Collared lizards have large heads and long tails and are native to the American west. They are known in some areas as the Mountain Boober and are the state lizard of Oklahoma. Their necks are thin and always marked with two broad black collars. Body coloration varies among different species and among males and females of the same sub-species. As a general rule, males are some shade of green, ranging from muddy olive to bright blue-green, with white spots on the back and a light brown to bright yellow head. The belly is greenish or dirty white. Females are usually dull brown with white spots and occasional salmon markings. Their tails are extremely strong and although detachable, a hard pull is required to remove them. These lizards tame easily and live long lives.
The collared lizard’s habitat in the wild is rocky, brushy areas along dry creek beds. In order to keep these lizards healthy in captivity, you should supply them with a large size enclosure, usually set up as a woodland area. Collared lizards are egg layers and prefer to lay their eggs in sandy soil beneath a log or rock. We suggest using Calci Sand
mixed with Jungle Mix
bedding to create the sandy soil. Bedding should be scooped through as needed and the entire tank should be cleaned when necessary. We suggest using lightweight cage furniture such as branches
and plastic plants
to make the environment feel more like a natural habitat. Having a natural habitat provides the animal with security, making them more likely to thrive.
Many of these lizards will not drink from standing water and should be provided with a bubbler bowl (a shallow bowl with an airstone
hooked to an air pump). The moving water will encourage them to drink. Be sure the cage is not allowed to become too humid as humidity is not good for these lizards.
Collared lizards love to eat insects. We have found that they often require wax worms or small mealworms
and many will not eat crickets. We do not recommend feeding wild caught insects since these could have been exposed to pesticides and fertilizers that could be toxic. When determining how much to feed your reptile, please know that it is trial and error. Feed enough to keep your lizard plump at the tail but not so many that they are crawling on your pet (which causes stress) as we have known crickets to chew on and eat tails and toes of lizards.
should be sprinkled on food once a week. More than that can be toxic. Remember, no matter how many vitamins you add, the lizards cannot use them unless they are exposed to UVB rays.
Heat & Lighting
Collared lizards require their temperature to be 82° to 90° F during the day. Night temperatures should drop approximately 10°. In order to achieve this, use a heat bulb
during the day and a red or black bulb
, so the animal can’t see the light, during the night. A 5.0 or 7.0 UVB fluorescent bulb
is required for proper digestion of food, minerals and vitamins. Replace fluorescent bulbs every six months.
Remember when you first take any animal home, you need to allow time for acclimating and you need to leave the animal alone for at least the first three days or until it has eaten for you. Handling is a stress, and stress alone can cause the animal to not eat or acclimate. If you do decide to do some minimal handling, please make sure that you put the animal back when it seems to not want to be handled. If you require the animal to stay out for a longer period than it is comfortable, it will remember that and the next time you get it out, it will not want to be out. Handling should be limited to a few minutes and only a few times a week-reptiles are not like mammals who seem to enjoy being handled.
Look for signs of illness with your reptile and remember we recommend a vet checkup for all animals. Most animals have some type of internal parasite, by working with a vet you can keep those in check. If you have any questions please call and speak to a reptile room employee at 717-299-5691 ext 1246. We recommend purchasing a book about your lizard and becoming an educated pet owner. These animals have special needs and require special care on the part of you, the owner, the more educated you are the better care the pet will receive.