Species group: Agamas
Other common names: Common Agama; Red-headed Rock Agama; Rainbow Agama
Scientific name: Agama agama
The Red-headed Agama is native to semi-desert, rocky habitats in subsaharan Africa. Agama agama are quite social, and live in groups of 10-20 individuals controlled by a dominant male. They feed on insects such as ants, grasshoppers, beetles and termites.
Agamas do best when housed in groups of three or more individuals. They are an active species, and require large habitats that are at least 48” long (approximately 100 gallons).
Appearance / health:
The male Red-headed Rock Agamas is one of the most colorful lizards in the pet trade. It varies in color depending on mood, ranging from solid brown to bright blue with a red head. During the breeding season, males develop their most dramatic markings, with the body turning dark blue, and the head, neck and tail turning bright orange. Females are always brown. Males are larger than females, and can reach 14 inches in length.
Agamas require large enclosures. UVB lighting is essential for 12-14 hours a day to allow the Agama to produce vitamin D3, which is essential to the animal's ability to absorb calcium. Ambient temperatures should range from 80-85 degrees F. during the day, with a basking spot around 90 degrees.
80% crickets, gut-loaded with T-Rex Calcium Plus or ILF formula; 20% dark leafy greens and vegetables.
Hardy African Stunners
A male red-headed agama in breeding condition is simply stunning – out of the breeding season, males and females are “merely” gorgeous! Add to this a host of fascinating behaviors and, with proper care, a potential longevity approaching 30 years, and you’ll see why I’m perplexed that these African dynamos are not more widely-kept! If you have the space and ability to meet their needs, red-headed Agamas are well-worth a close look.
A large terrarium is essential if a healthful temperature gradient (80-88 F, with a basking site of 100 F) is to be established; a 75 gallon tank or larger is ideal for an adult. High levels of UVB are essential to their survival. A wide variety of calcium and vitamin-supplemented butterworms, sow bugs, locusts, crickets, roaches, hornworms, super mealworms, and wild-caught invertebrates, with the possible addition of a pinky each 6-8 weeks, is required for proper nutrition. Limiting the diet to crickets and mealworms will result in your pet’s early demise – please do not re-prove this infallible rule!
Agamas tend to remain high-strung in captivity, especially if closely-confined, and are best thought of as pets to observe only. Long term captives may adapt to careful handling, but they show themselves to best advantage when left undisturbed in large, naturalistic terrariums or outdoor enclosures..
From findiviglio Nov 18 2015 8:41PM