Until recently, keeping lizards at home was exotic. Although the history of terrarium dates back several centuries. For example, the oldest scientific work devoted to keeping reptiles at home dates back to the 18th century. Its author, Johann Matteus Bechstein, was an expert in aquarium and terrarium. Therefore, his work is interesting today. Before you start a terrarium, you need to know the habits, physiology and what lizards eat at home.
Terrarium equipment and its size
The main problem is that it is impossible to indicate the total size of the terrarium for lizards only by their size or quantity, it is necessary to know exactly their species and lifestyle.
It is generally believed that the length of the terrarium for lizards living on the earth should be greater than the height. Such a ratio as 2dl.kh1shir.h1vys will not be bad. For lizards that live on trees, everything is the opposite of the first, namely 1d.h1shir.h2vys.
One of the most important conditions for keeping lizards is good ventilation of the terrarium, so the ceiling and one of its sides (in the worst case the lower part) should be mesh. The entire net area should be at least 10% of the total terrarium area. It should be borne in mind that the size of the openings in the grid should prevent the animal from escaping from the terrarium, as well as its feed. It is necessary to abandon nets made of artificial materials, as they can be damaged by crickets or locusts or set on fire by heaters or ultraviolet lamps.
For your convenience, there should be a convenient passage and opening to the terrarium, however, one should not forget about the agility and agility of many lizards - it is desirable that in the large terrarium the doors were double or sliding, and only a small part of it opens.
Temperature and humidity
For each species of lizards, the correct temperature and humidity are integral conditions, however, these indicators are specific for each species, which must be taken into account when breeding them. In this case, you can focus on four main types of terrariums - on dry / wet terrariums of cold / tropical areas.
- In a cold, dry terrarium, the water requirements of lizards must be taken into account.
- In a cold and wet terrarium there should be a specially equipped dry and warm place.
If lizards living in cold climatic regions and in the corresponding terrariums in any case should hibernate at a temperature of 5-10 ° C, then in tropical terrariums and in the winter months, the corresponding temperature should be maintained. We must not forget about the lighting. Tropical deserts, semi-deserts and savannahs are characterized by a sharp drop in temperature at night, so lizards living in such deserts require a decrease in temperature at night.
Lizards, a native of tropical rainforests, require daily (in particular when alternating day and night) temperature fluctuations within 4 ° C. The main problem in this case is not so much maintaining a certain temperature regime as combining high air humidity with a well-ventilated terrarium at the same time.
Hygiene measures and quarantine
One of the main requirements for the maintenance of lizards is to maintain cleanliness - it is necessary to clean the terrarium from food residues and excrement every day, and heated drinking water should be replaced.
Do not forget about the health of lizards. And if an epidemic begins or parasites appear, then the entire terrarium must be disinfected.
All newly arrived lizards should first be placed in a quarantine terrarium, which should be as sterile as possible. As a coating on the bottom of the terrarium and for the ceiling, moltoprene mats are recommended, which retain moisture well and create air humidity, moreover they are well cleaned and disinfected. Moltoprene is not suitable for lizards with large claws, they usually contain them on the floor or on a special fibrous litter. A pot of drinking water can be used simultaneously as a pool. You can also create shelter for lizards, a ceramic tube cut in half or something similar is suitable for this.
Before being placed in the quarantine terrarium, lizards should be examined for exoparasites and intestinal parasites and treated. Quarantine can be completed only when, with two repeated tests for parasites, they will be absent.
During quarantine, it is necessary to study the predilections of lizards, which in the future will help you with choosing your favorite food for them, vegetation and shelters.
If you have a large terrarium, then you can contain several species of lizards together, but you must take into account that they were from the same climatic zone, not too different in size and temperament. But you need to clearly know that with such content you will need much more strength and attention to them.
In any case, more attention should be paid to the “newcomers” of the terrarium, since those inhabitants who already live there are dominant. Therefore, newcomers often have stressful situations.
Ultraviolet rays play an important role in the content of lizards - they increase the overall activity and resistance of the body. Rays of range B play a special role in the synthesis of vitamin D. Deficiency of ultraviolet radiation leads to rickets of the skeleton, especially in young individuals, but in pregnant females it causes abnormal egg shell formation. Ultraviolet rays A play an important role in the formation of pigment in the skin (with its deficiency, the calves are atypical for this species).
The diet of lizards is quite diverse - lizards that eat plant foods need to be given a variety of fruits and vegetables washed in warm water, they should not be fed grass collected from the side of the road or industrial area. For lizards that feed on animal food, mice / rats, locusts, crickets, grasshoppers, Drosophila, and a variety of larvae are well suited. Moreover, they can be given snails, fish or earthworms.
Adult lizards need to be given much more food than young animals. It is not advisable to feed very old grasshoppers / crickets, as there were cases when they stuck in the esophagus of young individuals or injured the esophagus with their chitinous carapace.
Do not forget about top dressing with vitamins. For herbivores, this is a mixture of vitamins + minerals + boiled rice + fruits. For those who eat animal food - feed insects are crumbling in a powdery mixture of vitamin and mineral substances. If you feed your pet with mice or rats, then, before feeding them, they are injected with minerals and vitamins, or injected into a gelatin capsule. Calcium can be given in the form of crushed eggshells or cuttlefish shells. Avoid any odorous substances that could scare away the lizard from fortified feed.
In Russia, there are two types of lizards - this ordinary and quick . Most often they can be found in the European part of the country. They have differences in appearance.
Common lizard You can often see moving in a vertical direction. Sharp and rounded claws allow her to do this. Her body is covered with small scales.
Sneaky lizard has a smaller body size, which allows her to move quickly. In some cities you can meet an individual and green. A distinctive feature of lizards is that when they are in danger, they can safely drop their tail and continue to move.
What do domestic lizards eat?
It is unlikely that anyone will be surprised at the sight of a man who is walking his lizard on the street. This is a completely normal occurrence at present. Someone gets snakes, huge pythons and iguanas of human size. Every, even the most terrifying animal should Healthy food .
Exist grocery list with which to feed the lizard:
- Better than any reptile feed insects . They readily eat flies, larvae, cockroaches, worms and moths. Lizards are happy to use them live. Also, caring owners themselves catch insects and dry them for their favorite pets,
- A large assortment of pet stores are sold special food for reptiles . But, some lizards eat them reluctantly. In addition, such food can be introduced into the diet several times a week,
- Some lizards prefer plant food. For them, special food is made from fruits and vegetables. Each fruit must first be washed in warm, boiled water,
- In order for the pet to fully grow, the owners buy special vitamins for them, especially if they need to be given to their pet in the cold season.
As for water, lizards can drink only once a day . They have large reserves of fluid in their body, which they have enough for a full existence. The diet for lizards living in plant conditions is slightly different.
What do lizards living in plant conditions eat?
Lizards living in nature get their own food. Usually they have the same diet.
- These reptiles feed on what they themselves find in the earth. It can be various bugs and caterpillars. The most dexterous individuals manage to catch butterflies and flies,
- In summer, lizards can often be seen in the beds where potatoes are planted. The Colorado potato beetle is their favorite meat product,
- Prefer a little different food spindles . This reptile loves earthworms, woodlice and slugs . It is also a lover of beetles and their larvae. The main difference between such a lizard and other individuals is that they have sharp, rounded back teeth. It is this quality that allows them to hold slippery food in their mouths,
- As for vitamins, lizards get them from vegetation and herbs,
- They also produce water on their own in ponds or puddles.
Lizards are one of the most gluttonous reptiles. Despite their small size, their daily diet is almost the same as that of large birds.
Habitat and living conditions
For the full life of the lizard, it is necessary that there is a lot of vegetation around. For this reason, most of the time they tend to be in the fields. If a person wants to have such an individual, then he needs to think about creating the conditions for her living.
They are love freedom Therefore, you should buy a large terrarium. It is necessary to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of vegetation present. It is advisable, at least several times a week, to spray leaves of plants with dew, which the lizard will willingly lick.
In the summer, the pet needs extra moisture. Recommended spray the terrarium every day . In winter, they can die from the cold, you should observe the air temperature, it is desirable that it is not less than 25 degrees.
Lizards are lonely individuals. No need to start a couple in one terrarium, otherwise individuals will constantly conflict. For them, there are several periods a year when they are ready to breed, the rest of the time they will start to eat each other. Females are bad mothers, they lay eggs and never approach them again. They can also conflict with the young ones that have grown.
Lizards, like any other living creature, have its features:
- They do not go hunting in the early morning. First, they take sunbaths for a long time and bask in the warmth. As soon as they feel comfortable, they are ready to go hunting. Reptiles actively run around the field and look for prey. You should pay attention to this feature and equip the terrarium with at least a lamp,
- They love heat, but they avoid heat. Closer to the afternoon they find shelter in the shade and rest there,
- Lizards can’t live in the cold, during the winter season they burrow underground and appear outside only in late spring,
- Several times a year, individuals are ready for breeding. They choose only the partner who is similar to him in color. They are not ready to communicate with other species of lizards,
- If you keep this pet in the winter, you should add more vitamins to its diet. It is a great stress for him to be in conditions uncharacteristic for him.
Pretty exotic. It is suitable for breeding for those who do not want to walk the dog in the morning, or clean the tray behind the cat. The lizard does not produce loud noises, does not wake you up in the morning, does not need a large area for living. In short, the animal is ideal for keeping at home. It remains only to understand what small lizards eat at home.
Rules for feeding lizards
In the summer season, this is done three times a day. In winter, the number of meals is reduced to two times. What is the best way to feed? First of all - by insects:
- flour worms,
- small mammals
- bird eggs
- cottage cheese (used as a feed additive).
Types of Animal Feed
Providing pets with pet food is easy. It can be caught on its own, bred or bought at a pet store. You can catch beetles, locusts, butterflies, flies and spiders both in the house and in meadows, fields with the help of nets, flycatchers.
But when saving, do not forget that live food can be dangerous. Collected insects are "reservoirs" for parasites. And on the inhabitants of fields, gardens and vegetable gardens get pesticides, which can be toxic to the lizard.
Avoid stinging insects - wasps, hornets, bees, gadflies. Some species of caterpillars, fireflies, giant locusts can become a poison for the pet. Before you catch insects, you need to know what poisonous species are found in the region.
Flying and crawling prey can be immobilized by tearing off wings and paws, but it is better when the lizard preys on insects itself. To "food" does not leave the terrarium, it is necessary to close it tightly with a grid with small cells.
Living insects can hide for a long time from stalking among stones and snags, and some omnivorous arthropods can strongly bite a lizard. Therefore, it is worth releasing prey into the terrarium individually, so that the lizard can catch it and eat it. Sometimes reptiles are placed in an empty vessel for feeding, where prey has nowhere to hide.
Worms, larvae of meat flies and beetles, crickets, wax moths (moths) can be purchased at the store. They are easily bred at home. There are special companies that provide the pet with live food all year round.
The hunting instinct awakens at the sight of moving prey, so it is difficult to accustom a lizard to eat motionless food - pieces of meat, fish, offal. Foods cut into small pieces should be taken with tweezers and moved in front of the reptile's face. Over time, she will perceive food as living prey. Later, when meat enters the diet firmly, it is ground into minced meat and given to the pet in this form.
However, do not replace meat with live food. Meat can be used in the winter or diversified diet from time to time.Small mice and hamsters, bird eggs, fledglings and even cottage cheese will serve as a source of protein for large predators - all this is a pleasant addition to the main diet.
Herbivorous lizards will like:
- leafy greens (spinach, parsley, salad),
- wild plants (dandelion, clover, plantain),
- chopped green and orange vegetables (beets, carrots, cabbage, zucchini),
- soft fruits and berries (oranges, melon, apples, pears, grapes, viburnum berries),
- flower heads (roses, hibiscus, nasturtium, dandelion, geranium, clover).
Vegetable feed is ground and mixed. If the lizard constantly refuses any ingredient, then it must be excluded. Plants should not be torn on the roadsides, in the industrial zone, so as not to poison the pet with heavy metals. It is necessary to monitor the level of pesticides in vegetables and fruits.
The green mixture is laid out in feeders - heavy bowls with a low side. The vegetable mixture is mixed in rice, with omnivorous scaly meat.
Ready-made commercial feed
Ready-made feed for reptiles appeared on the market not so long ago. Before introducing them into the pet’s diet, it is necessary to test them - not all types of lizards are ready to eat dry food. You need to choose it in accordance with the age and physiological state of the reptile.
Before use, it should be moistened with water, even if there is no such recommendation on the package. A dry product will make the lizard drink a lot of liquid, which for some species (agama, moloch, alligator lizard) is not only dangerous, but deadly. Most often, the finished feed is introduced as an additive to the main plant or animal food.
About classification and appearance
Under natural conditions, more than 4 and a half thousand small reptiles live. And you can meet them in the city, and in the village or village. In the second case, there will be much faster than not one, but more than a hundred representatives of tails. In Russia, only two species are often found in natural conditions:
- nimble lizard
- common lizard.
Across the post-Soviet space, they are not abundantly and are not listed in the Red Book. According to the shape, it is difficult to immediately determine what kind of lizard. But there are signs and differences in any case. You can also identify yourself, if you look closely.
You can notice a quick lizard purely by accident. Very fast and nimble. The size is small and the color is green. But a fellow by name - an ordinary lizard, larger, and the color may already be dark green, brown and all shades of green and brown. Paws elongated and tenacious with marigolds. And the body, in contrast to the fast, is covered with scales.
Moving both is not only quick, but with deceptive maneuvers. Lizards live in minks, which they themselves create or are left by other insects or reptiles. Always have a pair and breed only from one male. With the death of one of the pair, the lizards can be alone for a long time, but then they all the same go into search.
Where do such creatures live? Literally wherever you can find a warm sun. They can be seen in the grass and on the stones, on the sand and in the garden. The main thing for them is to find warmth. They lead a daily lifestyle and hibernate for the winter period.
What and how reptiles eat
In nature, the common lizard prefers to eat everything that is smaller than it is in size, but there are also vegetarians. Here they eat exclusively vegetation: flowers, leaves and grass. But exclusively everything is fresh and juicy. Those representatives who have a variety of food, in addition to plants, necessarily consume protein:
- grasshoppers and midges,
- mosquitoes and bugs,
- flies and other midges.
An excellent sense of smell helps lizards avoid the poison that is sprinkled in the garden or in the garden. Therefore, even after processing the plantations, you can only find nibbled places here and there. These are places where poisonous liquid has not got. Lizards love vegetables: cabbage and carrots. They can also enjoy fruits that are closer to the ground. The main indicator is juiciness.
Provided that an ordinary lizard appeared in the house, and the aquarium was correctly selected for it, it is worth considering what and how to feed your pet. The house is better to purchase for the jaguans. After all, you won’t make a terrarium on your own, and banks and boxes for maintenance will not work. Immediately from the first days, decide in which corner the lizard can find food for itself. It will be convenient for her and for the owner. Literally everything depends on nutrition:
Lizard at home
The lizard will not be able to walk on a leash, which means that all food must either be bought in a store or picked up by yourself. The second option is a bit more troublesome, since running around with a cage and catching flies or cockroaches is not very convenient, and it takes a long time only to catch two or three insects. It is much more profitable to come to the store and take the same insects. In the daily diet, they should be required. If the lizard is a vegetarian breed, then a survey on catching insects will be removed.
Specialists have created a special list of food products for reptiles of this class:
In addition to flies and grasshoppers, the larvae of all known non-toxic insects are also suitable for moths. Cockroaches are also suitable, but always alive. Of the insects suitable: worms, butterflies, moths, locusts. Just in case, it is worth having all of the above species in dry form or frozen. At the same time, it is better not to give home cockroaches so that the lizard does not get sick and is not infected with ailments of different breeds. On the legs of such creatures there are many eggs of worms and other infections.
There is a sufficient range of dry feeds designed specifically for reptiles. They can also be given, but only in rare cases. This is not because it is not tasty or the ingredients in it are of poor quality. Just reptiles of this class do not tolerate processed foods very well.
In some Moscow veterinary pharmacies and stores, there is fresh food for lizards. It looks like a mixture of fruits and vegetables. They also added a certain amount of vitamins and minerals. In it, you can add drops from worms, which must also be given to reptiles.
Important! Water is part of the daily diet for lizards. Many craftsmen create a special mini-pond in the terrarium, in which the lizard can not only drink, but also relax. At the same time, it is worthwhile to ensure that the water is not constantly in such an artificial reservoir. But only in the morning or only in the evening.
In order for the small tailed lizard to live long enough in a new house at home, it is worth worrying that the conditions are as close as possible to natural conditions. To do this, you need to learn a few mandatory rules or recommendations for care and feeding:
- Lizards begin to get food only closer to 7-8 in the morning, and not immediately after sunrise. Before starting an active search for food, reptiles take sun baths and wash themselves. Therefore, it is better to put water in the morning. We completely replace sunlight with fluorescent lamps. By tracking how much time it takes for the pet, it will be possible to start feeding.
- The terrarium should have a stable temperature. They absolutely cannot stand the heat and cold. If it is very cold for them, then at best they fall into hibernation. In the worst they die. The heat also causes trouble. Therefore, maintaining degrees is the main task for the owner. At night, the lights are dimmed. It is necessary to create nooks for hide and seek. Feeding is prohibited during the day.
- If your appetite is gone, then there are several options: the time has come for reproduction and you need to find a couple. Or some products were poorly processed for infection and germs.
- In winter, add more natural vegetables and fruits. They need extra vitamins so as not to hibernate.
For breeding lizards in a home environment, it is assumed not only the correct, but also the observance of certain conditions for her life. They are not very complex, it is easy to create them.
- The first step is to select and install a terrarium. It can be of any shape, but its height is not less than two sizes of the length of your pet.
- The bottom is strewn with earth that does not contain fertilizer components and other additives. Suitable for this purpose and coconut flakes or sand. Pet shops have special rugs for sale. It is allowed to cover the bottom with pieces of bark, torn paper, shavings.
- Be sure to place several branches in the terrarium that will resemble a lizard's natural habitat. It is allowed to decorate housing with pebbles, artificially created plants, plates on which the lizard will crawl.
- A prerequisite is two temperature zones in the terrarium. The hot section should warm up to the temperature of the human body (36 degrees), and the cooler - up to thirty. At night, the temperature should not be lower than twenty-one degrees of heat. The hot zone can be heated with an incandescent or glass-ceramic lamp, and an infrared element is also used. The underlying soil can be heated with a rug, which is sold in a zoological store.
- Lizard, living in a home environment, needs constant light. For this reason, an ultraviolet light should be located nearby.
- The humidity level for the lizard should be between fifty and seventy percent. Such conditions are achieved in several ways. In a cool place of the terrarium, a bowl of water is placed so that the lizard can freely be placed in it. To increase humidity, spray with water, use moistened sponges. In order not to form a fungus, you should monitor the quality of air ventilation.
- remember, that
Lizards are conventionally divided into 3 groups: carnivorous, herbivorous, and also omnivorous. The diet of lizards is based on the species and individual needs of the reptile.
Animal feed for lizards
Since most lizards in the natural environment are still predators, the lion's share of their diet is live food. Often reptiles are fed with crickets, flies, bloodworms, grasshoppers, locusts, earthworms. Bigger lizards are given mice, small rats and other rodents. You can also occasionally feed your pets with small or chopped fish, low-fat raw meat without bones, bird eggs. Cottage cheese is given as feed additives: it is left in feeders or laid out on stones and branches (for individuals who do not like to go down to the ground).
It is best to feed live food with tweezers, otherwise the insects will scatter across the terrarium. It is not recommended to feed cockroaches, except American ones, but they are quick and mobile, so they often tear off their legs before feeding. Flour worms are also useful; they do not feed lizards with bugs, since they have a hard shell. It is recommended to crush the head of the flour worm with tweezers, since it has strong jaws and can damage the mucous membranes. Some species of reptiles also eat adult May bugs. Large lizards also eat recently hatched chicks.
Plant Food for Lizards
About a third of the diet of lizards is plant food. You can offer your pet greens - salad, parsley, plantain, spinach, clover, dandelion and more. Reptiles and pieces of vegetables eat well - cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, and sometimes you can give raw potatoes. From fruits you can give apples, pears, melons, grapes, citrus fruits - experimentally, you can find out which ones the pet likes best.
Vitamin and mineral dressings can be mixed into food: for example, add to fruits or porridge with insects. It is also useful for the lizard to give crushed eggshells, tablets of calcium glycerophosphate, chalk, preparations for reptiles.
What do lizards eat in nature?
Most lizards are predators. At the same time, a considerable part of them are capable of absorbing combined food. This ability has evolved in these reptiles during evolution to increase the chance of survival. Far fewer among the lizards are exclusively herbivorous. In nature, small and medium-sized species prefer to eat invertebrate animals. Larger species of lizards feed on the corresponding prey: birds and fish, amphibians, including their own kind, non-toxic snakes and even mammals. The largest species are the lizards from the island of Komodo. It is terrible to imagine what lizards of this size eat: it is believed that they can even attack pigs and buffaloes.
Small ones eat various insects, spiders, centipedes and worms. Species that live near the water feed on mollusks. Also, lizards can be considered garden nurses no worse than birds, because they destroy a huge number of pests: harmful beetles (hungry lizards can even eat the Colorado beetle, which most animals bypass, considering inedible), flies, bear, butterflies (including “cabbage” ") And their larvae. Among others, these reptiles destroy carriers of dangerous diseases, and the latter can make up almost one hundred percent of their diet, depending on the habitat of the lizard. To eat, this animal species needs a lot of food - to the delight of the gardener.
A little apart from their relatives is the aforementioned spindle. Unlike other relatives, her teeth are sharply pointed and bent back, which allows grabbing and holding in the mouth a very slippery prey. What does a lizard with such teeth eat? Due to this unusual structure of the jaws, the spindle can feed on slugs, worms, wood lice and the like creatures, as well as the larvae of these insects.
What do small lizards eat?
So, for example, the most common small lizards on Earth, which are part of the real lizard family, or Lacertidae, feed mainly on small insects, but larger species can even eat small vertebrates. Usually lizards, hiding in a shelter and merging with the ground, lie in wait for their prey or carefully pick up and overtake it with a quick movement. Some species can also use various small fruits or berries as food. Lizards of this family are mainly small enough and do not prey on other vertebrates.
What do large lizards eat?
Large lizards, such as monitor lizards, are able to prey on larger animals as well. They usually sneak up on prey and grab it in a throw. Experts do not exclude that monitor lizards are even able to detect their prey in the wake, using their own tongue, which is constantly protruding from its mouth and bifurcated like a snake. Lizards also do not disdain carrion - dead animals or the remains of the meal of larger predators.
Which lizards are preferable to keep at home?
Before starting reptile houses, you should carefully collect all the information about the subspecies you are interested in. All of them are divided into three categories: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores.
Based on this, you will have to make a diet for your pets.
Herbivores lizards at home eat carrots, cabbage, lettuce, apples, berries and other fruits and vegetables. Experimentally, you will soon figure out which dishes are more favorite for them and which are less. The main condition that is desirable to fulfill is to carefully rinse the greens under running water. Ideally, the fruits should be grown with their own hands to avoid the presence of various chemicals in them, which can become fatal for lizards. Occasionally dilute their diet with boiled rice and raw potatoes.The most popular herbivorous lizards, which experts recommend keeping at home, are iguanas, gentle and unpretentious, like cats.
If you settled predator, you will have to periodically go hunting to get suitable food for him. This has its advantages. A walk through a shady forest or sunny meadow can be combined with fishing for butterflies, crickets, spiders, caterpillars and flies for your pet. If the lizard is large enough, you can occasionally spoil it with small rodents. But keep in mind that a predator lives in your house, which from a funny baby can turn into a fairly large reptile that can cause injury to you and your children. Lizards belong to the category of exotic predatory lizards that are able to feel comfortable in urban apartments.
Be sure to introduce balanced feed into the diet of all types of lizards, which is sold in pet stores and vitamins. Periodically add crushed eggshells to food, but it is advisable to feed geckos with fresh cottage cheese. In any case, you should consult and ask your veterinarian specifically about your type or look for answers on the Internet.
How to feed a lizard at home?
In the wild, a lizard easily finds its own food, but at home, the owner will have to responsibly approach this issue. Feed your pet several times a day. It is better to choose a cup opaque. There should always be a bowl in the terrarium filled with fresh water.
A herbivorous animal should receive fruits and vegetables, salad and cabbage daily. In small quantities, it is useful to add boiled potatoes and rice. Sometimes what predators eat is mixed with food.
To feed the carnivorous lizard, you have to stock up on insects:
- poisonous spiders
- flour worms
It is not so easy to keep a lizard at home, because the diet should be varied. To prevent the animal from getting sick, vitamin and mineral supplements purchased at pet stores are needed. Some owners indulge pets with boneless meat or even small mammals. But in small individuals, this can cause indigestion, which will lead to illness and premature death. Special feeds and mixtures are sold that you can cook yourself.
Despite its natural nature, live food and plants cannot fully provide the reptile with the necessary vitamins and minerals. Grown in conditions of soils poor in micro and macro elements, plants will not provide the necessary substances, especially to a growing body. Therefore, top dressing is necessary.
It can be ready-made vitamin-mineral supplements, crushed eggshell, crushed chalk, tablets of calcium glycerophosphate. They are mixed with food and given 3-4 times a week - an excess of additives can be just as dangerous as a deficiency.
Schedule and feeding rules
A schedule for feeding terrarium pets is compiled, depending on their age. The amount of live food should be such that the lizard can eat it for 3-5 minutes. Leftover food should be removed from the terrarium.
There should always be plenty of clean water in the drinker. The capacity should be used so that the pet can drink freely, but not spill. When feeding adults, you need to take into account the time of activity, so the reptile will hunt more efficiently.
During the period of intensive growth (4 months), lizards need “building material” - proteins and amino acids. During this period, even vegetarian reptiles eat insects, larvae and worms. Such habits are echoes of ancient times, when all the dinosaurs ate animal food. Therefore, live food should be 60-80%, the rest is fresh plants.
Metabolic processes in the bodythe boats proceed accelerated, which requires more frequent feeding - 2-3 times a day. Once a day they are given vitamin D, calcium, or vitamin and mineral supplements appropriate to the type and age.
In young reptiles, the appetite can change, especially after a plentiful meal, but this is not a reason to skip feeding. Better to remove the leftovers than starve the pet. If the terrarium contains several individuals, then you need to ensure that everyone has enough food, and stronger lizards do not eat weak ones.
After the pet reaches 4-5 months, the number of feedings can be reduced. By this time, the reptile accumulates a fat reserve, the metabolic rate decreases, and if 3 meals are maintained, there is a risk of overfeeding and obesity. Carnivores are fed live food by adding a herbal mixture and vitamins with calcium.
Large lizards can begin to give newborn mice. Herbivorous insects are given only once a week, increasing the amount of green mixture. Three times a week, vitamin D and calcium should be added, 2 days a multivitamin supplement.
At the age of 1.5-2 years, the lizard becomes adult and sexually mature. Adult reptiles are fed twice a day. In omnivores, the amount of protein food is reduced to 20-30%, increasing vegetable. Once a week, you can arrange a "fasting day", as adults are prone to overeating.
A special diet is required for pregnant females. They are fed the same way as young animals. Some large lizards (monitor lizards, toothfish) eat only 2-3 times a week. The amount of food depends on the size and type of reptile, so you need to give live food one at a time, only when the lizard eats it - give another. A well-fed individual will refuse food.
You can find out what lizards eat at home by reading special literature or observing a pet. Reptiles can also have individual eating habits.
Nutrient mixture and top dressing
On your own, you can prepare a nutrient mixture that lizards really like. To do this, you need meat and carrots (1: 1). Grind the meat in a meat grinder, and grate the carrots. Then mix it all, add a little lettuce leaves, calcium, vitamin supplements. The nutrient mixture is ready.
Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the health, bright appearance, vigor and vitality of lizards. They are not given in pure form, but must be mixed with food.
Most commonly used are raw crushed eggshells, calcium glycerophosphate tablets, chalk and specialized reptile preparations.
Each type has its own food.
The quick lizard eats small snakes, spiders, grasshoppers and insects in natural conditions. In captivity, it can be fed with flies, crickets, mosquitoes, spiders, cockroaches, flour and earthworms, a nutritious mixture of meat and carrots, fruit and vegetable mixtures.
- Chameleon flies, cockroaches, crickets are suitable as food. Do not forget about vitamin supplements. There is a special dry food on sale, but resorting to it is better infrequently. You can periodically treat your pet with slices of banana, citrus, grapes.
- Geckos agree only on live food: spiders, crickets, flies, cockroaches, locusts and others, as well as worms (flour and zoofubuses). Large individuals can be fed with mice and naked rats, as well as quail eggs. In the terrarium, it is necessary to put water and powder of "bird stone". Dry vitamins and ground calcium are used as a deboning for insects daily, and liquid vitamins are given once every week. Treats for geckos are bananas, oranges, marmalade and honey.
- Moloch (a thorny dragon or a thorny devil) it’s difficult to keep a house, but it is found in zoos. This Australian lizard feeds exclusively on ants and can eat 600-2500 at a time! Skinks can be given the same feed insects as for the above species, supplemented with snails, pink mice, caterpillars, squid, one-day chopped chickens, ready-made feed mixtures for reptiles and even dry dog foods. They will not refuse vegetables, fruits, seeds, buckwheat, and rice. Occasionally, beef liver and heart (chicken or beef) can be given.
- Iguana is herbivore, and it is very selective in food. In nature, it feeds only on the foliage of trees. In captivity, she can and should be given spinach, cabbage, turnips, broccoli and other dark green leafy vegetables. The other half of the diet consists of other vegetables, such as carrots, peppers and sweet potatoes, peas, beans and others. Alfalfa in the form of granules (sold in a pet store) is very useful. Fruits are recommended to be given infrequently and little by little. Vitamin and mineral nutrition is required.
- Monitor lizards . It is believed that they are unpretentious and enjoy eating both fresh food for other lizards and game with a choke. In captivity, they can be given frogs, mice, chickens, small vertebrates, insects, cockroaches, earthworms, fish, pieces of meat, chicken eggs, etc.
Unsuitable food for lizards
No need to feed the animal with human food - it is not at all suitable for a reptile. You should refrain from catching cockroaches and flies that live in city apartments - they can be poisoned. Sometimes the owners themselves breed some insects in the apartment to feed the lizard at home. Also, do not catch insects near cultivated fields that are treated with pesticides. Grass growing near industrial zones, highways or railroads is not suitable for food.
Lizards like to eat mobile food, so insects in a bowl should periodically be alive or semi-dead. Young individuals should not be given old grasshoppers and crickets, as their hard chitin can damage the esophagus, which can lead to death of the pet.
You can not offer stale or unwashed vegetables and fruits, meat with bones, cut into large pieces. From what lizards eat at home, their health and life expectancy depend.
How often do I need to feed a lizard?
What about the diet is more or less clear, but we will return to this question a little later, but what should be the frequency of feeding of these reptiles? If you think that lizards, just like domestic spiders, can live without food for a long time, the main thing is that there is water, then you are mistaken. Lizards need several meals a day, and in the hot season they need to be fed 3 times a day, while for the colder time of the year it is enough to feed the pet 2 times a day. For feeding, the time is chosen when the lizard behaves actively. If you have several lizards, then make sure that reptiles do not interlock due to food, therefore, it is better to feed them in different terrariums. After the lizard has eaten, it is better to remove the remnants of food. To put on a diet a reptile and limit its eating is not worth it. As a result of malnutrition, a pet can begin to hurt and die.
What to do if a lizard refuses to eat?
This question is often asked by reptile owners who are not used to their status as a lizard. Well, perhaps, you simply corny fed your pet, and he decided to arrange for himself a couple of fasting days. Just watch the behavior of the lizard - if it is still active, drinks water well, but just refuses food or eats, but very little - it’s not scary. A reptile may thus unload its body from your overfeeding (a symptom of the latter is frequent burping), or maybe it transparently hints to you that what you feed it is not bite to it. In this case, it is recommended to review the diet of your pet or pet. There are frequent cases when young lizards refuse self-feeding. In this situation, you can try to interest the reptile in breakfast or lunch as follows - squeeze out the contents of the flour worm and grease the mouth of the lizard with it. She will surely lick it, and then, having tasted a treat, eagerly reaches for food.