Species group: Collared Lizards
Other common names: Oklahoma Collared Lizard; Mountain Boomer; Eastern Collared Lizard
Scientific name: Crotaphytus collaris
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.
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.
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.
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.
personality, interesting behaviours, favorite family pets
crickets, right temperatures
When I was a child my family owned Collared lizards. While we originally got them for my brother, who was interested in any sort of reptile or bug, they actually became some of our favorite family pets. They were cuddly, adaptable, and fairly easy to care for. Cheeky, our male lizard, used to love to sit on my mothers shoulder calmly for about an hour at a time. He was very fond of being petted. They mostly ate crickets, which were cheap and easy to feed them. We have not since owned lizards, but I would be very willing to get one again! Such lovely and unexpectedly affectionate animals..
From Mcblack Nov 27 2014 1:58PM
Beautiful and easy-going
I've worked with a few groups of these at work and they are a pleasure to work with. Small, active, interesting behaviours, easy to care for and tame down with a bit of work - the only reason these aren't super popular as pets is that they're not that easy to breed, so unfortunately there aren't that many available.
Ours will spend all day basking out in the open and are quite happy to be picked up and sit out with you - although if startled, or when young, can run very quickly. They interact well with each other in groups (strictly only one male though) and are very easy to feed - they love to hunt.
The enclosure does need to be set up correctly as these lizards like it very very hot, and need a high percentage of UVB - you're simulating the desert. They will also utilize all the space you give them, including height and branches.
If you have the opportunity to own one of these, and are confident you can provide the right temperatures - go for it, they are awesome..
From Athravan Jun 15 2015 3:47AM