These animals are nimble, agile, active during the day and suitable for novice terrarium owners. Lively animals, they need to be kept in small groups and require a suitably large terrarium that measures at least 120 x 60 x 60 cm. A terrarium that is a minimum of two metres wide is even better.
Collared lizards come in a range of colours from yellow to brown and even blue-green or light turquoise. The males are generally more brightly coloured than the females, who only get orange or red dots in the breeding season. These exotic animals live up to 15 years and reach an overall length of approximately 30–35 cm with a head-torso length of approximately 10 cm.
In the wild, collared lizards live in stony deserts and rocky areas with little vegetation. They are found mainly in the Southwest part of North America and in parts of Mexico, and like to live on higher ground. For these animals, you will need a steppe or desert terrarium with climbing facilities, as well as rock or stone walls for sunbathing and a variety of caves and hiding places so they have somewhere to retreat.
UVB lighting is very important
These animals also require a lot of light and heat. If either of these is lacking, this can lead to your pets becoming less active. The temperature should therefore be 30–35°C, with a basking spot at 45°C which can be achieved using a spotlight. Adequate UVB lighting is vitally important. At night, you can reduce the temperature to between 20°C and 25°C and you can maintain a sufficient level of air humidity by spraying the stones and caves and keeping the lower levels of the substrate moist.
Collared lizards mainly eat insects. Give them cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, woodlice and flies for a balanced and varied diet. Flowers, leaves and fruit are also a nice snack now and then. And always remember to give the animals fresh water.
From the end of November, these exotic animals require strict hibernation for two to three months. To start the process, gradually reduce the amount of light in the terrarium. Another important point for these animals’ welfare is that collared lizards are territorial, which means there can only be one male in the terrarium with several females for company. Even if they seem to trust people more than some other exotic animals do, they still need the company of their own kind to maintain their natural behaviour patterns.
Safety and hygiene
As already mentioned, collared lizards like being up high and love to climb. When you design your terrarium, make especially sure that the spotlights and cables are out of their reach. The same applies to the rest of your home when you let your animals roam freely. You’ll also need to make sure that all external doors are closed when your lizards are out and about. When they are frightened, collared lizards stand up on their hind legs and run away.
Call into your local store today to discuss your reptiles personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts