Choosing the right lizard

There is a huge range of lizards in terms of appearance and requirements. Most are insectivores, few are carnivores and others just require a vegetarian diet. Lifespan also varies from six years to up to 15.

 
 
The Different Types

chameleonMainly of a cold blooded (poikilothermic) reptilian nature, a lizard’s natural habitat can range from desert areas to the edge of the Artic Circle. They come in all shapes and sizes from the seemingly legless Slowworm (Anguis Fragilis) to the colour changing Chameleon to the quick footed Gecko.

 
Mature male Iguanas can get quick aggressive and difficult to handle but neutering can help calm them down.

 
 

Day gecko

 
Geckos on the other hand are difficult to catch if they manage to escape their houses. They can also shed their tails if handled roughly. Their tail will grow back again but it wont reach the same size as their original one.

 
Most lizards will bond with their owners so its always best to chose a young hatchling that you’ll be able to tame and grow up together.

 
leopard gecko

 
 
A healthy lizard should be nice and plump especially around the hind quarters. Small lizards should be alert and active. If a lizards shows signs of difficulty in moving around this could be indicative of a weak skeleton and should be checked out by a vet. Another sign of a healthy snake is its vibrant colouring. However, some darker coloured individuals could be a sign that it is being bullied by a dominant male.

 
The following lizards are the most commonest and easiest to keep in that they are attractive to look at and can be housed in a relatively small vivarium:-
 

  • Leopard Gecko
  • Day Gecko
  • Green Lizard
  • Wall Lizard

 
Chinese Water Dragon, Australian Water DragonGrowing to more than 1 meter in length and therefore requiring a much larger space to live in, but as equally if not more aesthetically pleasing to the eye are:-
 

  • Bearded Dragon
  • Green Iguana
  • Asian Water Dragon
  • Chameleon

 
 
 
 
Housing

Most lizards can be housed in an enclosed vivarium with ventilation grilles and spotlight or ceramic infrared heating.

 
bearded-dragon-vivarium-setupThe décor and substrate of the vivarium should reflect the lizards natural habitat. Appropriate hiding areas, climbing structures and suitable bedding should be provided according to your choice of lizard.

 
The correct type of lighting is vital for the well-being of the lizard – special full spectrum fluorescent tubes that emit UVA which acts as an appetite stimulant and UVB that synthesises Vitamin D3, a vitamin that regulates the lizard’s calcium stores.

 
Feeding
nutrobal-calcium-balancer-supplement-for-reptilesVegetarian lizards can be fed a variety of diets including sprouting pulses such as mung beans, alfalfa, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, grapes, apples and melons. Always sprinkle a mineral supplement over the food to add extra nutritional value.

 
Insectivores can be fed with suitably sized crickets sprinkled with a nutritional balancer to maintain their calcium : phosphorus ratio. Mealworms and waxmoth larvae make tasty appetisers.

 
 


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