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Common Collared Lizard

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Species group:

Other common names: Oklahoma Collared Lizard; Mountain Boomer; Eastern Collared Lizard

Scientific name: Crotaphytus collaris

The basics:
The Common Collared Lizard is native to Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, and east to Arkansas and Texas. They inhabit dry, arid, rocky hillsides. The Common Collared Lizard is similar in size and shape to the Great Basin Collared Lizard, but has much bright colors.

Appearance / health:
Collared Lizards, averaging 12 inches in length, take their name from the black bands that look like a collar around the neck and shoulders. Males are highly colorful with body colors in various shades of greens, yellows, and blues, especially in the throat area. Male bellies are bluish with yellow, red, or white spots. Females are gray to light brown, with orange lateral spots during the mating season. Some females have no collar markings.

Behavior / temperament:
Captive bred Collared Lizards are easy to tame. Their natural tendency when threatened is to run and dive under the substrate or into rock crevices to hide, but if cornered, they can give a nasty bite. They don’t lose their tails because the tails add to their balance when they run. Collared Lizards are one of the fastest runners in the Iguanid family, sprinting on their hind legs. When about to strike on prey, they tend to wave their tails like mammals.

Housing:
The best cage for the Collared Lizard is at least 20 gallons equipped with large roots and stable piles of stones or rocks for climbing and hiding. Bigger lizards require more spacious cages for running around. The substrate should be at least 4 inches deep to allow digging. Artificial or drought-resistant plants in pots are recommended for retreats and humidity. A small water container should be provided and refreshed daily. Day temp: 82-95F; night temp: 64-71F; basking temp: 113F; humidity: 40-60% lighting: 14 hours, UV regulation required.

Collared Lizards are best kept as pairs or in groups with only one male, which are territorial and aggressive against other males. The cage must be misted several times a week, especially if the lizards refuse to drink from the water bowl.

Diet:
Common Collared Lizards are mainly carnivorous, preferring insects (crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches), other lizards, newborn mammals, mealworms, and waxworms. Occasionally, they will eat flowers, fruits, and leaves. Mineral-dusted or gut-loaded crickets are recommended.

Breeding:
Collared Lizards mate in the spring and lay up to a dozen eggs in June to July. They can lay more than one clutch per season. The eggs incubate for about 10 weeks and hatch in September.

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