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Great Basin Collared Lizard

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Species group:

Other common names: Desert Collard Lizard; Mohave Black Collared Lizard; Western Collared Lizard

Scientific name: Crotaphytus bicinctores

The basics:
The Great Basin Collared Lizard is native to dry, rocky, hilly terrain in the Great Basin, Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of the southwestern United States. It is very quick, and is actually able to run on its hind legs. The Great Basin Collared Lizard is similar in size and shape to the Common Collared Lizard, but lacks its bright colors.

Appearance / health:
The Desert Collard Lizard is distinguished by a black or black-white collar across the back of its neck. They grow to 13 inches in total length.

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.