Acquired: Online breeder / seller,
Bred animal myself,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
New York, United States
Posted Nov 18, 2015
Alert yet calm in demeanor, southern alligator lizards and their relatives have long been bypassed by hobbyists, but are now getting some attention. And well they should – sure, they are somberly-colored, but these North American natives are a near-ideal lizard pet, and suitable for beginners and pros alike. With proper care, they can live well into their 20’s and may even reproduce – and they are very interesting as well!
Alligator Lizards do best when provided with a temperature range of 75-85 F and basking sites of 95-100 F, plentiful cork bark caves and other cover, and abundant UVB exposure. A 55-gallon terrarium will suit a pair (watch pairs closely for “marital discord”!). As most offered in the pet trade are wild caught, a veterinary exam is essential for new arrivals. Although they usually take well to gentle handling, care must be exercised, as their snail-crushing jaws are very powerful (see below).
Alligator lizards favor snails, and many will accept canned snails sold for human or pet-reptile consumption. In addition, a varied diet comprised of roaches, locusts, 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…please do not reprove this infallible rule!