How to Choose the Best Lizard For a Beginner (Includes Videos)

Lizards make amazing pets, but there are so many choices it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Thats why I a going to make life easier and straight up tell you what I believe is the best, and why.

What is the best Lizard for a beginner? In my opinion, it's the Crested Gecko, closely followed by the Water dragon and Uromastyx

Obviously my choices are subjective, so let me explain, using a detailed comparison, why I have come to this conclusion, read on.

What Makes a Good Beginner Lizard?

The best lizard for beginners is one that is relatively easy to care for, relatively hardy to handle, and one that you will enjoy. With that in mind, it makes sense to learn the basics about a few different types of lizards so you can decide which one is right for you.

What things should you consider for your lizard?

Before purchasing a lizard there are several things you should consider. Your lizard will spend the vast majority of his day in his habitat, so it needs to be made for him. 

Some lizards, like Water Dragons, are relatively easy to care for, but they do require a larger tank than a small lizard. This means spending more money for the tank and materials initially, and it also means spending more to clean and replace the substrate when cleaning.

It also means the tank will take up more room. You need to be sure you have a proper area to keep the size tank you are considering.

Another consideration when getting a lizard is its dietary needs. Many lizards require live food, such as crickets or mealworms, as part of their diet.

If this is not something you want to deal with, get a lizard whose diet does not require these. Trying to keep an omnivore healthy and happy solely on a commercial diet is difficult and not fair to the lizard. Fortunately, there are many varieties of lizards that do well on a vegetable-only diet.

If you want to really interact and handle your lizard, you will want one that is normally active during the day. You can enjoy nocturnal lizards, they typically get active around dusk, but if you want something to interact with throughout the day, it makes sense to select a lizard that operates on the same schedule as you.

On the other hand, if you are a night owl, you may enjoy a lizard who is just starting his day around the time you are winding down.

Once you have decided what lizard you want, but before you purchase it, it is important to set up its habitat. It can be tempting to try to do this all at once, but that will stress both you and your new pet.

Instead, get the materials needed to set up the habitat, arrange it how you like, and make sure it fits where you have it planned in your home. Once you have the lighting in place, check the temperature several times during the daytime and nigh time hours to be sure you have everything adjusted correctly. Only then are you ready to bring your lizard home.

My Top 3 Choices

My three popular choices for beginners are:

  • The Water Dragon
  • The Crested Gecko
  • Uromastyx.

Each of these lizards makes delightful pets and you really cannot go wrong with any of them.

Some things to think about are how much interaction you want with your lizard, how comfortable you are feeding a live diet, and how much room you have for a habitat.

This may seem like a lot to consider before heading out to purchase your lizard, but these are things worth thinking about.

Lizards can live 10 or more years, so it is important to take the time to select the species that will fit in best with your needs and abilities. Lizards are fun pets, and you will get a lot of enjoyment from seeing it thrive in its new home.

Why Did I Select These Choices?

There are benefits and drawbacks to each, but by learning a bit about each one you can make the best choice for your situation.

Water Dragons

Are diurnal, or more active during the day, they make a good choice as a pet, as it is easy to enjoy them. Water dragons are social and large enough to handle easily, without being so large they require a hard to manage habitat.

Water dragons have been kept as pets for a good while, and are readily available. Because they are relatively common pets we understand how best to feed and care for them.

This makes it easier for a beginner just starting out. Some less common reptile species come with a variety of conflicting opinions on feeding and habitat, which can be stressful for the new pet owner.

The fact that Water Dragons are relatively common also means that you have your choice of places to make your purchase and will have no trouble finding one once you get your habitat set up.

Crested Geckos 

This lizard makes a good choice for beginners for several reasons. They are small, staying under five inches long at maturity, gentle natured, and easy to feed. They are timid, and their small size and propensity for shedding their tail means they should be closely supervised when being handled by children.

Crested Geckos were once thought to be extinct, but through careful breeding, they have flourished. More experienced caretakers that are involved in breeding have bred for various characteristics, such as different colors and patterns.

Crested Geckos are easy to feed and flourish in typical household conditions. For someone intimidated by the thought of setting up a specialized habitat with a tightly controlled temperature gradiant and specialized basking spot, the Crested Gecko is the perfect choice.

The Uromastyx 

is also active during the day. They do well on a diet of vegetables and commercial supplementation, so make a good choice for individuals who want to avoid live feedings.

They have a docile and friendly nature, which makes them a good choice for someone new to reptiles. They are also large enough that they can tolerate inexperienced handling.

They do require a larger habitat than other beginner-friendly reptiles. They can also be difficult to source, which may be drawbacks to the beginner reptile owner.

They are only beginning to gain popularity as pets, so they are not as widely available as many other types of reptiles. There can also be a bit of conflicting information on their care, as they have not been kept as pets for as long as many other reptile species.

Water Dragon Facts

The scientific name for the Water Dragon is Physignathus cocincinus. It is also known as the Chinese Water Dragon, Asian Water Dragon, and Thai Water Dragon.

Where is the Water Dragon from (natural habitat)?

Water Dragons are native to the forested areas of China and India. In their natural habitat, they enjoy a semi-aquatic life and are found along the banks of freshwater bodies of water. In the wild, they typically spend their days relaxing in trees and plants close to the water.

There they can sunbathe and catch prey. If they sense danger, they drop from their sunning spot into the water. Once in the water, they may swim away or dive under the surface. They can remain underwater for up to 25 minutes.

How big is a water dragon?

Water Dragons can grow up to three feet long from nose to tail. Females are smaller than males and mature to about two feet. The tail of the dragon is about 70 percent of his length. Because the tail makes up so much of the Water Dragon's total length, they are not that heavy for their relative size.

What is their behavior like?

Water dragons are one of the friendliest lizards, which is one reason it makes a good choice for beginners. They are social and enjoy being handled. They thrive on attention, which means they are not necessarily the best choice if your schedule doesn’t permit regular interaction. You can get around this problem by getting more than one Water Dragon, so they can keep each other company.

If they feel threatened, the Water Dragon may attack. They do this by whipping their tail back and forth or biting at you. However, they are generally gentle creatures who like to avoid conflict.

Water Dragons are what are known as arboreal lizards. This means they love to climb. Their environment should have rocks and plants for them to climb on.

They are also excellent swimmers and benefit from an environment that allows this. It is unlikely that you will be able to create the perfect environment of a slow mooving stream beside trees for your Water Dragon, but even a large dish of fresh water will be appreciated.

Once you get to know each other better and he is comfortable being handled, you may find he enjoys visits to the bath for swimming sessions.

One thing to consider is that Water Dragons are community animals, and do best when kept with at least one other companion. It is important to note however, that two male Water Dragons should not be housed together.

Setting up a home that resembles the Water Dragon's natural habitat allows him to hold on to many of his instinctive behaviors. His tank should be at least 40 gallons to provide him with the room he needs to move around.

Arrange branches and rocks in a way that he has several hiding spots and basking areas available. His tank should be maintained at between 60 and 80 percent humidity at all times. You can keep the humidity level high by misting the inside of the tank with water daily.

Like most reptiles, the Water Dragon requires a range of temperatures in his enclosure to stay comfortable. The cool end should be around 70 degrees and the warm end should be 100 degrees.

A ceramic heater or incandescent bulb make an adequate heating source. Water Dragons require 10 to 12 hours of UVB rays from a full spectrum light daily.

Why is the Water Dragon good for beginners?

The Water Dragon makes a good pet for a beginner for a variety of reasons. It is a social creature and enjoys being handled. This is rewarding and, as long as you are gentle, it doesn’t require any special skill.

It is not aggressive, so you don’t have to be overly concerned that it will bite or strike with its tail when you are handling it. It is also active during the day, which makes it easier to enjoy than nocturnal reptiles.

Water dragons do need to climb, so your tank will need to at least five feet tall. It should be at least four feet long as well. Given what you know about their climbing and swimming instincts, it is easy to see how setting up the habitat for the Water Dragon requires a good deal of preparation.

The large tank size and needed materials can make set up more expensive than what some beginners have in mind.

Water Dragons are relatively common lizards, which makes them easy to find at pet stores and online. This makes them affordable. The major expense most beginners will encounter will be in setting up the habitat.

They do have specific requirements for materials in their tank as well as lighting. For someone who has never had reptiles before, it can be intimidating to set up the habitat required for a Water Dragon.

Crested Gecko Facts

The scientific name for the Crested Gecko is Rhacodactylus ciliates. It is also known as the new Caldonian Crested Gecko, the eyelash gecko, and Guichenot’s giant gecko. Crested Geckos are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Where is the Crested Gecko from (natural habitat)?

Crested geckos are originally from a group of islands between Fiji and Australia known as New Caledonia. In the wild, they spend most of their life in trees.

Crested Geckos are nocturnal and will spend most of their day hiding. They move from branch to branch by leaping, and can leap as well as frogs, something to remember when handling them.

They need a plastic or glass tank with a well-fitted cover. Because they love to leap and climb, it is more important to have a tall enclosure rather than a long one. Include plenty of branches for climbing and hiding.

They like a humid environment, which you can create by misting the tank daily. Unlike many reptiles, they are comfortable in the same housing conditions as most humans.

They will be content with daytime temperatures between 75 and 82 degrees, and nighttime temperatures between 68 and 75 degrees. If housing more than one Crested Gecko, make sure only one male is in the group.

What is their behavior like?

Young Crested Geckos can be nervous and hard to handle. It is best to let them settle into their new environment for a few weeks before you begin handling them.

Once they have settled in and are eating good, you can begin acclimating them to your touch. They are typically gentle but may nip if frightened. Their bites don’t amount to much, however.

Why is the Crested Gecko good for beginners?

The Crested Gecko makes an excellent choice for beginners. They are probably the easiest and least expensive reptile to keep as a pet. They don’t require a sophisticated heating and lighting system, and, in fact, do better in temperatures below 80 degrees.

They eat a simple diet, available as a powder you simply mix with water, so there is no need to keep live insects or feed a varied diet. They quickly become accustomed to being handled and tolerate it well as long as you are gentle. Because they are small, they are happy in a 20-gallon tank. Their simple diet requirements and small tank needs make the Crested Gecko a very affordable choice.

Overall, the Crested Gecko is probably the least expensive lizard for beginners. They do well in a small habitat and some climbing areas, either natural or artificial.

They will probably be fine without added heat just from the ambient temperature of your home, and their diet is not expensive.

They are relatively common and easy to find at pet stores and online, which keeps their cost down. The one drawback pricewise is that they do enjoy companionship, so you may find yourself adding to your collection.

Uromastyx Facts

Uromastyx sp. is the genus name for a group of reptiles that include 18 species. They come from the same family that includes frilled and bearded dragons, clown agamas and many of the more familiar lizards.

They are also called uros, spiny-tailed gamids, spinytails, mastiguires, or dabb lizards. The spinytail name comes from the rings of spiked scales that cover the top of the uro’s tail.

Where is the Uromastyx from (natural habitat)?

Uro lizards can be found in a sprawling area from India, through south-central Asia, parts of the Middle East, and North Africa. Their range is north of the Equator and spreads over 5,000 miles. They thrive in areas at sea level up to an elevation of 3,000 feet.

How big is a Uromastyx?

The majority of Uromastyx mature to between 10 and 18 inches. There are exceptions, and the Egyptian Uromastyx can reach 30 inches in length.

What is their behavior like?

Uromastyx are generally docile and it is extremely unlikely they will bite a human. They may use their tails as a defense if startled or cornered. As long as they know you are there, however, it is unlikely they will attack. They generally enjoy being handled once they get to know you.

One thing that helps is having an enclosure that opens on the side, rather than the top.

If your tank opens from the top, make sure your uro knows you are there before you reach down. Being grabbed suddenly from above is startling, and he may mistake you for a predator.

Why is the Uromastyx Lizard good for beginners?

The Uromastyx is active during the day, which makes it a rewarding pet. It is incredibly docile and enjoys human companionship, which makes it a rewarding pet for a beginner. The Uromastyx does require special lighting in order to stay healthy, so keep that in mind when making your selection.

The easiest and most effective way to do this is by setting up a long tank, with one main lighting source that runs the length of the tank and another incandescent bulb at one end of the tank for a basking zone.

Most homes will be warm enough to allow all lights to be turned off overnight, but daytime temperatures must reach 120 degrees in the basking zone for your Uromastyx to thrive.

Cost-wise, the uro probably won't be the least expensive choice. While they don't require as extensive of an environment as the Water Dragon, they are highly dependent on strong lighting as heat sources. These bulbs will need to be replaced on a regular basis, at least every six months.

Since he doesn't require live food (click here to 3 lizards that don't need live food), his diet will not be overly expensive. The initial cost of the uro will probably be higher than either the Water Dragon or the Crested Gecko, simply because they are less common. On the other hand, Uromastyx do quite well on their own, so you won't feel compelled to acquire more than one.

Which one is best (Water Dragon, Crested Gecko or Uromastyx)?

As I stated at the beginning, the Crested Gecko is the best in my opinion. However, the best lizard for you depends on your lifestyle, budget, and preference.

The Water Dragon, Crested Gecko, and Uromastyx can all be good choices, and there are also drawbacks to each one. The Water Dragon requires a larger enclosure for its size than some other lizards and needs access to both climbing materials and a swimming area to be happy.

The Crested Gecko has easy to meet habitat needs, but its small size means it is more fragile to handling than larger lizards. The Uromastyx is very docile and easy to feed but will be extremely reliant on you to be sure the temperature in his habitat is warm enough to allow for digestion and other basic functions.

Related Questions:

Where can I buy these lizards? There are many choices available when you are ready to buy your lizard. Large pet stores are certainly one option, but they aren’t the only one.

You may be able to find a small, locally owned reptile store within a reasonable distance to your home. The employees at these stores are likely to have better training and be more informed about the reptiles in their care than at larger pet stores.

You can also order reptiles online. The disadvantage here is that you will not see and interact with the lizard before you own it, but as long as you purchase from a reputable online store that should not be a problem. Purchasing online allows you to find lizards that may not be available locally.

You can also purchase everything you need for your lizard's habitat either online or locally, or a combination of each. If you are having trouble finding what you need locally, don't hesitate to get online. There are many resources available to set up the perfect habitat to keep your lizard safe and healthy, there is no reason to compromise.

Does It matter Where I get it from? One thing that you want to know about your lizard, regardless of where you buy it, is where it came from. Your first choice should be for a reptile that was born and raised in captivity. There are several reasons for that. The first is that the reptile that has been born into domestication doesn't know anything else, and will acclimate better than a wild one to his new environment.

Moving to a new habitat is stressful for any reptile, even if he is going from one domesticated habitat to another. Going from being caught in the wild, to a holding facility, on to his final home is much more stressful. He will take much longer to recover and the stress may make him ill.

The other reason that domestically born reptiles are preferred to wild caught ones is that the wild reptiles are much more likely to have parasites that will eventually make them sick than domestic lizards.

Buying a reptile that is sourced domestically allows you to have a lizard that is familiar with humans, that you know how old it is, and is healthy and should transition well in his new home.

I hope you found this article enjoyable and informative. Lizards make interesting and fun pets. Taking the time to select the right one for you and your family allows you to enjoy him more fully, without the worry that you aren’t or cannot provide proper care, for example I wouldn't recommend a Garden Lizard.

I would love to hear what you thought of this article. I hope it answered any questions you had, and I would welcome any feedback. If you found this article beneficial, I hope you will share it with others.

What are the Predators of an Iguana?

As an Iguana fan, I have been researching these lizards. Understanding their predators as well as other interesting facts that may help you before taking on one of these as a pet. But let's answer your question first.

What are the Predators of an Iguana? The natural predators of iguanas are predatory birds. In particular, eagles, owls, herons, egrets, and hawks. As well as foxes and snakes of all kinds. In more urban and domesticated areas, iguanas also have to worry about rats, cats, and dogs. Marine iguanas also have large fish to fear. Like many animals, iguanas are most vulnerable to predators when they are young or newly hatched.

There are certain detrimental affects these predators have. And in some cases these affects can be quite a big. Next I will explain these affects and how to care for one of the most popular lizards in case you want to make one your pet.

Predator Affects

Over the years, certain species of iguanas have been displaced by humans and preyed upon by predators so much that they have become endangered animals.

In fact, Caribbean rock iguanas are now the most endangered group of lizards in the world because humans destroyed their habitat, run them over with their cars, and introduced exotic species of cats that prey upon the iguanas.

Many zoos now have breeding programs to help preserve iguanas of all kinds.

Iguana Facts

Interested to know which iguana is the most popular? Green iguanas are not only one of the most popular iguanas, they are actually one of America’s most popular pets.

Iguanas are ranked as the ninth most popular pet in the United States. The article goes on to explain some of the reasons why iguanas make such great pets.

They are great for lazy people.

Iguanas don’t have to be taken out for walks every day or brushed to keep mats out of their fur. Nope. As long as they are in a proper habitat, kept warm, and fed well, iguanas are pretty laid back animals.

They are also popular pets because they live for several years. If you're like me, one of the only things that you hate about having pets is that one day they are going to die.

It breaks my heart to lose a pet, and I often avoid adopting a new pet for fear of losing it. Iguanas, though, are very long-lived animals, which makes them less of a heartbreak risk.

Green iguanas are popular in other areas of our culture as well. People wear green iguanas on their t-shirts and swimming trunks; they drink green iguana margaritas; and they even decorate their bars or restaurants with pictures of them, sometimes wearing floppy hats.

Even though they are not native to North America, the green iguana has become a pretty common sight in the United States.

What is the Green Iguana’s Scientific Name?

The green iguana’s scientific name is easy to remember and also quite fun to say! Green iguanas are known as Iguana iguana to the scientific community. No, that is not a double word typo on my part. Its scientific name is actually Iguana iguana. Pretty simple, huh?

What Other Names Do They Have?

Because they are one of the most popular pets in the United States, green iguanas are now also known by the names ‘common green iguana’ and ‘American iguana.’

People in the reptile community use these names interchangeably, so when you start looking for more information about green iguanas, don’t discount sites that use the terms American iguana or common green iguana. They are all talking about the same adorable iguana.

Where is Their Natural Habitat?

Green iguanas are native to both South America and Central America. They can also be found on many islands, including Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Curacao, St. Lucia, and others.

Green iguanas can also be found in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas, but they were brought to those places by humans and never naturally inhabited those areas. 

Iguanas thrive on sunlight and love basking in the sun, so in their natural habitats, they tend to live high up in the canopy of trees. Juveniles, too, live in the canopy, though they are generally found a bit lower than mature iguanas. They move higher as they age.

They prefer forested habitats, but they can survive in the more open areas as well. They can often be found near large bodies of water, as they are excellent swimmers and enjoy taking a dip to cool off just as humans do.

How Big is a Green Iguana?

When they first hatch, baby green iguanas are usually between six to nine inches long (17 to 25 centimeters) and weigh less than an ounce (approximately 12 grams).

However, within three years, that same iguana can grow to weigh over two pounds (1 kilogram). Upon reaching full height, green iguanas are the largest (in length) of all iguanas, growing between five and seven feet long (1.5 to 2 meters) and can reach weights of nearly twenty pounds (9 kilograms)!

In captivity, it is more likely, however, that your iguana will grow between four and six feet long and weigh closer to eight to thirteen pounds. As with most species, males will usually grow to be larger than females.

What is the Lifespan of a Green Iguana?

In the wild, iguanas tend to live for about eight years; however, in captivity, a green iguana who is well taken care of can potentially live much longer.

With a carefully maintained habitat and the right diet, captive iguanas can live up to twenty years! On average, however, captive iguanas tend to live between ten and twelve years, with the females generally living longer than the males.

Caring For A Green Iguana

Other than feeding your iguana a balanced and healthy diet, the most important thing you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she is living in a clean, healthy, and well-maintained habitat.

Creating the perfect habitat for your new iguana is probably the most daunting part of green iguana ownership, but do not let that scare you away! You can do it!

Just make sure you do your research before deciding what will work best for your new pet. The following are some of the most important things to remember when setting up your iguana’s new habitat:

  • SIZE MATTERS! Iguanas are not limited in size by their enclosure. In other words, no matter what you’ve heard, buying a small enclosure for your iguana will not keep him small.

    An iguana is going to grow no matter what size enclosure he is placed in, and since iguanas can grow up to seven feet in length, it is important that the enclosure you choose for your iguana is large, as well.

    The enclosure should be twice the length of your iguana and at least six feet high. You can start off with a smaller enclosure for your hatchling, but be sure that you are ready to move a big habitat into your home in a couple of years.

  • Iguanas love the sun and must stay warm. Their habitats need a basking spot in them that is constantly between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and the rest of the habitat should never reach below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

    This can be achieved, even in colder climates, by the use of UV lamps and heating pads. However, it is important to remember that green iguanas, like most other animals, do require a day/night cycle, so at night, you must have a way to regulate the temperature within your iguana’s habitat without constantly shining lights onto him.

  • High humidity is a must. One of the biggest problems seen in captive iguanas is dehydration. They do not drink a lot of water, so to keep them hydrated, you must be willing to find ways to keep their habitat humidified.

    Spritzing the habitat and the iguana with a spray bottle will work, but for those of us who work, spritzing our pets every few hours is not practical. Instead, try placing a humidifier in the room and placing several different large pools of water inside the habitat. Bathing or showering your iguana daily can also help with this issue.

I know!

Maintaining a healthy habitat for your new pet sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t nearly as stressful as you think.

The Green Iguana Society has a great guide specifically to help new owners with setting up their habitats.

Will They Benefit from a Hide Box?

Hatchlings and young iguanas will most definitely benefit from a hide box or two in their enclosures. Young iguanas need to feel safe and that there is a space for them to go and be undisturbed. Hide-a-logs are great for small iguanas, but there are many different types of hiding boxes you can choose to use.

As iguanas grow larger and older, they have less need of hide boxes, but they still occasionally need some place where they can get away and feel like they are alone and hidden, especially if their enclosure is in a busy spot in your home.

However, finding hide boxes that fit a fully grown iguana can be problematic. You may have to make something of your own, or you can use certain types of foliage to create hidden spaces for your iguana to enjoy.

Just be sure to double check that the plant you are using is not toxic to reptiles, specifically iguanas.

What is the Ideal Substrate for Them?

Again, refer to the habitat guide from the Green Iguana Society if you have any questions or doubts about what type of substrate to use with your iguana. Some things that you never want to use are wood chips, dirt, or sand. These items can be easily picked up by a flicking iguana tongue, and if they are swallowed, they can be very damaging to your iguana’s digestive tract.

Some recommendations for good substrates are old newspapers with non-toxic ink, plain butcher paper, paper towels, or pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet. However, if you do use carpet, please take all precautions against it unraveling, as this can lead to problems with your new iguana. Change your iguana enclosure’s substrate regularly, as well.

What Lighting and Heating do They Need?

I touched on lighting and heating already in the section about creating the perfect habitat, but it is important, so I wanted to mention it once more.

As I mentioned before, basking areas should be between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and ambient temperatures in the air of the habitat should be no lower than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Daytime heat can be achieved with incandescent light bulbs. Nighttime heat can be provided with CHE’s (Ceramic Heat Emitters) which provide only heat with no light.

Hot rocks are not recommended for use with iguanas because they can become too hot and burn your pet.

Iguanas also need a steady source of UV light to thrive. There are two types of UV light – UVA and UVB. UVA light can easily be achieved by giving your iguana exposure to natural light coming through windows or even your regular ceiling lights.

UVB light, though, is a little more difficult; however, it can be achieved by the use of UV bulbs shining into your iguana’s enclosure. Natural, unfiltered sunlight is a great source of UVB light, as well. Feel free to take your iguana out into the sun every now and then! Also consider building an outdoor sunning cage for your pet if your budget allows it.

What are Their Water Requirements?

Iguanas do not drink a lot of water; however, this does not mean that they do not need access to fresh water. On the contrary, you should provide several pools or bowls of fresh water for your iguana.

Even though he will get most of his water needs fulfilled through his food, he may need a little drink every now and then. Even more importantly, having many sources of fresh water located inside your iguana’s enclosure will help keep it at the right humidity for your iguana.

Be sure to change the water out daily and wash the bowls thoroughly before replacing them in the habitat.

How Often Should You Clean Out Their Housing?

Various items in your iguana’s habitat will need to be cleaned daily, such as their food and water bowls. In addition, you need to remove any food or other types of waste that you see in the enclosure each day or even more often.

The substrate used for your iguana’s habitat should be changed out weekly, and any broken branches or anything else that could harm your iguana should be removed immediately upon seeing them.

Are There Any Known Health Conditions Iguanas May Suffer From?

As I mentioned already, dehydration is a common ailment of iguanas, but it can easily be avoided by remembering to keep plenty of pools of fresh, clean water in your pet’s enclosure. Other diseases that your iguana may fall prey to are metabolic bone disease, liver disease, or blister disease.

Be sure to watch for color changes, signs of the hind limbs not working correctly, appetite changes, and changes in your pet’s pooping habits.

Yes, I know, it’s gross, but poop can be a good indicator of what is going on inside your reptilian friend. Make sure to familiarize yourself with exotic pet vet clinics near you in case you need to take your iguana to a vet.

Are They a Good Pet for Beginners?

Whether or not a green iguana will make a good pet for a beginning pet owner is entirely dependent on the new owner in question.

If you are thinking of adopting an iguana, the Green Iguana Society has an “Are You Ready?” page that I suggest you consult. It lists all the traits an iguana owner needs to have and tells you a few steps to take before deciding whether or not to adopt an iguana.

If you are loving, dedicated, and patient and don’t mind a little extra work setting up a habitat in the beginning, I think you will be fine.

Related Questions:

Why is my Green Iguana Turning Brown? Okay, so you have your iguana and things have been going well so far. All of sudden, you come home and notice your green iguana is turning brown!

What do you do?! First off, don’t panic! There could be any number of reasons that your green iguana is becoming a brown iguana. First of all, it is important to note that the name “green iguana” is a bit of a misnomer.

Green iguanas can actually be many different colors, including brown, blue, or even albino white.

However, if your iguana started off green and is now changing, there are several reasons for this as well.

When baby iguanas are hatchlings, they are often a vibrant, bright green. However, as your baby iguana ages, it starts to dim in color as its adult colors start to appear.

By its second year of life, you should be able to predict what your adult iguana is going to look like. By the time your iguana reaches sexual maturity at eighteen months old, its colors should be pretty much set.

However, there are still other reasons why your mature iguana is turning colors. Iguanas often change colors when they begin to shed their skins, which happens every four to six weeks.

Your iguana could dim in color to a brownish or yellow and might even get milky white patches on its skin.

This is normal. Changes in temperature can also cause your iguana to change colors, and finally, males and many of the females will change color during the breeding season as well. All of these things are perfectly reasonable explanations for your iguana changing his color.

However, stress and sickness can also be the cause of your iguana turning brown, and if your iguana begins to change color to a dark brown, this could be a definite cause for concern.

If your adult iguana begins changing colors, watch to see if he starts to shed. Look out for other signs of sickness as well, such as change in appetite or a difference in his poop.

If any of these things happen in correlation to the color changes, then it might be time to take your friend to the vet. Melissa Kaplan, author of Iguanas for Dummies, has an online guide to color variations and changes in iguanas.

Can Green Iguanas Swim? Yes! And they enjoy it! In the wild, green iguanas are often found near bodies of water. Though they mostly reside in the high canopies of trees, they use rivers and lakes as means of escape from predators.

If they are frightened by a predator, they will often leap out of the trees and into the water to swim away. As for your pet iguana, he might also like a shallow bath in your tub or sink every now and then as well, but this is different for different iguanas. Try it out and see if bath time is something your iguana enjoys.

Can Green Iguanas Live Outside? Again, the answer to this question is yes. Green iguanas are native to Central and South America, and in the wild, the only place they have to live is outside.

Unless you live in an area very much like their native habitats, however, you should not keep your pet iguana outside. Most regions are too cool for much of the year for your iguana to stay healthy.

However, building an outdoor sunning cage is something you can do that your iguana would enjoy very much.

Make sure that your enclosure is large and in a warm, sunny part of the yard, and only leave your iguana in the outdoor enclosure during the warm, dry parts of the day.

I also do not recommend leaving your iguana unattended, even inside the enclosure, in case of animals or strangers who may happen by your yard and be a little too curious about your pet iguana. This video on YouTube shows a really lovely outdoor sunning cage for your iguana:

Can Red and Green Iguanas Mate? Red and green iguanas can mate because red and green iguanas are the same type of iguanas. A red iguana is simply a green iguana that had an orange-red pigment to its skin. It is the same as breeding a black cat and a white cat.

They are the same animal with different colors on their skins. I know I have referred to the Green Iguana Society a lot in this post, but that is because they have some really excellent information about iguanas.

I’m going to refer to them once again here because if you are seriously considering breeding iguanas, they have some information you should read.


I hope that you have enjoyed this article about iguanas (Can Iguanas swim in pools? Click here to see) , and I hope that it has helped you with whatever it was that brought you here in the first place. If you are a new iguana owner, I hope that you got some great information to help you on your new journey.

If my article helped you or if you have any further questions I might be able to answer for you in the future or if you just want to say hi, please use the comment section down below! Thank you so much for stopping by today!

What Does a Chameleon’s Color Actually Mean? (Its not what you think)

Ever wondered what a Chameleon's colors mean (Click here for my best Chameleon Guide, on Amazon)? Most people assume they blend to match their environment, in this article you will find out why that is not necessarily true and more about this intriguing lizard.

What Does a Chameleon's Color Change Actually Mean? The color-changing skin of the chameleon is NOT meant as a camouflage against predators. For chameleons, their color changing is a form of communication and a form of adaptation to their environment.

With that being said, what things can really trigger thier color change? Lets understand exactly what causes this, please read on.

We would love to hear from you. Leave your comments below and tell us your thoughts on chameleons and their bright colors.





Common Collared Lizard Care: Beginners Need to Know This

The Common Collared lizard might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a pet lizard. I discovered that most people are not familiar with this specie, but, as you find out in this article they can be an interesting pet.

What is the Common Collared? The Common Collared is also known as the Eastern Collared. Its scientific name is "crotaphytis collaris". The first part of this name is derived from the Greek words "krotaphos" and "phyton." The second part of the name comes from the Latin word "collaris," which just means "collar."

So we know a bit about this lizard, but what about their natural habitat, diet, how to care for them, or even to confirm if they should really be a consideration for you? If you are seeking these answers, please read on.

The Meaning of Their Scientific Name

The meaning of the name is a reference to the distinctive banded necks that are commonly seen in this species. "krotaphos" means "the side of the head," whereas "phyton" simply means "creature."

The second part of the name comes from the Latin word "collaris," which just means "collar." Fully translated, the name would mean "creature with a collar on the side of its head."

Honestly, I think they could have come up with something much better, considering all the unique qualities that this lizard possesses. However, science often makes its choices without any regard for aesthetics, and it's probably better that way.

What other names do they have?

The eastern collared lizard has a few other names. The most well-known of these names is "mountain boomer." The name originates in Oklahoma, where this creature has been named as the official state reptile.

Long ago, settlers to this region heard the wind whipping through the canyons and mistook the sound for the call of an animal.

Somehow, these sounds were associated with the little blue lizard that we now call the eastern collared lizard. Although the name was given in error, it has stuck fast and remains a common name for the creature.

As this species is found abundantly in Mexico, it has a few names in Spanish. One of these is cachoron, which translates as "puppy." This name suggests that the collared lizard might have a long history of being kept as a pet in Mexico.

Spanish writers have also referred to it as an "iguana," which is technically incorrect but still in the ballpark, since it belongs to the suborder iguana.

Where is Their Natural Habitat?

These lizards are native to the dry scrubland and semi-arid region of the American Southwest. In Mexico, the species is concentrated in the north-central area along the Texas border.

They are common throughout northern and western Texas, as well as most of Oklahoma. However, their habitat in Oklahoma consists of scattered pockets in semi-arid places.

These pockets (often referred to as "glades") are similar to a desert environment due to thin soils, high altitude, and rocky terrain. Research suggests that most (if not all) of Oklahoma's collared lizards are found in these "glades."

The collared lizard is common throughout all of New Mexico, which shouldn't surprise anyone. It is also commonly found in the western half of Arizona.

It should be noted that there are several subspecies of this lizard, and if we add their ranges, we see that the collared lizard and its variants can be found in Baja, Northwestern Mexico, most of Nevada, and Southern California.

How big is a Common Collared Lizard?

The eastern collared lizard has a maximum size of 15 inches. In practice, most of them do not get quite this big. 10 to 12 inches is a much more realistic number for males, while females will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 8-10 inches long. These measurements include the entire tail.

This medium size is one of the main positives of keeping this species as a pet. Overall, pet owners like a species that is large enough to be visually impressive. A larger lizard is also much easier to find if they should happen to escape.

However, a really large lizard can become a serious liability. Have you ever met a full-grown iguana with an attitude? It's not much fun. The largest iguanas can get up to six feet long, which means that they will require an entire room to themselves and a lot of food.

On top of that, their bites and tail whippings can be a little dangerous. Iguanas have even been known to bite off fingers in some cases. With a collared lizard, you get the same alert, feisty attitude but without the expense of feeding a small dinosaur or the pain of losing your fingers.

How long do they usually Live?

In general, collared lizards will live for 5 to 8 years. However, there are reports of these creatures living as long as 15 years.

While these reports are unverified, they do show that lifespan is largely determined by the quality of care. Females and males will typically reach sexual maturity after about two years.

What is the Ideal Housing for a Common Collared Lizard?

The ideal housing for a collared lizard is a vivarium which has been set up to mimic the deserts of their natural home. An aquarium is not preferred for several reasons.

One problem is the fact that aquariums do not hold heat very well. The glass panels alone provide very little insulation and thus are a poor choice for a desert creature.

If you don't know, a vivarium is sort of like an aquarium except that it is surrounded by wood on all sides except one (the front side). With the glass or clear plastic panel on the front, you can still view the animal easily.

However, being hidden on all sides except one gives the animal a sense of privacy. Remember, this is a creature that normally spends a lot of time in hiding.

How hard do you think it would be to hide inside a glass box? If you cannot afford a vivarium, I would recommend covering your aquarium walls with cheap plywood panels on three sides.

You will also need to make sure your vivarium is ventilated. This is usually achieved through a series of vents on the upper part of the back panel.

Will they Benefit From a Hide Box?

Like virtually all reptiles, collared lizards require a hiding spot. This can be a simple rock cave that you piece together, a small hut made from sticks, or a plastic facsimile of some kind.

Your options are very extensive here, but you should keep safety in mind when making or choosing a hide box. I recommend taking three flat rocks from your yard, washing them thoroughly, and gluing them together with pure silicone.

The top rock can slope downward to the floor of the enclosure, with the sides glued in place. You could also use a little bit of padded wire to hold it together.

It is very important to avoid using any glue other than 100% silicone, as these other glues will contain substances that are toxic to your lizard. It is also important to stress-test the hide box by slapping it with your hand and making sure it does not collapse. If you can't slap it apart, your lizard can't knock it apart.

What Is the Ideal Substrate for Them?

As for substrate, a mixture of sand and small rocks is the most natural choice. However, you should not put their food in the sand because they will end up ingesting small amounts of sand.

Over time, this can lead to an intestinal blockage (impaction) which can be fatal. Some people prefer to use bark chips as a substrate, but I would recommend against this.

Bark substrates can be great for tropical lizards that require high humidity but are a poor choice for desert lizards who require a dry environment. Another option is to use a piece of reptile carpet.

I prefer this option because you don't have to worry about sand impaction and cleaning is easy. You just remove the items from the cage (other than your lizard, of course), pull out the mat and throw it in the washing machine.

Naturally, you want to rinse the carpet off in the yard beforehand so that you don't end up with little bits of lizard scat in your laundry.

What Lighting and Heating do they need?

It is important to remember that this lizard thrives in very hot temperatures. During the day, they need a basking temperature of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

This should be provided via a UVB heat lamp. At night, they require darkness and a colder temperature. This lighting scheme will mimic the natural climate of the desert, which is burning hot during the day and cold at night.

That being said, they cannot be allowed to get too cold at night. Therefore, a ceramic bulb is a good way to give them some heat at night with almost no light. There are also special dark-light bulbs that can be used.

It is of the utmost importance to provide a temperature gradient for your lizard. They must be able to move from hotter areas to cooler areas whenever they wish.

This is one of the main ways in which lizards regulate their body temperature. As such, make sure that your enclosure is equipped with two thermometers; one at each end. In this way, you can make sure that the temperature is controlled with a proper gradient.

One final word about light: Make sure to take your lizard outside once they are properly socialized, as natural sunlight is very good for them.

What are Their Water Requirements?

Being a desert creature, these lizards do not require a great deal of water. In fact, leaving a large amount of water in their enclosures can be a bad idea because it may raise the humidity of the environment.

You will need a small humidity meter for the tank so that you can monitor this. This is not desirable at all. The recommended method is to spray their enclosure with a water bottle, allowing them to lick the droplets from every surface.

This is how they normally drink in the wild since their habitats have so little water. Another issue is that, if you give them a large water bowl, they will frequently walk through it and splash the water everywhere.

This will turn your sand into mud, and raise the humidity even more as the sand dries out. If you have a difficult case, you can drip some water directly onto their lips. Just make sure you don't drip it into their eyes, as it tends to make them very mad.

What Can You Feed a Common Collared Lizard?

The collared lizard is a high-energy animal with a fast metabolism. As such, they need to be offered food every day, unlike some other lizards. If your lizard refuses food on a particular day, it isn't really a cause for alarm, but make sure you at least offer it to them.

This lizard is technically omnivorous, like most lizards, but its diet in the wild consists primarily of insects and other reptiles. Crickets are a good staple food for your collared lizard, but make sure you diversify!

A limited diet can literally be a death sentence for a reptile. I learned it the hard way with my poor departed pet alligator, may he rest in peace! Other than crickets, good choices for insect foods include waxworms, mealworms, dubia cockroaches and grasshoppers. You should also occasionally give your lizard a pinky mouse or two.

The collared lizard also has a very high calcium requirement, even as lizards go. Whenever you are about to feed some bugs to your little friend, be sure to put them in a bag and dust them with calcium and/or vitamin powder.

These supplements help to ensure that your pet has all the nutrients he requires. It's kind of like "shake and bake", except that a human would never want to eat it.

How Often Should You Clean Out Their Housing?

Cleaning is not a difficult matter with this species. They are not large enough to produce large, disgusting piles of scat. In fact, most of their excrement tends to be hard and solid, making it easy to remove.

I would recommend cleaning the enclosure on an "as-needed" basis. The exact method used will depend on your substrate. If you are using sand, you can easily use a slotted scoop to remove the scats while removing only minimal amounts of sand.

If you are using a piece of reptile carpet, the method has already been explained above. For other substrates, I can't offer you advice because you shouldn't be using them.

Are there any known health issues they may get?

One problem that can sometimes occur is the development of bone disorders. This is usually the result of insufficient UVB light exposure. It's very simple; Collared lizards use calcium to build and repair their bones, just as we do.

However, their bodies use vitamin D3 to facilitate the process, and they can only synthesize vitamin D3 by converting it from direct sunlight.

Glass from a tank or window will actually filter out the UVB light, and many people do not understand this. If your lizard's heat bulb is not providing the UVB levels that are needed, such disorders will inevitably result.

These animals are also very vulnerable to mold and fungi. Coming from a desert environment, their bodies are not well-equipped to handle the kind of bacterial and fungal infections that can result from a wet, humid environment. This is why you must keep these lizards and their enclosures dry. This is also why your humidity meter is so important.

Are they a Good Pet for Beginners?

This question is a difficult one because there are large differences in behavior between wild-caught collared lizards and captive-bred specimens. Wild-caught specimens usually have a wild and aggressive attitude.

Your chances of being bitten when you first pick them up would be fairly high, but captive-bred collared lizards tend to be much more docile toward humans.

In some ways, this is an easy species for beginners because of their simple diet. Some lizards require a complex mix of plants and live food, but this isn't one of them.

Overall, this would not be the best choice for a beginner, in my opinion, because of the specific climate requirements that are necessary for their continued health.

Related Questions

How many eggs do collared lizards lay?

On average, a female collared lizard will lay about six eggs. These will be deposited in soft, moist sand in the wild.

When breeding them in captivity, many breeders will construct an egg-laying box filled with a mixture of soil and vermiculite that is kept slightly wet. When the eggs dry out completely, the little baby lizards inside will probably die.

With such exact moisture requirements, it is a wonder this lizard has thrived so well in the wild. Sometimes, the female will lay two clutches at once.

Most of the time, the female will be noticeably larger if she has become double-pregnant. Yes, that's right...these lizards can become double-pregnant. And sometimes, the female will become double-aggressive as well, so be careful when you remove those eggs for incubation.

Is a collared lizard a herbivore?

Technically, these lizards are omnivores, but the majority of their diet consists of live prey. That being said, they will eat plant material both in the wild and in captivity. If you are dealing with a wild-caught specimen, you may very well find it more difficult to get them to eat plants.

However, this can be remedied by sprinkling the vegetables with a handful of their favorite insect prey. Once they get a taste of the plant material, you can watch their reaction and find out if they like what they have tried.

If they show signs of disgust, or if they pointedly avoid coming anywhere near the food again, you have chosen the wrong plant. I recommend things like mustard greens, curly kale, and (naturally) collard greens.

Are they fast runners?

The simple answer is "yes. Extremely." These are some of the fastest lizards known to man. Their speed is a natural defense mechanism that allows them to avoid most predators. Because of their bright coloration, these creatures stand out like a sore thumb in the muted colors of the desert.

As such, they would never have survived without the speed to evade their enemies. Collared lizards are one of the only species that can run on two legs, though they cannot run across the water like a basilisk. When they are running at their fastest, they can reach speeds of up to 16 mph.

One of the reasons for this is that they have a stride that is nearly three times the length of their body. Like most lizards, they cannot maintain this great speed for very long, but it is generally more than enough to get them under a rock and away from predators.

how big does a common collared lizard get?

As stated earlier, the average collared lizard will reach a maximum of 15 inches, with most topping out at 10-12 inches. Naturally, there are exceptions in both directions.

Where Can I Buy a Collared Lizard?

There are many options for buying a collared lizard, but I would recommend looking for a breeder. Whether you are dealing with a small hobby breeder or a large-scale operator, you should stick with captive-bred animals because they will be much easier to tame and far less likely to bite you.

They may not be large enough to do serious damage with a bite, but you still don't want to take a bite if you can avoid it. More importantly, a captive-bred animal is a lot less likely to jump off your hand or shoulder and go darting across the yard at 16 miles per hour. Just try catching one of these little guys when they seriously don't want to be caught!

Their extreme speed and feisty nature make it a good idea to avoid pet shops. Most pet shops don't carry this breed anyway (at least from what I've seen), and even if they do, it's a risk because you have no way of knowing where the animal came from.

All too often, pet shops get their stock from dealers without knowing very much about the animal. In most cases, it will be difficult if not impossible to determine if that lizard in the pet store window is wild or captive. If you do see one in a pet shop, and you are thinking about buying it, your best bet is to disregard whatever the shopkeeper says and judge by the behavior of the animal.

What do female collared lizards look like?

Female collared lizards do not have the same colorful appearance that the males do. Their color is usually a yellowish-brown, but they can still be identified by the characteristic neck bands. However, when the female is ready to breed, she will often develop a brighter color with bright orange bands. Of course, this is how she signals to the male that she is ready to breed.

Bearded Dragon: Ultimate Care Guide

Basic Facts

There are other species within this group, such as the Coastal Bearded Dragon, the Western Bearded Dragon, the Black-soil Bearded Dragon, the Kimberly Bearded Dragon, the Nullabor's Bearded Dragon, and the Dwarf Bearded Dragon.

The Coastal and Black-soil Bearded Dragon are sometimes found in pet stores in the United States, but the most common Bearded Dragon kept as a pet is the Inland variety.

Barded Dragon Behavior

Each Bearded Dragon, like any other creature, has his own personality. In general, however, the Bearded Dragon has a calm, passive temperament. He is content to spend most of his time in his tank, looks forward to interacting with his humans, particularly at mealtimes, and is typically easy to get along with.

The Bearded Dragon has a few distinctive behaviors that give you some insight into how he is feeling. If your Beardie is young, you may notice him "waving" at you with one arm. :

What is the best lighting?

Bearded dragons are native to the desert, and appreciate an environment that mimics that. Set your tank up with two separate light sources. The first should be a full spectrum UV light.

This light should cover the length of the tank. It is important to use a UV light, not only to create the most comfortable living conditions for your Beardie but also so he can use those UV rays to create vitamin D3 internally.

The second light should be a bright white light concentrated on one area of the tank. This will be his basking spot. The light should keep the area between 95 and 110 degrees. Locate this light at one end of the tank so he can go there when he wants to warm up and get away from it when he wants to be cooler.

What is the best temperature for them?

The tank should be long, with a basking light set up at one end. This allows for a cool area as well as a warm area. The cool area should be between 80 and 85 degrees during the day and can drop to between 70 and 75 degrees at night.

Create a basking spot that can reach 110 degrees. The safest way to do this is to place a rock or angled log under the basking light. Your Bearded Dragon can then get as close to or as far away from the light as he wants, allowing him to choose the temperature at which he is most comfortable. It is important that he not be able to actually touch the lightbulb itself, however.

What is the best substrate for them?

You want the substrate to be made up of a solid material rather than something loose like sand. You can use butcher paper, newspaper or a material specifically designed for them, such as reptile carpet.

It may be tempting to use sand as a substrate, but your Bearded Dragon may ingest it while eating and develop an impaction in his intestines.

Using a solid substrate is always best. You should particularly never use sand for young Bearded Dragons, and if you do decide to use it for adults, be sure to feed your Bearded Dragon in dishes, rather than directly on the substrate. This will minimize the amount of sand he ingests.

What do they eat (diet)?

Bearded Dragons have a varied diet, and will be healthiest if you mimic what they eat in the wild. Insects make up the main component of their diet, and the younger they are, the more important it is that they get enough insects in their diet.

Bearded Dragons enjoy things such as locusts, crickets, earthworms, and black soldier fly larvae.

Bearded Dragons also enjoy fruits and vegetables, and you should be sure to keep some in their tank at all time. They enjoy a range of fruits and vegetables, although you will probably find that your Bearded Dragon has favorites.

It is fine to offer him the ones he enjoys most, but it is also important that you offer him a variety. Blueberries, apples, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, raisins, and herbs such as sage, oregano, and basil are all popular choice.

If you have access to grasses such as clover and dandelion greens that you are sure have not been treated with pesticides, he will enjoy those as well.

Do not feed your pet spinach, lettuce or avocados, or any insects you catch yourself. These insects may contain parasites which can make your Bearded Dragon ill.

Young Bearded Dragons require a more protein-rich diet than adults, so should have insects at each meal, and be fed three times a day. By the time your Beardie is an adult, the feeding schedule is more varied and less intense.

For example, an adult Bearded Dragon will eat greens daily, offering as much as will eat. A couple times a week, offer some form of protein. Some examples include up to two dozen crickets, a dozen superworms, or several adult roaches.

How do you know that you're feeding enough? Your Beardie should always look pleasantly plump. He should not look skinny or gaunt. If he does, increase the amount or number of protein meals he is getting. If his belly starts dragging the ground or he develops fat pads on the front of his shoulders, cut back on the amount he is fed.

Water Requirements?

Bearded Dragons are accustomed to living in desert conditions, so their water needs are minimal. It is important, however, that they always have fresh, clean water available.

Use a shallow bowl for water, so the Bearded Dragon does not fall in and drown. You may find he likes to run through the water, drag his food in, and otherwise make a mess. It is important to check his water at least daily to make sure he always has a clean supply available.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t seem like your Bearded Dragon drinks much.

As a desert dweller, his needs are minimal. If offered a proper diet, much of his fluid needs are met by the insects and vegetables he consumes.

Some people like to spritz water in the enclosure, on the walls or even on the Beardie. He can lick these water droplets off. This is fine, but there are some things to keep in mind.

This spritzing does not take the place of a shallow bowl of fresh, clean water which should be available at all times, and be careful not to get the inside of the enclosure too damp. Bearded Dragons are desert animals and do not do well in humid environments.

Another activity your Beardie may enjoy is a lukewarm bath. The water should be about to his elbows, you don't want him to have to swim. Place him gently in the bath and let him explore. If he seems unsure what to do, sprinkle a little of the water along his back, this will often encourage him to drink.

Best supplements

Even with a varied diet, your bearded dragon will need supplements. There are many different supplements available. Make sure the one you choose includes calcium, iron, and vitamin D3.

Feeding high-quality insects which have been gut-loaded is a great way to ensure that your Bearded Dragon gets the nutrients that he needs. You can supplement this by sprinkling a calcium and multi-vitamin supplement on the food three times a week.

Finally, be sure that you are using a UV light in your tank. This ensures that your Bearded Dragon gets the vitamin D3 he needs. It is unclear how effectively Bearded Dragons utilize D3 in supplements, so it is important that they are able to manufacture it on their own as well.

Related Questions

Can Bearded Dragons eat mealworms? Mealworms make a great food for Bearded Dragons. They come in a variety of sizes, so are a good food choice for all life stages. They also cannot climb, making them a good choice for the passive and slow-moving Beardie.

Can Bearded Dragons and geckos live together? Bearded Dragons should live by themselves. In addition to the fact that different reptiles have different temperaments, which can lead to conflict, there are health concerns with keeping reptiles together.

They can easily transfer bacteria to each other, and while one may not be affected, the other may become ill.

Can Bearded Dragons and iguanas get along? Iguanas are typically very territorial, so the idea of keeping them with the passive Bearded Dragon is not a good one. In addition, as mentioned above, it is generally just not a good choice to keep various species of reptiles together. Even if their habitat demands are similar, living in such close quarters can lead to illness.

Do they make good pets for beginners? Bearded Dragons make a great reptile choice for beginners. They are typically passive, don’t mind being handled, and get along with humans.

Their slow-moving, gentle nature makes them a great choice for children who are interested in reptiles. They quickly learn to recognize their humans and are always happy to see you, whether for a meal or to visit.

Bearded Dragons are very easy to care for as far as reptiles are concerned. The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to get their environment right.

You can prepare their tank before getting the Bearded Dragon to make sure you are ready to provide appropriate care. As long as you have a decent sized tank at the correct temperature, and a UV light, your Beardie will be happy.

Provide him with a proper and varied diet, and he should stay healthy for years to come.

Another thing that makes a Bearded Dragon a great pet for beginners is the fact that he doesn't require a huge tank. A tank about four feet long should provide enough room for most Beardies.

Although they don't require a lot of room, they do get large and sturdy enough to be handled even by younger children, with supervision of course.

They typically don't get any longer than two feet, and about one-third of that length is in their tail, so they aren't heavy. This makes it easy to get them in and out of their tank for socialization.

Bearded Dragons also have a wide range of personalities. While they are generally easy to get along with, some will seek out interaction with their caretakers, while others will be shyer.

Some will be content to spend great periods of time in their basking spot, while others will spend the day exploring and climbing.

Bearded Dragons are daytime creatures, unlike many other reptile species, so you can enjoy observing them during the day, and not worry about them disturbing your sleep with activity during the night.

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it full of valuable information. Bearded Dragons (Click here to see why Beardies Lick you) are a great pet and, with proper care, can provide years of entertainment and companionship.

Unlike in the wild, Bearded Dragons that are kept as pets are fully dependant on their caretakers to provide for their needs. It is important to know how to set up the tank properly for your Bearded Dragon and what foods he needs to grow strong and healthy.

Educating yourself on the proper needs of these interesting creatures is an important part of your relationship with them.

Will Anole lizards bite? (All the Facts You Need to Know)

If you are wondering about Anole lizards (Click here to see why Anoles love this substrate), or weighing up if its the best pet for you, the chances are you have wondered if they can be trusted or if they may bite. If thats the case lets get straight to it.

Will Anole Lizard Bite? Yes, they will bite. But you have to provoke them before they will consider doing this. Understand this is a protective measure from them. Whilst they are aggressive, they will only bite if provoked.

One you understand the risks, you need to understand what might trigger these lizards to bite you and what their behaviour is like, before you consider buying one or even getting close to one. Read on and let me break this down for you.

Do Green Anoles Have Teeth?

Yes, the Green Anoles have very small and unsharp teeth that they use for chewing up their food. Their bites are harmless as they don’t even pierce the skin. In fact, most owners don’t even realize that they have teeth because of the small size.

Are Anole Lizards Aggressive?

The adult male anoles can be particularly aggressive towards each other when it comes to territorial disputes. They often fight with other males to defend their territory.

There are several ways that these male species warn each other or show signs of aggressiveness. Some of these include compressing the body, extending the dewlap, bobbing their heads, and inflating dorsal cavities to make themselves appear larger. 

However, despite the warning, if the male anole still continues to approach, they will start fighting by biting and scratching each other. This is often why males are found with numerous scars on their head and face. Their territorial area is about 1 cubic meter.

These male species are so aggressive, they have even been found fighting with their own reflections. Thus, you should only keep one male in a tank.

Female anoles, on the other hand, are much calmer and can easily live with each other without fighting. Of course, ensure that there is enough room and basking spots for all to share equally.

Do Anoles Enjoy Being Handled By Humans?

Since these are extremely aggressive animals, we do not recommend handling them too much. Most green anoles are okay with gentle handling but would not like to be gripped tightly.

They seem to prefer perching on their owner’s shoulder or their hands.

Furthermore, you should be extremely careful when handling them as they are incredibly fragile lizards. Do not hold them by their tails or they will lose their tails easily and might even run away.

Since they are very agile climbers, you might have to spend hours searching for them. Most often than not, when you lose them once, you may not ever find them again.

Special care needs to be taken with those anoles that are freshly purchased from a store. Their new environment needs adapting to.

So, you should try letting your lizard pet get more comfortable with you and its new home before you decide to handle it. It might take a week or two to adapt to its surroundings.

How Do You Tame A Green Anole?

When you get your green anole fresh from the pet store, you might want to let it get accustomed to its surroundings before you start to handle it. The process might take a week or two, but we advise you to be patient.

Because the lizard is in a new surrounding, it might get stressed. So, we recommend providing it with various hiding places inside the terrarium so it can hide when it gets scared.

In order to get it accustomed to your touch, try feeding it by hand. You can provide its favorite meal and provide it with your hand. This will ensure to the lizard that you are nothing to be scared about.

Of course, the lizard might not take the food instantly. You can try a few times until it does. You also want to spend most of the time trying to interact with the lizard in some way. This will help the lizard recognize you.

It will make it feel safer. You can try cleaning the tank, filling the water dish or feeding to ensure that it gets used to you. 

If you feel the anole is now ready, gently pet its head. However, if it’s not then it might bite. When it approaches forward you can start handling it. Be delicate and light-handed as these lizards are very fragile.

A firm hold can easily injure your lizard. Also, see if the lizard is showing any sign of stress. If its throat is puffing, then It may bite so put it down as gently and as soon as you can.

What Size Is A Green Anole?

The Green anole is relatively smaller in size. The main difference between the male and the female is the size. The males can often grow to be 8 inches long whereas, the females often exceed 5 to 6 inches. The younglings, however, barely exceed 1 inch when they are born.

Most of the length of the green anole is due to its tail. The tail makes up half of the body length. The Snout to Vent Length (SVL) of an adult green anole lizards is merely 4 inches. The tail makes up for the other 4 inches.  

The head of the green anole is smaller than its body and is more triangular in shape. The hunter’s keen eyes are quite suited for the large eye sockets that let it hunt during the day!

The male green anole is much more heavy-bodied and muscular than the females. They’re generally very lightweight which grants them the better agility to move and climb up trees.  

On Average, How Long Do Green Anole Live For  (Lifespan)

The lifespan of these reptiles varies from 2 to 8 years. However, it is found that they seem to live longer in captivity than in the wild. In the wild, their average lifespan is about 5.5 years while in captivity they can reach up to 10 years.

This is only if proper care, diet, and nutrition are provided to them. The better the nutrition is the longer the animal will live. Generally, larger anoles live longer as they are faster and can easily gain nutrition.  

Caring For a Green Anole

Like all other lizards, you can easily house these lizards in a small tank or a terrarium. Usually, a 10-gallon tank is quite sufficient for a single anole.

However, if you choose to keep a pair, then you might want to look for something like a 15 gallon or a 20-gallon tank. This is because each anole needs sufficient space to exercise and hunt. Thus, larger tanks are much better.

If you do choose to keep more than one anoles together, do not keep two males together. They are aggressive and will fight over territory and basking spots. However, the females will generally get along quite well as long as there is enough room and basking spots.  

Also, ensure that the lid of the tank is securely and tightly fitted. This is because the increased agility of these reptiles make it easier for them to escape through tight spots.

When it comes to terrariums, these lizards prefer vertically oriented terrariums as they want taller spaces. They love climbing trees and are essentially arboreal animals. So, ensure that you have enough room for taller plants and climbing posts.

You can use acrylic vines, fake plastic plants as well as other vegetation that will allow them to climb up into the trees. Ventilation is another important aspect to ensure that there is enough circulation inside the tank. 

Ideal Temperature And Lighting

The green Anoles are diurnal animals and love basking in the sunlight. Thus, providing them with a UV lamp and high temperature is quite necessary. You can place a basking lamp or a heater at one end of the tank so that there is a thermal gradient across the tank.

This allows them to enter and exit colder or warmer areas according to their own preferences. Thus, they can easily thermoregulate their bodies. These lizards require a thermal gradient of about 75 to 80 degrees F and a basking spot of about 85-90 degrees F during the day. 

While at night, they require 65-75 degrees F of thermal gradients. Of course, you can use a basking lamp or a water heater for this purpose. However, we wouldn’t recommend that you use a white basking light during the day as the light would disturb their sleeping habits. You can use heating pads or night heat lights to achieve the desired temperatures.

Since these reptiles love basking in the sunlight, they require a full spectrum UVA/UVB light for about 10-12 hours a day. Otherwise, they could easily develop severe calcium or Vitamin D deficiency and catch diseases such as metabolic bone disease.  

Best Substrate For A Green Anole

A substrate is any substance in a lizard tank, artificial or natural, that helps the tank maintain this humidity and temperature. For Green Anoles, a substrate of peat moss, soil, and bark make for the most ideal substrates. Since they live in humid climates, they need quite a lot of substrate.

You can even add live plants to help maintain the humidity. These live plants may include Sansevierias, Ivy, Vines, orchids, philodendrons etcetera. You could also down pieces of bark or branches to act as a substrate. However, these live plants may be harder to maintain as you would end up having to care for these apart from your lizard pet. 

Try to avoid oils or resins or even scented substances such as scented power towels, pine shavings or wood shavings. Also, note that using damp or moist soil is fine. However, we do not recommend the use of loose and dry sand. These are moderate species and are found in green luscious areas. If you want to use soil, you can mix soil with bark substances and mix them with decayed leaf litter. This makes for the perfect natural substrate.

Of course, you can also use any artificial substrate such as newspaper or paper towels. These are cheaper and work just as well.

Water Requirements

Green Anoles live in moderate and green areas. Hence they mostly get their water from the rain or early-morning dew.

They lap up the water using their tongue from the leaves of plants. So, unlike other lizards that do not need much water and just generally lick water from heir moisture, the green anoles need water in a shallow dish.

Leave the dish with the water in the cold part for the terrarium so that they can easily bathe in it to cool down.

Furthermore, we also recommend that you mist the water onto plants and leaves and the walls of the terrarium. These lizards are most likely to drink and lap up water from this location.

Do not keep deep dished filled with water as they do not know how to swim and will be stuck in the water. Even if you do go for shallow ones, we recommend placing a stick or vine into it to ensure that it can easily escape.

Related Questions

Are Green Anole Lizards Poisonous? No, the green anole lizard is not poisonous. So, even if it bites you, you don’t need to worry. Simply put, an antiseptic cream and bandage the wound.

However, these lizards do carry pathogen on their skin which can be very harmful to humans. Thus, we recommend that you wash your hands every-time you touch them.

If they do bite you, you might notice swelling, however, this might be because of these pathogens.

How Fast Can A Green Anole Run? Generally, a green anole can sprint really fast. These are arboreal reptiles and hence are very fast when it comes to climbing trees or running.

In fact, we recommend all our readers to close the doors and windows when taking this lizard out. They can easily escape and won’t be easily found. They can reach speeds of up to 1.4 m/s which is quite fast for their size and weight.  

What Can Live With Green Anoles? The green anoles are not overly social animals. They mostly prefer the pleasure of their own company.

However, they are found to live in clans where a male lives with a group of females. In captivity, you can place several females with a male in the same enclosure, provided that they have enough space for basking. If you ensure that the size of the tank is large, then there is no need to worry.

However, when it comes to housing male anoles together, you might not want to do that as they can fight and injure each other.  

Are Green Anole Lizards Good For Beginners? Despite these animals being hard to handle, they are very popular pets. This might be because of the fact that like all lizards, they are much easier to keep.

They only require feeding every other day and need nothing more than a basking lamp, a misting bottle, a UV lamp, and food. Of course, you can install an automated temperature system that opens the UV light and sets the basking temperature all by itself. Thus, they make great pets for beginners who do not want to start off with harder pets.

The Green Anole Lizard make for wonderful and fascinating pets, not just for beginners but for every lizard lover. 

Do Lizards Pee?

Believe it or not, many proud lizard owners have wondered if their pet can actually pee (urinate). I admit it may sound weird, but we all need to know, and that is why you are here, right?

Do Lizards Pee? The answer is no, well not exactly! Reptiles only have one tube that gets rid of everything, urine and faeces. They excrete a smooth paste like texture that expels all of their waste.

So, how is this Lizard Pee Possible?

All animals need to get rid of the nitrogen waste that piles up in their bodies. If we didn't, that nitrogen waste would turn into toxic ammonia. However, not every animal uses the same method to get rid of the nitrogen waste.

Uric Acid and Lizards Pee

You might have noticed slimy bird poo piling up on the hood of a car. Gross! That nasty texture is caused by uric acid, which birds produce instead of urine. Reptiles are just like birds when it comes to uric acid.

Mammals like you and me have two separate tubes for getting rid of waste, both solid and liquid, but reptiles only have one tube that gets rid of all their waste at once. It might seem weird, but it makes a lot of evolutionary sense for lizards.

Since they don't urinate like humans and other mammals, reptiles retain a lot more of the water they drink. Even though it takes more energy for a body to process water that way, retaining as much water as possible is an important survival tool for lizards that live in dry climates.

Do lizards have a bladder?

They may not pee the same way as mammals, but most lizards still have a bladder. It can modify urine like a human bladder. Its main function, however, is to act like a reservoir of water inside the lizard's body. 

When you consider that a Gila monster has to endure a three month dry season every year in its native deserts, it starts to make sense that lizards would want to carry around a big pouch of water in their bodies.

Dehydration can be a real problem for lizards of all kinds. The lack of water causes their uric acid to crystallize into bladder stones which can be painful and uncomfortable. They might even cause damage to the lizard's organs. 

Even lizards without bladders can develop uric acid crystals when they get dehydrated, so it's important to make sure your pet lizard is always drinking as much water as it needs. If you think your pet lizard might have bladder stones or any other symptoms of dehydration, you should consult a veterinarian right away.

The Effects This Has on Lizard Drinking

Lizards, regardless of the specie, common callareds, Iguanas, you name it, they need water to survive just like every plant or animal on Earth. It's easy to say they need water, but do lizards want water the same way you or I do when we get thirsty on a hot summer's day? That's a trickier question to answer.

The part of the human brain that causes the feeling of thirst is the hypothalamus, which sits at the base of the brain. Your hypothalamus also regulates your body temperature, controls your appetite, and releases hormones into your body. It's still unclear how the brains of other animals work compared to ours.

The exact way different kinds of animals experience the world around them is currently being studied, but the science is far from settled. Some research into iguanas has shown that they drink water in response to physiological thirst stimuli.

However, the researchers described the response time to some of the stimuli as being "leisurely" compared to other animals. Short of teaching your lizard to speak, you're unlikely to find out exactly how it experiences thirst. That doesn't mean it doesn't need water to live, though!

Do lizards actually drink?

Scientists once believed that some lizards absorbed water through their skin instead of drinking it through their mouths. This was always a tough theory to believe because permeable skin would lose more water than it could ever absorb in a hot, dry desert.

The truth, scientists discovered, is even stranger than they imagined. The lizards were actually trapping the water under their scales and using their skin to push the water across their backs and into the corners of their mouths. The phenomenon behind this survival strategy is called capillary action.

Capillary action describes the way water reacts to factors like surface tension and adhesion to move through a space. Water can even move against gravity if the capillary action is strong enough.

That might be a complicated process, but the end result is a nice stream of water running off the lizard's back and into the lizard's mouth. Whether they harvest it off their backs, sip it from dew, or lap it out of streams, lizards do actually drink through their mouths. The water they drink is supplemented by the water they retain from foods that they eat.

What do baby lizards drink?

Of all the babies on planet Earth, lizard babies are some of the most resilient. Not even a new born baby lizard needs its mother's protection to survive. In fact, some lizards can even take care of themselves before they hatch!

In response to predators, delicate skinks hatch themselves prematurely and sprint away the instant they touch the ground. 

That's one independent baby! They might be limited in their diet because of their smaller mouths, but otherwise baby lizards are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves.

That means they drink water much like adult lizards do. They drink moisture off of leaves or (depending on the species) out of dishes, and they retain the water from the insects they eat.

If your species of baby lizard likes to drink from a dish or bathe in a pool, make sure the dish is wide and shallow enough that your lizard can't accidentally drown in its water.

Related Questions:

Is lizard pee poisonous?

You've probably heard that urine is sterile. That's only half true for us humans. Our organs contain harmless microbial bacteria that gets mixed in with our urine, so you can't really call our urine sterile. Still, human urine is relatively clean and non-toxic due to the waste removal processes in our bodies.

The same can't be said for the uric acid that reptiles produce. The mix of feces and uric acid that lizards excrete can make humans very sick because it often contains salmonella. Salmonella bacteria causes all the vomiting and cramping symptoms of a stomach bug cranked up to high, even dangerous, intensity.

Salmonella is also the bacteria responsible for typhoid fever. When it comes to your pet lizard, make sure you handle any waste it produces with great care. If you own a pet lizard and you're experiencing the symptoms of salmonella, you should always seek medical attention.

Where do desert lizards live?

 You probably already know that lizards are cold blo​​​​​oded, which means they don't regulate their body temperatures the way you or I do. Instead, the bodies of cold blooded (or ectothermic) animals heat up or cool down depending on the temperature of their surroundings.

That can be a real problem for desert lizards. If the desert heat gets too intense, a cold blooded lizard is liable to burn to death from the inside. That's why desert lizards often bury themselves beneath the sand, where it's much cooler and they're far likelier to survive. 

Some desert lizard species don't even bother coming out during the day. The western banded gecko is only active at night, when the desert is cooler. In the case of such geckos, it's not a question of where they live— it's a question of when!

Where do desert lizards get their water?

Even though water's hard to come by in the desert, the lizards adapted to dry environments are able to make do. Remember the lizard I talked about in Question 5? That's the Texas horned lizard, a desert species.

Its ability to drink off its back helps it get the most of any moisture it encounters in its hot, sandy environment. The thorny devil lizard has similar harvesting methods on the skin of its feet, using the surfaces of its legs like straws to pry water from soggy sand. 

Many other desert lizards rely almost entirely on the insects they eat as their main source of water. By the way, make sure you don't mess with a Texas horned lizard anytime soon.

While researching this article, I discovered that these formidable critters have a totally unique defense mechanism. When they get frightened, they shoot blood out of their eyes to ward off predators. Call me crazy, but a Texas horned lizard might not be the best choice for a pet!

How do you give your pet lizard water?

It's very important that you give your lizard water in whichever way is best suited to its particular species. Chameleons, for example, will only drink water through a drip system, whereas iguanas need a daily misting. 

You'll also need to mist the lizard's tank to match the level of humidity your lizard prefers. While bearded dragons often avoid water dishes and prefer to get water from the insects they eat, other lizards will want bowls to drink from or even bowls to bathe in. 

Some lizards will have trouble shedding if they don't have water dishes for soaking. Lizards are very diverse and they live in just about every biome on Earth. In fact, there are lizards native to every continent except for Antarctica. 

That means there are as many different kinds of environments that lizards like as there are different kinds of environments on the planet. Don't let that discourage you! 

The most important thing to remember is that your lizard is unique. How you give your pet its water will depend entirely on its species, as well as the part of the world its species originally came from.

How often should you change your pet lizard's water?

A clean water supply is essential for your lizard's health and happiness. Experts recommend changing your lizard's water supply every day. You'll also need to replenish the water supply if your lizard soils it in any way. 

Remember: your lizard's waste has dangerous illnesses living in it! In addition to changing the water, it's important to clean up the dishes for your lizard. Water containers should be washed daily with soap and warm water. It's also a good idea to thoroughly disinfect the containers once a week.

What's the best way to apply a mist spray on your pet lizard?

The best way to care for your lizard will depend on its species. However, there are some good rules of thumb when it comes to misting any species of lizard. You might have seen someone use a spray bottle to punish a misbehaving dog.

The reason a spray bottle works as a disciplinary tool for dogs is because dogs hate getting sprayed in the face with water. A surprising blast of water to the face is unpleasant and startling for just about anybody. Your lizard is no exception!

If you need to mist your lizard's body, never spray it directly in the face. That kind of misting is a startling, disturbing experience for lizards. Instead, you should mist your lizard gently across its back.

How often should you apply a mist spray?

Different lizard species prefer different amounts of mist. If you're the proud owner of an iguana, for example, you need to mist your lizard on a daily basis with fresh water from a clean spray bottle. Some gecko owners also choose to mist their pets once or twice per day.

Other lizards that like humid environments might not need to be misted themselves, but could still want their tanks to be misted so they can drink water off of leaves.

For these lizards, a thorough tank misting every morning ought to do the trick. Every lizard has its own preferences. If your lizard is happy and healthy, you're probably providing it the right amount of misting.

What is a fogger?

Regular tank misting can be a chore for some lizard owners. You're also opening your lizard's habitat up to human error. It might be a good idea to buy a fogger, a kind of humidifying device that automatically moistens your lizard's tank at regular intervals.

Foggers are distinguished from automatic misting systems by the size of the water droplets they produce. The water droplets from foggers are far smaller, which helps them stay in the air longer. Foggers vary widely in reliability and usability. Make sure you thoroughly research the different foggers on the market before you purchase one for your pet lizard.

What can a fogger do for your lizard?

The right fogger can simulate the humidity your lizard prefers in its natural habitat. It can also humidify the tank on a programmed schedule, keeping the environment consistent around the clock.

However, you'll want to be sure the model of fogger you purchase suits your lizard's unique needs. Some foggers heat up while they operate. For some species, that heat can be incredibly uncomfortable or even dangerous.

The owners of those lizards will want to invest in an ultrasonic model, which won't heat up while it's fogging your lizard's tank. Also, the fogger will still need water refills to function correctly. A good fogger will simplify your lizard care chores, but no product can replace the care and attention your lizard needs from you on a daily basis.

Hopefully, the research and information in this article will clear up any misconceptions you might have about pet lizards. Their reptile physiology is pretty different from our mammalian bodies.

Lizards get rid of their waste differently, drink their water differently, and need special attention from their owners to make sure they're living in the right environment for their species. If you still have questions, don't hesitate to consult a pet expert for advice. You won't regret going the extra mile to ensure the health and happiness of your lizard.

Did you enjoy this article? I sure hope so! Leave your opinion in the comments so I can write articles you'll have fun reading.

If you have a pet lizard of your own, you can also let me know in the comments how he or she likes to drink water. If you did enjoy the article, share it on social media so that more people can take better care of their lizards!

Leopard Gecko Care Sheet

Looking for a gecko that is as pretty as it is easy to care for? confused about how to take care of it? I have compiled a Leopard Gecko Care Sheet so you can easily know all the essentials for your new family member.

So what is a Leopard Gecko? known as the Common Leopard Gecko due to the fact that they are the most popular geckos in the world. This is because of their cute appearance. They are also the only geckos to have eyelids which is what makes them look cuter.

Leopard Gecko Basics:

The scientific name for the leopard gecko is Eublepharis Macularius. The term Eublepharis is Greek for Good Eyelid, pointing at their unique trait while the word Macularis comes from Latin meaning spots, which is a direct reference to their spotted bodies. 

Natural Habitat  

The natural habitat of the Leopard Gecko is rocky, dry grassland and desert. They mostly prefer places with little humidity and loads of insects so they eat, relax (and pee?). They are naturally found in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and India.

These animals are cathermal reptiles which means they are more active during dawn and dusk. They don’t prefer temperatures that are too hot or too cold.

These animals are solitary and are not found with members of their own species. They also undergo brumation to escape hot or cold temperatures. 

Where Can You Find Them In Captivity? 

In captivity, leopard geckos can be found in pet stores, reptile shows and even on the Internet. They are the first lizards to be tamed, hence they are very popular. Their eyelids give them a sort of pretty look which has proven to be quite popular with kids.

You can find rare looking geckos at a collector’s market too, where they usually sell at very high prices due to their unique features.

Roughly How Much Do They Cost? 

Leopard geckos can range from $20 all the way to $300. They are usually cheaper when found in pet stores and online. However, chances are they were not bred correctly or were not cared for properly. 

You want a gecko that will live for longer. This is only possible with reputable and professional breeders. However, these will be pricey. You can also get rare geckos at auctions, however, their prices are normally sky-rocketing.

How Long Do They Typically Live For? 

Most leopard geckos live a long life when compared to other reptiles. They can live anywhere from 6-10 years. However, when taken care of properly, they can reach even 20 years.

Caring for A Leopard Gecko:

What Is The Best Size Vivarium?  

To consider the size of the vivarium, you should probably consider the size of the geckos first. Most adult females range from 7 to 8 inches while the males measure anywhere from 8 to 10 inches and few can even reach a foot.

So, you might consider a 10-gallon tank for a single leopard gecko while for two, you can use a 20-gallon one.  

If you use tanks that are too small, they might not be able to get a proper temperature gradient along the tank. Also, the geckos might not be able to get enough space for exercise.

However, if you were to get a larger tank, that would mean that the gecko can easily stray away from the warmer side. It could also mean that your tank would have cold spots that can prove to be a danger to the gecko.

You can use a cage as well. However, ensure that the cage is about 1 foot tall. And that it has a secure screen at the top for a lighting fixture. Also, ensure that your tank is well-ventilated.

What Is The Ideal Heating Conditions? 

The leopard geckos need about 88 to 90 degrees F in the day and about 70-80 degrees F during the night. The ambient air temperature in the place where they have been housed should not be lesser than 73 degrees F. 

If the temperatures are too cold, they might not be able to survive. At colder temperatures, most lizards tend to get inactive and if it gets below 50 degrees F, they might freeze to death.

At too hot temperatures, the geckos might get dehydrated. This means that they need a moderate environment where they can survive easily.

One major reason is that these leopard geckos are cold-blooded. This means that their body temperature changes with the temperature of the environment.

So, this is why the temperature and heating are so important. Also, you need to ensure that your heating devices are at one corner of the tank.

This would develop a temperature gradient across the tank where one end of the tank would be hot and the other would be colder. So, the gecko can choose for itself. 

Do They Need UV Lighting And Heat Lamps? 

You can use a heating pad or a tape underneath the tank for the best heating conditions. These are available at any kind of pet stores. Be sure to put this at only one corner of the tank.

As we explained before this creates a temperature variation and the gecko can choose the best-suited temperature for its body.

Do not use heat rocks as they can become too hot and geckos can often burn themselves on it. Since leopard geckos are nocturnal creatures, they do not need specific UV lighting to bask under.

However, to help them distinguish between night and day, you can use a low wattage lamp hung above the cage. Turn this on for only 12 hours a day.

If you do choose for a UV light, ensure that you place a 2 to 5 percent UVB bulb. This is necessary for making Vitamin D for their body. If you do not, then do remember to feed them calcium supplements. 

What Items Do They Need In Their Tank, Substrates, Etc? 

One of the most important things when keeping a leopard gecko is imitate its natural environment as much as you can. TO do this, you will need to provide the gecko with a ton of hiding places.

This includes placing logs, rocks, cliffs, and even a pile of pebbles through which it could scurry and hide. You should also include low plants with strong and sturdy branches for climbing.

Of course, you can try for natural plants. However, they call for some extra maintenance so you

might want to stick with plastic ones that are non-toxic. 

Another thing you might need is a substrate to maintain the humidity and temperature inside the tank. However, ensure that the substrate is natural, otherwise, your lizard could swallow it and go through a process called impaction.

This means that the substance cannot be dissolved by the stomach and eventually blocks the passage. So, using sand and beech wood would not be recommended.

You can use newspaper, flat stones, mulch, grains etcetera as a substrate. Also, do not use any commercial soils as those might be loaded with pesticides and fertilizers that may harm your gecko. 

What Do Leopard Geckos Actually Eat? 

Geckos are insectivores and love to munch on crickets. They do not eat plants or veggies as they can upset their stomachs. They normally east invertebrates such as mealworms and crickets. You can also use waxworms or super worms.

They normally need a protein-rich diet. You can try gut loading your insect (click here to see how and why you should be gut-loading superworms). This means you can feed them with a nutritious protein powder and then feed It to your gecko a day later. These can include chickpea powder etcetera. 

This ensures that your gecko gets as much protein as possible. You can further dust your insects with calcium or other supplements to ensure that your gecko does not become deficient. Simply place the dusting powder in a bag and place the insect with it. Shake them gently to coat the insects with the powder.

You can also place open powder in a dish as geckos are known to eagerly lick up the powder. 

However, ensure that you do not dust too much. Talk to an expert about what the right serving size of these powders is. Feed them every one day. An adult sized gecko should normally eat double the amount of insects as his size (in inches).

If the geckos are juvenile, they should be fed every other day so as to complete their nutrition.

Related Questions:

Can Leopard Gecko's Swim? 

Leopard geckos, like any other geckos, cannot swim! This is because they have no other breathing mechanisms and are not accustomed to holding their breaths. You might see a tonne of videos showing them how to swim. But these are mostly shallow water.

The water bowl should be very shallow as well. If not, they could end up accidentally drowning themselves. However, in cases there is impaction or the gecko is shedding their skin, you want to put them in a bath as it can often ease the whole process. All you have to do is take a shallow water dish with warm water. Ensure that the water is not too hot, nor too cold. It should be just mild.

Hold the gecko by its back and dip it gently into the water. Ensure you do not put them in too deep. Just dip them until their shoulders.  You can even try creating soaps with gentler reaction to help geckos in shedding their skins.

Where Is The Best Place To Get Them? 

Since the leopard gecko is wildly popular due to its beautiful eyes and vibrant colors, they are available in a wide variety of pet shops all across the US and many different countries. These pet store leopard geckos are already tamed, hence they will be easier to deal with. However, we still recommend buying from a very reputable breeder as they know how to care for them and can teach you as well. 

You can buy baby geckos as well, but keep in mind that they are much harder to deal with than adult geckos. They require extra attention and any accidents can cause the pet its life. Also note that although they might be tamed, they are still not prepared for your touch. You need to make them accustomed to your touch and socialize with them. This can down by allowing the gecko to run over your hands 5-6 times a day. Do not grab it until after 5-6 days have passed.

If you do not follow the process, you gecko might become stressed.

Are There Any Known Health Problems That They May Develop? 

Yes, there are a number of health conditions that can land your pet with the vet. One of the most serious conditions is Metabolic Bone Disease. This can happen due to the deficiency of Calcium and Vitamin D. This is why even though you do not come out in sunlight, they still need a UVB lamp at lower powers to fulfill their Vitamin D Needs. They can be a result of not providing your pet with not enough or no Calcium supplements at all. This disease can cause spine and limb deformities which can cause them a lot of pain. 

They are also known to be a victim of gastroenteritis which is a bacterial infection. The common symptoms are watery stools and a shrunken tail. It can be fatal, however, it is easily treated if caught early. 

They can also develop dysecdysis which can be due to insufficient moisture or undernourishment. They can get a dry skin which will affect their vision and their shedding period.

Furthermore, they are known to be prone to different respiratory infections. Most common symptoms are wheezing or mucus bubbling around the nose. In this case, take your pet gecko to a vet immediately. 

Can Leopard Geckos Live Together (Sharing A Tank)? 

As with all other geckos, a male and female pair can live quite happily together with as little fights as possible. Similarly, female geckos can be housed together as well as male and multiple females.

However, do note in that these cases, the male will mate with the females and they might become egg bound and lay their eggs. If you do not want to breed your leopard geckos, ensure that you provide a separate tank for them.

For males, you might be able to keep them together. However, there is a very real chance that they continue to fight over territorial disputes. A common way to find out whether they are intimidated by each is other ‘tail waving’. 

Most leopard geckos wave their tail when they feel threatened and are about to attack. Separate them instantly or they might bite each other.

Whatever the case, if you are keeping two leopard geckos together, ensure that there is sufficient space. If you do get hatchlings, separate them right away as the adults might harm them.

What Is Their Behavior Like?

You need to tame the gecko before you can start handling them. Otherwise, they might be too intimidated and try to run away. These are normally nocturnal and ground dwelling.

They are mostly inactive and easy to tame. These geckos do not climb walls. They do not bite and move very slowly. They tend to be vocal too. This is a great way to communicate with them as they can easily tell you when they’re hungry. 

Leopard geckos are tail rattlers as well. If they rattle their tails, this either means that they are excited and want to eat or mate. You should never hold them by their tails as they can self-amputate if you touch them. This is because they are extremely defensive animals and usually use this method to protect themselves from any predators.

Are They Good Pets For Beginners?

Leopard geckos make for exceptionally good pets for beginners as they are easy to care for and do not require a lot of attention. They are also docile and you can easily handle them. They do not bite unless provoked.

This is why kids love them so much. With other geckos, you cannot pick them up because they are either too sensitive or they bite if picked up. These are the perfect lizards for beginners.


All in all, leopard geckos are extremely popular (Click to see if they are good for  kids pets) in the reptile community. Ask anyone and they will surely say they started off with a leopard geckos. They make great pets for beginners and you can pick them up and play with them, without harming them. We hope you are ready for your first ever gecko!

Like and share if you found this helpful. Also, leave comments below with anything we left out! Cheers!

What Do Baby Lizards Eat? (You Might Be Shocked)

If you are new to lizard ownership, or even if you are just starting to learn about them, you may be curious about what baby lizards eat (Click here for my best baby lizard food on Amazon After looking into this I was surprised what I found.

What do baby lizards eat? Baby lizards eat exactly the same as an adult lizard, there is no baby specific food for them. Depending on the type of lizard, they may hatch from an egg or have a live birth.




Is a wall Gecko Poisonous if Eaten? The Full Guide

So, are they poisonous or what?

As discussed earlier, they are not poisonous, per-say. However, if one of these lizards did end up in your dinner plate, the main danger is if the food is ready-to-eat and will not go through a heating process. The germs can easily be transferred to your body if you handle them as well.

If the food is yet to be cooked, then the high heat will essentially kill all the bacteria and so the food will be safe to eat. So, if you’re okay with eating that food, it’s your choice! But, remember it will be completely harmless.

What Is The Wall Gecko Also Known As - Is It A Common House Gecko?

Well, to be honest, there are two types of wall geckos commonly found. One is the common house lizard, scientifically names ad Hemidactylus frenatus.

These are commonly found in groups in homes and feed on insects. During the summers, these reptiles sneak out from their hiding places and hunt their prey throughout the house.  

The second species is called the Tokay Gecko or the Gekko Gecko which are also found in houses, however, they are not as common. They lead a very solitary life and have bright orange spots on their skins, not to be confused with the popular Leopard Gecko.

Only the Hemidactylus frenatus is known as the common house lizard

. They are also known as the Asian House Gecko, The Pacific House Gecko, A House Lizard or Moon Lizard. They are also called the Housecleaners as they often help reduce the number of insects and arthropods in the house.

What Is The Common House Gecko's Natural Habitat?

The House Gecko is actually found in South Asia and South East Asia where it lives in the houses of common folks.

As a result of trading and the increased inter-country travel, the Asian House Geckos are found all over the world. They can be found in coastal areas in East Asia such as Japan and Korea,

Australia, South America, Middle East, Africa, North America, Pacific Islands, Indian Ocean Islands as well as the Carribean Islands. In the United States, the House gecko can be found in coastal areas such as Florida and some southern states where it stays warm throughout the year.

The House Lizard is a more tropical reptile who likes to live in warm and humid areas. This is why it is mostly found in coastal areas where the air is almost always hot and humid.  

What Superstition Is Associated With Them?

Lizards have long been associated with superstitions of good luck. Most folks consider the gecko as the guardian of their homes. The Ancient Greek and Roman people thought that these reptiles are an indicator of wisdom and good fortune.

They used to represent hope and a good afterlife. The Ancient Egyptians linked the lizard to abundance as well as productiveness. Even today they are considered lucky and are deemed to bring great fortune.

Some folks even wear charms or pendants in the shapes of lizards, believing that it will bring them great luck.

Some even consider them to protect their children from harm. The main superstition is that it is very harmful to kill a lizard as it might bring upon a tide of bad luck to you and your family. 

If a lizard falls on you then that means you have just been blessed with good luck. If an expecting woman sees a child, then it indicates the child will lead a successful life. These are some of the superstitions related with lizards.

Are These Lizards Known As "Pests" In Some Places?

In many countries such as Asian Countries, the house lizard is an invasive species which often causes a nuisance for most folks. In other countries where they were introduced, these are considered pests as well.

They are considered a serious threat to the local life species. Other native geckos often end up with fighting these invaders for food and their territories. The house lizard often carries disease-carrying termites to other species.  

Despite these reservations against them, house lizards are generally harmless and pose no danger to humans. They are not toxic, non-venomous, and do not transfer any deadly diseases to humans.

Moreover, they do not suck blood or feed on humans. They are actually quite helpful in reducing a large number of insects from the house such as cockroaches, spiders, and other bugs because they prey on them.

Are They Also Kept In Captivity As Pets?

While you may consider them as pests, but the truth is that they are the most commonly found gecko pet. This is because they are easier to maintain. All they need is a clean vivarium and substrate along with a heat source and a humidifier and you’re good to go!

You don’t even need to check on them for hours on end as they are fully capable of taking care of themselves. They can hide around and often surprise you in the vivarium. Most of their diet consists of a few insects that you can feed to them once every 2-3 days.  

They should not be handled as they are very fragile due to the lack of scales or other protective layers. They are quick as well, as they can easily escape through your hands. They tend to live for 5 years in captivity depending on how well you take care of them.

What Is The Best Housing For These Lizards As Pets?

These lizards are usually kept in a terrarium or any sort of enclosure.

When picking out the perfect housing for your lizard, ensure that the tank is big enough so your lizard can get plenty of exercises.

If you’re going for a single gecko, a 10-gallon tank will suffice. However, for two geckos, you might want to look for something greater than 20 gallons that will give them plenty of room to live, hunt and mate as well.

Also, ensure that your tank has a vertical incline at some end as these reptiles love climbing the aquarium. They might like climbing on rocks, logs, trees, plants etcetera.

So, place those for them as well. Clean your gecko’s tank once in a week using spot cleaning techniques. Replace water every day as it can start looking dirty quite easily.  

What Objects Will You Need In Its Tank?

First and foremost, you need to ensure that there are loads of climbing spaces for the lizard. Of course, you can opt for real plants or mini-trees, however, since you would need to take care of them, they might not be suitable. You can have fake plants for them to climb.

However, ensure that these plants are non-toxic and that your lizard cannot chew them. You might also need a lamp for maintaining and regulating the temperature since these are cold-blooded reptiles. Other objects such as logs, rocks, and stones will provide ample space for them to hide in.  

Another object you might need is a water dish for your gecko to drink water from. Since these are tropical animals, they need a lot of humidity to survive by. SO, we would recommend setting up a humidifier to achieve the desired humidity or a misting device.

You also need to put a suitable substrate at the bottom of the tank, at least 3 inches deep so your tank can maintain the humidity and the temperature.

Can You Store More Than One Gecko In The Tank?

The most important thing to consider when storing more than one gecko together is that they may resort to fighting.

When two males are stored together, they tend to fight each other when present together.

This may be due to territorial disputes or perhaps they want to establish themselves as the leader.

So, if you store two males together, chances are they might bare their teeth and claws and try to one-up each other.

So, we do not recommend that you put them together. You might want to buy a second tank for another male. However, keeping a female with a male is no issue as they do not fight each other. This, too, may result in some housing issues.

This is because the male and the female may mate and lay eggs. Then if the eggs hatch, you would have to make more room for the baby geckos. And the process might go on again and again. SO, even if you do want them to mate, place the female out of the tank as soon as you know she is about to lay eggs.

What Is The Best Temperature Requirements?

The Tank should have a heat gradient as reptiles are cold-blooded. This means their body temperature responds to the temperature of the environment. If the temperature gets too low, the reptile may become slow and inactive and may even die.

They can become sick t too high of a temperature as well. So, you need to regulate the temperature well. The simple solution is to keep a basking lamp at one end on the tank.

The gecko can then pick out the suitable temperature as the temperature will decrease as he steps away from the lamp.  

You can turn the lamp off during the night to provide for a more natural environment, however, be sure that the temperature doesn’t fall too low. The overall temperature should be around 85-90 degrees at the hotter end and about 75-80 degrees F at the cooler end.

Night temperatures should stay between 75-80 degrees F. You can use a blue heat lamp to control temperatures during the night.  

Do You Need Substrate In The Tank?

A substrate is an extremely important part of the living environment of any reptile. They help you maintain the temperature and humidity of the tank. The Substrate at the bottom of the tank will keep the tank hot and humid.

You can go with a simple option such as a tissue paper or newspaper. Or you can go for a more fancy looking option and put up mulch, bark, leaf litter or organic soil.

However, do not use sand or pebbles as these reptiles might eat them and end up being sick.  

Whatever substrate you chose, ti should be at least 3 inches deep. Make sure to clean the newspaper and change it every week. If you are using more natural looking substrate, spot cleaning will do the trick for a month before you need to change them.

Whatever you use, ensure that your gecko is not eating it, or else it causes impaction which can be dangerous for its health.

Do You Need To Mist The Tank?

Since house geckos are tropical animals, they need a humid and hot climate.

They respond well to an environment with about 70-90% humidity. You might want to use an automatic misting device that mists up to once a day.

This helps your tank stay humid. Of course, you can do this yourself, however, you might forget about it. So, it is much better to use an automatic device so that you don’t have to worry about maintaining the humidity of the tank.

If you do chooses to do it yourself, the process is quite simple. All you need to do is fill up a bottle of mister with chlorine free, distilled water. Then spray with it on the sides of the tank. Some folks tend to spray at their gecko. We’d like to remind them that they only need the moisture in their environment.  

What Food Do Wall Geckos Eat?

You need to give your lizard water every day. Use a small and shallow bowl and fill it with fresh water. Keep it on the cool side of the tank. The gecko can use it to drink water or to bathe.

Ensure that you do not use distilled water as it does not have any nutrients and might cause your gecko to be sick. Instead, use de-chlorinated water. Most house geckos would rather lick the moisture out of the air. Change the bowl daily even if the water does not look dirty.  

Most geckos’ diet consists of insects such as normal worms and spiders. Young geckos need to be fed more often, five to six times a week, while the adults can survive with 3-4 feedings per week. The diet should be high in protein, consisting of crickets, mealworms, roaches, silkworms etcetera.

Ensure that the insects are smaller than the gecko’s head so it can easily swallow and digest them.

Try gut loading (click here to see how and why you should be gut loading insects) your insects before feeding them. This can be done by feeding them with a nutritious diet given to them 24 hours before feeding them to your gecko. This results in a high protein diet for your gecko.

What Are The Ideal Supplements For It?

Like all other pets, geckos need supplements to make up for any deficiencies in their diet. The major deficiency is calcium as they might not be getting enough sun to produce it.

Dust your food with calcium supplements and then feed them to your gecko. However, do not overdust as it can cause over-supplementing which might end up having the opposite effect on your gecko. Dust the supplement two to three time a week.

Is This An Ideal Pet For A Beginner?

House geckos are a common pet for a major reason. The reason is that they are extremely easy to handle and do not require a ton of attention on your part. You can simply set up an automatic temperature and humidity regulator after which need only feed them, clean their space and provide them with water every day. This is why they make perfect pets for beginners!


All in all, the house lizard is extremely easy to care for.

However, this does not mean that you completely neglect it. Its long life is dependent on how well you take care of it and how well you pay attention to its needs. Well, we hope that answers all your questions about common wall lizards and how to take care of them.

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