Five of the Best Pet Lizards You Could Possibly Get!
Posted on November 18, 2017
You aren’t a beginner reptile keeper, and you want the best pet lizard on the planet. Well, this list is for you!
These 5 Amazing Pet Lizards that Clint picks are…
– Blue Tongue Skink
– Ackie Monitor
– Leachie Gecko
– Argentine Tegu
– Gidgee Skink
Watch to find out why they are so amazing!
Hi there! You may be here because a long time ago you saw our “Top Five Reptiles for Brand New Reptile Keepers”. We stand by those five, but we recognize that a lot of you aren’t brand new reptile keepers anymore. And some of you are now starting to wonder, well what are the reptiles that are just the greatest reptiles you could possibly have for a pet? Today we’re coming at you with five of the best pet lizards you could possibly get.
So our criteria are a little bit different for this particular video than they were for the top five for beginners. For starters, these don’t need to be cheap. These are for people who know for sure, I definitely want a reptile and I want it to be awesome and I will pay what it costs. The second thing is they don’t need to be as easy to find. When you’re a brand-new reptile keeper you don’t know where to go to find reptiles. At this point though, we’re talking about things that you might only be able to get from a breeder, maybe only online, but we trust that you can find it. They do, however, need to be available from breeders. We want them to be captive bred. If these are animals that are only available because they’re being wild caught, they’re not gonna make this list. They need to be not just good, but fantastic to interact with. It’s not gonna be enough that they just kind of so so put up with handling for a little bit. The last thing is they have to be hardy captives. We’re still gonna say these are animals that, they’re not just gonna keel over and die on you. We recognize that you have the expertise that you could keep something alive that is more challenging to keep alive, but that really does cut into how enjoyable it can be.
Let’s start talking about our contestants. Contestant number one has been here with me all along and that is the Blue Tongue Skink because Blue Tongue skink are absolutely one of the best that lizards you could ever have for any price at any skill level. They’re out of this world amazing. One huge pro of the Blue Tongue Skink is that it is a big lizard in compact little package. They’re almost as big as a lot of very popular monitor lizards, yet they’ve got these stubby awesome little legs. They They don’t need quite as much space as most of these monitor lizards would need. They don’t eat quite as much. They just aren’t as demanding as, say, other giant lizards. They are easy to feed. They’re omnivores, which means they eat plants, like fruits and vegetables, and they also eat meat, like ground turkey and insects, and that’s awesome. They’re like, honestly, handling a potato. Once they get used to being handled, they just hang out with you. And that will vary a little bit based on the species that we’re talking about. If you want my recommendation, I would recommend one of these two, which is the Merauke Blue Tongue or the Northern Blue Tongue. The enclosure for a Blue Tongue Skink is very reasonable in size. They need some space but they don’t run around as much as other lizards that are this big. They also require very moderate basking temperature. Something in the high 90s is just fine for most Blue Tongue Skinks. There are some cons, as we’ve already talked about. There are different species available, and the different species have different needs. One issue that people have frequently with Blue Tongue Skinks is that they will lose toes. If you’re not keeping humidity high enough, and so they’re having difficulty shedding their skin on their toes, and if you’re not paying attention, their toes can actually get constricted and fall off and nobody wants that to happen. They also hate one another. You notice I’m holding this one close to my body and I got that one over there. Blue Tongues hate each other, and they will tear each other to pieces, given the opportunity. So, you’ve got to be careful about that. And that, frankly, makes them sort of difficult to breed. They’re live bearers so they don’t produce all that many offspring at a time, and they’re super awesome, so they can be pretty hard to find. Some of them are still being imported, others like the Australian species, are only available captive bred. You might be waiting for a long time to find one, and they’re expensive. They’re gonna cost you a few hundred dollars to get one, and that’s if you find a good deal, and if you can find one at all. So, while not perfect, an absolutely out of this world, super fantastic, spectacular pet lizard. Possibly the best pet lizard on planet Earth.
This is an Ackie Monitor, and this might be the greatest pet lizard you could ever possibly own. They’re unbelievable, and this is probably the best pet monitor for most people. For starters, they’re small. This is a much smaller monitor than most. Monitors can be a serious handful, and these guys are not. They still eat a lot for a lizard this size, but not that much. Let’s talk about the pros of the Ackie Monitor. For starters, like we’ve said, it’s little. That is a huge pro because monitors need a lot of space. They’re very active. They run around. He doesn’t need that much space. As a monitor, he’s very intelligent, which makes him very active and engaging to watch. They’re fun to feed because they run around, they grab. They’re like velociraptors. Probably the most fun lizard you could ever feed. And then they’re very patient with handling. You can pick it up and it’ll hang out with you. These guys can bite but it’s really not something they do very often. This is like a tiny Komodo dragon. It’s a tiny Komodo dragon that lives in your house, and it doesn’t take your whole house from you like some monitors will. Spectacular. Another big time pro of Ackie Monitors: they won’t drop their tail like a lot of other lizards. I really like that. There are some cons. It’s not the perfect thing. They’re small. We said that was a pro, it’s also a con. They can get lost more easily. That can happen. It can also get hurt more easily than a big monitor. If somebody came and squeezed it or something. So you gotta be careful about those things. It’s unlikely to bite, but if it does bite you, they’ve got very sharp teeth and kind of dirty little mouths and so, you know, it’s gonna be a serious injury. You might even need to go to the hospital if it’s bad enough. So those are things that you should be aware of that could happen, though they’re unlikely. They need a very hot basking temperature. It means you’ve either got to get a bulb very very close to the ground, which increases the risk of burns, or you’ve got to have a really hot bulb, which increases the risk of things like fire and it costs a lot to run. So, that’s something that is not perfect about them. They’re also very expensive, as monitors go. Monitors are like the ultimate lizards for most people, and this is sort of the ultimate monitor for most people. And monitors are kind of difficult to breed, so there aren’t that many people that produce them, and so, they’re expensive. The last thing is, for a lizard this small, they eat a lot. They eat a lot because they’re active. They’re running that little brain, and they’re running that little body all over the place and that makes them really fun, but it also makes them really hungry (for a lizard). I mean, it’s still not like keeping a shrew or something. Couldn’t recommend a monitor more highly than this.
For a lot of people, geckos are the ultimate pet lizards. And for most people who think that, the Leachianus Gecko is the ultimate pet gecko, and I might agree with you, because Leachies are just out of this world. Let’s start with the pros. They’re incredible to hold. Very much like handling a colossal crested gecko, except somehow softer still. They’re kind of lighter in weight than a crested gecko for their size but they get way bigger than crested geckos. This one that I’m holding right here is not fully grown. They’ll get up to maybe twice this size. They’re just enormous. It’s one of the coolest and most unusual animals ever. You show this to somebody, and they think: What is that? I mean it kind of looks like a gecko, but at the same time, it kind of looks like a sock puppet. Everybody wants to know what is going on with that giant, wrinkly, flop beast. Spectacular. Their care is basically identical to a crested gecko, just bigger. And crested geckos are easy to take care of. They eat a powder based diet. Their enclosures are room temperature. Magnificent! They don’t need any special lights. Cons: They can bite hard for a little guy. They’re not super likely to bite you, like a Tokay gecko or something, but more likely maybe, then a crested gecko. It’s probably gonna vary based on the individual but they can get grumpy and when they’re grumpy they could bite hard – for a gecko. They’re a lot more challenging to breed than crested geckos are and so there aren’t that many people breeding them and yet everybody loves them. So, like most of the things we’re talking about they are expensive and difficult to find because the demand for them far outweighs the supply. Another con is that they can lose their goofy little tail. It’s so silly. It’s still prehensile like a lot of the other New Caledonian geckos but it’s just that tiny little tail. One kind of nice thing is they can grow it back. Even though they are huge for a gecko they’re still small lizards and because they’re small and soft they’re delicate and they could be injured with rough handling. But like I said, if you want a gecko there’s no better gecko than this.
This is a tegu. For a lot of people the Argentine tegu, specifically, is the ultimate pet lizard. For starters, they have impressive size. Another pro is that this animal is very smart – potentially the smartest of all lizards. They’re inquisitive, they’re interesting to watch, they are just fun all around. Tegus are easy to feed, for a colossal lizard. They’re omnivores. So they’re eating vegetables, they’re eating fruits, they’re eating ground turkey, they’ll eat insects, they eat basically anything. They have a very mellow disposition for a giant lizard. They will require a little bit of handling to get them used to this but the Argentine tegus tend to be very very laid-back. They are much less dangerous than some of the other big lizards. The tegu has a very very powerful bite and it can whip you a little bit with the tail but it doesn’t tend to do these things – and that is a huge pro with a huge lizard. They’re easier to handle than comparably sized monitors. Their necks are just a little bit more rigid, they’re less likely to turn around grab ya – unlike a monitor. They’re also, especially compared to most of the things on this list, these are fairly easy to find. They are captive bred fairly regularly. So these are more available. They’re still expensive. Cons. They can drop this tail, probably tends to happen more when they’re younger. You know at this point I’d be shocked if gus-gus decided to drop his tail. He’s so big but I’m always worried somebody will step on the end of it, it might pop off and they don’t grow back very nicely. A bite from a tegu can be serious because they’ve got big teeth. They’ve got extremely powerful jaws. They’ll grab and they’ll shake. That bite can be serious and you’ve got to be aware of it. A big lizard is just going to be more dangerous, potentially. This is as good as a big lizard is gonna get, but it’s still a threat. Their enclosure that they need is big because this lizard is big and active so it needs a big enclosure. But it’s a relatively simple enclosure. They just need a place to dig, a good basking spot, a water bowl they can soak in, a few hides. And also because they’re a big animal they eat a lot. We’ve said it as a pro they’re easy to feed. They are, it’s easy to get what they need to eat but they do eat a lot of it. And you got to be a little bit careful so that they don’t become obese. So that’s a little bit of a con as well. And if he poops on you … you’re not gonna miss it and it’s gonna be a day changer. Okay, so not a perfect lizard but if your perfect lizard is a giant lizard there’s no better one than this.
And rounding out our top five unbelievably spectacular pet lizards is one that you’ve potentially never heard of: the Gidgee skink. Look at it, they’ve got this giant spiky tail and they’re just odd, they’re just unusual and amazing. As far as the pros go of the Gidgee skink, one of the big things is that it basically has all of the pros of a Blue Tongue skink but in a far smaller and more manageable package. They’re more active and inquisitive than Blue Tongue skinks. Honestly, behaviorally, they’re more similar to a lot of monitor lizards like the ackie monitor that we’ve already talked about. It’s almost like if an ackie monitor and a blue tongue and a pinecone had a baby together – this is what you’d get. These are actually a very social lizard. They live in little family groups on rock outcroppings. I still wouldn’t recommend keeping multiple males together. A lot of the people in the reptile hobby have never even heard of these. The last big pro, to mention right now, something that always stands out to me is that they don’t drop their tail. You know I hate that. I’m always worried about lizards that can drop their tail, dropping their tail. This one doesn’t. There are some cons. They need a hotter basking spot than a Blue Tongue, for example. This is gonna be a basking spot more like an ackie monitor would need – so very hot and that’s a con to me. Last of all, these are extremely extremely hard to find. You’ve never heard of them because there’s never a situation to see them. The breeders that breed them sell them before they are born. If you get one consider yourself blessed. This could easily be the greatest of all pet lizards, the Gidgee stink.
I don’t know if these are the ultimate five lizards to you, but to me any one of these could easily be considered the greatest possible pet lizard you could ever dream of. I don’t know how to tell you which one of these is right for you – they’re all right for everyone! Who could not want any of these?!? They’re spectacular, out of this world, amazing, and I’m glad I got to share them with you! As always, like and subscribe, and we hope to see you real soon.
OK, action! Not this again! Which one’s cooler? Pinecone? Sockpuppet? How is one to decide? Like so, whoa! Look at that tail go. Helicopter, helicopter! Whoop! This is why I don’t pick him up. All right. Like this. You’ll notice he can squirm and he can roll but he can’t turn his neck around to grab me. Good boy Gus Gus. Oh dear. Right on. He went right into it. You are so cute. Was he trying to bite? Was his mouth open? Yeah. Awe! Look at him, he’s like a puppy.