Reptiles make fascinating pets for all ages, and lizards are perfect for beginners, too. If you are new to lizard husbandry, it makes sense to go with common pet lizards that won’t require specialized care or equipment- and that make excellent pets for children.
Looking for a lizard? There are over 6,000 different types of pet lizards. As today is World Lizard Day, lets us review what the five most common pet lizard species are:
1. Bearded Dragons
When it comes to pet lizards for beginners, aspiring owners can’t go wrong with Bearded Dragons. Since these lizards are larger- usually between 14” and 24”- they are easier to handle. Pet ‘Beardies’ often live around 15 years, so they require a commitment from prospective owners.
Remember that Bearded Dragons hibernate, or brumate, so they may take a long nap every year that can frustrate owners. Provide an adult bearded dragon with a tank that is at least 48″ x 24″ x 24″, with UVB lamps for heat. Beardies are friendly and sociable, able to recognize and bond with their humans.
Chameleons encompass a group of around 200 species of cute pet lizards. These little guys are fascinating! They vary in size depending on the breed, but most can change color to meld into their surroundings.
Chameleons are also noted for their long tongues that they use to hunt prey. The best habitat is a screened-in enclosure rather than a tank. Chameleons are recommended for advanced handlers, but not so much for children as these lizards have some distinct needs and are susceptible to dehydration and injury.
3. Leopard Geckos
The Leopard Gecko is lauded as the most popular lizard in this country, a great choice for beginner lizard handlers. These Geckos grow to around seven to ten inches and are most at-home in a 20-gallon tank kept in a warm room.
Leopard Geckos are among those pet lizards that are nocturnal- meaning that they sleep all day and are awake at night. These pets are very resilient without the prevalent issues or health conditions of other lizards. Some Leopard Geckos live up to 20 years!
4. Crested Geckos
Crested Geckos are an interesting breed of pet lizards, resembling a snake more than other kinds of Geckos. These lizards are usually five to eight inches, and gold-colored often sporting spots or stripes.
These Geckos like to climb so provide branches and foliage in their habitat. These lizards are clever and crafty- make sure to contain them in a secure tank. Crested Geckos are friendly and happy to be handled- but be careful: this breed of Geckos is easily injured if mishandled or dropped.
In the right habitat, Crested Geckos can live to be around 15 years old.
5. Blue Tongue Skinks
A Blue-tongued skink is a great lizard for a beginner, usually growing to be 15” to 20” long. This breed is mellow and will eat about anything, including insects, produce, or commercial lizard food.
Blue-tongued skinks are happiest in a habitat that includes an enclosure that is at least three-feet long, with plenty of floor-space and warm UVB lighting. They are easy to feed, eating everything from canned dog food to hard boiled eggs- in addition to fresh produce.
Lizards can be the perfect pet for beginners as well as advanced keepers, as well! Consider these five most-common pet lizards when looking for the companionship and commitment of a pet