Have you been thinking of adopting a reptile? If so, you have likely considered some of the most popular options, such as bearded dragons or leopard geckos. After all, these are the most common lizards that are kept as pets. You may even want something slightly more exotic, such as a ball python or chameleon.
However, a reptile that may not be on your radar (but should) is tegus. While these are not as popular as other members of the reptile family, they should be.
What Is a Tegu Lizard?
The first thing to understand is that a tegu is not a monitor. While the tegu and monitors have similarities, they are not from the same genus. This is important because you don’t want to rely on information about monitors when providing care for your tegu.
There are several types of tegus to choose from. The most common options that are kept as pets include:
- Colombian gold tegu
- Argentine black and white tegu
- Red tegu
- Blue tegu
Caring for Your Tegu
Now that you have a better idea of what tegus are, you should learn a few things about proper care.
Handle Them Often
An Argentine tegu will become more docile as they age. This means they will get along well with humans. While this is true, you must ensure your lizard gets accustomed to being held and handled. If not, they may become overly anxious and lash out. Also, considering that these creatures have a strong bite, you don’t want to become enemies.
Keep in mind, if you opt for a blue tegu, this may not be the case. This option seems to be more aggressive at times, which is something you should keep in mind.
Provide Plenty of Space
As a hatchling, you can keep your tegu comfortably in a 40-gallon tank. Usually, they can stay there for a few months. However, a tegu will grow and change a lot. This means you need to move it to a larger enclosure at some point. Make sure to give your lizard plenty of space as it grows to an adult. In the past, most people who have had tegus recommend getting an enclosure that is six to eight feet long and about three to four feet wide. It should also be approximately three feet deep.
Don’t Let the Lizard Roam Free
Argentine tegus are considered an invasive species in the state of Florida. As a result, you need to make sure that you do not release yours into the wild if you live in this state. If you don’t feel like you can care for your tegu, you can contact a local veterinarian or pet shelter to find out how to put your lizard up for adoption.
Owning a reptile-like a tegu lizard can be highly rewarding. However, you have to know how to care for this animal before bringing it home. This will help ensure you are prepared to give it a happy and healthy life.