When it comes to reptile pals, lizards often steal the spotlight. Not only do they resemble mini dinosaurs, but they also lack the snake-induced fear in many people. Some lizards even enjoy a bit of handling and make fantastic display pets. Let’s dive into the lizard world and check out five cool options, no particular order.
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1. Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons (Pogona vitticeps) and leopard geckos rule the pet lizard kingdom, and beardies, in particular, are known for their unique personalities. Thanks to widespread captive breeding, they’re easy to find. While their care needs are a bit more than a leopard gecko, they’re manageable with the right info. Hailing from Australia’s scorching regions, they love it hot. Set up a cozy basking spot at 100 degrees Fahrenheit on one side of their spacious 75-gallon pad, with a cooler zone on the other. Full-spectrum UVB lighting is a must. Beardies chow down on a mix of insects and greens and come in a rainbow of colors. If you’re an intermediate to advanced keeper, our Bearded Dragon Care Sheet has you covered.
2. Leopard Gecko
With the right TLC, leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) make pet lizard care a breeze. Forget fancy lighting – these guys thrive with a straightforward diet. Set them up in a 10-20
3. Gold-Dust Day Gecko
The gold-dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda) takes the crown as one of the most stunning lizards. Hailing from Madagascar, these beauties are best admired in a display setup rather than as hands-on pets. They’re a bit on the nervous side and might part ways with their tails under stress. With a potential size of 4 to 6 inches, choose an enclosure that accommodates live plants with broad leaves, creating a tropical paradise. They love to bask under large leaves. A vertical vivarium of 10-18 gallons suits a single day gecko, but larger setups allow for more intricate landscapes. Expect a lifespan of 5 to 8 years in captivity, with a diet consisting of small crickets, mealworms, and even commercially prepared fruit-type foods.
4. Crested Geckos
Handle them gently! Once a crested gecko (Correlophus (Rhacodactylus) ciliatus) loses its tail due to stress, it’s gone for good. These cool geckos, originally from New Caledonia, are perfect as display pets with occasional interactions. Their diet is a breeze, mainly nectar and commercially prepared crested gecko foods. If you go for crickets, make sure they’re dusted with a vitamin/mineral supplement. Bred widely in captivity, these geckos come in various colors, and their pricing, like leopard geckos, varies. A 20-gallon tall enclosure with a screen top is a comfy home for a single adult, with a warm setup using a low-wattage incandescent bulb or ceramic heat emitter. Add some branches for a chill basking spot. Since they love to climb, go for reptile carpet or a peat-moss-based soil mix as a ground cover.
5. Blue-Tongue Skink
Why are blue-tongue skinks (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia) so loved in the reptile community? Well, these Aussie lizards are not only larger and cool-looking but also super easy to handle with awesome personalities. Once settled in, they enjoy a good head scratch or chin rub. As ground-loving pals, they need room to roam, so go for an enclosure that’s at least 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 10 inches tall for the adults. Keep them cozy with a heat mat, overhead basking light, or heat emitter. Don’t forget the UVB lighting for 8-12 hours a day. When it comes to grub, they’re not picky—canned dog/cat