Acquired: Bred animal myself
Oklahoma, United States
Posted Apr 18, 2014
Horned lizard, or as I was told, "horny toad"...You have to admit that these creatures are simply wicked looking. I love them. They look so primal. Do they make a good pet though? Well, I would say that it depends on what you are looking for in a pet.
Growing up in Eastern Oklahoma, I had never seen one until visiting my grandpa in West Texas for the summer. I had always heard people mention horny toads, so I was wanting to find one. I had no idea that it was a lizard. Apparently they just have fat bodies that remind people of toads. Even with that knowledge, I wasn't disappointed when I finally saw one. My grandpa had one as a pet. He named him "Igor". Of course I use the term "pet" loosely. Basically, he hung around my grandpa's house and fed off of the ants. I guess he was comfortable enough to let us pick him up though, because he never shot blood out of his eyes at us...Yes, they can do that. Instead, he would just hang out on the front of my grandpa's shirt for a while. My grandpa would do some yard work, find an ant hill and then he would position Igor near it. The next day he would find him around the same area and repeat the process. I guess they had a pretty good working relationship.
Still, if you are considering one as a pet, consider a bit longer. They don't last long in captivity, from what I have been told. Also, since they mostly live off of live ants, you will need to have a steady supply of them. I don't know about you, but that isn't a food source that I want to purposely introduce into my home. However, I think the best argument against having them as pets is the fact that we need them in the wild. They help keep the ant population down. Unfortunately, they are dying out in West Texas where my grandpa is from. People have decided to put poison out for the ants, in turn it is killing the horned lizard.
So, if you see a "horny toad" outside somewhere, admire it....even take pictures of it, but leave it there. It has a job to do and it is trying its hardest to do it well.