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Thread: considering Jewelled Lacerta (Lacerta lepida)

  1. #1
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    Default considering Jewelled Lacerta (Lacerta lepida)

    I've been hoping to get a lizard for a while now, although most of the ones I really like are just too big in size. I really miss having a cwd, but their cage needs are just too big for me, at least right now. I love beardies, but I'd prefer something a little flashier. I've also already begun dreaming up cool ideas for future caging, since they do need a decent sized setup once full grown. Handling is not important, although its nice to be able to move them if needed.

    Also, it would be great to have a reptile that could munch my extra roaches that have gotten too big for the geckos. I've read they're care is pretty similar to bearded dragons, except with more humidity. I've chatted with a couple people about them, and read what I can find about them, and I'd love to try my hand with one. Also, there just so happens to be a breeder in my area.

    Has anyone heard anything interesting about them, or kept them, etc?

    Here's what I've read, basically...

    Adults generally need caging of about 4' long x 2' x 2'
    UVB and a good hot spot is required
    loose, burrowing substrate is preferred
    mostly arboreal, but some climbing/basking areas are good
    eat a wide variety of food insects
    dust food with calcium
    front opening cages are best, they can be somewhat flighty

    Someone I talked to said they are fairly slow growers, so I figured I could get a very young one and get the care under control, and work on the adult cage over time. I also read that females tend to be smaller, so I'll aim for female if possible, but overall it really isn't a big deal.

    I did a search here and didn't come up with anything, but I'll try again. It's surprising that no one here would have one, they're very pretty and don't sound aggressive or difficult to care for.
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    I've never had one and I don't have any advice to offer you, but I just wanted to say thank you for introducing me to a new type of reptile! I had never heard of these guys before but they are very beautiful. If you do end up getting one please post pictures!!!
    May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

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    I will of course! I think it would be a fun lizard to do a cool enclosure for, since they are burrowers. I've been wanting to do a tunnel/burrow tank for my leopard geckos, which would be great practice for what I'd do for a lacerta. I'm thinking for the lacerta I'd do a half fake rock, half soil/sand mix for it to dig, with branches and rock for basking and climbing and one or two plants (probably fake, not planted).

    The idea I have for burrows would be to build them into the fake rock, with one being viewable from the outside (but could be covered for privacy) and then have removable rocky tops that serve as basking spots and lids that blend into the tank. Maybe use magnets to keep them in place.

    I'm having a hard time finding a tank that I'd want, so I may have to look into having one custom built eventually. Ideally it would be about 3 feet long, 2 feet deep and 18" tall, with a sliding door that's at least 6" up the front of the tank. That's about a 65 gallon tank I think.

    This is where ive hit a wall with tank size. I've read 40-50gallons for adult enclosures, but then I've read that 4'x2'x2' is minimum for an adult male. That's over 100 gallons, if I'm doing my math right. So I'm not really sure.
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    i only know a little about them. they are beautiful animals. i know the males reach about 2 feet in length so a minimum of 4 feet sounds right but even that is probably a little cramped. and of course if you intend in the future to add a female that will definitely be too small.

    they like to climb also so i would think height has to be added into the equation also. i'm thinking that a 55 would be too small and if you want to keep them happy you would probably need a much larger tank like 100 gallon.they also like a burrow of some sort and deep enough substrate. the more i think about it a 55 would be small. sorry i don't know more about them.

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    Thanks, that's good to know. I'll have to ask the breeder what type of enclosures she keeps hers in. A female would be a bit better for me, since I'd like something under 2 feet, but it wouldn't be the worst either. I'd be getting a pretty young individual, so I'm hoping I'd be able to keep one in a 20 long or 29 gal setup for a period of time, then move up to the adult cage. I just need to figure out where I can get a 75-100 gal setup with a front opening (preferably sliding) door that doesn't cost a fortune haha
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    Just a little update, I've decided to get one, once I can find one! I've done more reading, and talked to a couple people that keep them.

    First, I realized I have typo in my first post. I meant to say they are mostly terrestrial not arboreal. So floor space is really important, especially for adults. They'll utilize every inch of the cage, so bigger is better. They will climb if given the opportunity, and the substrate needs to be deep enough to allow digging, so something 18"+ is ideal. Also, I've learned they're pretty inquisitive and fun to watch. They can be tamed down with some handling, which is part of the reason I want to start with a hatchling. Live plants will typically get dug up, so its better to go with fake plants, and attach anything that could potentially fall or move and hurt them.

    I'll probably try to do a raised water dish, because apparently they'll kick a lot of substrate into it. As for the heating, they don't need to be too hot, but UVB is crucial.

    They'll eat fruit, veggies, flowers, bugs, worms, pinkies, and I even read about someone giving them cgd.

    They take about 2-3 years to reach full size, so that gives me plenty of time to work up to the permanent adult enclosure.

    I'm still really liking the idea of these guys, so the plan is to use a 20gal long for a couple months, and then based on growth move up to a 36x18x18 or 36x18x24 exo terra. That'll work for most of the growth period, and when I get the adult enclosure done the exo will go to my chewies.
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    We have them at the zoo and I looooove them. They are super smart and are funny captives. I feed ours bugs and cgd exclusively. Joe, our male, looks like a tiny b&w tegu. He has a big blockhead and slanted, kind eyes. He will climb on a scale for me every month just to do it, no reward needed! They love basking and wax worms as treats. I know you will love them, so long as you don't need a cuddle lizard. Ours hate handling but will tolerate me hand feeding them and cleaning their exhibit.

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    Thank you for that Emily, that's awesome and really reassuring! Yea, I'm not looking for something to chill out on my lap, but I'm aiming for something that wont be hiding all day and will be fairly responsive to me. Also, I've been wanting a reptile with a big appetite that can take on a wider variety of food, mainly so I'll have a reason to buy more feeders and my geckos can get a little more variety in their diet.

    The LA zoo has a new reptile exhibit, and I'm going soon. Maybe they'll have one on display!

    I'm actually hoping to go so I can take pictures of the exhibits for ideas for natural setups for home.
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    San diego has them in an outdoor exhibit which is really cool. i have found that they arent exactly chow hounds like beardies. they eat more than geckos though of course

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