Your First Lizard
A few of the pro’s and con’s that you need to know and consider before getting a lizard as a pet.
Leopard geckos do not grow very big, are nocturnal and can be fed mealworms or crickets almost all their life. They do not need a UV light. They tolerate handling but could fall and injure themselves. They need calcium at all times but will help themselves to it. One male can be kept with multiple females in a medium sized cage. Leopard geckos can live for many decades.
Bearded dragons do not grow to be very large. They do require medium to large sized cages. Their diet is very specific regarding variety, quantity and size of food items. Food must be offered on a daily basis when they are young. They have to have UV lights in their cages and food needs calcium added every day. Males will kill each other and even small females will nip each others toes and tails. Bearded dragons live for 6 to 10 years.
Green iguanas grow very large (almost 2 meters long) and need massive cages as adults. They require lots of UV light or sunlight and calcium added to their diet. They eat mainly leafy vegetables and some fruit but will eventually die if fed animal protein. They have massive claws and whip like tail which they can use to defend themselves. These lizards live longer than 15 years quite easily.
Blue Tongued skinks are medium sized lizards. They require a medium to large cage and require some UV light and calcium in their diet. Their food can be bought at any grocer. This includes vegetables, fruit, canned dog food, eggs, insects and even small mice. They do become tame with regular handling. Sexing these lizards is difficult as babies and not very easy as adults either. They will often live together for long periods and then suddenly attack each other causing massive injuries. The lizards can live for 20 to 30 years.
Bosc monitors are totally carnivorous lizards. They grow to about 1.2 meters and need a fair sized cage. They can be fed dog food, insects and the occasional small mammal. Some have voracious appetites and see everything as food. Others become very tame and tolerate handling well. Sexing these lizards is very difficult and ensuring a pair is speculative. They live for 15 years or more quite easily.
Veiled chameleons are medium sized lizards that require a very specific habitat. The cage needs to be high with climbing branches and the chameleons only drink droplets of water and not from a water bowl. They feed mainly on insects but will take some vegetable matter. They should be kept on their own as they can get aggressive towards others of their own kind. UV lighting and calcium is critical and unfiltered sunlight would be appreciated. They are easy to sex with males having spurs on the back legs.