Gold Tegu

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Species group:

Other common names: Colombian Tegu; Golden Tegu; Common Tegu; Black and Gold Tegu; Gold Tegu

Scientific name: Tupinambis teguixin

The basics:
Gold Tegus are native to northern South America, throughout the Amazon Basin, especially Colombia, giving them the name “Colombian Tegu.” They inhabit tropical rainforests, savannahs, and humid areas near bodies of water. Tegus fill the same ecological niche as Monitor lizards, and are an example of convergent evolution.

Appearance / health:
Gold Tegus average 3 feet in length, with the tail almost as long as the body. The scales are smooth. Comparing it with other Tegus, the Golden Tegu has only one loreal scale (the scale between the eye and the nostril). The body color is black, with yellow to gold irregular lateral bands over the back and tail. Males have small spurs on the sides of the tail.

Behavior / temperament:
Gold Tegus are terrestrial but they love to dig and explore the environment (so they also climb and swim). They are naturally aggressive, but can be tamed through regular interaction and handling, especially if started at a young age. Some Tegus are known to never get accustomed to handling.

Ground-dwelling Gold Tegus require a large rainforest enclosure that will allow them to roam. It should have a large and stable water dish that will allow the Tegus to soak or swim. The substrate should be slightly damp sand or loam, about 10 inches deep for burrowing and digging caves. Hiding places like boxes, cork tubes, and other decorations are also essential. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 71-75F; basking temp: 95F; humidity: 60-80%; lighting: 12-14 hours, UV radiation required.

Gold Tegus are best kept singly because they can become aggressive, especially the males. Humidity is a major factor in the Tegu’s health, and should be monitored closely. The water container should be refreshed daily and the cage cleaned regularly to prevent disease. Under proper care and optimum conditions, Golden Tegus have a lifespan of 5-8 years.

Gold Tegus are omnivorous, preying on insects, rodents, fish, crayfish, birds, and eggs. In captivity, they can also be fed fruits, canned dog food, and commercially prepared Tegu diets. Gut-loaded crickets and mineral-dusted food are recommended for better nutrition.

Gold Tegus are egg-layers. The female prepares a nesting burrow from gathered leaves, and then lays her clutch and stays with the eggs until they hatch in about 5-6 months.


sweet girl, Awesome lizard, Great hearty lizard, Interesting Display Animal


size enclosure, lil temper, bit skiddish, caging requirements, extensive lighting, captivity


pinky mice, ground turkey

Helpful Gold Tegu Review

Gold Tegu

From Kimberly Webb Dec 23 2012 6:04PM


Gold Tegu Health Tip

Gold Tegu

From findiviglio Nov 18 2015 12:05PM


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