While reptiles are becoming more popular in the previous few decades, more and more people choose to keep a variety of lizards. They take care of lizards for a reason.
The lizards tend to be least alien-looking compared to snakes. They have eyelids while snakes don’t. They don’t have shells. All those things are making them quite interesting, especially to people who are looking for reptiles that are easy to care for.
Besides, the lizards can show “personality” to some degree, which is the exact behavior that makes both dogs and cats adorable. They are good at expressing their feelings. You will see how they love to bask or how excited they are when they know you’re going to feed them. These traits are somewhat hard to find from other reptiles.
Likewise, some species of lizards seem to have fun to be around with humans. Surprisingly, lizards are the only reptiles that will approach their owners and crave for their attention. This behavior makes them much more appealing.
What Species of Lizards are Best to Keep as Pets?
As lizards have become more popular than they were before, their range expanded as well. So, it becomes more challenging to choose the right pet lizard for them. Whatever species they choose, lizards are usually docile, easy to keep, and widely available.
#1. Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons can be amazing pets. They are among the most famous lizard pets in the US. bearded dragons make great pets as they are entertaining and friendly. They sleep in the evening, so expect that they will be so active throughout the day.
For their lifespan, bearded dragons may live for 5-10 years in most cases. They rarely last for 15 years. Their lifespan depends on the care, husbandry, and other significant factors.
When it comes to their personality, the bearded dragons are friendly and laid-back. After you get to know them and handle them a bit, these lizards will begin trusting you.
Bearded dragons are docile, and you could handle and feed them. Some pet owners say their dragons can wave their hands as if they are waving hello. They may also do this to show submission.
Some bearded dragons are intelligent and entertaining as they love watching people’s actions and being held. At times, they tend to watch each step of their people who pass by their enclosures.
Bearded dragons resemble the real dragons at some point. They are diurnal animals that you will love to display and keep. Some bearded dragons love being handled or played with. Also, they love to eat, so giving them treats is a good idea. Giving bearded dragons treats is one way of getting their trust.
These animals are not big lizards. Their length often ranges between 12 to 24 inches. Adult bearded dragons weigh about 250-500 grams in most cases.
#2. Leopard Geckos
These geckos are famous pet lizards, too. They are great for novices and advanced reptile keepers. With controlled heating and lighting, you can pick up and have fun with your lizard during your free time.
Feeding adults is simple. You just have to feed them once in two to three days with some crickets or worms.
In terms of lifespan, the leopard geckos may have various lifespans. On average, they last for 6-25 years. Negative factors like poor care, lack of a healthy diet, and overbreeding shorten the longevity of the leopard geckos. However, leopard geckos can last for 10-25 years with proper husbandry and care.
These geckos tend to be so docile and affectionate. They come in a wide array of attractive patterns and colors. They feel comfortable with handling and touching them. They are nocturnal animals, so expect them to be active and playful at night. It means it’ll be hiding for the most part of the day, typically underneath the rocks or inside the hideouts.
Leopard geckos are small lizards that measure 7-12 inches long. Males tend to be bigger than females. They have perfect-sized bodies and thick trunks for effortless handling. Also, they aren’t too heavy. On average, adults weigh roughly 65-110 grams.
#3. Crested Gecko
These geckos are popular pets, as well. Crested geckos are somewhat small, so they’ll be quick to handle. Likewise, they are docile and easy to tame.
Just a simple diet will be enough for crested geckos. Therefore, you don’t need to spend more of your money and time to prepare their foods. You could keep a crested gecko on a mix-with-water diet. You can feed it with live insects for the most time.
Crested geckos raised with proper care will likely last for 15-20 years. This is the average lifespan for these lizards. Crested geckos can come in different patterns and colors on their skin.
When it comes to size, crested geckos are often 5-8 inches long. Adults weigh 25-55 grams.
#4. Red Ackie
These lizards are also called spiny-tailed lizards or ridge-tailed lizards. This little lizard is a real dwarf that is ideal for keeping with straightforward care requisites. Red Ackies are great pet monitor lizards. They are beautifully colored that look like small dragons. They are active lizards that are fun to care for and observe.
Red Ackies are okay with daily handling. Taming a newly acquired lizard is not a big challenge. You can feed this lizard every other day. It accepts a range of foods such as pinky mice and crickets. The lifespan of red ackies is more than 10 years. Their length ranges from 16 to 26 inches.
#5. Argentine Black and White Tegu
These can be your best bet if you’re searching for bigger lizards. Adult Argentine black and white tegus demand more spaces, so be sure you purchase a bigger enclosure for your pet. However, if it is not a problem, then these lizards could be good pets for you.
Tegus are among the smartest of all reptiles as they can learn simple techniques and respond to the sound of their names. Typically, tegus that have been socialized while young will learn how to walk through the harness and how to tolerate frequent handling. They can last for more than 15 years.
#6. Gold-Dust Day Gecko
This gecko is among the most beautiful lizards. The gold-dust day gecko is common in Madagascar and better kept as a display instead of being frequently handled. It tends to be nervous and may lose its tail when stressed.
It can grow to 4-6 inches, so always remember it when housing this animal. Pick a cage that will let you add some live plants with big leaves. This will make the animal happier.
#7. Blue-Tongue Skink
This one might be the most famous of all the “bigger” lizards. The blue-tongue skink is easy to keep and handle. It also comes with great personalities. This lizard originates in Indonesia. Once it gets used to its new environment, the animal will start enjoying your touch and may even allow you to scratch its head or its chin.
It’s a terrestrial lizard, so be sure there’s more floor space when buying an enclosure for a blue-tongue skink. An adult skink must be kept in an enclosure measuring 3 feet long, 1.5 feet wide, and 10 inches high.
Heat tape or heat mat is a good source of heat. Whatever you choose, pair it with the heat emitter or overhead incandescent basking lamp for better results. UVB lighting should stay on for 8-12 hours every day.
A blue-tongue skink can eat a range of foods that range from canned cat or dog food to hard-boiled eggs to cooked ground turkey to leafy greens and fruits.
#8. African Fat-Tailed Gecko
Depending on their maintenance and health, the fat-tailed gecko can last for 10-25 years. This lizard is active and interesting. They are fine with frequent interaction with humans, so you can easily tame it through regular handling. The African fat-tailed gecko may grow to 8-9 inches long. It requires a special diet that includes insects. Its diet is similar to that of a leopard gecko.
Also, the African fat-tailed gecko is fragile. Due to that, kids must be supervised in handling this animal. This type of gecko is popular but still hard to find.
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The lifespan for this animal tends to vary for each species, but it ranges from 15-20 years. Proper husbandry and diet can help a lot in extending further the lifespan of a uromastyx. This lizard is laid back and will rarely bite its owner. A uromastyx is s good to look at as it tends to be diurnal. It loves to burrow. It stays active for most time of the day.
The uromastyx feels good with regular handling. It will help you create a healthy and happy relationship with your pet. For the size, the uromastyx can grow to 10-20 inches long.
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Anole looks cool with its colorful pouch on the neck. This species is highly recommended for first-time reptile pet owners. It can live for over 5 years and be up to 8 inches long. Anoles enjoy having a tropical habitat. It loves to eat worms and crickets.