Lizards As Pets And Children

Lizards For Kids

lizards for kidsSome kids crave for puppies. Some love cats. And some have a liking towards the cold blooded creatures. If your kids want to keep a pet, let them show that they can take care of one and should own a reptile only when they are able to understand that their pet is a living animal which experiences pain, fright, hunger, anger and other feelings just like us humans. Bringing home lizards for kids is a long term commitment. There are only a few types of lizards that are considered to be good as pets for kids such as Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Blue Tongued Skinks and Green Anoles.

Leopard Geckos: Leopard Geckos are the ultimate starter lizards and inexpensive to purchase. They are easy to handle, small and need a small tank. They do not need UV lighting like other lizards. They reach up to eight inches in size and their diet comprises of insects. A twenty gallon tank is a perfect home for them. Kids might find it a little frustrating that these neat lizards sleep during the day.

Bearded Dragons: Impressive, larger, easy to handle, feed and maintain. Bearded Dragons reach about seven to eight inches at adulthood. They need a larger tank (about fifty gallons in size) and UV lighting and prefer living alone inside the tank as they are prone to getting stressed if there are other lizards around. Their diet comprises of greens, insects and vegetables and they love fortified crickets for dinner! Children find it delightful to own a Breaded Dragon, however, it should be introduced to all the family members slowly and over time in order to keep it from getting anxious. Beardies have a wonderful personality and are very popular as pets.

Blue Tongued Skinks: They are generally easy to feed, tame and maintain. They are a good choice for kids and beginners. They get quite large, up to thirty inches in size and need a very large tank and UV lighting. Being omnivorous their diet comprises of greens, insects and vegetables, just like Bearded Dragons. They are quite expensive and not popular as much as other lizards.

Green Anoles: They are quite easily available, are insectivores and very good eaters. Crickets can comprise the main part of their diet, however, they can also be fed wild caught insects. They can change colors when stressed and males are generally larger than females. They are inexpensive and a single Green Anole can do with ten gallon tank. Apart from the basking light they also need the UV lighting.

If you are thinking to bring home lizards for kids it is better to know and understand the needs of these little creatures. Prior to bringing home a new pet make sure you are well prepared to keep it in a healthy environment. Choose the right lizard for your kids by discussing which one would they like to have and which one can you as a parent take responsibilty of. If your pet is happy your kids will enjoy too and it can turn out to be a mutually rewarding experience!

Some facts about lizards as pets

Some Important Facts About Lizards

Knowing some facts about lizards can help you determine if you can actually get one as a pet. These days, more and more people are getting lizards as pets. Kids absolutely love them, and they don’t need as much attention as some other types of pets. However, there are quite a few things you need to take into account before acquiring a pet lizard. If you have a child, then it will be almost impossible for him to just leave the animal in its enclosure. So you have to make sure you don’t get a temperamental lizard and you teach your child everything there is to know about taking care of it.

The Mwanza (Agama) lizard is one of the most popular out there. It is also called the Spiderman lizard, because of its unique colors (red and blue). But apart from the exquisite colors, which can become brown at night or when the animal is afraid, this particular lizard doesn’t have anything special. It doesn’t do any tricks, it can’t bring your slippers when you come home from work and it can’t save you in a life threatening situation. In fact, the only way in which it can make your life better is with its exotic presence in your living room. Mwanza lizards are less than than 30 cm long, they can be feed with worms, crickets and locusts. They make great pets because they are attractive, harmless and docile.

facts about lizards - chameleonWhen looking for lizard facts, you just can’t avoid the Green Iguana. It is by far the most popular and recognized pet lizard in the world. However, raising one can be particularly difficult. They primarily eat plants and this is why it could appear like they are easy to have around, but things are a bit more complicated than that. THough it is generally a herbivore, in captivity its meals should be fortified with protein such as meal worms. They can become extremely large and can have a bad temper if you are not careful when you handle them. You need to take the iguana out of its tank on a regular basis to help it get used to your presence. Green Iguanas need a lot of space, as they can become quite huge. We have all seen iguanas in pet stores and we found them to be small and cute, but those are just babies. A fully grown Green Iguana could reach 6 feet in length from nose to tail.

Chameleons are also common in pet stores. They are smaller and their color changing properties can be a lot of fun sometimes but you need to take good care of them. Exotic lizards aren’t meant to live in a tank in your living room, and a pet chameleon can easily get sick and die without the proper care. All these facts about lizards may make it look like having one as a pet is a bad idea, but if you can take good care of it, you shouldn’t face a lot of problems.

American Chameleons Or Green Anole Lizards As Pets

The Green Anole

American “chameleons” more properly know as green anole lizards or anolis carolinensis has probably become a pet in more households in North America than any other lizard.

The green anole is a member of a genus of about 300 species and subspecies all very similar in body configuration and habits common in tropical and subtropical North America and South America. The Green Anole is the only species of Anole lizard that is native to the United States but other species have been introduced and have apparently successfully colonized. True chameleons are reptiles of the Old World and have little in common with green anoles except the ability to change color. In the green anole the change from brown to green is caused by changes in pigment cells of the skin and the response to various stimuli such as temperature light and emotion. When resting the anole is usually brown during the day will turn green at night but fright and other stimuli can cause the anole to turn green at any time.

Green Anole LizardThe green anole also shares another ability with another type of lizard the gecko. Green anoles are not closely related to geckos but their toes share similar characteristics and both species of lizards are able to climb flat smooth surfaces such as glass.

Another oddity of the green anole lizard is the possession of a fan on the throat which can be extended arbitrarily. Green anole lizards are territorial. The males will stretch their pink or reddish throat fan and bob their head to warn other males of their territory.

A six-inch full-lizard is mature and robust and thrives well in captivity. Green anole lizards require a humid environment the leaves of plants in the enclosure should be sprayed from time to time because the hanging drops of water that provide the anole with the liquid nourishment it needs. Captives can be maintained for long periods on a diet of mealworms but a varied diet of flies and other insects is preferable.

Green anole tails are very fragile and easily lost. This habit of separating from their tails common for many families of lizards. The new tail usually does not resemble the original and you can see at a glance whether a green anole sports its original tail or a regenerated tail as a regenerated tail is generally shorter and the scale pattern is different. Among the reptiles only lizards and not all lizards are able to regenerate lost tails.

Green Anole Enclosures

A colony of several green anoles can be kept in a large aquarium or other suitable cage. The enclosure should have abundant foliage and the enclosure should be well lit. If possible direct sunlight should be available to part of the enclosure. In such conditions these hardy lizards follow the same activity they would follow in the wild. Territories will be established and breeding may take place. Eggs may be laid beneath the bark or stones in a relatively moist area. Green anole babies like most babies of other reptiles parents will not receive parental attention. Babies can be fed with small insects. The growth of green anole lizards is quite fast and the hardy species frequently lives as long or longer in captivity than it does in the wild.

Despite the large number sold as pets the green anole lizard remains abundant in the southern United States where it frequents trees shrubs vines and around older homes. A large number can be caught at night using a flashlight. Green Anole lizards are among the least expensive reptile pets available to private collectors.

Skinks Are Common Lizards Throughout the World

Skinks Can Be Interesting Pets

The Blue Tailed Skink Is One Of Many Types Of SkinksSkinks might possibly be the most wide-spread of all the lizards, turning out to be present in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and America. Few grow very sizeable, the majority staying between four inches and one foot in length. All skinks are ground-living lizards; some have only rudimentary limbs and some are legless, but the majority are burrowers – this is demonstrated in their skin, the scales of which are small and close together. There are not many appendages on skinks such as crests on their cylindrical or flattened bodies, but members of the genus Eumeces have fringes or flaps of skin that go over the ears when the lizard burrows.

Enclosures for Skinks

The important thing to keep in mind when setting up an enclosure for skinks is the floor-covering, the majority of the family are happy with somewhere around one inch of sand, as long as a handful of rocks are supplied for basking. A water dish is not required – few skinks can tolerate dampness – but a little bit of water should be sprayed on the ground in the morning. Skinks have very wide ranges of taste when it come to food including insects, lettuce, fruit, cooked meat or egg, preferably chopped up. A few of the larger skinks might take small birds or mammals, however it is not common. Skinks are livebearers, and as with other viviparous lizards breeding is reasonably easy. This is a good thing since many of the larger skinks are from Australia and are now difficult to obtain outside that country, including the Shingleback orTwo-headed Lizard, common names for the stump-tailed skink, whose head is the same shape as its tail both to confuse enemies and to store reserves of fatty tissue. Another Australian species popular as a pet is the Blue-tongued Skink. A common American species is the Blue-tailed Skink. Opposite sides of the world and blue at opposite ends.

The Iguana As A Pet

Some members of the Iguana family are almost indistinguishable from one another while others differ – particularly with regard to diet. Most iguanas live mainly on vegetation taking meat simply as an extra. One species, the Galapagos Marine Iguana exists on a highly specialised diet of seaweed. Some Iguanas will eat insects and pieces of meat but it is reassuring to note that it’s the larger iguanas which are the vegetarians.

An Iguana Generally Needs A Large Enclosure

iguanaA large enclosure is obligatory for the iguana; ideally one sufficiently large to accommodate the growing of plants. The fresher the food the healthier the iguanas which may be at their most happy when plucking tomatoes off the plant or tearing lettuces from the ground. Though desirable this kind of market gardening isn’t essential. However daylight is particularly mandatory for iguanas. The more sunlight they experience the better their overall condition. No enclosure should be placed in front of a window and left in the sunshine though it’s much better for it to be in a light room facing a window so that some sun falls on the iguana at some point in the daytime.

Stout branches will be required for an iguana since all but desert species are expert climbers. Ensure that one branch is over the large water dish as a wild iguana will bask on a branch overhanging a brook or stream diving into the water as a minimum sign of danger.

A feeding bowl is mandatory unless growing vegetation is provided or else food will be trodden into the floor covering. Argument exists among iguana keepers as to how plant matter should be served. Chopped finely food is suggested by some owners while others mention that this is not available in natural habitats and that whole plants should therefore be given. This discussion is mitigated by the assertion that plants should be rooted into the ground so that an animal can bite and pull off pieces which couldn’t so simply be separated from a plant lying on the floor of an enclosure. An arrangement would lie in cutting the food be it lettuce tomatoes cauliflower Brussels sprouts or fruit into bite-sized pieces leaving perhaps 1 or 2 huge leaves to be eaten at the iguana’s leisure. A little chopped meat should be added two times a week for protein and the diet may also be sundry by a twice-weekly addition of 1 or 2 mealworms or slugs. The food bowl should be cleaned and replenished every day. The smaller non-vegetarian iguanas should be fed as if they were agamas with a mixed insect diet like spiders crickets beetles mealworms woodlice and flies. Slightly larger examples may take tiny mice and birds but if they are much over one foot long the iguanas are probably vegetarian.

Keeping An Iguana With Other Iguanas

Iguanas are oviparous reptiles but unlike agamas the iguanids don’t breed very well in captivity. As with all groups of lizards when more than one young iguana is housed in the same enclosure care must be taken to ensure that all iguanas may be able to feed satisfactorily. Dominant individuals may frighten off weaker lizards resulting in negative effects calling for the development of a natural screen with one or two feeding dishes. The screen should be rigid and of a neutral color to be sure that the reptiles aren’t put off their food altogether. During observation needless noise and movement should be minimised since most reptiles particularly snakes and lizards won’t feed if scared. Iguana keepers will find it fascinating to watch iguanas feeding and as with all animals this is the initial step toward taming.

 

Agama Lizards as Pets

Example of Agama Lizards

Agama Lizards

Agamas agamas is really a large family of lizards from Africa, Asia, and Australia, members of which often find their way into terrariums: the number of species is far too numerous to list here, some growing as much as a metre in length, some only a matter of centimetres in  length.

 

Certain agama lizards have the ability to change colour to some extent, a great example being the Indian Changeable Lizard, or ‘Bloodsucker’. It does not truly suck blood, but in the mating season the male will turn bright red concerning the throat and chest as component of a threatening display similar to that found in birds and fish.

Agama lizards might require rocks to climb on, sand to burrow in, or ‘trees’ to hide in, so it is wise at first to provide a mixed set-up to determine what a specific animal prefers after which increase the quantity of his favourite cover. Above all agama lizards require space, particularly when in contact with with humans; it is commonplace for agama lizards to damage snouts, heads, and tails by banging around trying to escape from too-small an enclosure. An approximate guide might be that the run should be a minimum ten times the length of the agama lizards themselves. Many agama lizards can withstand a high temperature, but they will require a pool in which to bathe and cool off. The pool, preferably a shallow dish, should not be placed directly under the heat, otherwise the water will evaporate too quickly and the temperature of the remainder of the water will turn out to be excessive.

Most members of this family have extremely good teeth, that are fixed to the skull, and even the smallest species can bite fiercely. Agama Lizards’ food depends upon size and habitat, some becoming very specialised: for example, the Australian Moloch horridus feeds only on ants. Most little agamids will take insect prey, but the bigger species have no trouble with small birds and mammals, or even reptiles smaller than themselves – because of this big and little agamids don’t co-exist peacefully.

Breeding Agama Lizards

Agama lizards are oviparous and might well mate and lay eggs in the terrarium. If mating is noticed and the female begins to swell, it is time to prepare a maternity cage, because she will want to bury her eggs within the correct medium. Suitable media include sphagnum moss, peat, sand, vermiculite, or clean dry earth. Ideally, the pregnant female ought to be placed in a terrarium containing an assortment of media, so she can make her own choice. The choice of dry or damp remains: the expectant mother will figure this out, if required, by urinating over the nest of eggs. It is therefore essential to offer her clean drinking water.

Geckos As Pets

Geckos are great escape artists

Geckos are frequently kept as pets, however, not always inside a terrarium. In many areas where they’re indigenous they are encouraged to enter dwelling properties to be able to get the flying bugs abundant in tropical and subtropical climates. Geckos tend to be appealing to keep but have one negative aspect. Madagascar Day Geckos are beautifulThough geckos rapidly become accustomed to people and will come to be fed on a regular basis, as in the wild, they are accomplished escapologists that can ascend the smoothest, perhaps even glass, types of surface.

Great care ought to be taken in setting geckos homes – even aquariums provide too many possibilities of escape.

In planning the terrarium one should think about the animal’s behaviours: if disturbed they’ll run further up to hide, so a lid isn’t good. A entrance at the bottom of the side, providing a secure place towards the top of the terrarium, is necessary. The door will need to obviously be close fitting – probably a sliding one is best. Any kind of air flow openings should be protected at least using muslin cloth. Considering the fact that geckos are insectivorous, surviving predominantly on flies, the way by which the reptile-keeper feeds his pets has a bearing on the covering of the ventilators. If flies are to be put into the terrarium then the covering should be fine enough to prevent their own escape. As an alternative a good food supply might be maintained using a broader mesh where by flies, though not geckos, are able to move. If a bit of meat or ripe fruit is supplied, flies can be tempted into your terrarium and the geckos can eat their fill.

Since many geckos are arboreal the terrarium will need branches for climbing. Like many such lizards, geckos will lick up dew rather than drink, so no water container is required as long as the vivarium is sprayed every day with water from a house-plant spray. Almost all geckos are nocturnal, emerging at twilight, however the bright-green members of the genus Phelsuma, the Day Geckos from Madagascar, are fond of daylight. The nocturnal majority respond more readily if their vivarium is equipped with a blue light.

Lizard Background Information

Lizards vary greatly

Amphisbaenia - worm lizard

Closeup of an Amphisbaenia's head

There are more species of lizard than of snakes, and definitely the variety of forms is far greater. Lizards vary from the small Amphisbaenia, which resemble earthworms, to the massive Komodo Dragons. Neither of those is appropriate for the home vivarium, but numerous species are perfect as pets, some even being able to showing some affection. Many are easy to keep, and couple of them inspire the repugnance often related with snakes.
The possession of limbs is among the most evident distinction in between lizards and snakes, however there are some lizards – notably skinks – whose limbs are either non-existent or merely vestigial. Lizards invariably have eyelids, always absent in snakes, who have a single eye scale. To be able to move, snakes have big stomach scales across the width of their body that are connected to the ribs. Lizards have separate scales.

Venomous Lizards

There are only a couple of species of toxic lizard, unlike the hundreds of venomous snakes. They are the members with the genus Helo-derma, species horridum and suspectum. They do not have the more specialised poison glands and hollow fangs discovered in snakes, merely modified salivary glands, and poison is launched in to the mouth via a chewing movement – they don’t strike whatsoever.

Over the next few days we will be featuring different types of lizard commonly kept as pets.

Lizards as Pets

Why Wouldn’t You Choose Lizards as Pets?

Many people usually do not frequently consider Lizards as pets; but without a doubt this attitude is starting to evolve. Lizards may be kept as pets quite easily: lizards neither produce undue mess nor must they be taken outside for walks. Many lizards are beautiful to look at; beautiful colours and interesting features. Although perhaps not quite as warm and friendly as a dog or cat, an Iguana may be nearly as delightful. With lots that can then be discovered about the subject, the lizard owner is in an excellent place to help with making new findings and observations. The ambitious lizard owner will probably wish to breed from his or her collection: there are lots of species which have not been bred in captivity.

Things You Need to Supply to Keep Lizards as Pets:

If you are intending to keep lizards as pets, it really is particularly critical to supply a area to accommodate the lizard prior to it being either caught or bought. This groundwork is necessary because of the climate it will need, furthermore many lizards can be extremely accomplished escapers.

Lizards as Pets CageThe terrarium is actually a special enclosure for assorted varieties of small animals which require more than just a typical fish tank to live in. It is very important to make an attempt to make a microcosm of the environment that the lizard is used to in the terrarium. Some species, such as Iguana can be kept in large dog crates, or even given a room of their own – as long as the temperature is warm enough. They can even be house trained.

These are the requirements for a terrarium where you can keep lizards as pets; heat, diet regime, lighting, and space. Most of these requirements will most likely impact the final choice of lizard. The one who owns lizards as pets must be entirely satisfied that she or he can keep her / his collection of pets comfortable and fed, and provide them with sufficient light and room. A simple terrarium for one lizard, for instance, might be very easily heated utilizing a 40 watt light bulb, yet a large monitor lizard would require numerous 250 watt warm lamps to achieve an acceptable temperature (and plenty of space to heat). Some lizards could very well feast happily on worms, crickets, chopped meat and greens, though a big monitor might need considerably more. The comparison is unquestionably an extreme, nonetheless it really does emphasize the necessity for considering carefully based on the convenience of a usual source of the correct diet: a monitor lizard may readily take brown-and-white or almost black mice, but yet may seem indifferent to white mice. In almost every case their foods must be fairly recently killed; when the smell and body temperature are lacking it seems like basically an object rather than food, and may also become rejected – even by a starving lizard.

Space is essential to the healthy growth of all lizards. Some might seem to do adequately and feed with hardly enough space to turn around, however their regular rate of progress may be limited. Contrary to opinions of some people, and energetic lizards such as skinks may well damage themselves when unnaturally restricted.

An additional critical thing to think about in the choice of a lizards as pets may be the accessibility of the actual species. Reptile exports happen to be banned by both Australia and New Zealand, and several North American species are purposely protected. India, as well, has limited the export of just about all its indigenous fauna. Importing can also be restricted in fact it is smart to check out government guidelines before you make any kind of arrangements. The novice could possibly be best cautioned to buy just those specimens easily obtainable in their particular country. Many reliable pet sellers can supply lizards, though these are generally provided to order – via specialist vendors – instead of from stock. These specialist vendors will probably provide a directory of their inventory to any potential customer. Many of these listings can be extremely comprehensive, recommending the food as well as living conditions for the reptiles; and quite a few give you the creature’s Latin names.