Caiman Lizard Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Scientific name: Dracaena
Rank: Genus
Higher Classification: Whiptails
Weight: 8-12 pounds
Lifespan: 10 years in captivity

Image Source


The Caiman lizard, Dracaena guianensis, is a big, weighty bodied lizard that is well changed to a lifetime in and around water. Caiman lizards are innate to South America surrounding the Amazon River Basin coming from Brazil, and Guyana westward to Peru as well as in Ecuador. While it is a comparatively extensive class, little has been available about uninhabited populations of Caiman lizards. In the historical, the Caiman lizard was deeply unsettled for its skin, nonetheless, since the defense was provided for them in the 1970s, the disseminate has released, and now these faunae are not measured to be under the danger of extermination. 

One of the informal conducts to classify a Caiman lizard is by its exclusive hue design. These lizards have a physique that is olive to bright lime in hue with a red or carroty colored head. The dense tail is brownish to black and may have creamy stripes. As grownups, these lizards show some grade of sexual dimorphism as the male has a wider head that is brighter pink in hue than the females. Sheltered in big, bony scales the covering of a Caiman lizard looks like that of a Caiman- a crocodilian class that also lives Central and South America. Though its presence and semi-aquatic existence may propose that the caiman lizard is connected to these crocodilians, it is a counterpart of the Tegu and is just as well-armed for lifespan on land and in the foliage as it is for in the aquatic.


The Caiman lizard is endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and registered in Appendix II, so practically all Caiman lizards obtainable in the pet trade are cultivated or confined bred. Caretakers have had more achievement with adapting these reptiles to natural life under human attention than with their barren composed complements. Though Caiman lizards still are not often found in resident pet shops, some reptile field stores and net resources have been making them obtainable and at a more sensible value than in years past.


Caiman lizards are one of the main lizards originated in the Americas. Whereas females can raise to four feet, males may spread up to five feet in the entire measurement and weigh 8-12 pounds.


Not much is recognized regarding the Caiman lizard lifecycle, nonetheless, with proper attention, these animals must be able to animate 10 years or longer in confinement.


With the probability of reaching four feet or lengthier, these animals will require a remarkably big inclusion as adults. New Caiman lizards must have an inclusion that measures no less than four feet by one foot and is as a minimum 2 feet tall (55-gallon reptile terrarium). An adult must have an inclusion that is no less than 6 feet long, 3 feet extensive, and 4 feet high. A big water part should[lr1] be given for these lizards in addition to a land zone and sufficiently of vertical space with climbing openings.

Provide housing, for example, a Zoo Med Habba Hut or Cork Round on the land part. These big lizards may rip up some live vegetations, nonetheless, vigorous live florae can be used to enhance a realistic look, upsurge moisture and provide concealment. Non-natural plants may likewise be used to deliver shelter and a real look to the inclusion.

Sufficiently of robust uphill branches must be provided from place to place and particularly over the water part. Big cork twigs or Mopani Wood can be located partly in the water to make lying areas. Be certain that twigs are safe as these lizards love to hike and dig and they may hit over leaky crate garlands.

Lighting and Temperature

Caiman lizards are tropical faunae that need warm temperatures year-round to flourish. Day ambient temperatures must be upheld between 80- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit with a lying area of 100 degrees or higher. Nightly time temperatures may drop nonetheless must not fall under 75 degrees. Numerous diverse heating fundamentals may be applied to preserve the appropriate current gradient in a Caiman lizard inclusion. An Exo Terra Halogen spot spotlight can be applied to give the lying part. These bulbs scorch hotter than normal lying lamps which can be very supportive when at work with a big inclusion.

These lizards will devote a good share of their day lying, so select a division that can securely and firmly grip the animal’s heaviness. If added than one lizard is to be reserved in an inclusion, provide several lying areas to prevent rivalry overlying resources. Extra heating rudiments, for example, Fluker’s ceramic temperature emitter and nocturnal ultraviolet heat lamps may be used to deliver additional warmth when needed. Use good light fittings with Reptile Bulbs since these animals can be lively swimmers, so it is significant to defend heat lamps from squishes or to use a squish proof spotlight.

Though little is recognized about the UVB supplies of these faunae, providing UVB is extremely optional. For numerous reptiles, proper contact with UVB lighting lets faunae make their vitamin D3 which is vital for calcium breakdown. Access to good UVB lighting can, in order, help stop and even inverse metabolic bone disease (MBD) in numerous reptiles. Another significant portion of the light range is UVA which endorses natural performances, for example, feeding and breeding. To maintain fit Caiman lizards, a 12-14-hour daytime passé with access to UVA, UVB, and full range visible daylight must be provided. Use a Reptisun® or Powersun® UV to deliver UVB, UVA and visible light of day. The use of a reptile regulator will mechanically control lights to source a reliable 12-14-hour photoperiod.


On the land side of the inclusion, numerous diverse substrates may be suitable. A mixture that covers cypress covering, one of the reptile builder’s earth substrate and fresh sand can help uphold high, tropical moisture and let for some normal digging actions.

Diet and Feeding

Caiman lizards are recognized for their dedicated nourishment of aquatic snails, nonetheless, they will likewise take in additional food items also. In confinement, these lizards will eat a diverse diet that comprises preserved snails for reptiles, preserved shrimp, super worms, crickets, and preserved Tegu and monitors nourishment. Fruits, for example, kiwi, banana, mango, papaya, also, red banana can be obtainable as well. Enhancement of the food weekly with a reptile multivitamin then twice a week with reptile calcium complement. Food can be obtainable in a bowl nevertheless some lizards will luckily take it from feeding pincers as well.

Water and Moisture

A big water part must be given for these lizards. They are outstanding swimmers and divers and must be able to submerge themselves in their liquid. The least water profundity of 12” must be provided for adults to exercise normal swimming performances. For young Caiman lizards, a pot or container of water can be given but must be deep sufficient for the lizard to go totally below the water. These tropical animals will escalate water reserved between 75 and 85 degrees. A submersible aquarium radiator may be used to retain liquid warm.

Caiman Lizards can be untidy eaters and will yield big quantities of waste that will typically end up in the liquid. A big, high-class aquarium sieve can help retain water fresh nonetheless perhaps will not remove the requirement for recurrent water fluctuations. Aquarium grit is not suggested in the water part as it can be unintentionally swallowed and could reason gastrointestinal issues. To make a realistic-looking inclusion, big river pebbles (too big to fit in the animal’s mouth) may be applied in the water part, though, waste and nourishment articles may become stuck amid them and uncouth the water more rapidly. A simple bottomed water part for these animals is harmless and the laid-back to preserve.

Moisture stages for Caiman Lizards must be upheld between 60 and 80%. Usage of substrates, for example, Forest Floor, Eco Earth, and mosses, will aid can help achieve this. In a hard inclusion, for example, glass, high moisture stages are easy to preserve, though, as a Caiman Lizard grows to its supreme possible, a glass terrarium will barely be suitable. Mist the terrarium every day to attain the compulsory dampness level. An involuntary misting system can be importantly helpful for those who are not able to continually monitor moisture stages. A water foundation with a big surface zone and the addition of live vegetations can likewise aid to upsurge dampness.

Handling and Temperament

Though Caiman lizards are not violent, they may take some exercise to turn out to be handleable. These animals seem to be very keen and learn rapidly. Some caretakers have had accomplishment with board exercise their Caiman lizards to support in handling. With steady handling, some of them can become fairly domestic, whereas others may not ever really learn to like being held.


The form of the caiman lizard is much similar to the crocodile. It characteristically has the bright lime with slight dark avocado banding. There are horned raised scales lengthways the dorsal of the posterior. This helps to deliver some defense against hunters. The measurement of these lizards can grasp up to 4 ft and weight around 4.5 Kg. They have the profoundly muscular jaws to aid in eating its standard victim of snails, crawfish as well as freshwater clams.


The class is typically originated in nations like Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and the Guianas. They usually originated in the swampy environments and other forested parts which are swamped. It is typically marine and is an outstanding climber. They spend a maximum of its time lying on branches overhanging watercourses such that it may be capable of escaping from predation by waning underwater.


This lizard class doesn’t have the acrimony glands. So, they are unable to produce the spite. Nonetheless, they can bite you if they feel endangered or any risk.


There is slight info is obtainable about the reproduction of the caiman lizard, they are believed to act in a comparable method to another big lizard class. After concluding the breeding, the lizard will lay their offspring in a hole close to the river bank which they shelter up later to defend them from starving hunters. The baby caiman doesn’t get the defense from the mother caiman after hatch. As they are self-governing as they don’t get the parent’s attention.


The bite from the big size caiman lizard can be possibly throbbing. These have the muscular mouths with which they can make bite might damage the people. You have to evade the gratuitous handling of it.


They are equally marine and earthly; spending most of their period in or nearby water. They are also outstanding ramblers, lying on branches drooping the watercourses. If they fall or hurdle in the water, they are decent swimmers, with help from their crosswise compressed tail. The tail can likewise be used to stroke out at hunters if needed. Robust, short extremities, with piercing claws, stay close to their form when swimming but are protracted for digging and ascending bush trunks. In the evening, they fleece in trees and scrubs.


Caiman lizards use their interesting form to connect, being clever to distinguish males from females.


The bifurcated (divided or pronged) tongue aids them, sense victim. By spreading its tongue, the lizard uses trail elements to find nourishment, a mate or conceivable hunters.

Common Health Issues


The universal illness may be headed by shock, home-grown abscessation, parasitism, or ecological strain. Aeromonas and Pseudomonas spp are often inaccessible; the previous may be conveyed by ectoparasites. Demise may be peracute or trail a long-drawn-out sequence. Common fatal signs are respiratory suffering, weariness, spasms, and incoordination.

Septicemic Cutaneous Ulcerative Disease (SCUD)

The scutes are rutted and may marsh with primarily infected emancipation. Anorexia, weariness, and petechial bleeds on the shell and membrane are perceived; liver necrosis is likewise common. Systemic antibiotics are suggested. Good hygiene is supreme for inhibition.

Ulcerative or Necrotic Dermatitis

The illness can grow even when these animals are preserved under unspoiled circumstances, so it is not just a matter of extreme dampness and poor sanitation. The disorder starts with depletion into scales, tailed by boils that ultimately lead to exposed and ulcerated cuts. Action with systemic antibiotics, topical antibiotic balm, and outstanding cleanliness and husbandry are vital.


Small, contained boils should be removed to evade reappearance, which is recurrent. Bigger boils must be marsupialized, tracked by belligerent local wound handling. The lining of the boil must be belligerently frayed to eliminate as much substance as likely. Suitable systemic antibiotics may likewise be designated but are rarely essential after comprehensive removal. Anaerobic microorganisms are common in these cuts, and a suitable antimicrobial agent (e.g., metronidazole, ceftazidime, or potentiated penicillin merchandise) may essential to be used or further to a current schedule.

Infectious Stomatitis

Respiratory or GI infection may grow in unwell managed cases. Medical debridement, irrigation with sanitizers, systemic antibiotics, and helpful treatment are specified. In severe cases with ulceration or granuloma development, a belligerent operation may be designated. Vitamin supplementation, particularly with vitamins A and C, has been encouraged nonetheless does not continuously distress the illness progression.


Respiratory contagions are communal; the occurrence can be prejudiced by respiratory or systemic parasitism, disapproving ecological temperatures, unhygienic situations, simultaneous illness, undernourishment, and hypovitaminosis A. Open-mouth sentient, nasal emancipation, and dyspnea are recurrent signs. Aeromonas and Pseudomonas spp are often remote, but numerous respiratory contaminations are diverse. Septicemia may grow in severe or protracted cases. Handling contains refining husbandry and introducing systemic antibiotics.


Mycoplasmosis is a recognized source of rhinitis and upper respiratory tract illness in chelonians and polyserositis in crocodilians. In chelonians, the illness has been related to populace failures, and the illness is frequently long-lasting and/or sporadic. In American alligators, mycoplasmosis fallouts in severe systemic illness and often passing. A diversity of Mycoplasma class has been remote. PCR and serologic analytic help have been established, and handling using fluoroquinolones, clarithromycin, and oxytetracycline have been supported.


Ear contaminations happen often in turtles, particularly box turtles and aquatic turtles. A marked bulge is perceived at the tympanic skin, and caseous substantial is existing. The tympanic skin must be cut, and belligerent curettage of the part completed. Surgical elimination of the boil is typically healing as long as all contagion is detached and the Eustachian pipe is clear. The open part must be flushed with thinned povidone-iodine or alike produce for one or two days to stop early closure and to retain the part fresh. Systemic antibiotics are infrequently mandatory.


Regularly shocking in a source, communicable capacities is branded by edema and hemopurulent emancipation. Cloacal calculi may develop in vitamin or mineral inequities and must be physically detached and followed by nutritional alteration. In pericloacal boils, the infection frequently travels craniad. Rising urinary or genital tract infections are common effects. Belligerent treatment, counting invasive debridement, local wound handling, and suitable systemic antibiotics, is specified. Fecal checkups must be completed to classify possible parasitic grounds.

Where to Get One?

Caiman Lizards are not often obtainable in the local pet shops, some reptile field stores and internet resources have been making them obtainable at a sensible value in preceding years. These lizards will spend a good time of their day lying, so, they select a division that can securely and restfully hold the animal’s heaviness.

Proper Care for Pet Lizard


For a new caiman lizard under the stage of a year, a 55-gallon reservoir will be acceptable for a while. It will be alluring to use a turtle system for caiman lizards, with an all aquatic system with a small set or detached dock. These are not completely water reptiles; they are originated on the tier and think of they are comfortable in the twigs as much as in the river. An additional problem is purification; the water existing cannot be too solid, they like sluggish moving or nonmoving ponds. The finest and informal set-up to uphold is to have a pond that can effortlessly be detached, discarded and prepared. I use a spurred livestock pot from the feed store. It charges about $8; it’s ribbed so it’s easy to eradicate and it’s very hard-wearing.


Lighting is an additional significant component to taking maintenance of these guys. Though it’s unidentified how significant UVB is for caiman lizards, concluded my comments I have observed caiman lizard with a decent UVB tuber incline to have a better craving. I would stretch products the bulb kinds though this will be contingent on your arrangement, what businesses are obtainable and new expansions. This is an additional aim to link an online or resident reptile community. Asking other reptile caretakers is better than the individuals at pet stores as they are not making cash founded on what you are purchasing. Some individuals might have a diverse favorite in rhizomes besides.


Heating can be completed exclusively with a spotlight and water radiator in small crates nonetheless in chiller ranges and big crates other temperatures might be required. Diurnal time temperatures must be 90 to 80F on the warm in addition to the cool side and must not drop under 75 at night. An additional heating system can be completed with ceramic radiators or overhead heat boards.


Moisture must be held in reserve to 60 to 80%. An aquarium with a bound screen top will drop moisture rapidly, though there is a low-priced and easy alteration that will aid. Contingent on how convenient you are; plex glass can be used to shelter unevenly ¾ of the cistern top, and this can likewise be completed with taping a trash/plastic carrier over the top or even swathing a cloth over a fragment of the cover. Make certain to leave sufficient area away from the light to avert the plex glass/carrier/cloth from catching on fire.

Fun Facts

  • Caiman Lizard can range 2-4 feet in measurement and heaviness of 3-6 pounds.
  • These lizards have a carroty-red head and lime body. The males have the additional red-tinted head.
  • The physique of these class sheltered with big, weighty scales which is much similar to the crocodile. So, the term is ‘caiman’ lizard.
  • The lizard has a big, large head, prevailing jaws, brawny body, short legs and extended, a crosswise compressed tail that enables swimming.
  • The outlay fragment of its lifetime in the water, and other portions in the vegetations.
  • Caiman lizard has the third eyelid which guarantees a clear image below the marine (it is used as spectacles).
  • Caiman lizard enjoys lounging in the sun on the twigs above the marine throughout the daylight. It fleeces in the shrubberies and trees throughout the evening.
  • Caiman lizard has a cleft tongue that gathers numerous smells from the air and enables recognition of sustenance.
  • Caiman lizard is a flesh-eater. Its food is grounded in numerous hard-shelled invertebrates, for example, apple snails and clams. Cheers to its robust jaws and well-settled molars, caiman lizard, can effortlessly clatter the shell and excerpt core hidden inside. It dribbles the leftovers of the shell. Fish, rodents in addition to amphibians are typically expended in confinement.
  • Caiman lizard devotes most of the period close to the streams, which are used as hiding dwelling from the killers. When it is unswervingly challenged with a killer, caiman lizard becomes violent. It bites and hits the enemy with its lash-like tail.
  • Caiman lizard is a private creature, nonetheless, it stands further caiman lizards, in addition to the company of further class of lizard, turtles besides fish when it is reserved in confinement.
  • Ordinary foes of caiman lizard are jaguars, big snakes, and crocodiles.
  • Little is recognized about generative conduct of caiman lizard, excluding that female lays offspring in the layer in the river bank and shelters them with wreckage to hide them from killers.
  • Offspring are prepared to fend for themselves from the minute of birth. They consume insects beforehand their jaws and teeth turn out to be robust enough to smash the shells of snails and mollusks.
  • Caiman lizard can live over 10 years in the barren and 8 to 12 years in confinement.

FAQ Section

Are Caiman lizards venomous?

The caiman lizards’ big scope and possibly throbbing bite are two additional explanations that few challenge its husbandry. Nastiest of all, most new introductions favor a food of snails – a food piece hard to provide for utmost caretakers.

Do Caiman lizards make decent companions?

Caiman lizards devote a good percentage of the day lying, so provide a division that can securely and restfully grasp the animal’s heaviness. If more than one lizard is reserved in an inclusion, provide numerous lying parts to avert rivalry overlying resources.

Where do Caiman lizards animate?

The caiman lizard can be seen dwelling the forest and swamp zones of South America in the nations of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Caiman lizards are furthermost normally spotted in parts that are swamped as they are very marine creatures.

How vast do Caiman lizards get?

Caiman lizards are one of the major lizards that originated in America. Though females can produce up to four feet, males may spread up to five feet in the entire dimension and weigh 8-12 pounds.

Bush Viper Care Sheet

California Kingsnake Care Sheet