If you are looking for an interesting reptile for sale, consider the alligator lizard. Several varieties of alligator lizards exist that make good pets. Some of them are suitable for beginner reptile-keepers. Here are some fun facts about alligator lizards and their basic care to get you started.
There Are Several Species
Alligator lizards come in several species. Within those species are many subspecies. Many reptile sellers offer exotic species like tree lizards as well as traditional species. Each species and subspecies has certain preferences for its food and environment. Knowing what your lizard prefers goes a long way in keeping them happy and healthy.
They Can Lose Their Tail
Alligator lizards are famous for losing their tail if they feel attacked. The tail continues to wiggle around to distract the "predator" while it gets away. Another defense mechanism is emitting a strong smell or feces when captured. Also, be aware that these lizards can give a painful bite. Handling your lizard correctly lessens the chance of triggering these defense mechanisms.
They Eat a Variety of Food
Most alligator lizards eat a variety of insects like crickets. Some larger adults may also eat pinkie mice as a special treat. You can also feed them mealworms on occasion. However, your lizard may have a hard time eating them because of the mealworm's strong exoskeleton. The mealworms should be small enough for them to handle.
They Require a Comfortable Setup
You can keep a single alligator lizard in a ten-gallon tank. You must set it up with a heat source and a cool spot. By doing so, they can regulate their temperature on their own. You will also need a shallow water bowl secured to one spot. Provide a good substrate and supply hiding spaces. Try to create an environment similar to their native one.
They Have Few Health Problems
Alligator lizards are generally very healthy and have few problems, especially if they are captive-bred. However, they can get sick, especially if you don't monitor their diet and environment carefully. Common issues include overheating, metabolic bone disease, and stress-related problems. Most of these can be remedied with early intervention.
Like any reptile, make sure your alligator lizard has the best care possible. Be sure to read up on your species or subspecies-specific care. Ask a reptile supply specialist about any special needs for your new pet. For best results, buy a captive-bred alligator lizard rather than take one out of the wild. Captive-bred lizards are usually used to handling and human interaction. Visit a store that has reptiles for sale to learn more.