How Smart is a Bearded Dragon? (This Might Surprise You!)

Ever wondered how smart a bearded Dragon really is? Well, I did and decided to share my findings with you. You be surprised to see how smart these lizards really are (Click here to see why I love this Bearded Dragon Guide).

How Smart is a Bearded Dragon? Bearded Dragons are very smart and have excellent problem-solving skills. They can also learn by watching other bearded dragons, a mark of intelligence once thought to belong only to higher mammals.

So, now you know they are smart, but what studies have been done to prove this? Can they even recognize you as their owner, and is it even possible to train them? These are just some of the things I will reveal to you next.

What Studies Have been Done on Bearded Dragon Intelligence?

Researchers at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom conducted a study to determine whether a Bearded Dragon trained to open a door to reach a meal worm could teach other bearded dragons to open the door just by observation.

Seven untrained Bearded Dragons were placed in a enclosure with the trained dragon. After watching the trained dragon open the door with its claws and head, all of the untrained dragons were able to open the door too.

A control group of four untrained Bearded Dragons were unable to open the door. At one time, the ability to learn by observation was thought to belong only to humans and other higher mammals.

Can Bearded Dragons Recognize Their Owners?

Bearded Dragons recognize their owners by sight. Their emotional range is much narrower than that of humans however. Your Bearded Dragon knows you, but the emotions it feels are restricted to anger, fear, or pleasure.

So, while your Bearded Dragon definitely knows you and may experience pleasure when you are around, to say it loves you might be a step too far.

How Can You Train a Bearded Dragon?

In the wild, bearded dragons are naturally shy. If your Bearded Dragon has not been socialized at the pet store, the first thing you will want to do is get it used to you so it will not be afraid.

Start this process gradually. Work up to handling your dragon slowly. As a final step, you can work on hand-feeding your Bearded Dragon as it becomes comfortable with your touch and learns to trust you. Here are some basic steps:

  • Spend lots of time around your Bearded Dragon. When you first bring your Bearded Dragon home, make sure its enclosure is placed so that it can see you go about your day. Let your dragon get used to you being in the room without touching or handling it.
  • Let your Bearded Dragon roam in a closed room. Shut the door to a room where you hang out, and make sure there are no open windows. The room should be warm enough for the Bearded Dragon to be comfortable, and it should be just you and the Bearded Dragon in the room.Let it roam about for an hour or so, but watch for signs of stress. If your dragon darkens its beard or takes an aggressive posture, it is stressed and needs to go back into is enclosure to calm down. Repeat this step until your dragon can roam about a closed room without getting stressed.
  • Pick up your Bearded Dragon. Once your dragon has become comfortable around you and can roam without getting stressed, you can try picking it up. Never reach behind the dragon, as this can startle it, and never pick it up by the tail, as that can injure it.Bearded Dragons do not have tails that detach and grow back, so never, ever pick it up by its tail. Instead scoop your hand under if from the front and support the trunk of its body with your hand. Move slowly and calmly.
  • Calm your Bearded Dragon.Your Bearded Dragon may show signs of stress or try to bite you when you pick it up. If this happens, slowly stroke its back. This should help calm your Bearded Dragon and help to convince the animal that you are nothing to be feared.Getting to this step may take quite awhile, but if you are patient and persistent, your dragon will eventually let you handle it.

Once you have trained your Bearded Dragon to let you handle it, you can begin to hand feed it. This step will further strengthen the dragon’s sense of security and calm around you.

If your dragon continues to show stress when you handle it, you can put it back in its enclosure to calm down, but be careful about doing this too often. Putting the dragon back once you pick it up can train it that all it has to do is display stress to get you to return it to its enclosure.

You don’t want it to train you to put it back, you want it to learn that you won’t hurt it and can be trusted to hold it. You probably won’t be able to teach your Bearded Dragon to do tricks, but you never know! Whatever you decide about training, you will have to start with basic socializing and handling.

Are Bearded Dragons Nocturnal?

Bearded Dragons (Click here to see if Green Beardies really exist) are one of the few reptiles that are not nocturnal. Instead, they are active during the day, making them ideal pets for reptile lovers, fun to watch and fun to train and handle.

Enjoy Your Bearded Dragon

Learning how to care for your dragon is complex and takes a lot of practice, a bit of intuition, and a good relationship with an experienced vet. People who get the hang of it become very attached to their dragons and no wonder!

A happy Bearded Dragon can provide years of companionship and entertainment. As long-lived as a dog or cat, Bearded Dragons truly deserve their magical name.

Related Questions:

How Much Care Do Bearded Dragons Need? Bearded Dragons are not like other reptiles. They require a very specific environment and feeding schedule and need regular vet visits with a doctor who knows about their habits and habitat.

Bearded Dragons need 12-14 hours of UV light every day. You will need a UV Light and a basking light. The basking temperature should be 95 F. for grown dragons and 110 F. for baby dragons.

The tank for your dragon will need to be at least 40 gallons (32 x 36 inches). A Bearded Dragon can grow to be 24 inches in length, so it needs some room. Place 2 to 3 inches of sand in the bottom, or use reptile carpet. Remove waste daily. Once a week, change out the sand completely.

Place a rock or branch under the basking light so your Bearded Dragon has something to hide behind and something to sit on and bask. Do not use heated rocks. They can burn your Bearded Dragon’s skin quickly.

You will also need to place a screen on top of your dragon enclosure. Believe it or not, Bearded Dragons can be clever escape artists!

Dragons are finicky about temperature and humidity. You will need a thermometer to monitor the temperature and a hygrometer to measure humidity. Dragons do best at 20% to 30% humidity, like the desert environment of their Australian home.

The basking end of your tank should be 95 to 110 degrees F, and the cool end between 75 and 85 F. At night you can drop the cool end down to between 65 and 75 degrees F.

If all that sounds complex, it’s because it is. Getting the environment just right is the key to making sure your Bearded Dragon thrives.

What Do I Feed My Bearded Dragon? Bearded Dragons are omnivorous, which means they eat both meat and fruits and vegetables. An adult Bearded Dragon will enjoy a diet of about 25% – 50% chopped greens, carrots, and yams, and a small amount (about 5%) of fresh fruit. Provide the chopped veggies every other day and the fruit once per week.

You can give the dragon a serving of commercial pellets every day, and supplement that with daily feedings of crickets, meal worms, or wax worms. Dust the food with calcium powder once per week.

Dragons need fresh water at all times. Sometimes they might not seem to be drinking. If that seems to be the case, you can spritz them with a bit of water mist from a spray bottle about twice per week.

How Do I Know If My Bearded Dragon Is Doing Well? A Bearded Dragon can live up to twelve years, so taking one home is a big responsibility and a big commitment. They make wonderful pets, but they are not the easiest reptile to take on, and advice that works for other reptiles usually won’t work for Bearded Dragons.

If you notice any of the following signs, your Bearded Dragon needs a visit to the vet:

  • Skin discoloration or flaking.
  • Swollen joints.
  • Refusing food or water, excessive hiding.
  • Discharge from the nose or eyes.
  • Runny feces for more than a day or two.

Remember than healthy reptiles carry bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that cause disease in humans, most especially salmonella, which can make you quite ill. This means you must wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your Bearded Dragon, scooping its debris, or feeding it. Keep your hands away from your mouth and nose.

Vivarium vs Terrarium (What is the Difference?)

Vivariums and Terrariums are used interchangeably for lizard care. But what is the difference between these? In this article I will break this down and more.

What is the difference between a Vivarium and a Terrarium? A vivarium has animal and plant life. Where as to a Terrarium which just has plant life. Many people use this term interchangeably, but this is the correct definition.

To get more information on what should be kept in each of these, where their names comes from, how to use these and more I encourage you to keep reading.

What is a Vivarium?

Vivarium is a Latin word for place of life. It is an enclosure for keeping animals and/or plants and can be small enough for a tabletop but can get as big as a large 60+ gallon enclosure for big lizards.

A vivarium contains a portion of an ecosystem that benefits the individual animal. The point of the vivarium is that the enclosure is supposed to have a stable and controlled environment to benefit the individual animal. (Click here to see the best glass vivariums)

What is a Terrarium?

A Terrarium is a glass container that contains plants and soil, it is different to a vivarium because it does not have animals in it.

A water cycle is created by the generation of moisture from the plants and soil. This moisture creates an amazing condensing effect that is beneficial for the plants.

An interesting fact is that has a very was created by a botanist Nathanial Bagshaw Ward back in 1842.

What Maintenance is required for Terrariums and Vivariums?

Like most living conditions they will require maintenance to keep them looked after. If maintenance is neglected then you may find that you’ll start to see mould or even bacteria start to grow within the vivarium or terrarium.

The level of maintenance required largely depends on what animal or plant life you have inside of the container. At a minimum you will have to do clean the enclosure at regular interval. How regular depends largely on what animal or plants you have in there, more detail on this maintenance schedule later on.

Just to give you a rough example, if you have a bearded dragon, it is required that you clean out the closure at least on a weekly basis.

How do you clean a Lizard Vivarium?

I explained earlier it is a good idea to clean your vivarium on a weekly basis. However adopting a daily quick clean schedule as well as a more thorough weekly clean is good practice for most lizards that you decide to keep. This will also help reduce the amount of time you need to clean when you get to the weekly deep clean.

How do you clean these vivariums? The main items that you will need are the following:

  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Scraping Knife
  • Sponges
  • Cleaning detergent
  • Old toothbrush

It is a good idea to keep these altogether in handy cleaning Kit, so that you are prepared to do this task on a daily basis and more thorough clean on a weekly basis.

Another important safety factor to consider is always having rubber gloves on when you are actually doing the cleaning, and also having some protective goggles to protect your eyes while you’re doing this.

The Daily clean:

The daily clean is more of a quick surface level, spring clean to get rid of obvious things. For example, cleaning out the feaces from the sand substrates if you have this, cleaning up water dishes and topping up water that may be required for your Lizard.

In addition to this is using soapy water to wash up any dishes or water dishes that may be inside of the vivarium.

The weekly clean:

This is more of a thorough clean and will involve emptying the entire vivarium. Disinfecting the glass and surrounding items and replacing any substrate such as sand.

How Do Vivariums Control Humidity?

Animals have a tolerance for humidity. This is common in humans as well, just think about it, if there is a large swing in humidity it can affect how we live, for example we may find our skin or lips become drier due to the lack of humidity, right?

Therefore vivariums have a way of controlling the humidity to allow your lizard to have an artificially catered environment.

What Maintenance is required for Terrariums?

Maintenance for a terrarium is usually a lot more simpler. The regular required maintenance is mainly what is known as “turning the terrarium”. And this simply means by rotating the terrarium so that you get a balanced amount of light-flow into the terrarium.

For example, if you have a bright flat and the sun is coming in from one particular window, you may find that only one side of your terrarium is getting the sunlight.

Therefore in that situation you would want to simply turn your terrarium so that one of the neglected sides gets the sunlight, it’s as simple as that.

In addition to this you will need to open the lid every 2 to 3 weeks, reason being you want to ventilate the terrarium. Once you open the lid for short while Close the lid back.

The idea here is to see if any condensation builds up after you have done this. If you do not see this, which is a bad sign, then you will need to leave it open for a bit longer until you do see condensation buildup after you close it back.

This condensation build up will help the plants inside get the moisture they need and keep the ecosystem of life working well.

From this there are other obvious things such as removing unwanted branches. Also you should look out for any mould that is developing inside the enclosure, if you do see this it’s important to remove these mould and to clean out the mould immediately so it doesn’t grow and become a bigger problem.

How much do Vivariums cost?

The cost varies quite a lot, but to give the typical price range, you’re looking at anywhere from $30 up to as much as 300+ dollars. This largely depends on the quality, whether or not if it is a wooden frame, or a plastic framed vivarium.

Also you need to consider how much volume (Effectively this is the physical size) that you need. The bigger the lizard, the more space that you’ll need, and therefore this will drive up the price of Bavarian.

How much do Terrariums cost?

To Terrarium cost is relatively the same as the vivariums. Reason being of the vivarium starts its life as a terrarium, by the introduction of an animal it makes the terrarium become a vivarium.

Related Questions:

What is a paludarium? A paludrium is a type of aquarium that has fish, aquatic plants, and it terrestrial plants. This type of tank has the added benefit of pretty much being self sufficient, basically low maintenance.

This is mainly because ,if you set it up correctly, it will have a self-fulfilling ecosystem. The whole idea of the paludrium is to replicate the behaviour of a natural rainforest.

 

The added benefit of this aquarium is that you can mix and match a larger combination of different animals. For example, you can have Fish as well as turtles in this paludrium, making it quite interesting for the pet keepers.

The word paludrium comes from the Latin word “Palus”, which effectively means and marsh and swamp. In addition to this the other syllable “arium” means location.

What type of animals can live in a vivarium? Type of animals that you typically see in a vivarium are a large combination of lizard species, and snakes. However, it is possible to have other animals in this type of environment as well.

Do lizards eat other lizards? (Most People Don’t Know This)

If you are thinking about mixing lizards in captivity, you may have wondered if lizards eat other lizards. So, in today’s article I have laid out the detail you are looking for and more.

Do Lizards eat other lizards? Yes, they do. Especially if a lizard is smaller in size, it could be eaten. This is only applicable to meant eating lizards. In some cases, such as the Bearded Dragons, they will eat their own offspring.

As you can see they do eat other lizards, but let’s look further. In particular you will discover what lizards can you actually mix together successfully; which lizards are the most domesticated and which lizards you can use a clever time share technique with.

What species of lizards eat other lizards?

There are types of lizards that will consider eating other lizards, but even their own species. For example, the Komodo dragon will actually eat its own live young, the babies have to do be on the alert in case an adult lizard tries to eat it.

As discussed earlier, another example of this is bearded dragons, they are classed as omnivores and have no problem eating their own baby lizards.

Can you mix lizards in captivity, as pets?

Generally speaking it’s not a good idea to mix lizards in captivity. I’m going to explain why this is. However, there are some rare exceptions, for example the Bearded Dragon, Anoles and geckos.

They can share but in this situation the tank has to be set up perfectly for them to live together in harmony, more detail on this later.

Bearded dragons and, in particular the females, can share together fine, however the males tend to fight. For that reason, it is not advised to mix the males together.

If you are considering mixing lizards, the best way to achieve this is to focus on their natural habitat and make sure that they all share the same common requirements.

For example, if the lizard is from Brazil and the humidity and Temperature requirements are the same, then you can mix them together because the requirements of the tank will be in harmony, are you with me?

An example of this is the blue-tongue skinks and bearded dragons originate from Australia, so you may see some synergy there. However, you still need to be careful that when you consider mixing these lizards together they are roughly the same size, because lizards tend to attack other lizards that are smaller than them.

Another tactic that you can consider using is mixing bearded dragons with other nocturnal lizards this way you can spread the activity based on the two different time preferences.

What I mean is while the nocturnal lizards are sleeping you can have activity from the bearded dragon and they can live in harmony on different timeframes.

What nocturnal lizards could be mixed with a bearded dragon?

Just to reiterate nocturnal actually means that the lizard will be awake at night. So, some examples of lizards that would fit this description would be the following: Geckos, in particular the Diplodactylus species and smooth knob tailed geckos (Nephrurus levis).

The smooth knob tailed gecko in particular has 14 species in existence, that fall into the nocturnal category. Bearing in mind that this species is very rare to find. They are a native of Australia. To give you an idea of the size they are roughly between 4 to 5.5 inches in length and they can live anything up to 10 years.

Should you be even be handling lizards?

One thing to consider is, lizards are not dogs, if they are handled they deem this as an attack. So, do not be surprised if a lizard attempts to bite you if you try to handle it.

You’re also advised to always wash your hands after you handle a lizard. Because you do not want to transfer any harmful bacteria to into your moth when you use your hands to eat after handling them.

I must confess there are some species of lizards that can get used to being handled in captivity, the more domesticated popular versions, for example that they Bearded Dragon. However, the Savannah monitor can also become accustomed to being handled.

Just one thing to note the Savannah monitor is a fairly large lizard, up to 5 feet in length, so it is not a popular choice as a pet, however you will find some people that parade these animals as a pet and will try to convince you that they are harmless, even if that isn’t the case.

The Day Gecko is a rare exception of lizard that is definitely one that you need to be careful to touch, this is mainly because of the fragility of their skin. In particular, if they are handled incorrectly you can easily tear the skin and cause them harm.

What is the correct way to handle lizards?

When it comes to handling lizards there are certain ways that you can do this to try and minimise the harm to the lizard and also stop yourself from having to physically handle them.

The first option is to simply scoop the lizard up into your hands but make sure that you’re careful. The second method is to actually use of glass or even a cup. This is achieved by covering the lizard with the glass and then sliding a piece of cardboard or paper beneath the glass to keep the lizard safe inside.

For lizards that are quite large this is obviously not going to work, because they are going to be substantially bigger than the actual glass itself. For this reason, you can consider handling these lizards by using both of your hands to do this. However, you need to be careful and insure that the lizard you are trying to handle is not dangerous.

Related Questions:

Can you train a lizard? The short answer to this question is yes. Believe it or not an Iguana lizard can be trained, even though they are quite large and can appear to be quite intimidating at first.

The way to train an Iguana is to firstly establish who is the real boss, They might try to bite, scratch or even hiss at you. But the idea is to remain calm and prove who is the boss.

In some ways this behaviour is similar to training a dog, in particular a dangerous dog, this dog may try to test you but it’s important to show who’s boss to get the upper hand.

It is advised to create a routine to stick, for example feeding and cleaning at a regular and predictable time.

Communication I another thing, it may sound a bit silly but you need to communicate with your lizard. Make eye contact with it as much as possible and get him used to you having some form of communication with him.

I am not talking about a full conversation, but simply acknowledging the lizard, making eye contact and using basic words.

What is the most domesticated lizard to consider? There are many domesticated lizards out there in captivity however, a few spring to mind as some of the best characteristics to make a good domestic animal.

Four example the leopard gecko, Red Ackie and bearded dragon. To make life easy for you I will break down the different types.

Leopard gecko:

This is easily one of the most popular domesticated lizards out there. She has a variety of different colours that make her enjoyable to have.

It is a nocturnal specie, therefore most of its activities will be at the night. It is up to 10 inches in length and is one of the pet shops bestsellers when it comes to reptiles.

Red Ackie:

This lizard is also commonly known as Ackie. Other known aliases are “Ridge Tailed Lizard”. It can grow up to 26 inches in length, and are really adored because it is easy to handle and quite tame.

Bearded dragon:

The bearded dragon is one that is also quite popular as well. Other aliases for this lizard is “Beardie”. It is quite easy to handle, has a nice friendly docile character and is ideal for beginners. It is known to grow up to 24 inches.

Do Cats Eat Lizards? (Are they not Toxic & Dangerous?)

If you have a cat, or a pet lizard, you may have wondered if cats eats lizards. I was interested to see if or why this happens and if domestic cats are in danger of poison or toxic venom from eating lizards.

Do Cats Eats Lizard? Yes, they do. Depending on the specie of lizard it may or may not harm your cat. The common house lizard, for example is not venomous or toxic, but they can carry diseases such as salmonella and parasites.

So, now you know that lizards can be eaten by cats. The next thing that I was interested in knowing was more detail. For example, what diseases might a cat get if it eats the wrong lizard, what other predators may put your pet lizard at risk, how to avoid your lizard getting eaten by predators such as cats, and more. Please read on to get this information.

What can happen if your cat eats a lizard, are they not toxic?

To answer your question directly yes, they can be toxic (I will explain more in detail within the rest of the article). In particular venomous. But, they are definitely not poisonous.

The reason why I say they are not poisonous is because people tend to confuse venomous and poisonous. An easy way to understand this differentiation is this, venom is injected when you are bitten. Poison, on the other hand, is when you eat something and it enters your body.

Some lizards carry salmonella on their skin and also have parasite on them inside of the body, which can be dangerous if consumed by your cat.

The parasites on a lizard can come from animals it eats, such as mice. These parasites, while they are not toxic, can cause harm to your cat if it ingests them.

What is the difference between toxic, venomous, and poisonous?

In reality venom and poisoning are both regarded as toxins, so if your question is on lizards, or can lizards be toxic, then the answer is yes.

The distinction between poisonous is if you consume something and it goes into your body that is deemed as poisonous.

However, if something is a venomous it is come from when you are bitten and injected with toxins. This is an easy way to differentiate between poisonous venomous.

So, what animals’ prey on lizards?

This depends on the size of the lizard, you can get small lizards, like the Chipkali, or some are absolutely enormous, like the Komodo dragon, which is almost 10 feet in length. Therefore, the types of predators can vary quite significantly.

In reality humans are probably the biggest threat to any lizard specie, simply because they have a tendency to steal their eggs and antagonise all species of lizards.

Other predators to consider are larger lizards that tend to attack smaller lizards, small parasites that prey and live on lizards themselves. As discussed earlier, these parasites are believed to come from animals such as mice, rats or even in insects that the lizards eat.

How do lizards protect themselves from danger?

One of the tactics that they use is breaking off their tail to escape from their enemy. They also change colour, also on a more drastic level, some of them actually squirt blood from their eyes to completely confuse and scare their predator.

Another tactic that they use is hissing, an example of this is the Frilled dragon, it hisses to frighten off its predator and make it look intimidating.

Bearded dragons are known to puff up their throats to make themselves look bigger and intimidate their attacker.

Tail whipping is another tactic that lizards use to protect himself. The green iguana is known to lash its tail to inflict harm on its predator. In fact, big lizards can lash so hard that they can even break the skin of their attacker.

Bearded dragons have a unique technique of using its spiky spine to intimidate its enemy. This spikey spine looks like armour and has the tendency to frighten off its prey.

Another tactic used by the Blue Tongue Skink in particular, is to expose its tongue to make its predator believe that it is poisonous and pose a danger to it.

How fast can a lizard run, to get away from danger?

It is believed that the Perentie Monitor can run up to 25 mph, which is an amazing speed for land animal. Another fast specie of lizard is the Spiny tailed iguana, this lizard can hit speeds of up to 21 mph.

An interesting fact about this Iguanna is that it can maintain higher speeds it’s younger offspring.

How can you stop your pet lizard picking up diseases?

Prevention of diseases is important. It is not possible to prevent all diseases, but if we can highlight the potential diseases out there and give you an idea of how to generally prevent them it can help you.

Let’s first look at some common diseases that your lizard can contract, then we can look at how we can help to stop these from being picked up in the first place. Here are some common diseases:

  • Ear Infections
  • Amebiasis
  • Cloacitis
  • Metabolic Bone disease
  • Mouth rot
  • Botulism
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Leptospiosis

Some of these diseases can’t be easily cured, but some of them are caused by poor living conditions or neglect by the owners in captivity. To improve the chances of your lizard living a long happy life, and reducing the chances of it catching these diseases, you need to improve the environment you provide.

In particular you should keep your lizard tank clean, provide fresh water, and remove any unwanted or left-over live food items, such as insects, when your lizard has finished eating.

To be honest this is generally good practice and should be adopted regardless of disease prevention.

What can happen if you are bitten by a Lizard?

Firstly, it depends on what type of lizard you’re bitten by, for example if you were bitten by a Gila Monster, it is venomous but you are unlikely to suffer fatal injuries.

However, if you are attacked and bitten by a Komodo dragon, there is a very good chance that you can suffer fatal injuries. This is a combination of the dangerous bacteria that is found when it bites you, also because of the vicious damage that the actual bite will inflict on you.

To put this in perspective, in the last 20 years there have been at least 12 people that have been killed by Komodo dragons, so they are no joke.

Can eating lizards make my dog sick?

It is possible for this to happen, but it largely depends on a number of factors. In particular, it depends on the type of lizard, what the dog has eaten during that day and also if that type of lizard is venomous or had other diseases or even parasites on its body.

The good news is if your dog does eat a lizard it is unlikely to cause serious damage to your dog but it is always wise to be cautious and check to see what he has eaten before ruling out any potential issues.

Does the Chipkali Lizard Bite? (and is it Poisonous?)

If you are interested in learning about the Chipkali and in particular if it is a threat or could poison you, then read on. I was intrigued about this Chipkali and this led me to research this lizard.

Does the Chipkali Bite? Yes, but the bite is not vicious and is unlikely to cause any real harm. It may psychologically affect you, but physically it is not a real threat. They only really bite if they feel threatened, their natural response to humans is to run away.

After discovering that this lizard does not pose a real threat, I was interested to learn more about the Chipkali, where it comes from, where this name comes from, what they eat, and more. If this interests you, please read on.

What is a Chipkali Lizard?

In India, the Hindi word for gecko is Chipkali, so this lizard is effectively the common house Gecko lizard, but has the alias of Chipkali in India. Their official scientific name is Hemidactylus Frenatus. It also has another name of Hemidactylus Chipkali, but this is more of an unofficial name given to them in India.

Is the Chipkali Lizard Poisonous?

No, the Chipkali is not poisonous or venomous, but it has the potential to carry diseases. When it comes to poisonous, for your information, this is really not applicable to any lizard, lizards are either venomous or not. Poisonous is only applicable when you eat something. (More on this in detail later on in the article)

What is the House Lizard?

The common House lizard is also known as the common house gecko. In reality it has a number of aliases, including Chipkali, as discussed earlier. Its scientific name is Hemidactylus frenatus.

It is a native of south east Asia. It is mainly found in human houses, hence it’s the name of the house lizard. In warmer parts of the world such as India, where they call it “Chipkali”,  this lizard is seen in many homes and in some cases is deemed as a pest. Due to the fact that some houses are inundated with these lizards.

In captivity they are mainly found in the walls or in the ceilings of houses. They also enjoy damp humid surroundings such as dark basements, but more on this later in the article.

Can you keep the ex-lizard as a pet?

You can keep Chipkali lizard as a pet, just as you can with almost any lizard unless you are talking about the enormous Komodo dragon. In this article we will talk about what you need to consider if you would like to keep the Chipkali as a pet.

What do they eat?

The Chipkali is an insectivore meaning that it eats insects. For this reason, it is loved by some residents in captivity. So, in a way the lizard is dealing with a domestic problem that helps the owners. However, it does not stop the fact that some people see this lizard as a pest in its own right.

It is a nocturnal lizard, hence the reason it likes to wake up at night and grab insects and roam around looking for its prey.

What housing do they need?

In an ideal world they need 20 gallons. Obviously the bigger the better to make them feel comfortable and at home.

One word of warning though, do not mix the male lizards together because they are naturally territorial and will end up fighting. However, the female lizards can be mixed together without any issues.

What accessories do they need?

They like to climb and discover new things so it is a good idea to look for items such as branches of wood for them to climb. Other examples of this would be plants, driftwood and any kind of substrate that holds moisture well, which they require.

An example of some substrate that they will appreciate is coconut fibre, in particular the shredded type. They also like reptile bark, which is another good consideration.

They like a humid environment, so bear that in mind with whatever you choose. One word of warning, do not use sand or reptile carpeting inside the housing because these items do not keep the housing humid, which they prefer.

What lighting do they prefer?

Bear in mind that this lizard is from a sub-tropical climate, therefore they like to have it quite warm. So, when you are considering lighting and anything that affects the temperature it has to be warm.

In particular daytime temperatures need to be in the region of 75 to 90°F. As for night-time, the ideal temperature is 65 to 75°. A heat mat or reptile bulbs are a good way of achieving this.

When it comes to choosing the correct colours of lightbulbs. It is a good idea to choose white coloured ones for the daytime, and for the night-time red or purple coloured bulbs is a good idea, to keep your lizard happy.

Humidity Requirements

As discussed earlier this lizard likes to keep the housing humid due to its natural habitat. In particular you need to keep the humidity in between 60 to 65%.

To help you achieve this you can use our hygrometer to measure this. You also need to make sure that you mist the tank regularly.

Make sure that you provide regular fresh bowls of water. It is also a good idea to use a Fogger. You may find that you lizard will drink the droplets of water that appear from the humidity in the tank, this is fine.

Are there any known health issues for them?

One thing to consider with these lizards is they are known to carry salmonella on the surface of their skin. Therefore, when it comes to pets such as dogs or cats, or even kids for that matter, you need to be careful so that this does not pass onto them and cause them any harm.

Do they lay eggs or livebirth?

They lay eggs and they actually prefer moist areas to lay their eggs. In particular ideal places for them are household basements, where you may find lots of lizards congregating.

They can lay as much as 15 eggs per session. They are also known to lay multiple batches of eggs at a time, which can cause an infestation of these lizards. This is why in some parts of the world, such as India, this lizard is seen as a pest.

What water requirements do they have?

Make sure that you provide fresh daily water. Particular they do not like water that has chlorine in it so it is not a good idea to simply provide them with water that comes out of your household tap.

Another thing to stay clear of is distilled water, this has no nutritional benefits of them and it’s not a good idea to provide them this.

What does the baby Chipkali lizard eat?

That baby Chipkali lizard requires feeding on a regular basis, in particular up to 6 times per week. It needs high protein diet.

Things to consider feeding your lizard will be insects such as crickets, cockroaches, mealworms or even wax worms. If you would like to know a rough guide of how you can make sure you do not feed them insects that they cannot handle, a good rule of thumb, is to never feed them an insect which is longer than the width of their head.

When it comes to cleaning up after feeding your lizard insects, it is a good idea to remove any leftover insects that your lizard hasn’t eaten after mealtime.

It may be tempting, but do not consider feeding your lizard wild in insects, it is because they may have diseases that will pass onto your pet.

It is a good idea to preload the insects before you give them to your lizard. This basically means that you pre-feed the insects at least the day before you give them to your lizard. Make sure that the insects are fed a good nutritional meal so that they will pass on this goodness to your lizard.

Why Does My Terrarium Fog Up? (Vivarium Owners Read This Too)

Are you a terrarium or vivarium owner and confused why you are getting misty fog building up in your tank? This is a common issue and usually easily resolved.

Why Does my Terrarium Fog Up? Terrariums fogging is caused by high humidity levels in your tank, typically caused by lack of ventilation. This is usually easily resolved by increasing ventilation or reducing the humidity inside or outside of the tank.

Now you understand at a high level, lets dig deeper. Especially if you are here as a lizard owner. Because vivarium’s have some extra nuances that you need to be aware of, such as substrate such as bark that can be holding moisture that causes fog or misty glass.

What is a Terrarium?

A Terrarium is a sealed container use for plant life. It is a glass container which usually has soil and plants. It is an attractive centrepiece in many homes.

What is this Vivarium?

A Vivarium is a glass container which still contains plant life, in some cases, however it has reptiles or other animals living inside of it.

If you read about reptile’s or lizards, etc online you will notice that many people use the word vivarium and terrarium interchangeably. However, in reality a Vivarium is only applicable to lizards and a Terrarium is only applicable to plant life.

What causes Terrarium to Fog Up?

Typically, high humidity is the biggest cause for this fogging (more on humidity later in this article). At a high-level humidity is caused by, or shall I say can be caused by, a cooler temperature on the outside of the container in comparison to the temperature inside.

However later on in this article I will explain in more detail about what humidity is and how it caused. Also, how to get rid of.

How can you stop your Terrarium from Fogging?

One option to getting rid of this fogging is to actually purchase anti-fogging products. These products are similar to what you may be used to seeing on scuba-diving professionals.

In particular when a scuba diver goes for a dive you will notice that the mask can get misted up and will cause issues with them swimming.

To get around this problem scuba divers use special products that will stop this missing happening. This is a similar procedure for your terrarium.

Another option is to use a really mild soap to rub on the inner layer of the terrarium. This can get get rid of the misting.

As discussed earlier, you can also increase the temperature in the room where your terrarium is situated. This will reduce the chances of your container getting misty.

Another option, instead of increasing the temperature in that particular room, is to position a lamp on the outer side of the tank to beam heat onto that specific cooler side, which in turn will reduce the chances of the mist or condensation building up inside the tank.

What Causes Condensation Inside a Vivarium?

When you use items such as tree bark in your vivarium it can hold moisture and cause humidity. The problem is it is not very obvious that this is happening. So, one of the first things to do is to check items such as tree bark and replace these items if necessary.

Essentially the condensation is being caused by the humidity in your tank being at a high percentage. If you have a temperature gauge inside your tank you may find that it is not giving you an accurate reading which may be misguiding your judgement.

What can happen if of Vivarium or Terrarium becomes too damp?

If your terrarium or vivarium becomes too damp you may notice that fungus may start to grow inside of your tank. Also, you may also notice bacteria growing in the same area.

Therefore, it is critical that you avoid this because this is bad for the health of your lizard.

 

How do you get rid of the vivarium fog?

There are a number of ways that you can get rid of vivarium fog.  In this section I will explain a few options that you can try that should help you.

Adding ventilation holes can increase and improve that airflow in your tank. After inspecting your tank you may notice that you may not have enough ventilation coming into your tank.

This could be the reason why this is happening. So, if you increase ventilation by adding ventilation holes this can get rid of the problem.

Using a dehumidifier unit can help to reduce humidity in the air. There are a large range of dehumidifiers available that can help you to get rid of this problem.

What is humidity?

Humidity is effectively water vapour in the atmosphere or in particular your room. What you need to understand is there is water all around us all the time, but it is not always visible. This water in the air that is invisible to us is called water vapour.

What is the humidity percentage?

Humidity percentage is a measure of water vapour in the air. 100% means a complete saturation of water in the air. If you were to listen to a weather report, if the humidity was one hundred percent it would indicate that rain is surely on the way.

On the opposite side of the scale 0% would indicate literally no water vapour and would be a real problem.

A measuring device for humidity is one thing, but the dehumidifier will help to reduce the humidity as discussed earlier. Each vivarium has a recommended humidity level. This recommended humidity level largely depends on the lizards that are housed in the vivarium.

How does the humidity effect your lizard?

Each lizard species has its own preference when it comes to the levels of humidity in the air. Effectively each lizard has their own humidity requirements. That is why it is critical to understand the species that you plan to own and where it originated from to understand what humidity levels it expects.

In addition to understanding the humidity requirements of your lizard, you will need to have a method of measuring the humidity to insure do you have a sufficient method to measure the humidity and keep your lizard happy at all times.

For example, if we take the bearded dragon lizard as an example, this originates from desert areas and because of this it is naturally adapted to low levels of humidity. Therefore, a typical humidity requirement for a bearded dragon is between 35 and 40%. To ensure that your lizard, or shall we say bearded dragon in this case, is happy you need to make sure your humidity measurement tool keeps the temperature/humidity within this range.

Related Questions:

Does the Terrarium have to be covered? No, terrariums do not have to be covered because there are different types you can have. You can have closed variations as well as open ones. Therefore, it depends on the type of terrarium you want to keep.

Does a vivarium have to be covered? Yes, in general other vivariums needs to be covered. The reason for this is quite simply because you do not want your lizard to escape from the enclosure and be at risk of being stepped on or hurt running around your house.

Obviously, there are occasion when you need to open the cage, for example, if you need to clean it out or rearrange things.

What kind of substrate can I have in a veterinarian? Substrate is effectively bedding for your Lizard.  There are a large number of options when it comes to substrate. An example of this is as follows: Moss, Sand, fibre brick and Aspen bedding.

 

 

 

Do Lizards Bite? (Read This to avoid getting Bitten!)

Are you curious if lizards really bite? Or wondering why they bite, or if your potential pet lizard could give you a bite? Then you need to read this to understand.

Do lizards bite? Yes, lizards do bite. But in general, they only do this in self-defence. Especially If they feel threatened. Depending on the specie, they can give you a small bite or worse case a ferocious bite that can prove fatal.

 Now you have a good high-level understanding of why lizards bite, lets delve deeper and look at which lizards are most dangerous, which ones have venom that could prove fatal and so much more.

Why do lizards bite?

Most of the time lizards’ bites in self-defence humans tend to try and capture lizards and this antagonises them and if they feel threatened by this attack then their natural reaction is to bite.  So, they are not naturally looking to hurt anyone it is just nature’s way of protecting themselves.

 

What happens if you get bitten?

If you get bitten the first thing that you should do is clean your wounds thoroughly then get it checked out a qualified doctor immediately. In most cases, depending on the specie, it won’t be serious.

However, there are chances that some lizards can pass on Salmonella through their scratches or even through their faeces. Therefore, it is better to be safe than sorry and get it checked out encase of infection.

Also, there are some lizards that are venomous and therefore unless you are very skilled in understanding which lizards can cause danger it’s better to be vigilant and get it checked out

How can you avoid this happening?

Firstly, don’t attempt to use just your bare hands when trying to get hold of a lizard especially if this is a lizard you do not own as a pet and you don’t know exactly what specie it is or the intention of the lizard.

If you are trying to capture a lizard, especially if you do not own it, then instead of using your bare hands, cover it with a container, glass is ideal so you can see it inside. Then, once it is inside the container, slide a piece of paper or even a piece of cardboard beneath the container to contain it.

This will eliminate you having to use your hands to make contact with the lizard. This will allow you to avoid getting any direct contact with the lizard therefore stopping you having to get bitten

Which lizards are notorious for Biting?

There are five species of lizard that are well known for biting, some of these are venomous and some are not, I will not breakdown each of these five for your information:

Gila Monster

This lizard is known by its scientific name “Heloderma suspectum”. It is native to the South west of the United States. It is one of the most commonly known venomous lizards in the world and is regarded as very dangerous for this reason.

They like to eat birds, frogs and insects. They like to spend a lot of time on their own and do not mix well with other lizards, even their own species.  Therefore, if you are considering owning one of these lizards you are advised to keep it on its own.

Also, be warned these lizards are definitely not for beginners. Advanced keepers are recommended.

Mexican beaded lizard

Mexican Beaded Lizard

The scientific name for this lizard is “Heloderma horridum”. This lizard is notorious for biting and is also venomous therefore you are not advised to handle this lizard unless you really have to.

The Mexican beaded lizard is more suited to advance lizard keepers. The Mexican beaded visit is a native to the west coast of Mexico.

Iguana

One of the most common Iguanas is the Green which has the scientific name of “Iguana Iguana”. And no, that is not a typo that is the real scientific name.

This lizard is venomous however its venom is known to be fairly weak and definitely not as dangerous as the last two lizards we have discussed above however they are still venomous so you should still proceed with caution.

The Iguana has really sharp teeth that can cause very vicious injuries. It is one of the reasons why they are known for biting. One of the ways that you can detect if they are likely to attack you is if they stand on all fours, this is a red flag sign that they are preparing to attack.

It is quite obvious when this happens so you will know it when you see it. Hopefully you will never see this.

Water Monitor

The Water monitor is native to southeast Asia. Its scientific name is “Varanus salvator”. It is a very big lizard and the largest record size is over 10 feet long. They can weigh over 40 pounds and are beasts!

They have sharp serrated teeth and wickedly powerful jaws to crush in their sharp teeth into their prey. They are notorious for biting.

Komodo Dragon

The Komodo Dragon is the heaviest lizard in the world. It is widely feared because it is known as a dangerous man eater. It can weigh up to 70 pounds and easily out weighs the water monitor discussed earlier.

They are notorious for biting and inflicting serious, if not fatal injuries on its victims.

Which lizards are actually venomous?

As discussed earlier beginner monster, Mexican beaded lizards are two of the lizards which are very well known for their venom.

Lizards tend to bite with their teeth, rather than fangs like snakes do. When they bite you they open a wound then venom trickles down the grooves of their teeth to infect the wound.

Lizards tend to not let go when they bite you, making the whole experience psychologically devastating as well as the risk being exposed to deadly venom.

It is possible, and is the case with most lizard species, you can get bitten without being infected with venom. Do not be fooled, if you are bitten without being exposed to the venom, the bite can still be very vicious, and can cause serious injuries.

Injuries can include swelling, drawing blood, damage to your blood vessels, damage to the actual bone and even worse.

Symptoms that you will notice after a lizard bite can include the following: a lot of bleeding, extreme pain, it feels like a burning sensation, you may even notice your body throbbing. You can also experience vomiting, feeling sick, weakness, or even dizziness.

You may also find after having the bites the lizard teeth may still be stuck inside the bite

What does an actual lizard bite look like?

The actual lizard bite depends on the type of species. For example, if we look at the Green Anole lizard, this may only inflict very small bites and cover only a small area of the skin leaving minor skin punctures.

However, if we’re talking about a vicious Komodo dragon, this could be a ferocious bite that could prove to even the fatal. It can expose gaping wounds on your limbs and would need immediate medical attention to insure your survival.

Related Questions:

Do lizards bite dogs? Yes, lizards do bite dogs but it is quite rare for this to happen. It comes back to my earlier point about the reasons why lizards actually bite. They do not wish to bite anyone or any animal, it is mainly a defence mechanism to protect himself.

Therefore, if your dog decides to challenge the Lizard and it feels threatened it would try anything in its power to survive and therefore it is likely to bite your dog. However, depending on the type of lizard the injury to your dog can vary a lot.

Can lizards harm humans? This largely depends on the type of listed that causes the injury. If it is small common pet lizard such as a leopard gecko then it is less likely. However, if we are talking about a Komodo dragon then the chances have increased significantly.

A Komodo dragon has the capability to cause serious injuries to human and can even, in some cases, prove fatal.

Can a Blue Tongue Skink Live in a 40 Gallon Tank? (Care Guide)

If you are researching or considering buying a Blue-tongue skink, you need to read this article now. Firstly you need to understand the right size enclosure, then I will reveal more.

Can a Blue Tongue Skink Live in a 40 Gallon Tank? Yes, they can live in a 40 Gallon tank. However, the bigger the better. If you can stretch to a 55 gallon tank they will be even happier, but i’d say 40 Gallon is the smallest you want to consider for these beauties.

Understanding twhat size of enclosure is just one part of the puzzle, there is a lot more to consider if you are interested in caring for a blue-tongue skink. For example, what food do they eat? where did they originate from? what is the ideal lighting? Ideal Accessories? etc. If you are interested in some answers to these questions, please read on now.

What is a Blue Tongue Skink?

Also known by its scientific name, “Tiliqua scincoides”, the Blue tongue Skink is classed as a medium sized lizard that originates from Australia. They are loved in their natural habitat because they enjoy eating pests such as slugs and snails.

They are a good lizard for beginners due to their temperament (more info on this below). However they can be very hard to breed in captivity.

Where do they come from?

They originate from Australia, however, there are different varieties that reside in different locations. An example of this is the Western Blue-Tongued skink is from Australia, whereas there are other variations that can be found in New Guinea, or even as far as New Guinea.

What is their temperament like?

As discussed earlier they have quite a good temperament for beginners. In particular they have quite a nonchalant, laid back behaviour. Almost the opposite to aggressive.

Be warned, they will still bite. However, this is only really as a defensive reaction when they feel that they are being threatened. So, for that reason I would not advise you to leave them with children without supervision. Because kids may poke or antagonise the skink without meaning to do so.

If they feel threatened, their natural response is to hiss and display their impressive blue tongue, to send out a warning not to mess with it.

They also have very strong jaws, so if they decide to bite it can be very painful. So please be careful. As I said earlier this behaviour is only expected if they feel under attack. So, if you treat them right, typically they have a good relaxed temperament.

What do they look like (appearance)?

The most obvious distinguishing feature with the Blue-tongue skins is their tongue, as you can imagine with a name like they have.

Apart from that their base body colours can vary quite a lot. To the point that there is no real distinguishing colour for their base. For example, you can have colours such as red, creamy colours, orange and even black.

They all tend to have a very nice glossy coat of scales. But by far their main feature is their blue tongue.

Size wise, they are bigger than some other common lizards in captivity, so the correct enclosure is necessary (more on this below). They can be up to 20 inches in length so they are a fair size for a household pet.

What is the ideal housing for them?

Because the Blue-tongue skink is larger than average it needs a large enclosure. Just to make sure that is comfortable and not feeling trapped in a small space.

The ideal size is at least forty gallons, but if you can stretch your budget up to fifty five gallons, that would be beneficial to your skink.

It is also a good idea to get a closed lid that is secure. This is just to insure that your lizard doesn’t escape and save you some headache finding it again.

What is the ideal temperature for them?

It is important to keep your lizard at the correct temperature to keep them happy and perlong their life. Bare in mind that the Blue-tongue skink is deemed as a native to Australia, so it naturally needs a warm climate.

The ideal climate for the skink is seventy five to eighty five degrees Fahrenheit. As well as regulating the temperature for this, you need to have a basking spot that has an increased temperature. The ideal temperature for this basking area is ninety five degrees.

To achieve all of this under tank heating is ideal. You can use a heat mat or heat tape to achieve this and keep it at the correct climate.

What is the ideal lighting for them?

Overhead lights will be required. But make sure that they are turned off at night. The day light bulbs should be on for a maximum of 12 hours. UVB lighting bulbs is ideal as well as the basking lights.

With the UVB lights you need to make sure there is a direct light to your lizard. It helps their bone health and also helps their metabolism.

What do Blue-Tongue Skinks eat?

Skinks are Omnivores, this means that they eat plants and meat. With that being said it is important to keep the balance because too much protein is not good for their diet.

The ideal balance is 40% meat and 60% fruit and veg. In addition to this a good vitamin D supplement will help to prevent bone disease.

An example of vegetables they will eats is as follows: Carrots, parsnips, strawberries, bananas, Melons. As far as meat or protein goes, here is an example of things they will eat: Believe it or not, dog food, worms and mice.

Are there any known health issues for Blue-Tongue Skinks?

Understanding how to monitor your lizard for health issues is important to increase their lifespan and to keep them happy. There are some tell tale signs that your lizard is not happy. If it starts hiding away a lot and stops eating, this is a red flag. Meaning you may need to get her checked out or at least keep a close eye on her.

Here are a couple of known issues that may encounter with the Blue-tongue skinks:

  • Raw Nose
  • Parasites
  • Stomatitis

Lets explore in a bit more detail what these are:

Raw Nose

This is a noticeable bleeding nose on your lizard. Typically it is caused by rubbing its nose against the enclosure while it is in captivity.

Parasites

Parasites are small infestations that can cause some serious discomfort to your lizard. Basically a good example of these is “mites”. The best way to detect these is to look out for a black, white or even red dust that appears to be moving, like it is wriggling.

Unfortunately these parasites can be external as well as internal, so the external ones are easier to detect.

Stomatitis

This is more commonly known as “Mouth Rot”. It is not pleasant for your lizard, so the earlier you can detect it, the better. It is believed that it can be caused by your lizard accidentally injuring itself while it is eating. Also linked to stress in your lizard.

You will notice it quite clearly if its there, it has a yellowish type fluid that excretes from the mouth, lips or even teeth. Not pleasant to see, but you need to look out for it.

Buying Tips

Always make sure that you buy them from a respected breeder. Ideally they will have good feedback from others and have a good, long and trusted track record.

As well as asking for a health history from the breeder of your choice. There are some things that you can check yourself as due diligence:

  • Check the eyes
  • Skin
  • Limbs

Let me explain each of these:

Check the eyes

Believe it or not, but a simple check of the eyes can save you some unnecessary headache. Make sure the eyes are clear and free of any issues.

Skin

Check the skin. Ideally, there should be no skin blemishes. Fortunately these are usually quite easy to see, so you shouldn’t have any problems picking this up.

Also, check that there are no patches of dry skin. This is a red flag of skin issues that you need to avoid.

Finally, check to see if the lizard shows signs of a skin shed that has not completed properly. What do I mean by that? Well once a lizards sheds its skin, it should loose all the old skin and have a new fresh layer. If there is a trace of old skin left behind, this is not a good sign.

Limbs

Inspect the limbs. The obvious first sanity check is that all the limbs are there. But beyond that is the quality of the limbs. Let the lizard crawl for a bit and inspect how she moves, doe sit seem that she is limping or moving abnormal? If yes, you should re-consider the purchase.

Substrate

Getting the right substrate for your lizard is important. Fortunately there is quite a few options that you can consider purchasing, for example:

  • Shavings of Wood
  • Old Paper
  • Cypress Mulch
  • Aspen
  • Fir Bark

However, there are some that you should avoid as well, for example: Clay cat litter, Walnut Shells or orchard bark. Unfortunately these can cause health issues for your lizard and should be avoided.

What is the best accessories for them?

One thing to consider when providing accessories for your Blue-tongue skink, they are not the best climbers, so you do not want to provide any high objects that may try to climb up to and then fall off accidentally while trying to do so, so keep the height of these accessories in mind when you are adding these accessories.

The ideal accessories for the is as follows:

  • Branches
  • Stacked rocks
  • Cork bark
  • Mopani wood
  • Cardboard shoebox

These are good options. But another important fact to consider, you need to make sure that you do not over fill the enclosure. The reason being is they enjoy their space, so they will feel boxed in if you do this.

Ideally you will provide a couple of hiding spots, so that your lizard can hide its entire body. This will make them feel a lot more happier.

How Much Water Should You Give Them?

Water is an essential part of your lizards survival. Always make sure they have fresh and clean water available at all times. However, do not be tempted to make the water bowl over full and do not buy a deep bowl. Reason being they are not good swimmers and this could cause them some danger.

Make sure that the water bowl does not fall over easy. This is easily achieved by choosing a bowl that is stable and will not be knocked over easy.

What is the Ideal Humidity Level for them?

The humidity is another key consideration. The best humidity really depends of the type of skink you have. For example if you have a Northern Skink, ideally it will be 25-40 percent.

However, if you have another variation, the chances are you will need it higher than this. For example, 40-45 percent is the way forward.

Are blue tongue skinks good pets?

In general, they are great pets. They are easy to look after and ideal for a beginner. And as discussed earlier, they have a good temperament, as long as you do not antagonise or irritate them.

One thing I would say is, they are not the smallest lizard out there, so you need to understand that. As discussed earlier they need a fairly large enclosure, so that means more cost for you.

If that does not bother you at all, then the blue-tongue skink could the ideal lizard for you.

Related Questions

Do blue tongue skinks drop their tails? Yes, they do. This can happen if you are too heavy handed with them in captivity. They will effectively drop their tale and be left with a stub. This is even more likely with a baby lizard.

The stump will heal up, and in time a new tail will grow through. However, it is not as big as the original tail and not the same as the original, but it re-grows never the less.

How many babies do blue tongues have? Approximately 10. Bare in mind they do not lay eggs, they actually have live young. After the female lizard has mated, you can expect to see the babies anything from 3 to 5 months later.

How long do they live for? The lifespan of a Blue-tongue skink is quite long. You can expect them to last anywhere from ten, right up to twenty years. So, these are not pets just for Christmas, they are a long term fixture in your life, so its worth taking that into consideration before you commit to them as a pet.

Are Blue-tongue Skinks nocturnal? Yes, they are. However it depends on their environment. If they are in a warm climate such as Australia, then they will be nocturnal. However if they they are in a much cooler climate they are not. In these climates they would be classed as diurnal.

How much do these skinks cost? The cost can vary depending on the type of skink you want. For example a Northern Blue tongue skink can be anywhere from $140 – $240, depending if they are fully grown or young.

However, if you want an ultra-rare specie they can be very expensive. For example you could be looking at $1,000 right up to $5,200. Depending on the breeder and specie you choose.

Do they Shed their Skin? Yes, they do. It is important to check that the shedding has completed properly on any skink you wish you purchase. in particular, check the tail end and the toes. These areas are notorious for showing signs of an incomplete shed.

The issue is, if you have a lot of built up incomplete sheds, then it is difficult to get off. The toes in particular is an area for concern. Because they are delicate and hard to remove the shed.

If you are tempted to remove the old skin with an eyelash tweezer, forget it!  This can cause some serious pain to your lizard if you get it wrong.

You will find that these areas are common for an incomplete shed because they do not naturally shrug off the old skin well. Where as other areas have natural movement that will shrug off the skin, such as the back or belly.

How do you know when they are about to shed? Well, there are some subtle signs such as colour changes. For example, approximately one week before they shed you may notice the underbelly has a distinct milky colour. You may also notice that their old skin starts to get quite dry.

Once the shedding is complete, you will be amazed how smooth and fresh the new skin looks. You will just know what I mean when you see it.

How Do Lizards Have Sex?

Let me explain exactly how lizards have sex. As interesting as this may sound, Lizards only interest is breeding to re-produce (Click here to see my favourite breeding box on Amazon), there is no lovemaking for lizards. But let me explain exactly how this goes down.

How do lizards have sex? Typically sex for lizards is referred to as mating. Male lizards have a hemipenes instead of a penis and use this to ejaculate into the female. Their offspring can either be born as eggs or live births depending on the species of the Lizard.

This is quite a high level version of events. If you want to truly understand how this works, please read on to understand the detail.

How Does the Mating Actually work?

Mating can vary between species, but in general it goes like this: The male lizard will attempt to grab the attention of the female by dancing around her or using his bright vivid colours to attract her.

Once he gets her attention, he will grab hold of her by nipping her near her neck with his teeth. This may sound unacceptable to us as humans, but this is how lizards do it.

Once he has her in position he will unleash his hemipenes. As discussed earlier, this is a lizards version of a penis. However, it looks nothing like a human penis, so its not a fair comparison, I will provide more detail on this later in the article.

The lizard will effectively hook the female lizard with its Hemipenes. Once hooked in position he will ejaculate into the female. This stage is not the same as humans, there is no bumping and grinding and moaning of pleasure. The male simply stays still on top of the female as he ejaculates.

Once this is done, they are finished. There is no love and kissing here, it is just a necessary act to produce offspring.

What is a Cloaca and What Part Does It Play?

The Cloaca is a multipurpose organ that a female lizard has. They do not have a vagina, or a separate opening for urine or defecation. Instead they have a Cloaca that serves all of these purposes.

When lizards start mating, the connection that the male makes is actually through the Cloaca. He hooks his Hemipenes into the females Cloaca and ejaculates into her.

What Actually is a Hemipenes used in reproduction?

As discussed earlier, the Hemipenes is a lizards answer to a penis. A male sexual organ if you like. Although I have drawn a comparison to the male sexual organ, it is very different in reality.

Visually it looks nothing like a male penis, but for reproduction they have a similar function. Effectively it is used to ejaculate into the female during reproduction.

When it is not in use, the Hemipenes is inverted and not noticeable on a male lizard. When the lizard is ready to mate it is visible and ready to hook the female into place.

How is the Sperm transferred to the female?

Unlike a human, once the lizard ejaculates, it is not a burst of liquid, in fact quite the opposite. It dribbles out slowly. The lizard simply lays on top of the female and drips it in and patiently waits for the process to complete.

Do Lizards have eggs or live birth?

how do lizards have sex - lizard eggs

Some lizards lay eggs and some species have live births. For example a Gecko or Iguana (Click for article on Iguana Substrate) will lay eggs when they reproduce. However Blue-tongue lizards and Shingle-back lizards give live birth.

When Do Lizards Breed (Breeding Season)?

The exact time of breeding varies a lot depending on the specie of lizard. As a whole, it is usually in the summer time to capture the warmer climate. An example of a specific specie is a Blue-Tongue Lizard, which has a breeding season from mid-summer right up till Autumn.

How much offspring is produced when Lizards actually breed?

The amount of offspring produced varies quite a lot depending on the specie of lizard. Also, as discussed earlier the type of offspring varies because some lay eggs, others do live birth.

Some examples. An Eastern water Dragon can average up to 9 eggs at birth. Blue-tongue lizards can range from 5 up to 18. But these are not eggs, they are live births. And the bearded Dragon averages about 20 offspring.

How long does it take for the babies to become fully grown?

Again, this varies a lot depending on the specie of lizard, but in general you can expect one to two years for a lizard to reach maturity.

However, like most things there is always some weird exception, there is a Chameleon from Madagascar which is born, reaches maturity and dies within 3 months. But that life cycle is quite rare.

What Happens After The Lizards Mate?

Unlike humans lizards do not have an emotional connection. They just mate and move on. So immediately after the male has mated with the female, the male lizard will disappear. And the chances are they will never see each other again.

For for the egg laying lizards, the female will make it her priority to find a safe and warm place to lay and hide her eggs. The eggs have a tough leather outer layer, but obviously this is not enough to protect them from keen predators. Hence the reason why she needs to find a safe place for them to survive until they hatch.

The ideal environment for the eggs will be somewhere warm and not easily found. So a good example is hidden in the sand in a secluded area, or amongst some rotten vegetation.

The baby lizards have to work out how to hatch out of the eggs themselves. This is instinctive to them, so it really isn’t a challenge for them. Once they are hatched and born, they are left to fend for themselves. This may sound crazy to us, but the lizards have this instinct inbuilt in them.

Another interesting fact is, for lizards that have a live birth, they do not have any milk from their mother. This is usually assumed that every live born offspring will suck milk from its mother, but this is not the case for baby lizards.

The sad thing is though, the survival rate for these lizards is pretty low. There are lots of predators that look out for them and it is essentially survial of the fittest. Maybe this is the reason nature instinctively generates multiple eggs to increase the chances of some of the lizards surviving.

Related Questions:

Is it True that some Lizard species do not need a Male to reproduce? The short answer is yes. These lizards are typically called Asexual, because they can reproduce without the opposite sex. An example of this i the Whiptail Lizards. The female can reproduce without the need of a male.

In a normal conception there is two types of chromosomes one from the male, and the other from the female. In this case, with the Whiptail Lizard, the female will provide all the chromosomes. The female effectively produces twice as much chromosomes.

She also does not need the male lizard to fertilize the eggs. This process is referred to as”heterozygosity”. It is believed that this happened by some historical evolution caused by cross-breeding with other lizard species.

The downfall of this however is it is believed that the offspring to be weaker and more prone to germs and diseases.

How can you tell if a lizard is male or female? If you ever wondered how you can tell if a lizard is a male or female, there are a few things that will help you identify this.

Males usually have a bigger head than females. Typically males benefit from having bigger heads so that they can fight and bite their enemies.

Also, males tend to have brighter and bolder colours. This is usually used to help them attract females and in some cases a form of communication. An example of a lizard with these bright vivid colours is the Western Fence Lizard. This lizard is also known as the “Blue Belly”.

The final tell tale sign is spikes, horns or flaps around their throats. These things are typically found on males. The spikes and horns usually aid them in combat.

Do Lizards Have Bones?

In this article I will answer if Lizards have bones, if they are vertebrates or not and reveal other interesting related biological facts. I was tempted to research this article after seeing some confusion and interest into lizards bone structure and to clarify even if they had bones.

Do lizards have bones? Yes, they have bones. They are vertebrates and have a backbone along with a collection of other bones. They also have Kinetic skulls that have moving parts. The exact bone structure varies from specie to specie.

Now that you understand that lizards have bones lets delve a bit deeper and understand a bit more detail about these lizards, in particular their bones and general anatomy.

Does a lizard have a backbone?

As briefly discussed earlier. Lizards do have a backbone. This is the same as humans and they are commonly referred to as vertebrates.

What is a Vertebrate?

A vertebrate is basically any animal that has a backbone. This includes us humans, reptiles, etc. The opposite of this is invertebrates, who do not have a back bone. Invertebrates have soft bodies without a backbone. An example of this would be jellyfish or a the common garden worm.

What is a kinetic skull and Do Lizards have this?

Lizards typically have a Kinetic skull meaning that it has moveable joints. The term for this movement is typically referred to as Cranial kinesis.

It basically means that apart from the normal upper and low jaw movement there is movement in other skull bones. Humans do not have such skull movement, and are commonly referred to as having akinetic skulls, the opposite to kinetic.

Do Lizards Shed their Skin?

Yes, lizards do shed their skin. It is a natural part of being a lizard in fact. For example Iguanas are known to shed their skin every 4-6 weeks. Younger lizards are even known to shed their skin even more frequent.

You usually get some clear signs when your lizard is about to or just starting to shed its skin. Such as the following:

  • Change of colour – Geckos can go a mix of white & Grey.
  • Reduced appetite
  • Not wanting to be touched, act irritated when touched.
  • Eyes puffing out substantially (two or three times), if they have eyelids

The shedding can take up to three weeks to complete. However this varies quite a bit. For example an Alligator lizard can literally shed its entire skin in hours. This is mainly due to the fact that it does this in one go and sheds its whole skin in one session.

There are problems that can occur during this process. If the shed does not occur correctly this is called dysecdysis. This can be caused by a poor diet, but in other cases thier could be other reasons that could make this happen.

Don’t be surprised if find your lizard eating its own skin after its shedded. I know, this may sound unpleasant, but this is actually a healthy and natural thing for lizards.

They benefit from the minerals in the skin and eating the skin helps them re-generate a new skin faster.

What is the Parietal Eye Lizards Have?

The parietal eye is commonly referred to as the the “third eye”. It is also sometimes called the Pineal eye. Lizards have this Parietal eye. It is particular useful to them to detect and decipher light levels.

When I say light levels, I mean working out when it is light and day. The eye will detect changes in the time of day based on colour changes of daylight.

Related Questions:

Do Lizards Have Red Blood? Before we answer this question, first let’s understand what actually makes blood red. The hemoglobin in . the oxygen is what gives blood the red colour. Which is present in human blood. This is the same for lizards, but not for all species.

Some species, in particular in New Guinea, there is a type of Skink Lizard that has green blood. Not just blood is green, also the muscles, bones and organs have this green colouration.

But why is its blood green? The reason is this lizard does not have the hemoglobin that we talked about earlier, meaning they do not have the same red colour we have.

Do lizards have teeth? Yes, lizard do have teeth, but they are different to our teeth. Depending on which specie of lizard you look at some have teeth that look more like little pegs.

However, a Komodo Dragon for example, has sharp serrated teeth that can injure animals that they wish to eat. Then on the other end of the scale you have the Mollusk that has blunt teeth.

Do Geckos have bones? Yes, they do have bones and what has been discussed earlier actually address this. All lizards have bones and are vertebrates.

What is Bipedal running and which Lizards can do this? This is basically running on two legs. Essentially this is what we do as humans. Obviously Lizards have four legs, so this is more of an interesting thing to see for them.

The Basilisk lizard can do this. It uses its two legs and uses its tail as a balance for their weight. AN interesting fact about these Basilisk lizards is they can actually run across water for short distances.

Do Lizards drink blood? There is a specie of lizard sometimes referred to as the “bloodsucking lizard”, however it is not really a true blood sucker and more of a myth. The name mainly comes from the colour of the male’s throat colour in mating season. At this time the male has a vivd red coloured throat and hence the name “bloodsucking lizard” came from.

This lizard does not stay this colour though, they tend to change colours quite drastically during the year.

Which lizard squirts blood from its eye? The Horned Lizard is known for squirting blood from its eye. It does this purely as a defence mechanism. The idea is it waits for its attacker to get real close, to the point where it’s in the jaws of the predator, then unleashes the squirt, to make sure it gets it.

Do Lizards have limbs? Yes, they do have limbs, they have 4 legs as well as a tail. The size and weight of these limbs varies quite a lot depending on the specie of lizard.

Can a Lizard Grow back a limb if lost?  Yes, they can. This behaviour is very different to humans because once we loose our limbs that is it for us. However this is a different story for lizards.

Once they loose a tail for example, the blood clots up in the limb. But rather than the skin growing back to cover the missing tail a replacement will come throw. It will not be an exact replica of what was there before, but it is re-growth none-the-less.

Do Lizards Sleep? Yes, they do sleep. In fact they have sleep cycles in the same manor as humans. The only difference is they have shorter cycles.

To put this into context, us humans are known to have sleep cycles of 90 minutes, and during a nights sleep this can equal about 4 sleep cycles.

Lizards on the other hand can have hundreds of smaller sleep cycles. Also the duration of their sleep is usually shorter than us. A small sleep for them is 80 minutes. But a long sleep can be 4 hours.

How do lizards cool off? Lizards have a very primitive methods to keep them self cool. If they are feeling hot they can simply hide behind an available rock. If they need to get hot and they are in a warm climate, they will basically expos themselves to the sun.

For larger lizards, for example, Komodo Dragon’s due to their large body size they can hold in their heat and regulate their temperature. For smaller lizards this is more of a challenge. They are affected by even the smallest changes in temperature in their environment.

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