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Thread: Desert Lizards

  1. #1
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    Default Desert Lizards

    I have decided that I would like to care for a desert lizard. My only problem is I have no idea of the species I should keep. Some of the Lizards I have looked into are Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, Desert Iguana, and Uromastyx. So I have decided to ask the forum on their opinions. What is a really cool species to keep? Any opinions or suggestions would be a great help for my decision.
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    I have two bearded dragons and they are by far the most expensive animals I've ever had to feed. 100 crickets (or baby dubia) a day is not unheard of for a young dragon. They can be a little high maintenance as babies but get easier as adults. Beardeddragon.org is a great beardie site. I love my two; Ramsay my leatherback is a total ham and my normal, Kallie, is a daddy's girl. To me, they're worth the work.

    I don't have too much experience with the others except uros need very high temps and I've heard they can be a little sensitive.
    ~ACR Breeder #904~
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    It depends on what kind of experience you want:
    bearded dragons: need large enclosure, expensive to feed (as mentioned above), but can run around your house (with supervision) and is more responsive than the others
    leopard gecko/ african fat tail gecko: can be handled, lots of morphs to choose from, easy to care for, may or may not be responsive
    house gecko: small and needs small cage, not a lot of color variety, primarily a display animal
    SW banded gecko (coleonyx): small cage, like leopard geckos but much smaller, less color variety than leos but more than house geckos, interesting to watch, primarily a display animal, and, best of all . . . I have a lot of them to sell(!)

    Aliza

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    I am looking for something a little on the bigger side (~12+ inches). So Bearded Dragons are something i am very interested in. I would start a Dubia colony to help lower feeding costs at the store. I really like Leopard Geckos, But so many people have them and I would rather have something a little more rare than that.
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    I have Schneider Skinks. I love those guys. Easy to feed, require heat and UV. Love to burrow in the sand, but come up once the lights turn on. Very active when they are out and a bout. I have my pair in a 40 G Breeder tank, with 75lbs of sand, and they /still/ seem to want more haha. Downside is, most are WC. But, they tame up quite easily.
    Here's a pic of my male.
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    from what you mentioned the beardeds are great but need large enclosures when the grow compare to leopard geckos or fat tail geckos.as far as rarity only certain uromastyx are somewhat rare in the reptiles you would be mentioned you might be interested in.

    the uromastyx are easy to care for but they like it super hot on the hot end and you must be sure you can provide the uv basking site on the hot end and be able to maintain between 90-100 degree on the hot end. if it gets cool in your house that may be difficult. but if you can provide those temps they are very cool. they will also need a large tank when they reach adulthood.

    if you are looking for some rarer desert species don't overlook Nephrurus.
    Nephruras are the australian knob-tail geckos. really amazing and somewhat rare in he hobby when compared to leopards, fat tails, etc.

    i am currently working with Nephrurus amyae as well as Nephrurus wheeleri. but they do not make good pets if you intend to handle the animals you purchase.if that were the case i'd stick to bearded dragons. knob-tails don't like to be handled and can be stressed. if you are looking for a rarer desert species and don't intend to handle them they are amazing little geckos. amyae are the larger of the two wheeleri are considerably smaller.
    mine have finally reached sexual maturity they were hatched in 2010 and i am excited about introducing them this season. it's been a long patient wait for them to reach the correct breeding age but they are finally there. good luck

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    I have looked at knob tails and thought they were really cool. I am interested in an animal that I can handle at least every week. The Schneider Skink looks really cool. I do really like skink species. Are Schneider's a good handling lizard?
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    If you like skinks, a good beginner skink would be a blue tongue skink. Those seem to be getting popular when people branch out from bearded dragons or leopard geckos.

    I love uromastyx personally, they have really funny, almost expressive faces. The one that I take care of every once in a while loves to be held and doesn't hide much, though they're not exactly active. Neither are any skinks I've taken care of, they mostly just sit there and bask... I personally don't have any desert animals, but I work in a vivarium with them every week so I'm familiar! Bearded dragons are cool and probably the most active of the bunch. If you want something that's less popular though, I wouldn't go for a beardie. I see them everywhere...they're on almost every table at the reptile shows I go to! Perhaps that's just here though.

    I vote for uromastyx.
    "Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it." -Henry David Thoreau

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    I know you stated your interest in larger lizards, but have you considered fan footed geckos? They are another desert species, but they are arboreal unlike the others mentioned earlier. I would imagine that a viv for one of those would be pretty awesome.

  10. #10
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    If I was going to do a desert species, I think I'd go with orange spotted agamas. Very cool and pretty uncommon.
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