repeat the process again.

Create rapport by hand feeding Your Dragon

I’m going to explain how you can use a clever tactic to create rapport with your bearded dragon, it may seem simple but it is definitely effective. 

Hand feeding your bearded dragon is an effective way of building rapport and for him to get used to your presence. The easiest way to do this is to gently offer him food by putting the food in between your index finger and thumb.

For example you may decide to use a small insect to offer your bearded dragon, do so slowly at the beginning. Simply place the food at the tips of your finger and thumb and offer it to your bearded dragon.

Allow him to approach you for the food. If it works he should use his tongue to gently take the food away.  This is not something that you should do everyday but from time to time you can do this to train your Dragon to appreciate your presence.

One word of warning you have to do this carefully because there is a chance that some dragons may see your fingers as food, so be cautious.

Understanding when not to mess with your bearded Dragon

If you can read your Dragon’s behaviour, then you will avoid stressing him out. Also, you will more importantly reduce the chances of getting yourself bitten.

Just understand this, your Beardie really does not enjoy biting you, it is only done as a natural defence mechanism. He sees you as a threat and just instinctively nips at you, nothing personal, its nature!

Be warned though, they can give you quite a “spicy” bite, so avoid agitating it as much as possible.

Here are some of the signs you should look out for, as a sign to avoid getting bitten:

  • Mouth Gaped open.
  • Hissing at you
  • Arching his back
  • Tail whipping

If you see any of this, it is not a good idea to mess with him.

Taming Juvenile Bearded Dragons

When you are working with Juvineiles, don’t even consider handling or hand feeding, unless they are in their enclosure. For the simple reason they are very fast. So you could easily lose one if you are not careful.

In a similar way I explained above, for the adults, hand feeding is ideal to start taming them. Instead of dumping an insect, such as a cricket, in the enclosure, grab it and gently lower your hand into their enclosure.

You need to read a bit of body language here, if he sees your hand and instinctively backs up, just take your time and gently remove your hand, he is only small, and you do not want to freak hm out, are you with me?

Now, I like to call this the “Hypnosis Method”, gently put your hand back in, but gently swing the cricket in eyeshot of the Juvenile Beardie to grab his attention. The idea is to trigger his hunting instinct and react to moving prey.

Be warned, this is not a cue for you to start pushing the insect closer to him, simply wave it and wait. The ideal scenario is, he will come to you.

This may take quite a few attempts. And understand this, if he shows any form of aggressive reaction, especially if it is similar to what I listed above, please stop immediately and leave it until another occasion.

Related Questions:

Do bearded dragons purr? No, they do not purr. The closest thing to this is iff they Hiss. But this is only when they are agitated or warning you to keep away. As you probably know, a purr, often associated with cats, its quite the opposite mood, this is associated with happiness.

Do bearded dragons recognize their owners? Yes, they can do, but this is only really for captive lizards. This is not a natural behaviour. And as explained earlier, this may require some taming or training to get the expected responses.

Are Bearded Dragons Social (or Weird Introverts?)

Maybe you’re thinking about keeping bearded dragon lizards as pets. Should you get one or multiple lizards? Do bearded dragons enjoy being social? Or are they introverted loners? Let’s find out.

So, are bearded dragons social lizards? The average bearded dragon is at least semi-social. They use various physical behaviors to communicate, including head bobbing, arm waving and beard flaring. Baby bearded dragons often participate in stacking, wherein one dragon will get on top of the other and another will get on top of that one.

This weird stacking happens most often during basking and when several baby dragons are in the same enclosure.  In general, most dragons are less social with each other and more social with humans and other pets.

Many people like to buy more than one pet at a time, but it’s always important to know whether the pet in question gets along with others of its kind or with another species.

Bearded Dragons Weird Social Behaviors?

Head bobbing

Head bobbing is one of the social behaviors displayed by bearded dragons. The lizard will bob its head up and down in rapid succession. This is usually done in the presence of another bearded dragon.

The head bobbing serves as a warning to the other lizard to stay out of its territory. In the case of two males, it can lead to a dual with the winner becoming dominant.

Arm Waving

Young bearded dragons often display arm waving. It’s an amusing type of behavior characterized by the dragon waving one arm above its head, almost like it’s saying hello or good-bye. In fact, it is a behavior where the dragon is indicating to another dragon that it is friendly and doesn’t wish to start a fight.

Beard Flaring

Bearded dragons are, of course, known for their beards, and one of their most distinctive behaviors is beard flaring. This happens when the dragon feels truly threatened.

It will raise its chin and flare out its beard while possibly also producing a hissing sound. The beard flaring makes the dragon look larger and more threatening to anything in its vicinity.


Another interesting social behavior of bearded dragons is known as stacking. This is mostly exhibited by baby dragons when kept in large numbers within a limited space. When one dragon lays in a prime basking spot, another dragon will come over and lay on top of that one.

Then another one may come over and get on top of the second dragon. Although this can be a harmless behavior, it can also be dangerous if there are too many dragons in the stack. The bottom dragon may have difficulty breathing. When keeping many dragons in the same space, it’s important to provide plenty of room for each dragon to find a basking spot.

A rule of thumb is that many dragons are less social with other dragons and more likely to be social with humans and other pets if introduced early enough. Dragons highly enjoy mental stimulation and may follow you around the house to see what you’re doing.

They may also form vague bonds with dogs or cats and enjoy playing simple games with them. Like all lizards, they like to bask for long periods of time, which is similar to how cats nap a lot during the day. Despite this apparently introverted behavior, most dragons are still social in their own way.

What Happens if you Mix Them With Another Species?

In the wild, bearded dragons are largely solitary. They don’t really mix with each other or with other species. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep them together in captivity. As previously mentioned, dragons tend to be territorial with each other, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get along.

It’s always important to introduce them early. When it comes to mixing them with other species, the first step is to make sure that all species come from the same type of habitat.

For example, bearded dragons come from a dry, hot climate, so you wouldn’t want to put them with an iguana, which enjoys high humidity. It’s also important that the lizards are around the same size with neither species being prey to the other.

In zoos, blue-tongued skinks and shingleback lizards might be housed with bearded dragons as all three species come from the dry Australian interior.

Another option is to pair them with another species of reptile. Tortoises can be a good choice as they are totally herbivores, and they have natural protection in their shell to avoid being attacked by other animals.

Again, the habitat should match, so make sure to get a dry climate tortoise to go with your bearded dragon. It’s also important that the enclosure be large enough to allow both reptiles plenty of space.

One more possibility is to pair the bearded dragon with a nocturnal lizard. Bearded dragons are diurnal, so they won’t be active at the same time as a nocturnal lizard such as a gecko.

What Happens if you Put Two Males Together?

As previously mentioned, bearded dragons normally live alone in the wild. The reason for this is that they have very strong territorial instincts, and this especially applies to the male dragons. You can typically mix female dragons or even a male and a female if you’re not worried about reproduction, but male dragons typically will not get along.

They will likely have fierce displays and even fights to establish their territory. If one dragon is much bigger than the other, it’s very possible for the smaller one to be killed in such a fight. Bearded dragons are more likely to get along with other species than they are with each other.

If you end up housing two dragons together, make sure to keep an eye on them. If they’re fighting or keeping the other from getting food, then you will need to separate them.

Will a Bearded Dragon Attack a Human?

The short answer is yes, but only if they’re extremely scared or angry. In general, bearded dragons are more bark than bite. They’ll posture and hiss, but won’t necessarily attack. Biting is a last resort for a bearded dragon, and it’s almost always for an extreme defensive reason.

To reduce the risk of being attacked by a bearded dragon, make sure to pay attention to its behavior. If it starts acting defensive when you attempt to touch it or handle your Bearded Dragon, then you should back off. Persisting in trying to touch or handle it when it’s mad could result in a bite. Bearded dragons also don’t necessarily like new animals or humans that it doesn’t know. It may act scared or defensive in that situation as well.

Related Questions:

Why do Some Bearded Dragons Scratch Walls? In short, if your bearded dragon is scratching at the walls of its enclosure, it’s probably bored. As previously mentioned, bearded dragons enjoy a lot of mental stimulation.

If it’s put in a small cage without a lot of interesting things, it will eventually get bored and scratch. Dragons like to have a lot of furniture, including things to climb, things to get under, places to bask and places to cool down.

This is one reason why many owners let their dragons out to roam around the house for a bit. They tend to be very interested in what’s going on around them and what you’re doing. They may also want to exercise if there’s not enough room in the cage to run around.

What Causes Bearded Dragons to Get Stressed? All animals can experience stress, and bearded dragons are no exception. The following is a list of situations that might cause your bearded dragon to feel stressed:

  • Not enough food
  • Too many people around it
  • A lot of loud or constant noise
  • Small spaces
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Too much motion (i.e. when you’re handling them, don’t bounce them around)
  • Boredom
  • Other bearded dragons in the same enclosure

If you think your dragon might be stressed, take a look at its physical signs. They might puff up, have a dark chin, wide eyes or even start shaking in severe circumstances.

How Intelligent are Bearded Dragons?

It’s only in recent years that scientists have started to test the intelligence of reptiles. The early results show that they are indeed quite smart. Many bearded dragon (Click here to see why a Baby Bearded Dragon may not eat) owners compare the intelligence of their pets to that of a house-cat.

Dragons do show a strong propensity to learn things, including their names in some cases. Like a cat, one of the biggest obstacles to training is motivation.

However, bearded dragons do like to eat and can often be motivated by food. If using food to train your dragon, be careful not to overfeed them or feed them anything that they can’t eat.

You should never feed them processed foods, raw meat or captured insects. Worms should only be fed to dragons in moderation as they are very fatty and can cause the dragon to gain too much weight.

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