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Article Archive

    Agama Lizard

    Agama Lizard
    • Diet
    • Housing
    • Heating & Lighting Requirements
    • Handling
    • Helpful Hints
    • Origin: Africa, Asia, Europe
    • Habitat: Woodland to Desert
    • Average Size: 1'-2'
    • Lifespan: Average 20+ years



    Diet

    The main diet for an agama is crickets and other arthropods. Most species, however, do eat some fruits and vegetables like collard greens and dandelion flowers. Variation is very important for lizards because it mimics their natural diet. Although most agamas are from a dry area, they should be offered a shallow water dish with an airstone in so the water bubbles slightly. This helps the agamas notice the water better. They should also be misted slightly on a daily basis allowing them to drink the mist.
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    When feeding lizards it is important to not put too many insects in with the lizard. If the lizard is not planning to eat the insects, they will not kill them and will instead allow the insect to chew on them. Having too many insects in the cage is a stress and can cause damage to your pet.

    You want to feed enough to your lizard that the base of the tail stays plump and you do not start to notice small bones sticking out from the base of the tail. If you do notice any bones sticking out, this means that the lizard is not getting enough to eat or is having trouble digesting its food.

    Many lizards will not drink from standing water. Please provide your agama with a moving water source such as a waterfall or an air stone and an air pump. These lizards should also be misted lightly daily.


    Housing

    Most agamas we carry are land dwellers and usually live in woodland to desert areas. To keep their captive housing most natural, a tank with a large amount of ground space would be best. Branches and rocks would be a good furniture suggestions. The size of your tank will depend on the species of agama you have chosen, most average 1 ft. to 2 ft. in length.

    Substrate: A good substrate for these lizards would be a mix of soil and sand, both of which we carry in aisle 6. Also, bark would be a good choice or a mixture of all 3. Most of these species live on the border line between woodland & desert.

    Putting a reptile in a small enclosure will not keep the reptile small but it will be uncomfortable and stressful for the animal. Stress can cause death for these delicate creatures because it weakens their immune system and allows an illness to take over.


    Heating & Lighting Requirements

    Depending on the species of agama you have chosen, a heat light may be required. Temperatures should be monitored and adjusted to create a natural environment for your agama. A fluorescent UVB light is a must. Without this light the lizard cannot digest it's food properly and will acquire MBD (metabolic bone disease). A 7.0% UVB fluorescent is recommended for more of a desert species. And a 5.0% UVB fluorescent for more of a woodland species. .

    Make sure when you set up the tank that you are providing a temperature gradient-meaning you are allowing a heated side and a cooler side so the animal can decide where they need to be. Keeping an animal too cool weakens the immune system and does not allow them to produce enzymes which break down their food. Keeping an animal too warm can overheat and possibly kill the animal in a matter of minutes. Always monitor your tank temperature with a thermometer before putting the animal inside.


    Handling

    Do not over handle your pet. Handling is stressful to most reptiles-if they seem to sit on your hand and close their eyes, this is their way of blocking you out and pretending you are not there. Most reptiles will tolerate limited handling but remember that while you handle the reptile you are removing him from his heated environment.


    Helpful Hints

    Examine your pet each time you handle them or clean their cage. Look for signs of illness such as lack of muscle tone, external parasites and general poor body condition. Like most animals, reptiles are good at hiding their illnesses and once you notice the illness it may be in an advanced stage. We do recommend vet checkups for all animals. .

    We recommend becoming an educated pet owner and purchasing a book about your lizard. If you have any questions about your new lizard please call a reptile room manager for instructions on the proper care. Enjoy your new pet! .

    If you have any questions please call the Reptile Room at 717-299-5691 x 4.