Cool lizards as pets
8 - 14 inches
Day temps - 75-90℉
Basking - 95-104℉
Night temps - 70-85℉
* If temp falls below 75℉ at night, may need supplemental infrared or ceramic heat.
Native to the deserts, grasslands and prairies of the U.S., from Missouri to California and south to Mexico. The collared lizard is the state lizard of Oklahoma.
The collared lizard gets its name from the two black bands on its neck that resembles a collar. The body is green and the head can be a bright yellow. Males are more vividly colored than females, having a green or blue coloration with bands and small white spots, while the females are paler and grayer. A male's throat will also be brightly colored, often blue, and green and sometimes even orange. Females are generally a light tan or gray. The belly of a collared lizard is much lighter than the back. Collared Lizards are one of the fastest lizards, able to reach speeds of up to 16 miles per hour. They can run on their hind legs, holding their bodies off the ground at a 45-degree angle with tail and forelimbs raised, giving them the appearance of a miniature T-Rex. They will often wave their tails in the air - like a cat - before grabbing prey. Unlike many lizards, the collared lizard cannot grow a new tail if its original one is broken off.
NORMAL BEHAVIOR & INTERACTION:
Collared lizards are generally docile and intelligent lizards that will tolerate some handling when tamed. They may be aggressive to one another, so care must be taken to introduce cage mates slowly and with apprehension. There is no guarantee they will get along well.
NOTE: Collared lizards can be housed together, but ample space must be made available for each lizard. Cage mates are never guaranteed to get along well, so it is always best to begin with only one lizard. DO NOT house collared lizards with other species due to the differences in care, temperatures, and the fact that some species can be highly stressed in the presence of other species.
Collared lizards are largely carnivorous, but will eat some vegetation.
PROTEIN: Protein sources such as: gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, cockroaches, kingworms, butter worms, earthworms, wax worms and pinkie mice dusted with a supplement should also be part of their diet. Small adult mice can be fed when the lizard is larger. Feed ONLY frozen thawed mice, never live. Do not feed mice often, only about once a month. Wild caught insects should never be fed, since they can carry disease. All insects should be gut loaded (fed a nutritious diet about 24-hours before being offered to your lizard - see our cricket care sheet). Be careful to feed the proper size prey for your lizard’s size. A good rule of thumb is that a cricket should be never be larger than the distance between the lizard's eyes, or the distance from its eyes to its nose. When feeding larger insects to your pet, try to make sure the insects have recently molted, as an insect with a large, hard exoskeleton is difficult to digest and may cause impactions.
LIGHTNING BUGS MUST NEVER BE FED, AS THEY ARE POISONOUS.
VEGETABLES: Dark leafy vegetables like collard and mustard greens, kale and red tip leaf lettuce are good for a lizard, as are clover, parsley, and broccoli, green beans, peas, squash, grated carrots and sweet potatoes. Spinach and iceberg lettuce should never be fed. Fruits such as figs, kiwi, apples, raspberries, strawberries and melons can also be fed, but should not be given as often. Remember to wash vegetables thoroughly, then cut or shred to make it easier to ingest. Remove any uneaten vegetables before turning the lights off at night. Adults should be given insects 2-3 times a week, with salads on the rest of the days. Feed as many insects as the lizard can eat in 3-5 minutes. All uneaten insects should be removed from the enclosure as they can bite your pet and cause injury, especially to the eyes. Some lizard owners find it easier to feed their pet in a separate enclosure, free of bedding and furniture, this way you can be sure your lizard eats all its insects, the prey cannot hide and the lizard will not pick up any bedding when grabbing prey and mistakenly ingest it along with the prey.
Commercially prepared diets are available, but they should never constitute the whole diet of your lizard. They can be left in the enclosure in case your pet is hungry between meals.
Unlike snakes, lizards shed their skin in patches, not all in one piece. Your pet will become an overall dull color, and the skin over the eyelids may ‘pop’ at a certain point and make your lizard look like a bug-eyed bullfrog. Do not peel off the skin if it is not ready to come off. This can be dangerous and painful. Most lizard species will shed every 4-6 weeks. If the enclosure environment is ideal, the keeper often has no idea that their pet has shed, as it will happen more quickly and the lizard will often eat its own shed skin.