Latin name: pogona vitticeps
Life expectancy: up to 9 years
A three foot vivarium should be provided when these lizards are adult. Sand or wood chips can be used as a substrate. These lizards like to climb and plenty of branches should be provided as well as plenty of hides. Although they live in a dry climate they seem to enjoy the use of a large water bowl, provided you fill it with fresh water each day. Ultra violate light is essential for young and growing specimens and adults are happier with it in the viv. Temperatures should range from 85F – 90F at the warmer end during the day with a drop of between 5 and 10 degrees in the night. Heat mats can be used to control the temperature drop required.
They will basically eat anything that moves and is small enough to fit in their mouths. Including crickets, locust, wax worm, meal worm, mice, small lizards and many other insects. Fruit and veg should be provided on a regular basis according to the individual’s likes and dislikes. Iceberg letice should be avoided at all times!! Beardeds can become very fussy when given too much of one particular type of food; I call it the spoilt child syndrome. Giving in to their stubbornness can be very detrimental to their health and a proper diet needs to be provided.
Beautiful, friendly, inquisitive and entertaining. Any of these words can be used as an accurate description of this lizard. A large tank of them can be more entertaining than any soap on television and their friendly nature make them an ideal introduction into the reptile world. When housing more than one, care should be taken not to get two dominant males. They are territorial and will fight for females, control of the area and the lions share of food. These fights can be quite rough and although I have never heard of any deaths caused directly by fighting, the stress caused can have some long term affects on all concerned.
Latin name: chameleon calyptratus
Distribution: mountainous desert areas of Yemen
Adult size: males may reach 20 inches
Life expectancy: up to7 years
A tall enclosure is required for these lizards as they spend the majority of their lives in the trees. Ultra violate light is essential to their health and needs to be positioned centrally. Temperatures in the range of 85F – 90F during the daylight hours. Chameleons rarely drink from a water bowl and so daily misting is required. They normally cannot be housed together when fully mature. Provide loads of climbing branches across the enclosure along with an abundance of greenery. A dark viv gives you a dark Chameleon; they try their best to mimic the colours around them.
They will basically eat anything that moves and is small enough to fit in their mouths. Including crickets, locust, wax worm, meal worm, small lizards and many other insects. Wax worm will sometimes turn into wax moth which can also be fed to the lizard.
Male Chameleons tend to be very territorial, you should expect to be threatened when picking it up out of the viv but bites are rare. A lot of people tend to buy Chameleons for their ability to change colour but probably the most fascinating point about them is their tongue. Watching them feed on wax moth in mid flight or take a locust out of your hand from about 18 inches away has got to be one of the best things I have ever seen any lizard do.
Latin name: Eublepharis Macularius
Adult size: 5 to 8 inches
Life expectancy: 20 years approx. dependant on sex
A 24inch vivarium is suitable for an adult pair or trio with plenty of stones for climbing and shelter. Sand is the preferable substrate but light or dark wood chips can be used. UV light can be used but is not essential for adults. Provide a basking spot at a temperature around 85-90 degrees F. At night used a 25 watt, this provides heats for the lizards and also allows the owner to view their nocturnal habits. The use of two thermometers is recommended, one on the warmer side of the enclosure and the other on the cooler. Night time temperatures need to be from 70 to 75 and can be achieved with a heat mat under the substrate along with an infrared bulb. A medium level of humidity (50 to 65%) can be maintained by misting once a day and providing a small, shallow, water dish on the cooler side of the enclosure. Hiding places should be present on both sides of the enclosure.
These lizards are primarily insectivores and require a varied diet consisting of crickets, locust, meal worm, wax worm and silk worm. Foods can be supplemented by gut loading or dusting. A number of liquid supplements are available but not essential.
The Leopard gecko can be distinguished by its black and yellow mottled skin colour and fat tail. This lizard has been described as being neither too big nor too small. A generally tame species, it is easy to keep and breed. Small groups will live together but keeping more females than males is a good idea. Adult size is usually reached in about 18 months and females will generally live longer than the males.
Terrapins and map turtles
Adult size: potentially 30cm across the shell
Life expectancy: 20 years approx
Terrapins spend more time out of water than in so an enclosure big enough to boast suitably sized areas of land and water are a must. The tank may need to be four foot in length to accommodate one adult terrapin. The dry area should be under a lamp and heated to around 75 degrees farenheight. Heating the wet area can be done with a sensible sized fish tank heater and maintained at a temperature of between 65 to 70 degrees farenheight. When setting up this wet area be sure to make certain it can be cleaned out quickly and with ease. Terrapins can be without water for about an hour before any ill affects. These animals are more tolerant of chlorine than tropical fish so water dechlorinators are not necessarily required. Regular cleaning is required as terrapins produce a lot of waste and over feeding is often a secondary cause of such a dirty water system. The addition of a filter unit will help keep waste at bay and reduce the amount of cleaning required.
Care must be taken to provide the correct vitamins for your pet. A and B are normally found in the many varied diets which can be found on the shelves in most good pet shops. Vitamin D is required to promote good strong shell growth, this is provided in turtle and terrapin foods but a source of Ultra violate light is required to assist its breakdown and absorption.
These animals are omnivores and are usually willing to eat a mixed diet. The many specialist diets available are suitable but many other foods can be offered. They include fish, freshwater snails, trout pellets, dog of cat food (if using the dried foods be sure to leave it to soak in water before use), earthworms, cheese, hard boiled eggs, watercress or spinach.
Terrapins are strong and can be aggressive, a bite can hurt. A good way of handling this animal is to hold the carapace between your thumb and forefinger. A healthy animal should be responsive and have a hard shell.
Latin name: varanus niloticus
Distribution: most of
Adult size: potential of 5 feet
Life expectancy: unknown
A hatchling Monitor can be housed in a 24 inch enclosure. Adults on the other hand will need a very large viv; 7 foot by 4 by 4 may be a suitable size for a single specimen. All diurnal lizards require exposure to ultra violet light. This light should be provided for between 8 and 12 hours a day depending on the time of year. Give your Monitor a hot spot in the range of 100F to 135F for the same period of time as the UV light. Humidity levels need to be between 50 and 75% at all times, incorrect humidity levels can cause skin problems and vet bills are always high. Providing a large water bowl will raise the humidity and keep your lizard happy as it is a water monitor. These lizards like to dig and a deep substrate will keep it happy. Wood chips or sand are fine as substrates but be careful not too much of it is ingested. Climbing material should also be provided around the cage.
They tend to prefer larger insects or amphibians but they will eat almost anything they recognize as edible and not too big. In the wild they actively hunt for birds in trees; and fish in streams, rivers and lakes.
The majority of Nile Monitors are quite temperamental and a bite off one of these will be very painful. This large lizard is not for the beginner. They take up a lot of time and space. Think long and hard before committing yourself to one of these animals. Besides the negative, the