Popular Lizards to consider as a pet . . . - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-01-2002, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Popular Lizards to consider as a pet . . .

Leopard Gecko
These small nocturnal insectivores (who get big enough to feed on pinkie mice) can do well in a 20 gallon aquarium with several inches of clean playground-type sand, an undertank heating pad, an overhead nocturnal heat source, hollow log and bark slab, and water bowl. Maximum size is 8 inches. Temperament is very sweet though may be skittish at first. Have been popular captive-bred lizards for decades.

Collared Lizard
Diurnal desert dwellers that can be set up as the leopard gecko, but must be in a larger enclosure, at least a 55-60 gallon. They also need much higher heat during the day, and a special fluorescent bulb that produces UVB (290-320 nm wavelengths - something that only specially made, and rather expensive - fluorescents can do). Largely carnivorous, adults will eat some plant matter. Most in stores are wild-caught. To 10-12 inches.

Bearded Dragon
Diurnal desert dweller, to be set up as the collared. Babies are cheap but that's because they have a lower survival rate. Buy one at least 6 inches long - big enough to start eating mouse pinks. Smaller beardeds are more difficult to feed, with intestinal impaction from insect exoskeletons and paralysis and seizures-even death-from being fed prey that is too big, all too common. These guys need the least amount of work in terms of taming - they are pretty much big lazy slugs. They do go into a winter slowdown, a period of long inactivity (sleeping for days or weeks) interspersed with a bit of wakefulness, eat a bit, drink a bit, then down again for several weeks. To 20 inches.

Blue-tongue Skink
These low-slung, wide-bodied lizards look like a giant alligator lizard with skin like your kitchen floor. Like the bearded dragon, these Australian natives are strictly available as captive bred lizards here in the US. Blue-tongue skinks are omnivores, requiring a temperate woodland type of environment, with temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s. They need some access to UVB which can be easily supplied by taking them outside with you for awhile during clement weather, and by providing a UVB fluorescent during the winter months. To 24 inches. They like to move about and wander, so a larger than expected enclosure is a must.

Savanna Monitor
These strictly wild-caught, strictly carnivorous lizards are one of the most common of the small monitor lizards. They also have one of the nicest temperaments-when you get them tamed. They are masters of scrabbling backwards in your arms and hands, leaving trails of scratches in their wake. You do need to be careful when feeding them their mice, however-they get extremely eager and easily mistake your fingers for the mouse, so always use tongs. Temperatures from mid-70s to mid-80s with a slightly higher basking area. UVB occasionally. Hissy and thrashy initially, lots of bluff but rarely a bite. Once tamed by an adult, are usually suitable for handling by middle childhood age kids. To 4 feet. Good climbers, they need large, well secured enclosures.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-01-2002, 12:22 PM
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When asked, I always recommend bearded dragons as a beginner lizard. They can be a little pricey to setup with the lamps and such, but once you have that, they are hardy, predictable, readily tamed. Most I've worked with will not eat mouse pinks - stick to dusted crickets and veggies.

Collared lizards are ok, but a little high strung. Not really an easily handlable pet, they often spaz out when you're trying to handle them, and they are -fast-.

I don' t consider savannahs a good starter lizard at all. Unless your interest lies specifically in keeping monitor lizards. They can be difficult to tame, and if ignored they can forget their training. Some are worse than others. Their diet should be mainly insects, rodent diets are now believed to be causing various problems with them - including kidney failure. Obesity is also big issue with them if they are not set up in a large enough enclosure to get lots of exercise. You're talking a 4' lizard... thats not a small cage.

I don' t keep leopard geckos so really can't comment on them. They are extremely popular, and there is a -ton- of information on them out there.

Ditto with Blue-tongues, they are not as popular as leopard geckos, but there is lots of info out there. Make sure you look them up by the scientific name though, there are many different species of skinks and some even referred to as blue tongues that are not the species mentioned here.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-08-2003, 11:27 PM
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savannah monitor for a begginer lizard??? i just have to say that i dont agree. they get big! and tend to bite and lash with the tail. all the rest of the lizard mentioned sound great. watch out before you get any monitors. if you really want one get a savannah, i have raised both niles and savannahs. i also have an iguana (not for begginers) and a leopard gecko. i have experiance in nile monitors, savannah monitor, leopard geckos, house geckos, tokay geckos, anoles, iguanas, golden geckos, marbeled geckos, and crocidail geckos

sorry, cant spell
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-08-2003, 11:29 PM
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sorry, i have experiance in waterdragons and broad head skinks too. im not bragging. just wanting yall to know that i can help if you have questions
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-09-2003, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Manda, I agree with you on the savannah monitor comment
savannah monitor for a begginer lizard??? i just have to say that i dont agree. they get big! and tend to bite and lash with the tail.
Mu hubby raised a savannah and I would say they are only good for beginner adult lizard owners. They need a lot of time and attention and even then can be difficult pets.
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