Species group: Swifts and Spiny Lizards
Other common names: Spiny Lizard, Green Lizard, Scorpion Lizard, Emerald Swift
Scientific name: Sceloporus malachiticus
Green Spiny Lizards are found in Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Panama). They inhabit open, sunny locations among trees, rocky areas, pastures and clearings, as well as urban and suburban buildings, gardens, and surroundings.
Appearance / health:
Green Spiny Lizards are indeed green and spiny (keeled scales) throughout most of the body. The face has smooth scales, and the tail and head are oftentimes a bright metallic blue. Coloration changes from green to blue to yellow green or black, getting lighter as the temperature rises. Males average 8 inches in length; females slightly smaller. Males also have brighter colors (sometimes having bluish patches on the sides, and a wider head and tail base.
Behavior / temperament:
These lizards are highly territorial and aggressive towards other males. Like most lizards, they are skittish and run to hide when threatened. They are diurnal (active in the daytime). Because of their exotic colors and relative ease of care and feeding, the Green Spiny Lizard is popular in the pet trade.
A medium woodland terrarium with climbing branches is best for the Green Spiny Lizard. A rear wall that can be climbed is recommended. A shallow water dish is a must. Hiding places must also be provided on the ground because this lizard is both terrestrial and arboreal. A dry sandy substrate is recommended, with a small corner slightly damp to help with humidity levels. Substrate and décor should allow burrowing for hiding. Day temp: 77-86F; night temp: 59-68F; basking temp: 95F; humidity: 50-80%; lighting 14 hours, UV radiation required.
Because Green Spiny Lizards are territorial, they are best kept in pairs or in a group with only one male. Because of their attractive colors and ease of care and feeding, these lizards are popular in the pet trade. Under optimum conditions, they are expected to live for 3-5 years.
The primary diet of Green Spiny Lizards is insects like cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, moths and their larvae. On occasion, they will eat vegetation (leaves and flowers), and tiny or pinkie rodents. Mineral-dusted and gut-loaded crickets help provide proper nutrition.
Green Spiny Lizards give birth to live young. One litter would be from 6 to 15 in one season.
brilliant green backs, bright blue undersides, little speedster
driftwood perches, hot basking temperatures
Colors That Must be Seen to be Believed!
The green spiny lizard also goes by the well-earned name of emerald swift… this little speedster’s color must be seen to be believed. Males are simply stunning, with their brilliant green backs being set off by bright blue undersides during the breeding season.
These active lizards have much to recommend them, but they will thrive only in a large enclosure (a 55 gallon tank is ideal for a pair or trio) that offers plenty of rock and driftwood perches and hideaways, hot basking temperatures (95-100 F), and access to high levels of UVB. Unlike many of its arid-adapted relatives, the green spiny lizard does best at a humidity level of 60-65%.
Ever alert for predators and prey, spiny lizards tend to remain high-strung in captivity, and are best thought of as pets to observe rather than handle. Captive-born individuals may adapt to some handling, but unfortunately many in the trade are wild-caught. However, given proper care, captive reproduction is possible – several bear live young, which translates into much less work for the aspiring lizard breeder!
A varied diet comprised of roaches, crickets, hornworms, sow bugs, butter worms, lab-reared houseflies and wild-caught insects, along with vitamin/mineral supplements, is essential to their well-being; crickets and mealworms alone, even if supplemented with vitamins, will not provide adequate nutrition..
From findiviglio Nov 16 2015 1:56PM